How to Fix Sound Not Working in Windows 10 [Includes the 1803 and 1809 Updates]


After the release of Windows 10 in July 2015, several sound issues cropped up. Subsequently many were fixed in the next released updates. But just like Windows 8.1 or 7, sound may not be working due to common reasons.

The latest 1809 update in Oct 2018 has given some audio problems to a few users. It is fixed in the next KB updates and many users to have found a solution in Jan 2019.

Some sound errors look very silly like not selecting the default playback device. Others tend to get sound from headphones, but complain that speaker sound is not working.

In other cases, the sound drivers are the issue. As mentioned many times, compatible drivers and software are required for sound cards and mother boards. You may be getting sound in Windows 10 through any of the above devices.

In Windows 10, if you use Windows Update, it automatically update the sound drivers also. These generic drivers work with normal sound and giving good effects based upon the speakers you have.

Creative and ASUS are good speaker companies which produce audible sounds. But sometimes these are incompatible with your motherboard. Also many sound card companies did not release drivers for Windows 10 (64 bit in most cases).

How to Fix Sound not Working after Installing the 1809 Update in Oct 2018

In many forums on the Internet like Reddit and Microsoft, users complained that their sound stopped working after installing the Windows 10 1809 update. It just says that “No Audio Device is installed”.

According to a Microsoft employee, the cause was that an incorrect audio driver was pushed during this update. This mainly affects if you are using an Intel Audio driver, which comes mostly with your motherboard.

In the Device Manager, View menu > Devices by connection
If you look at the parent device which says something like – “Intel SST Audio Controller” (Intel Smart Sound Technology driver version 09.21.00.3755), then this is the wrong device pushed to your computer.

Just uninstall the device and using the Realtek driver or the default generic driver provided by Microsoft.

There is another way to circumvent this problem. If you get an error that “No Audio Output Device” is installed on your PC/laptop, then you can try this solution.

Open elevated Command Prompt (i.e with Admin rights)
Type the following

pnputil /enum-drivers

A lot of drivers will be listed, something like this.

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Then you have to find the audio driver with a typical name like oemXXXX.inf. It should be the correct driver related to your sound. This is because, if you remove the wrong driver, that device functionality will stop working.

Once the driver name .inf is found, run the following in the same command prompt window.

pnputil /delete-driver oemXXXX.inf /uninstall

The oemXXXX.inf is the driver name of the sound device you found earlier.

The sound problem will be solved in Windows 10.

Sound Issue Resolved for Windows 10 1809 Update in Jan 2019

Now in Jan, 2019 you are in luck. Microsoft has listened to its valuable customers about their vows related to audio problems in Windows 10 and come out with another update. The KB4468550 update when installed will solve the earlier problem created by 1809 update in Oct, 2018.

The problem arising from Intel Smart Sound Technology driver (version 09.21.00.3755) should be fixed by the above update.

Doing a System Restore in Windows 10

Before you upgraded to 1809 update, a system restore point might have been created automatically by Windows 10. If you can use that, to go back to the previous version, it can fix your audio problems.

In many other cases, the 1709 update seems to work fine with audio in Windows 10. It is always reasonable to wait for the new 1809 update to stabilize and then install it. Finally, Microsoft is pushing the 1809 update in Jan 2019 again and it should fix all the problems caused by the Oct 2018 update.

Windows update could be causing problems

Sometimes other updates like the 1803 update could have made changes to other apps. This could cause an issue to your existing sound device drivers. Third-party apps may sometimes take control of your sound and reduce it, so that it is not audible.

You just have to pump up the volume levels again, to see if the sound is fixed in Windows 10.

Uninstall Realtek HD Audio driver in Windows 10

Using the Device Manager, go to the Realtek audio driver and uninstall it. This is because Microsoft has added Dolby and own Sonic drivers to Realtek HD drivers. So these will be set to off, if you uninstall it. This is a major problem in 1803 version and your sound should start working, once the default generic driver is being used.

Otherwise, you can use the Realtek driver from the manufactuer web page.

The first hardware troubleshooting steps that should be taken when the Windows 10 sound is not working –

  • Check the multiple audio devices connected to your PC/laptop
  • See whether the required sound device is the default playback device or not
  • Check your speakers and headphones cables – Sometimes the jacks may be loosely connected to the ports
  • See whether the cables connecting the audio devices are functioning properly or not
  • For wireless devices, see whether the adapter USB ports are working or not
  • Sometimes, speakers and apps have their own software controls. They are to be checked whether they are enabled or not.
  • The power and volume levels may be set to “zero” or minimum. You just have to raise the volume slider in that case.
  • Try an alternate USB port for the speakers and headphones, if sound was working previously and not working now
  • Only one device will work at a time. So if headphones are working, the speaker sound will not work.
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Check the default Output and Input devices

Press Win+I to show up Windows 10 Settings
System > Sound
On the right-hand side, check the output and input device for Sound.
The desired playback device should display under the output option.
You can have your mic from headphones and output sound from speakers, if you like.

