How to Troubleshoot Common Sound Problems in Windows 10

How to Troubleshoot Common Sound Problems in Windows 10

Has your computer gone quiet? Is your microphone refusing to cooperate? Is your music fuzzy? Many Windows 10 users experience sound problems.

In most cases, you can fix these sound problems without getting out of your office chair. Here’s an ultimate guide to troubleshooting common sound problems in Windows 10.

The Basics of Troubleshooting

  • Restart your computer
  • Check the connections at your audio / microphone jack and ensure everything is plugged in properly
  • Check your microphone’s mute button and make sure it’s not muted
  • Make sure your speakers are turned on
  • Make sure the volume icon in the system tray is turned on at a reasonable volume

Sorry. We had to get those out of the way. They solve 90% of sound problems on Windows 10. Now, let’s tackle the rest of the sound problems you could be experiencing.

playback devices

Test your Speakers, Aux Cord, Microphones, or Headphones in Another PC or Phone

Your phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack (unless you’re using the latest iPhone). Take a second to plug your headphone or speakers into that headphone jack, then test to make sure the sound is working. Typically, your phone won’t have a microphone jack (all phones already have microphones built in). However, this is an effective way to test your speakers.

At the same time, test your aux cord – the cord that goes between your speakers and the input device (i.e. your PC). Sometimes, this aux cord can become frayed or just worn out over time.

If you’ve tested all of this, and your sound hardware is working fine, then you’ve isolated the problem to your PC. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at common Windows 10 software-side sound problems.

Try a Different Audio Format

Windows lets you choose a number of different sound qualities by default. Most people never look at this menu, but it could be the key to fixing your sound problem:

  • Right-click on the audio icon in your system tray (the bottom right corner of your screen)
  • Right-click on the default device and click Properties
  • From this menu, click the Advanced tab, then change the Default Format to a number of different options; by default, Windows typically sets it on 24 bit, 48000 Hz (Studio Quality); test a few different settings, going up and down in quality, to see if it fixes your audio issue

sound quality windows 10


How to Fix Your No Sound Problem on Windows 10

Are you getting no sound at all from Windows 10? If that’s the case, you could have encountered a sound driver problem. To fix it, follow these steps:

  • Right-click the Start menu and click Device Manager
  • Expand the Sound, video and game controllers section (the list is in alphabetical order)
  • Right click on the audio device that appears in that list, then click Update Driver Software
  • Click the Browse my computer option from the next tab
  • Click Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer; under Model, choose High Definition Audio Device > Next > Yes

If this doesn’t work, then you may be using a unique audio driver. Do a Google search for the name you see under “Sound, video and game controllers” and search for any driver updates. Install those updates, and your sound should start working.

Cortana Isn’t Working in Windows 10

If Cortana isn’t responding to voice commands, then you could have “accidentally” disabled Cortana. To fix this problem, click on the search area in the taskbar (the area to the right of the Start button), then click on the notebook button. Choose Settings, then toggle on the option that says “Let Cortana respond to ‘Hey Cortana’”. That’s it. Cortana will now respond when you say those magic words.

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