How to Troubleshoot Sound Issues in Windows

If you find that there is no sound coming from either your headphone or speakers, then you will learn to troubleshoot any sound problems after reading this article. Since there are many causes of sound problems, you should check that your cables are working and connected properly.

Step 1- Check your hardware first

In this part, I will provide a follow-through procedure for checking the state of your hardware. If either your sound card is not configured correctly, or your cables are incorrectly plugged in, you will experience sound problems. Of course, also make sure that your speakers are supplied with power, and your volume is set to the preferred value.

Things to Check initially

  • Power – Before continuing with this tutorial, check that your external speakers are plugged into an external power source or have the required batteries to power them.
  • Cables – Next, make sure that you have plugged in the headphone jack into the appropriate location in your computer. You will not hear any output in your headphones if you plugged it into the microphone or line-in jack.
  • Volume – Once you are certain that all your cables and wires are connected properly, check that your speakers are on (for external speakers) and that the volume is not too low or muted.

Your laptop may have an external volume control that you can check as well. Check you system volume with these steps:

  • Click through Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Soundo Click Adjust system volume under Soundo Choose your desired volume.If there are multiple sliders to control and your are not certain which one is for your application or hardware, make sure none of them are low. You can also test them individually.

Check your sound card

If you still experience problems after checking your cables and your volume settings, your sound card or sound processor may need to be checked.

  • Open Device Manager (you may need administrator privileges of credentials)o Windows 7 or Windows Vista – Click through Start > Control Panel > System and Security, then click Device Manager under Systemo Windows XP – Click through Start > Control Panel > System. ┬áIn the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.
  • Open Sound, video and game controllers and check for your sound device. It may also be listen under Other devices if you do not find it in this category.
  • If no sound card is listed, you will have to install one.

If you see a yellow question mark beside your sound card, you can check the problem like this:o Go to Properties by right-clicking the device.o Under the General tab, check the Device status for your problem.o You may need to update your driver. Skip to Part 3 of this tutorial for instructions on how to do this.

Step 2 – Try using a troubleshooter

Using a troubleshooter is a quick way of finding a common problem. These tools automatically scan your hardware settings and fix any detected issues possible. Microsoft provides the following troubleshooters online to help you solve your problems.

  • If you are facing playback issues, diagnose and fix these problems from here.
  • If you are facing hardware issues, use this link to diagnose and fix them.

Step 3 – Perform an update for your drivers

Drivers allow Windows to communicate with your sound devices properly. Upgrading your Windows version can mean that you have to find the latest drivers for your devices as well, since they may only be compatible with the old version of Windows. Updating your drivers regularly can also fix damaged drivers and ensure you have the latest improvements for your driver. Here are there ways to find your drivers:

  • Windows Update – If you have Windows Update set up to automatically download and install updates, it may be able to fix your sound problems by updating your softwares and drivers.
  • From the device’s manufacturer software – Use the disc or additional media that was provided with either your computer or your set of speakers.
  • Manually download and install drivers – Hopefully, you know the manufacturer of your set of speakers. You can go the the manufacturer’s website and search for an appropriate driver there.

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