7 Steps to Fix Sound Issues on Windows 10

Gavin Phillips Updated 26-11-2019

Does Windows 10 not have sound? We know how frustrating it is when your audio is not working. This article covers seven quick and easy solutions to fix your sound on Windows 10.


How to Fix Missing Sound in Windows 10

1. Check Your Sound Settings

Windows 10 All Sounds Muted

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.

At the same time, check your:

  • Cables
  • Plugs
  • Speaker connections
  • Headphone connections
  • Any other audio connections

If Windows 10 still has no sound, read on.

2. Roll Back or Reinstall Audio Drivers

Drivers have always had an unhappy knack of creating issues. Windows 10 is no different. As Windows 10 takes control of driver updates, sometimes your system ends up with the wrong driver configuration How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers Your drivers might be outdated and need updating, but how are you to know? Here's what you need to know and how to go about it. Read More .


In the early days of Windows 10 (especially following the upgrade cycle from Windows 7, 8, and 8.1) driver updates made a lot of users unhappy. Microsoft has vastly improved the driver update process since that time How to View All Recently Updated Drivers in Windows Want to see what drivers Windows 10 has automatically updated recently? Here's how to check the list of recent updates. Read More and manufacturers are now deep into the Windows 10 ecosystem.

As such, new drivers are configured for Windows 10, rather than trying to make an old Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 driver fit.

Windows 10 gives us a few options to fight an irksome driver. 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, 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, check the box and press OK.

Windows 10 Confirm Driver Uninstall


Once you wipe the drivers, restart your system, and install the new driver.

We have previously written about how you can better manage Windows 10 updates How to Manage Windows Update in Windows 10 For control freaks, Windows Update is a nightmare. It works in the background, and keeps your system safe and running smoothly. We show you how it works and what you can customize. Read More and generally run the rule over the at times unruly Windows 10 automatic update system.

3. Update IDT High Definition Audio CODEC

Some systems may encounter issues with their IDT High Definition Audio 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.

4. Fix Realtek Audio

Realtek drives pop-up all-to frequently in forum posts discussing audio issue. I’ve not experienced issues with Realtek drivers personally, but it does seem to be a common Windows 10 audio issue. There are a couple of fixes for Realtek audio problems below.

Refresh Wi-Fi Drivers

One fix focused on disabling Realtek WLAN drivers, 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 front jack detection from within the Realtek HD Audio Manager itself. The linked thread includes screenshots, in case you need further guidance. 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 Start menu 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 labeled Disable all enhancements, and Apply. (This is how you switch between default audio devices.) 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.

In the Start menu 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.

Here are three more ways you can put the Windows Services menu 3 Ways the Windows Services Menu Is Actually Useful Every Windows user should know these basic options in the Services menu. Take a moment to learn them now. Read More to good use.

7. Try the Audio Troubleshooter

You can also use the built-in audio troubleshooter, 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 the huge amount of fixes I’ve read through involve updating, uninstalling, reinstalling, and rolling this driver back. And there are enough free Windows troubleshooting tools to help you fix any problems.

Should you be dealing with a movie that has no sound 9 Fixes for When a Movie Has No Sound In this article, we explain what to do when a movie has no sound. Which includes updating your device and downloading codecs. Read More , have a look at our dedicated troubleshooting guide for that.

Related topics: Computer Maintenance, Drivers, Troubleshooting, Windows 10.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Kim
    May 8, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    THANK YOU! Tech support advised me to reinstall Windows. UGH! But, #6 in your list fixed the sound problem. You've saved me a ton of time and trouble!

  2. Sehaj
    April 14, 2020 at 2:38 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! 2 hours of scouring hte internet and it was just the volume mixer lol! SO HELPFUL!!!

  3. Mark Golding
    February 23, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    I have just very reluctantly moved to Win 10 on a spare PC

    Worst decision ever. After running a PC building business 1990 - 2002 I've got to know Mr Gates and his daft OSs

    Nope tried everything in your list plus more. Still no sound...

    Back to Win 7

  4. cfrank4691
    September 28, 2019 at 5:34 am

    OMG! I can't thank you enough!!! It's been audio click pop hell for me for the past 4 days!!
    Your article had one statement that is not mentioned in any of the... um, probably 100+ articles I've been reading. "Windows 10 seems to really like you using the inbuilt High Definition Audio Drivers." Got rid of the Realtek and put in the generic and... let's just say I literally almost cried (tears of joy and graditude).
    I had almost forgotten what music sounded like!
    Thank you again!!

  5. Romuald
    August 29, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    So for me the problem was: the sound is coming from the HDMI of my graphic card. I had to put the jack of my speakers on my screen for the to be connected on the graphic card

  6. Celestine
    May 9, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    Hi Gavin,
    Thanks you sir number(5) work for me. Now my (PC) sound is working perfectly.
    I wish you more knowledge in your entire life sir.

  7. RN
    April 7, 2019 at 5:59 am

    Restart fixed my problems. This might have something to do with multiple signed in users, as windows 10 automatically logs in users and starts some applications..

  8. RubbaKeys16k
    March 2, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Option 6 for me - restarting the services. Dragging the volume bar around in the bottom right caused an audible ping put nothing else played any sound. Restarting the services fixed it.

  9. RayD
    December 5, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    My problem was that Speaker devices (including USB and straight wire headsets), which only played system sounds. None of the above worked for me.
    In Volume Mixer, I could see the sound input registering against "Digital audio (S/PDIF)". Listed as a separate device from "Speakers or Headset".

    I disabled this under
    Settings/Sound/Manage sound devices/Output devices/Digital audio (S/PDIF)

    This caused the other listed output device (Speakers or Headphones) to be used.

    I may be disabling some windows feature, but this does get things working again.

    I hope that is useful to someone....

  10. NK
    October 17, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    2nd one helped me>>>>>Thankx>>>>

  11. NK
    October 17, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    option 2 worked for me >>>>>>>>>Thankx<<<<<<<<<<<<

  12. Ryan
    October 13, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Had to update my realtek drivers, thanks.

  13. Ed
    October 12, 2018 at 2:10 am

    Thanks for the help it was "3. Update IDT High Definition Audio CODEC" that did the trick for my daughters computer - it took some time for this old guy to get there but she's happy.

    • Pete
      January 6, 2020 at 11:26 am

      … and item 3 for me too. It was only 2 hours of hell following my upgrade (with other issues) to Win 10 1909 which took most of the night. Thanks Gavin

  14. Dejan
    September 25, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    Hi Gavin,
    thank you very much for the help, option 3 brought my audio back to life.
    I wish you a nice day and thanks for publishing this article, it helped me out a lot.

    • Gavin Phillips
      September 26, 2018 at 9:53 am

      You're welcome!