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Windows is well known for its dazzling array of odd errors and malfunctions 7 Things That Really Annoy Us About Windows 10 7 Things That Really Annoy Us About Windows 10 It's not a secret that Windows 10 isn't perfect. Cortana borders on being intrusive, mandatory updates can cause issues, and much appears half-baked. We present our top 7 of most glaring Windows 10 annoyances. Read More appearing out of seemingly nowhere designed to drive you up-the-wall and around-the-bend. The best part of all? You never know when something is going to happen, and in many cases, you’ll have no idea what introduced the problem to your system 6 Common Windows Upgrade Issues & How to Fix Them 6 Common Windows Upgrade Issues & How to Fix Them Upgrading Windows 10 can cause a number of complications. We show you what to watch out for and how to prevent or fix issues. Read More .

Windows 10 has a plethora of well-documented issues, and has pushed many users to the brink of insanity. Luckily, those people who manage to step back into the real world come clutching their fixes, and we’ll share some of those golden-nuggets with you.

1. Check Your Sound Settings

Now, before you say “But Gavin, I’ve done that,” have you really done that? It can be the most obvious things we overlook. Without insulting your computing ability, make sure to check you haven’t accidentally muted Windows 10 – it’s easily done.

Windows 10 All Sounds Muted

At the same time, check your cables, plugs, speaker connections, headphone connections and any other connections relating to your malfunctioning audio output. If you’re still in grief, read on.

2. Roll Back or Re-Install Audio Drivers

Drivers have always had an unhappy knack of creating issues, and Windows 10 is in no way exempt. The forced updates introduced last July How to Manage Windows Update in Windows 10 How to Manage Windows Update in Windows 10 For control freaks, Windows Update is a nightmare. It's designed to operate in the background, automatically keeping your system safe and running smoothly. We show you how it works and what you can customize. Read More have stepped up the issues, as Windows Update also covers hardware drivers. If you’re using everything as standard, you might be okay. If you’re using anything non-standard, you’re likely to have a bad time.

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Windows 10 gives us a few options to fight an irksome driver How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers Your drivers might be outdated and need updating, but how are you to know? First, don't fix it if it ain't broke! If drivers do need updating, though, here are your options. Read More . First, we can try to simply roll it back to the last good configuration. Right-click the Start button, select Device Manager, and right-click your sound driver, select Properties, and browse to the Driver tab. Press the Roll Back Driver option if available, and Windows 10 will begin the process.

Windows 10 HD Audio Driver

If like the above image you have no option to roll the driver back, you’ll need to either Update or Reinstall the driver. As we’re dealing with audio driver issues, I’d go for a reinstall. This will remove the offending driver during the process, and give your system a nice clean one instead.

Before proceeding with the uninstall, ensure you have the new manufacturer version of the driver. You’ll be able to download them directly from the hardware issuer’s website, or in some cases, via a third-party supplier.

In the same Properties tab you should note the final option: Uninstall. Click this, and you’ll meet the Confirm Device Uninstall window. Depending on the driver issuer, this window may also contain an option to Delete the driver software for this device. If this is the case, make sure it is checked and press OK.

Windows 10 Confirm Driver Uninstall

Once the drivers have been wiped, restart your system, and install the new driver.

We have previously written about how you can Stop Automatic Driver Updates Take Back Control Over Driver Updates in Windows 10 Take Back Control Over Driver Updates in Windows 10 A bad Windows driver can ruin your day. In Windows 10, Windows Update automatically updates hardware drivers. If you suffer the consequences, let us show you how to roll back your driver and block future... Read More and generally run the rule over the somewhat unruly Windows 10 automatic update system.

3. Update IDT High Definition Audio CODEC

A number of systems may encounter issues with their IDT High Definition Audio High-Resolution Audio: The Future of Music or a Scam? High-Resolution Audio: The Future of Music or a Scam? High-Resolution Audio is new and impressive, but does it live up to the hype and excitement? Is it a gimmick? Or even a scam? Read More CODEC. This can be fixed with a manual driver update which allows us to choose the sound driver we wish to use.

Right-click the Start menu and select Device Manager. Expand the Sound, video games and controllers section. If you spot IDT High Definition Audio CODEC, right-click and select Update Driver Software. In the next panel, select Browse my computer for driver software, followed by Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer. This allows us to select from any drivers pre-installed on our system.

Windows 10 Manual Driver Update

Under Model, select High Definition Audio Device, followed by Next, followed by Yes. You may need to restart your system for the changes to take effect.

This fix has also been shown to resolve issues with surround sound speakers, as noted in the comment section of Kannon’s extremely thorough audio troubleshooting guide No Sound in Windows 10? Here's How to Quickly Fix Digital Deafness No Sound in Windows 10? Here's How to Quickly Fix Digital Deafness Got Windows 10 and having some sound problems? You're not alone. Thankfully there are some simple, effective troubleshooting steps you can follow. Read More .

