How To Troubleshoot Audio Problems with your PC

If your computer abruptly refuses to play sound, try the following simple steps.

  1. First, reboot your computer.
  2. Ensure that the computer isn't muted via hardware. Press any external mute buttons, confirm that the speakers are turned on, and turn the volume all the way up. Test by playing a song or using the Sound control panel (click the Sounds tab, select Asterisk, and click Test).
  3. If that doesn't work, check Windows. Left-click the volume icon in the system tray and verify that the audio is not muted and is turned up.
  4. Right-click the volume icon and click Open Volume Mixer. Ensure that all options are on and turned up.
  5. Internal speakers still not working? Plug headphones into the audio jack and test again. If the headphones work, remove them to continue troubleshooting the internal speakers.
  6. Right-click the volume icon again and choose Playback devices. Confirm that your audio device (likely 'Speakers') has a green checkmark next to it. Click Propertiesand make sure that 'Use this device (enable)' is selected.

If your sound still doesn't work by this point, you may have a missing or corrupt driver for your audio controller.

  1. Uninstall the driver. Open the Device Manager (type device manager at the Start menu search box), go to Sound, video and game controllers, select the audio controller, and press the Delete key.
  2. Reboot the system and allow Windows to reinstall the driver, which it should do automatically. If it doesn't, download the driver from your PC maker's site or audio card manufacturer's site, and reinstall it manually.

Other common problems with Windows PCs can also be solved with 5-minute fixes.

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