How to Troubleshoot Audio in Windows 10 and 11

Get your Audio Working on your Windows Computer

Prerequisites: Basic Knowledge of Windows 10/11 

Difficulty Level: Member • Nerd • Platypus

Estimated Time: 15 minutes 

Expected Outcome: Be able to hear audio through the correct speakers at a usable volume

Tools Required: Computer and Audio Output Device i.e. speakers, headphones, etc.

Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 5.00.45 PM-1

Steps to Perform 

  1. Check to make sure the volume is up, in the bottom right you should see a speaker with waves coming out of it next to the time, if there is an x it is muted.
    1. If there is an x click on the speaker and turn up the volume, if it won't let you proceed to step 3, if it does let you turn it up but you still can't hear continue to step 2.
  2. If the volume is up but you still can't hear, it is time to try selecting a new device.
    1. Click the volume button circled above again, but this time instead of moving the slider click the arrow beside the words (it could be anything, usually if it is a monitor this will fix your issue.) 
    2. As you can see HP 27sv is a monitor, so instead of trying to play audio through my headphones it is trying to go through my monitor, but my monitor doesn't have speakers so I can't hear anything.
    3. The tricky part is selecting the right option after clicking that arrow, usually there are just a few options so clicking through and moving the slider will play a ding click through them all until you hear sound again. (Usually it will be the brand of headphones/speakers you are using, or realtek audio output 1 or 2nd, this is mine for example)

3. If none of this works it may be time to call the Nerds if you haven't already, or call them back again. Before you do that though you can try two last things, 1. restart your computer and try finding the correct speaker output again, and 2. but this is more difficult, follow the instructions below for running the Windows Audio Troubleshooter.

a. Run the audio troubleshooter

The audio troubleshooter might be able to fix audio problems automatically.

To run the troubleshooter:

b. In the search box on the taskbar, type audio troubleshooter, select Find and fix problems with playing sound from the results, then select Next.

c. Select the device you want to troubleshoot and then continue through the troubleshooter. 

choose your device in the audio troubleshooter

You can also launch the troubleshooter from audio Settings. Select Start  > Settings System  > Sound  > Troubleshoot.