4. Fix RealTek Audio

I have no personal experience with the RealTek driver issues, but they seem to be relatively common, especially for those users upgrading from Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 They have also come in a range of issues, and have a couple of fixes, too.

Refresh WiFi Drivers

One fix focused on disabling RealTek WLAN drivers How to Fix Your Wireless Internet Connection in Windows How to Fix Your Wireless Internet Connection in Windows Are you struggling to get a strong and stable wireless Internet connection? It could be the hardware or Windows itself causing the problem. Here are some troubleshooting tips. Read More , uninstalling, and reinstalling the latest version – even if you already have the latest version installed.

First, head over to the RealTek website and download the latest applicable version for your system. Right-click the Start menu and select Device Manager, and browse to your RealTek Wireless LAN drivers. Right-click and Uninstall. Now head to the file you downloaded, extract the folder, browse to setup.exe, and follow the instructions. You’ll need to reboot your system following the installation.

Disable Front Panel Jack

This fix could be very system specific, but it certainly fixed one system, and it could fix yours, too.

Reddit user Tiflotin fixed a persistent RealTek audio issue by disabling their front jack detection from within the RealTek HD Audio Manager itself. The linked thread includes screenshots, in case you need further guidance, and if you’re already pulling your hair out, this could be worth a try!

5. Disable Audio Enhancements

Next up are Windows 10 Audio Enhancements. Audio Enhancements are inbuilt Microsoft and third-party packages designed to make sure your systems specific audio hardware works perfectly. Except for when it doesn’t. These very “enhancements” could be causing your Windows 10 audio issue. Luckily, they’re simple to turn off.

In the taskbar search box type Sound, and click on the Sound Control Panel option. In the new box that opens, right-click the default device, and select Properties. Click the Enhancements tab, and make sure to check the box labelled Disable all enhancements, and Apply.

Issue with multiple devices? Repeat the process for each listed.

6. Restart Audio Services

Windows doesn’t always play ball, and sometimes it’s all behind the scenes. Audio services can sometimes miraculously disable themselves, but we can use them to give your audio a jump start How To Troubleshoot Video & Audio Playback Issues On Your Windows PC How To Troubleshoot Video & Audio Playback Issues On Your Windows PC No video, no sound, how frustrating! Luckily your problem is likely to be a common Windows issue that we can help you troubleshoot right here, right now. Read More .

In the taskbar search box, type Services and press Enter. Scroll down to Windows Audio. If the service has been stopped for any reason, your system audio will not function correctly. Restart it by double-clicking and selecting Start. While you are here, double-check the service start-up type. Audio services should be set to Automatic by default. If it is anything different – Automatic (delayed start), Manual or Disabled – change it back.

7. Try the Audio Troubleshooter

You can also use the built in audio troubleshooter How To Fix Intermittent Sound Problems In Windows How To Fix Intermittent Sound Problems In Windows Sound problems are annoying. Doubly so when they're intermittent. Here's how you can diagnose and solve them in Windows. Read More , allowing Windows 10 to identify and fix its own issues. If you’ve used the inbuilt Microsoft troubleshooters before, you know they don’t always catch everything, but it can be worth a shot.

Head to Control Panel > Troubleshooting > Troubleshoot audio playback, and follow the instructions.

Can You Hear Me Now?

We’ve covered some of the most common Windows 10 audio afflictions, and hopefully you can hear the wonderful world in stereo once again. While not a definitive fix for every issue, Windows 10 seems to really like you using the inbuilt High Definition Audio Drivers, and huge amount of fixes I’ve read through involve updating, uninstalling, reinstalling, and rolling this driver back, so this should form a focus for your fix.

What is your Windows 10 audio frustration? Did you discover another fix that worked for you? Let us know below!

Image Credits:holding blackboard by Eugenio Marongiu via Shutterstock

  1. Izzie
    September 23, 2016 at 6:28 am

    Thank you for providing the various method. Yeah, the wrong realtek audio driver led to I can't hear anything. I followed the instruction and uninstalled the latest driver by Driver Talent, then I installed a different version of realtek driver by it with one click. After reboot, yeah, I can hear. You are a genius.

  2. Bryan Rogers
    September 12, 2016 at 12:45 am

    8. Reinstall Windows 7

  3. marvin
    August 25, 2016 at 10:07 am

    fixed my problem with #3. thank you. peace and love

  4. BikeHelmet
    August 20, 2016 at 2:48 am

    #6 fixed it for me.

    For 2 minutes.

    Then it broke again. So I did it again, and it fixed it for 2 more minutes. After repeating this about 30 times, I decided to come up with a better idea while I try to permanently solve it.

    I wrote a batch file and put the service restart commands in it:

    @ECHO OFF
    sc stop Audiosrv
    sc start Audiosrv

    Then I saved it somewhere with the .cmd file extension, and went into taskschd.msc and set it to run that script (hidden) periodically. Now when my audio cuts out, shortly after it will automatically fix itself... for another 2 minutes.

