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No Audio Output Device Is Installed? FIX Windows 10 Can’t Find Audio Devices

Audio devices, whether they’re built-in or if you connect one via the audio jack, will work straight away. Bluetooth audio devices will work just as easily. Audio is an essential component and users need it to work out of the box. A fresh Windows 10 installation will therefore install drivers for audio components. These are generic drivers but once you have your system up and running, better drivers will be installed. 

No Audio Output Device Is Installed?

Windows Can’t Find Audio Devices

With Windows 10, it’s almost impossible to not have a working audio device. The only exception is if your hardware is damaged or you’ve uninstalled the driver or device yourself.

Windows Can’t Find Audio Devices (FULL FIX)

If you’re trying to play audio, or record it, and your audio device isn’t detected, it is highly likely that your audio device has been uninstalled. It may have been uninstalled by a buggy Windows 10 update or by an app. Regardless, try the fixes below to sort the problem out.

No Audio Output Device Is Installed?

Make sure you’ve restarted your computer at least once to see if the problem goes away.

1. Install audio drivers/device

The first fix you should try is installing audio drivers or the device. 

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand Sound, video and game controllers.
  3. Right-click your sound card and select Uninstall device.
  4. Restart the system.
  5. Audio drivers should install automatically on boot.
  6. To be safe, open Device Manager again.
  7. Click the Scan for hardware changes button.
  8. Windows 10 will detect and install drivers for the audio devices.

2. Run the audio troubleshooter

If the audio device doesn’t install, or it’s installing incorrectly, the audio troubleshooter can fix the problem.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Select the Troubleshoot tab.
  4. Click Additional troubleshooters.
  5. Run the Playing Audio troubleshooter.
  6. Apply all fixes and restart the system.

3. Check audio devices

It’s possible the audio device has been disabled in favor of a virtual device or a device that is no longer connected. 

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to Hardware and Sound.
  3. Click Sound.
  4. Go to the Playback tab.
  5. Right-click an empty area and select Show Disabled Devices and Show Disconnected Devices.
  6. If you see your audio device, right-click it and select Enable Device.

4. Run Audio services

Audio works out-of-the-box on Windows 10 but it relies on certain services to work. These services run automatically and, if stopped, restart automatically. That said, it’s possible the service didn’t start which is why you have to start it manually.

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  2. In the run box, enter services.msc and tap Enter.
  3. Right-click the Windows Audio service.
  4. Select Start or Restart if Start is not listed.

5. Restart app

If Windows 10 cannot find the audio device when you try to use a particular app, it’s possible there’s a problem with the app itself.

  • Try to play or record audio in a different app.
  • If you’re switching between audio devices, connect the device before you open an app to play audio from.
  • Remove any virtual audio devices you’ve added or virtual audio device drivers that you’ve installed.

6. Roll back Windows 10 Update

Windows 10 updates have been known to cause problems with audio. The fix was another update that Windows 10 rolled out to all systems. 

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Click View update history.
  4. Check if an update has recently been installed. Take note of the number of the update e.g. KB4592438.
  5. Check online to see if the update is causing audio problems for other users. If it is, you need to uninstall it.
  6. Open Control Panel.
  7. Go to Programs>Uninstall a program.
  8. Click View installed updates from the column on the left.
  9. Select the problematic update and click Uninstall at the top.

7. Check for Windows updates

If the problem has been caused by a Windows 10 update, the fix may come in the form of an update as well and you will have to install it.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Select the Windows Update tab.
  4. Click Check for Updates.
  5. Install available updates.
  6. Restart the system.

Conclusion

Audio devices will rarely run into trouble. Unless you’ve damaged your system physically, problems with audio devices can be fixed by installing the right driver or removing problematic apps or updates. 

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