How to Fix Sound Problems in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to fix common sound issues when using Windows 11. If you’re trying to play your favorite music or audio file and having audio problems, these tips and the steps below should come in handy.

Before you start troubleshooting sound device issues in Windows, please make sure and confirm that the device has sound capabilities. Some Windows 11 machines don’t have sound cards or speakers and may not be able to play sounds without an external speakers attached.

The first rule when troubleshooting a sound issue in Windows is to make sure the computer’s card (built-in or external) is actually attached and working, and Windows is able to recognize it.

If you’re using a laptop with multiple audio output devices, check that you have the appropriate one selected. Check your speaker and headphone connections for loose cords or cables. Make sure all cords and cables are plugged in.

If you have multiple speakers available in Windows, here’s how to make sure the correct one is selected:

  • Select the Speakers icon on the taskbar.
  • Next, select the arrow to open a list of audio devices connected to your computer.
  • Check that your audio is playing to the audio device you prefer, such as a speaker or headphones.

How to select default audio device in Windows 11

Check those three things before continuing below.

How to fix sound issues in Windows 11

As mentioned above, if you’re trying to play your favorite music or audio file and having audio problems, these tips and the steps below should come in handy.

If you are using a device with a built-in speaker, then make sure that the right output speaker is selected. For example, if you plug in a headphone or earbud, then select either of them as your default output device to get sound out.

If you have multiple 5mm jacks to plug into, especially on a surround sound system, make sure all cords and cables are plugged into the correct jack.

Your computer or laptop may have similar audio ports as the ones below. Make sure the speaker or headphone is inserted into the correct (LINE OUT) one.

For external speakers, make sure the power is turned on and check the volume level on the device. Also make sure the mute setting is not turned on, and try turning up all the volume controls.

Update Sound card drivers in Windows 11

If you check all of the above and still not playing sounds, follow these steps:

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type device manager, then select Device Manager from the results.
  2. In Device Manager, select Audio inputs and outputs. Press and hold (or right-click) the sound adapter name, and select Uninstall device.
  3. Select Start , then select Power  > Restart .
  4. If you restart and Windows doesn’t reinstall the driver automatically, open Device Manager and select Action > Scan for hardware changes.

After rebooting and the issues are not resolved, go back to Device Manager.

  • Select the arrow next to Sound, video and game controllers to expand it.
  • Right-click the listing for your sound card or audio device, such as headphones or speakers, select Update driver, then select Search automatically for updated driver software.

Follow the instructions to complete the update.

If updating the drivers doesn’t help, go back to the Device Manager.

  • Select the arrow next to Sound, video and game controllers to expand it.
  • Right-click the listing for your sound card or audio device, select Uninstall device, select the Delete the driver software for this device check box, and then select Uninstall.

Reboot and try again.

Run the Audio Troubleshooter

If you still can’t get sound after the steps above, then run the sound / audio troubleshooter.

Select Start, and go to Settings System Troubleshoot Other troubleshooters.

Next to Playing Audio, select Run and follow the instructions.

When you do that, Windows will start diagnosing issues related to your sound device. After a brief moment, depending on your computer, Windows should return with a result.

A fix will be done if one was found and Windows will give you details reasons. You can then test playing sound again.

Other help posts are listed below:

How to mute or unmute sound in Windows 11

How to select default speaker in Windows 11

How to enable mono audio in Windows 11

How to turn on spatial sound in Windows 11

Conclusion:

This brief tutorial showed you how to troubleshoot a sound device that is not working. If you find any error above or have anything to add, please use the comment form below.

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