    Gives me time to figure out what's actually wrong. I know it only happens in Win10 - not in any other OS.

    -BikeHelmet

  5. Ian
    August 17, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Hmmm. I plugged headphones into my Dell Inspiron N5110. The sound works on there, but not on the built-in speakers. Help!

    • eparkyn
      August 23, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Just fixed my wife's machine by disabling Enhancements to Audio Playback and Microphone Enhancements. I also disabled the Headphone Communications, which is used for making and receiving phone calls with your N5110. Her headphones and speakers work just fine now.

  6. Mark
    August 12, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks a million....it turned out that number 6 was my issue, and naturally, that is the last place I would have looked.

  7. Maria
    July 29, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Well... after trying all sorts of fixes, updating drivers etc I checked if it was muted in the sound panel and... it was. Feel a tad silly. In my defence I couldn't see easily as the damn sound button has disappeared from my tray and I sure as hell didn't mute it!

  8. Peter
    July 25, 2016 at 4:49 am

    Mine is 3. Thank you. :-)

  9. Lia
    July 24, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    No. 3 worked for me as well. Thanks,
    Lia

  10. matthew
    July 15, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    there is no sound on my big computer

  11. Suli Valesente
    July 8, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Thank you so much! No.5 works for me. I really appreciate the tips! God Bless you!

  12. Love Jones
    July 5, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for the advise. I was so frustrated with this sound not working. #3 worked for me.

  13. Rebecca
    July 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Completed steps 2-4 to fix sound after Windows 10 installation and all is well and working. Thank you so much!!!

  14. ineedmyaudioback
    July 2, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    i've tried everything for week now, nothing work. I can only get my microphone working from time to time, but not my audio/playback. I want to revert back to windows 7, but I can't because they claim i moved my account, while actuallly i did nothing. Planed on doing clean install but afraid on getting dark screen and ruin my laptop more.. This is so frustrating :(

  15. Candy Ray
    June 29, 2016 at 6:53 am

    My Thinkpad was unable to speak after Windows 10 upgrade. I updated the audio drivers by OSToto Driver Talent. Now it works well.

  16. Guy Provost
    June 14, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks a lot for this collection of advice. Suggestion 6. Restart Audio Services did it for me. I had tried refreshing the driver, disinstalling etc..., but No 6 did it. Windows 10 was telling me that the Audio Services was running just fine, but nevertheless, I sopped the service and then restarted it and then ... a miracle happend, my sound came back. Made my day.

  17. Amit Lalakiya
    June 9, 2016 at 7:08 am

    It help me to fix IDT driver problem, i have selected windows audio drivers, but now i cannot hear sound via headphones, inbuilt speakers are working great but no sound in Headphones, can you help me

  18. Help
    June 6, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I started doing the steps, and now it is saying that there are no enabled audio devices. When I go to choose one to enable, it says that none are available.

  19. Sol
    May 31, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks! Disable Windows Enhancements fixed the problem.

  20. Adam
    May 22, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Hi,

    I used your techniques and here is where I am. Dell XPS Windows 10. When I go to device manager and install the sound card driver and restart the PC, the sound works perfectly. After the next shutdown/restart, it goes back to not working again. if I follow the same process, it then works again until the next shutdown/restart.

    Any thoughts? Everything else works perfectly.

    thanks

  21. Fred Alliston
    May 22, 2016 at 1:57 am

    No sound after upgrade to Win 10. I did all of the suggested fixes to no avail. Realtek sound on Asus motherboard and Windows reported the device is working. I physically unplugged the three mini-plugs at the back of the PC and reconnected them one at a time. The Realtek utility came up each time showing each connection to be 'Audio in'. Once front, rear and sub were selected for each plug the sound works fine.

  22. njtotx
    May 9, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Nothing has worked for me, unfortunately.

  23. Sharon
    May 4, 2016 at 4:42 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Step 2 fixed my problem! Really appreciate this tutorial!

  24. Gab
    April 12, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Same thing here from upgrading a HP dc7900 from Win7 to Win10. Not impressed at all with this new Windows.

  25. GMaderi
    February 11, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Upgraded HP/Compaq dc7900 from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Now, built-in speaker will not work.

    • Gavin Phillips
      February 15, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Did any of the above help, or are you asking for some more assistance?

    • Candy Ray
      March 14, 2016 at 6:00 am

      Check for the reason first.

      After the operating system upgrade, there might be a conflict between the device drivers and system. So make sure your drivers are compatible with Windows 10. Check here goo.gl/25otaZ and it could help you to verify if the problem is caused by drivers.

      Really basic but important troubleshoot is to make sure your speaker is not muted.

      Also, go to check the hardware audio card. If the audio card does not sit well next to the motherboard. The issue could accur.

      Please go to have a try first. If they are not workable for you, please your the specifi details and I will try to help you.

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