No Sound? Don’t Worry! Troubleshooting Tips For Your Computer Speakers

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computer speakers not workingUsing your computer seems like a purely visual experience, but the aural experience is surprisingly important as well. You may not notice how important it is until the sounds disappear suddenly. Then, there’s a sudden recognition that something is not quite right, or if you’re playing a game, that something is terribly wrong. Half of your computing experience just vanished!

There’s no sound coming from your speakers. What happened? Where’d it go? Don’t panic. The chances are that it can be fixed and usually fixed for free, if not for a low cost.

Don’t Ignore The Obvious

Check For Mute

Check to make sure you haven’t just muted the sound. Seriously. With many laptop and touch screen devices it is amazingly easy to make the wrong touch or keystroke and the system sound gets muted. Or just turned down really low.

computer speakers not working

Check The Plug

It’s not muted? OK, are you using external speakers or headphones? If you are, you’ll want to make sure that the plug is fully seated into the port, and that it is the correct port. Often the microphone port is right beside the speaker port, so check that clearly. If the plug is seated nice and firmly, then you’ll want to check your headphones or speakers to see if they have their own volume control. It might have got turned way down accidentally while dusting or shooting Nerf guns. Who knows?

computer speakers no sound

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If it’s the device’s own speakers that appear not to be working, then external speakers can still be a problem. Most devices will shut off their internal speakers when an external speaker is plugged in. Maybe you plugged your earbuds into the back of your computer and forgot they were there. Take a look. If you find them there, unplug them and try the speakers again.

Desktop computers can also have multiple plugs to put your speakers into. I’ve had a few where there were ports on the front and back but only one set of them worked. Maybe that’s the issue. Try plugging your speakers into the different speaker ports to see if that resolves anything. Usually the speaker port has a green grommet around it. They didn’t always have that, so it was nice when that came along.

computer speakers no sound

Check The Power

Nothing is muted and the speakers are plugged in to the computer properly. Good, the next thing to check is if there is a separate power supply for your computer speakers. Many speakers today have such high output that they need their own power supply. Check to make sure that the power supply is properly connected to the wall and to the speakers and that there is power. Usually there will be an indicator light when the speakers are turned on.

Check The Speakers

The chances are that you have access to another device that will drive sound to your speakers or headphones. Try the new device with a pair of speakers or headphones that you know work. They work? Good, now try the speakers that aren’t working on that device. If they don’t work, then yes, chances are the problem is your speakers or headphones.

If they do work, then you need to look deeper into your original device and see if the problem lies there.

My Problem Is The Speakers. What Now?

Get New Speakers

If your speakers truly are blown, I’d recommend replacing them. Unless you are really handy with a soldering iron and want to give repairing them a try, I don’t see how it would be worth it to try to fix them. Honestly, I’m pretty handy with electronics and I’ve tried speaker repair. They just never sound the same, there always seems to be the slightest little buzz or distortion to the sound – just enough to annoy me but most people might not notice it. Which is weird, because my hearing isn’t that great.

computer speakers no sound

Or Get Your Speakers Repaired

This advice is easy to give if you’re just using some retail store headphones or gaming speakers, but if you’ve got a nice set of Bose speakers or something high end, contact the place you bought them. Chances are they can repair them properly, or at least point you to someone who can.

My Problem Isn’t the Speakers. What Now?

The answer to this isn’t always the same answer. It depends on the device that you have or even the operating system of the device. It also depends on the cost of the device too. Let’s break this down by device, shall we?

MP3 Player/Phone

What kind of MP3 player is it? How old is it? Has it taken a beating? How much would it cost to replace it? In many cases, you may be dealing with a $50 device that’s a few years old. If you suspect that it’s simply a firmware issue, go online to the manufacturer’s website and see if there are instructions to do a system restore. They may even have new firmware you can put on the device.

Hopefully that’s all it takes, but if not then you have to look at either repairing it or replacing it. I think my dollar cut-off would be around $100. Anything over that and I consider getting it repaired, anything under that and I consider getting a new one. I say that because repair costs usually seem to cost around $50 or more just to have someone look at the device.


Start getting familiar with sound card drivers and system sound settings.  If you’re using a Windows system, doing a simple Windows Update may do the trick. Often, Windows Update will detect if there are new drivers needed for your sound card, and will install them for you. Or you can navigate to the sound card through Device Manager and check there to see if the sound card is enabled and the driver is good.

If they are USB speakers, check your USB drivers while you’re in there.

no sound from computer

That didn’t work? Maybe you still have the CD that came with your sound card. That will have the drivers on there. Or you can go to the sound card manufacturer’s website and look for new drivers for your device. Once you find a driver that works, you may want to back that driver up, so you have it in the future.

If you’re handy inside a computer case, you may want to take a look at the sound card and make sure that it is properly seated into the slot on the motherboard. Many sound cards are simply soldered to the motherboard, but the higher end cards tend to plug in.

If you’re on a Mac, you can run Software Update. That will identify your sounds devices and download and install the appropriate drivers. If that doesn’t work, it may be time to call the Geniuses.

no sound from computer

If you’re on a Linux or other operating system, chances are that you know more about the sound card drivers than I do. If not, each major distribution seems to have pretty good community support online where I’m sure you’ll find friendly assistance.

