Windows Audio Service Keeps Shutting Down

Maybe one out of every three times I go to use iTunes or play a video or something, I get no sound, and a message saying a Windows Host process has stopped working. When I click on the little speaker button in the lower rt corner to see what's up, I click on any of the three options and a message comes up saying windows audio service is not running, would you like to turn it on. So I turn it on, go about my business, then it happens again. And again. And again. Help!

Question Info

Last updated April 19, 2019 Views 11,169 Applies to:

The drivers probably need to be updated. The rest is my generic troubleshooter if you or others have more
issues down the road.

Control Panel - Device Manager - SOUNDS - look for HD Audio Mine says RealTek High Definition Audio 

Write down description make and model - double click on it - drivers tab - write down version. Now
Click UPdate Drivers which may not do anything as MS is far behind certifying drivers. Then RIGHT
CLICK on it and UNINSTALL - REBOOT - this will rebuild the driver stack.

1st go to system maker's site and look for latest driver Download - SAVE - go to right click on and RUN AS ADMIN
(This is your fallback.) REBOOT after each driver installation.

NOTE : Sound driver often rollback so check the version after installation and the reboot to see if the version you
installed is there, if not repeat - reboot until it is. It can take several tries depending on how many rollbacks it

Then do same for Device Maker's site.

Manually look at manufacturer's sites for drivers - and Device Maker's sites.

How to Install a Device Driver in Vista Device Manager


Error “the Audio Service Is Not Running” When Opening the Volume Mixer in Vista

Also Right Click Speaker near clock - Playback Devices - right click in the box area - check
Show disable and disconnected devices. Highlight speaker and the on lower Right click Properties
check settings for Device Usage enabled and so on. Also do same for Configure on Lower Left of
that box.

In Control Panel you can also look for an Audio Manager along with the Sound Settings.

Problems with sound and audio or no sound - a Mr Fixit

Tips for fixing common sound problems

Speakers and other audio output devices

How to Enable Hidden Audio Devices in Vista

How to troubleshoot sound problems that you experience after you install a Windows Vista Service Pack

Hope this helps.

Rob - Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT 2010 - current
Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current

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