Many users who have upgraded to Windows 10 or after a clean installation of the OS have encountered various problems with the sound in the system. Someone just lost sound on a laptop or computer, others stop working through the headphone output on the front of the PC. Another common situation is that the sound itself becomes quieter with time.
This step-by-step guide describes possible ways to fix the most common problems when audio playback does not work correctly, or the sound in Windows 10 just disappeared after updating or installing the OS.
Sound in Windows 10 does not work after upgrading to a new version
If you have lost sound after installing the latest version of Windows 10 (for example, upgrading to the 1809 October 2018 Update), first try the following two methods to correct the situation.
- Go to the device manager (you can use the menu that opens by right-clicking on the Start button).
- Expand the section “System devices” and see if there are devices with the letters SST (Smart Sound Technology) in the name. If there is, click on such a device with the right mouse button and select “Update driver.”
- Then select “Search for drivers on this computer” – “Select a driver from the list of available drivers on the computer.”
- If there are other compatible drivers in the list, for example, “Device with High Definition Audio,” select it, click “Next” and install.
Note that there may be more than one SST device in the list of system devices, follow the steps for all.
And one more way, more complicated, but also able to help in a situation
- Run the command prompt as an administrator (you can use the taskbar search). And in the command line enter the command
- pnputil / enum-drivers
- In the list issued by the command, find (if available) the item for which the source name is intcaudiobus.inf and remember its published name (oemNNN.inf).
- Enter the command pnputil/ delete-driver oemNNN.inf / uninstall to remove this driver.
- Go to the device manager and in the menu select Action – Update hardware configuration.
Before proceeding with the steps described below, try to start the automatic correction of problems with the sound of Windows 10, by right-clicking on the speaker icon and selecting the item “Troubleshooting audio problems.” Not the fact that it works, but if you have not tried it is worth a try.
Note: if the sound disappeared after a simple installation of updates in Windows 10, then try to enter the device manager (via right click on the start), select your sound card in the sound devices, click on it with the right mouse button, and then on the “Driver” tab Click “Roll Back”. In the future, you can disable the automatic driver update for the sound card so that the problem does not arise.
Sound in Windows 10 is missing after upgrading or installing the system
The most frequent version of the problem – the sound disappears on the computer or laptop. In this case, as a rule (we will first consider this option), the speaker icon on the taskbar is in order, in the device manager of Windows 10 for the sound card it says “The device works fine,” and the driver does not need to be updated.
Right, at the same time, usually (but not always) in this case the sound card in the device manager is called “Device with High Definition Audio” (and this is a sure sign of the absence of installed drivers for it). This usually happens for Conexant SmartAudio HD, Realtek, VIA HD Audio sound chips, Sony and Asus laptops.
Installing sound drivers in Windows 10
What to do in this situation to fix the problem? Almost always, the working method consists of the following simple steps:
- Enter in the search engine Model_ your laptop support, or Model_ your motherboard_ support. I do not recommend to start searching for drivers, for example, from the Realtek website, in case of problems mentioned in this manual, first of all, look at the manufacturer’s website of the device, not the chip.
- In the support section, find the audio drivers to download. If they are for Windows 7 or 8, and not for Windows 10 – this is normal. The main thing is that the digit capacity does not differ (x64 or x86 must correspond to the digit capacity of the system installed at the moment.
- Install these drivers.
It would seem simple, but many people write about what they have already done, but nothing happens and does not change. As a rule, this is because even though the driver installer takes you through all the steps.
The actual driver is not installed on the device (it is easy to check by looking at the driver properties in the device manager). Moreover, the installers of some manufacturers do not report an error.
There are the following ways to solve this problem:
1. Run the installer in compatibility mode with a previous version of Windows. For example, to install Conexant SmartAudio and Via HD Audio on laptops, this option usually works (compatibility mode with Windows 7).
2. Pre-delete the sound card (from the “Sound, gaming and video devices” section) and all devices from the “audio inputs and audio outputs” section through the device manager (right click on the device – delete), if possible (if there is such a mark), along with the drivers.
And immediately after uninstalling, run the installer (including through compatibility mode). If the driver is still not installed, then in the device manager, select “Action” – “Update hardware configuration.” Often triggered by Realtek, but not always.
3. If then you install the old driver, then right-click on the sound card, select “Update driver.” “Search for drivers on this computer” and see if new drivers appear in the list of already installed drivers (except for the Device with High Definition Audio support) compatible drivers for your sound card. And if you know its name, you can see among the incompatible.
Even if you could not find the official drivers, still try the option of removing the sound card in the device manager and then updating the hardware configuration (point 2 above).
Sound or microphone stopped working on Asus laptop (may be suitable for others)
Separately, I note the solution for Asus laptops with Via Audio sound chip, and it is on them that most often have problems with playback, as well as connecting a microphone in Windows 10. Solution path:
- Go to the device manager (via a right click on the start), open the item “Audio inputs and audio outputs.”
- Through the right click on each item in the section, delete it, if there is a suggestion to remove the driver, do it too.
- Go to the “Sound, gaming and video devices” section, delete them in the same way (except for HDMI devices).
- Download the Via Audio driver from Asus, from the official website for your model, for Windows 8.1 or 7.
- Run the driver installer in compatibility mode with Windows 8.1 or 7, preferably on behalf of the Administrator.
I’ll clarify why I’m pointing to an older version of the driver: it’s evident that in most cases VIA 18.104.22.168 is operational, but not newer drivers.
Playback devices and their advanced options
Some novice users forget to check the parameters of audio playback devices in Windows 10, and this is better done. How exactly:
- Right-click on the speaker icon in the notification area at the bottom right, select the “Playback devices” context menu item. In Windows 10 1803 (April Update), the path is slightly different: right-clicking on the speaker icon. “Open sound settings” and then the “Sound control panel” item in the upper right corner (or at the bottom of the list of settings when the window width is changed) can also be opened “Sound” item in the control panel to get to the menu from the next step.
- Make sure that the default playback device is installed. If not, click on the right mouse button and select “Use Default.”
- If the speakers or headphones, as required, are the default device, right-click on them and select “Properties,” and then go to the “Advanced Features” tab.
- Check “Disable all effects.”
After making these settings, check if the sound is working.
The sound in Windows 10 is quiet, wheezing or automatically decreases the volume
If, even in case of repeat sound, there are some problems with it: it wheezes, is too soft (and the volume may change itself), try the following solutions to the problem.
- Enter playback devices by right-clicking on the speaker icon.
- Right-click on the device with the sound from which the problem occurs, select “Properties.”
- On the Advanced tab, check Disable All Effects. Apply the settings. You will get back to the list of playback devices.
- Open the “Communication” tab, and remove the decrease in volume or mute during communication, set “Action not required.”
Apply your settings and see if the problem disappear. If not, there is another option:
try to select your sound card through the device manager — properties — update the driver and install not the native one. Identically those on the list of installed drivers but the compatible one that Windows 10 can offer itself.
In this situation, it sometimes happens that the problem is not visible on “non-native” drivers.
Optional: check whether the Windows Audio service is enabled (click Win + R, enter services.msc and find the service. Make sure the service is running, and the launch type for it is on to Automatic.
If none of the above has helped, I also recommend trying some popular driver-pack. And first check if the devices themselves are working – headphones, speakers, microphone, etc. It also happens that the problem with sound is not in Windows 10 and in one or more device.