Check the default playback device

If you go further down, you can see “Related Settings”.
Below it there is an item called “Sound Control Panel”.
Clicking it will open the “Sound” pop-up box.
Under “Playback” tab, you can see all your sound devices.
Check whether your sound device is the default one or not.
If not, right-click it and make it “Default”.

If the sound is not still working, keep the above window open.
You can use it for further troubleshooting audio problems of Windows 10.

If you go little below, there is another option called “Have a question?”.
Under this you can find “Fix sound problems”.
This should open the default browser and give different search results related to sound not working in Windows 10.

Try the Audio Troubleshooter in Windows 10

Just below the default output device in “Sound” settings of Windows 10, you can find the “Troubleshoot” button.

  • Clicking it will automatically start the Audio troubleshooter for Windows 10.
  • It will ask for the speaker device to troubleshoot.
  • Select the required device and click on “Next”.
  • It will automatically do some cross-checks and restore your sound to normal in Windows 10.
  • This works for most of the sound problems.

This can also be found in the Control Panel under the “Troubleshooting” and “Troubleshoot computer problems”. Under “Hardware and Sound” you can click on “Troubleshoot audio playback”. It will do the same.

Check the Audio Service status in Windows 10.

Press the Win+R to open the Run dialog and type “services.msc”.
This should open Services window.
Check the “Windows Audio” service is running or not.
It may be disabled by third-party software or virus sometimes.

Turn Off all Enhancements

By default with every sound device, “Speakers properties” are associated.
Under this we have a property called “Enhancements”.
This provides certain subtle enhancements to improve your speaker configuration like –

  1. Loundness Equalization
  2. Sound Equalizer
  3. Environment Modeling
  4. Room Correction

Sometimes if we enable any of them and forget it later, they can interfere with the audio device sound in Windows 10. This can also be a reason for sound not working in Windows.

To disable it you can do the following.
Use the “Sound” pop-up window mentioned above.
1. Select the default speaker
2. Click on “Properties”
3. The “Speakers Properties” window will open
4. Click on “Enhancements” tab
5. Check the option “Disable all enhancements”

Click on OK or Apply. Close all the Sound window and check your audio.

Try Different Sample Rates and Bit Rates

In the “Speakers Properties” window, click on “Advanced” tab.
There are different audio formats available here.
To set the default format you can click the drop-down box.
Several audio formats with a combination of frequency and bit depth are available.
Try one after other, till your sound plays.
Most of the times, 24bit, 48000Hz (Studio Quality) works for many computers.

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Check the “Spatial Sound” option

Another tab present in the “Speakers Properties” window is Spatial Sound
The Spatial sound format has several options based upon your sound card, mother board and audio codec.
The most common is the “Windows Sonic for Headphones”. If that is enabled, the 7.1 virtual surround option is also enabled sometimes.

This can interfere with your speaker sound sometimes and could stop working. In that case, choose the “off” option.

Check the Audio Driver status

On the “General” tab of “Speaker Properties”, you can see your audio controller information.
Check whether it is the right driver. For example, some motherboards only support VIA and not Realtek or NVIDIA. In that case, you are supposed to install VIA audio codecs only.

Latest Audio Driver is installed or not

Click on “Properties” for the above property window.
This will open the audio driver properties window.
If the correct driver is installed, then sometimes you need the latest driver.
This can happen after an update to Windows 10.
Some sound card manufacturer release Windows 10 drivers immediately and some take time.
In any case, you can use Windows 7 drivers under compatibility mode.
You can use several options like “Update Driver” or “Roll Back Driver” to see if your sound problem is solved in Windows 10.

Use Device Manager to Solve Sound Problems

  • Right click Start Menu and select “Device Manager“.
  • Click on “Sound, video and game controllers
  • Select your audio device driver.
  • Right-click it and select “Uninstall device“.

Restart the computer and the correct driver is installed on reboot.

Use the Sound Drivers from Manufacturer Website

If that doesn’t work, then use the option “Update driver”.
Select the option “Browse my computer for driver software”.
If you have the correct sound driver download, you can select it’s location and click on “Next”. This will manually install the correct driver.

This is more often the case when you download drivers for sound card manufacturer web page.

Use the Microsoft’s High Definition Audio Device Driver

  • Otherwise, you can select the next option that says “Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer“.
  • The compatible model drivers can be seen here.
  • But since the sound card model drivers didn’t work, you can try the “High Definition Audio Device“.
  • This is the generic driver provided by Microsoft.

If all the other sound drivers fail to work, then using this will work, most of the times.

How to Fix Sound Not Working in Windows 10 [Includes the 1803 and 1809 Updates]
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