Stereo Or Sound System

The repair or replace method is pretty much the same here as with the MP3 players. Is it an off-brand Wal-Mart $150 special or is it an earth shattering Onkyo sound system that’s worth more than my car? The former I’d just replace, the latter I would take to a specialist to be repaired.

computer speakers not working

Is your sound back yet? Bass pumping and people jumping? Can you hear every skull-shattering headshot? Hopefully, this article helped you in getting things going again. If it did, share it with a friend and let us know in the comments. If it didn’t help, let us know why, so we can pass that information along to others in need as well.

If you’ve come across something odd or different in your search for sound, let us know about that too, in the comments. We might be able to help you out!

Image Credits: Speaker Plug via cdedbdme @ Flickr, Speaker Port via WilliamHook @ Flickr, Skull via Shutterstock, Girl Soldering via SparkFun @ Flickr

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Comments (69)
  • Joshua

    My Logitech X-540 computer speaker set stopped working 2wks ago. The only thing I can hear is static and even when i plug the headphones into the jack on the control i hear static.

  • Sankalp Mehra

    Hello sir, I have a Dell desktop which I purchased in 2010. My pc’s sound card isn’t working. I asked some PC repair person but he said because small cabinet and old configuration there no new sound card available for me. What should I do?

    • Guy McDowell

      You could contact Dell directly to see for yourself. You could also search for the part on sites like eBay or Craigslist. Hope that helps.

  • Anubis game (Olivia Sim)

    I really need help. I just installed windows 10, and for some reason my speakers won’t work. I checked the plugs, they are updated, it’s not on mute. I checked device manager, and it said the test ring failed. I’m so confused.

    • Guy McDowell

      Sorry Olivia, I have little experience with Win 10 so I’m not the best person to help you with this.

      I recommend asking your question in our Answers Section. They’re a really helpful bunch there.

    • John Clark

      I’m the same lost all sound on my dell desktop since I went to Windows 10 – I use a simple jack into my screen (Dell) which has speakers. All leads checked, drivers, muting, etc – also get a failure when I do the test sound so it knows something is not correct. On the verge of returning from windows 10 as I have already done on my laptop.

    • Guy McDowell

      Have you tried updating the drivers on your sound devices? Perhaps they aren’t compatible with Win 10.

    • John Clark

      I have but they are the latest and greatest. I have solved the problem though!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve gone back to 8.1 and everything including the sound is all working again correctly. Also cancelled my reservation and maybe will come back in 11 mths time. Very disappointing as it seems like other software providers don’t seem to be ready for 10 yet Microsoft have pushed ahead. Just the way it looks to me. Seems to me that the additional items in Windows 10 we have already adapted to in 7 and 8.1 re calendars, music, photos etc so in hindsight why would I want to set everything up again with this new stuff – I had just pointed all those things at my current software anyway. I will go to 10 when I need to get a new box or laptop. Anyways thanks Guy – for reading and attempting to point me in the right direction.

    • Guy McDowell

      Glad to hear it’s working again. Sorry to hear Win 10 was the issue.

    • Maya pug

      I had the same problem, all I did was unplug the headphones, shut it down for a bit, and turn it on. The speakers worked fine afterwords

    • Annabel Darch

      I have the same problem with Windows 10. My brother got it to work plugged into the front of my dell computer, so i thought maybe if i put it at the back again it will work, well it didn’t and i don’t know how to fix it! did you manage to make yours work?

    • Guy McDowell

      The front and back audio ports may be different devices from each other.

      Take a look in Hardware Manager and see if there are two or more audio devices installed.

      You may need to update the drivers on the rear one.

    • Ragin Asian12

      I have the exact same problem

  • Himanshu Kumar

    Hello i really need your help with this !!

    I use a HP Compaq 15-s007TU Notebook (4th Gen Ci5/ 4GB/ 500GB/ Win8.1)
    When I plug in my earphones I don’t hear anything !! Although when my earphones are not plugged in my laptop speakers work fine.

    I bought a TERABYTE USB Sound Card, 7.1 Channel, USB to Speaker & Mic Audio Adapter thinking it should help but it doesn’t work on my laptop but works on my friends PC.

    Whats the problem ? How do I fix it ?

    • Guy

      I wish I could, but that’s beyond the scope of what I can do here.

      Have you tried asking this question in our Answers Section?

      The authors that frequent Answers are top notch tech folks. I’m sure they can point you in the right direction.

  • Vishwa

    hi… i am using windows xp destop… my cpu is intel platinum D…… m
    when i connect my speakers with my snart phone, i can hear the audio… but when i connect it to desktop, there is no audio signal…. i checked throughly that whether i connect it correctly or not… i connect my speakers pin in the green grommet of my cpu.. but the audio doesn’t work…

    what is the reason behind this?….

    • Guy

      Hi Vishwa,

      It’s hard to say without having the computer in front of me. Do any other speakers work when you plug them in to the computer?
      Have you checked your sound card in Device Manager? Might need to reinstall or update the driver.
      In your Control Panel is there any additional settings for sound? Some sound cards will have their own spot in the Control Panel.
      Check on those things and look into them. The answer may likely be there.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
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