Fix: No sound from headphone in Windows 10, 8.1 or 7

By: Ivan Jenic
7 minute read

Microsoft has confirmed that after installing certain updates, some Windows users had problems with sound on their computers. If you’re among one of these users, don’t worry, here are some solutions for your problem with no sound in your headphones. Various factors could cause this problem, so we put a couple of solutions on the table, as we hope some of them will help.

No sound from headphones in Windows

Table of contents:

Fix: No sound from headphones in Windows 8.1

Solution 1: Check if the audio driver is updated

An updated audio driver might resolve the problem if the computer is experiencing sound problems after upgrading the operating system to Windows 10, or the computer is experiencing sound problems in a particular software program.

The first thing everyone is going to tell you to do is to check if your audio drivers are up to date. Outdated drivers often cause various problems, and case is the same with speakers. Go to Device Manager, find your Speakers and Check if your drivers are up to date. If your drivers are updated, but you’re still facing problems, perform of these further solutions:

Solution 2: Using the Troubleshooting tool in Windows 8

The Troubleshooting feature in Windows 8 is a tool that can automatically fix common problems in your system, such as audio. Although it can’t fix every problem, it is recommendable to run Troubleshooting tool just in case, before performing other operations.

wind8apps audio devices

To open the Troubleshooting tool:

  1.  In the search section type find and fix audio.
  2. Choose Find and fix audio playback problems in the Search results.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Select the device you want to troubleshoot, in this case, your headphones and click Next.
  5. Wait a couple of minutes until the troubleshooter detects problems and makes changes.
  6. When troubleshooter is done, the Troubleshooting has completed page will display with all found problems listed, as well as the list with changes that were made to the system. If you want to get a detailed information about the troubleshooting, click View detailed information.
  7. Click Close.

If a recommended action displays, select Apply this fix or Skip this step to continue to search for other problems. If your problem has not been resolved, continue to manually troubleshoot using the rest of this document.

If a recommended action appears, click on Apply this fix or Skip this step to continue to search for other problems causing your keyboard not to work. If this step didn’t help you to solve your problem with speakers, try to apply some other steps from this article.

Solution 3: Setting default speakers and testing the sound

After you finished using the Troubleshooting tool in Windows 8.1, get the system speakers back to default:

  1. In search, type sounds and select Change system sound in the Search results.
  2. In the Sound section, click on the Playback tab and then select your headphones. Click the Set Default button. If you have only your speakers connected to your computer, and no other playback device, they will be set to default automatically.
  3. With the default Playback Device selected, click the Configure button.
  4. Click your speaker setup in Audio channels.
  5. Click the Test button to play sound with your device, or click an individual speaker to play sound with it.

If you correctly hear the sound in your headphones, you’re all done. If the sound is still missing, try to finish your configuration setup. Click Next and follow further on-screen instructions. If you still didn’t solve your problem with sound, don’t get mad, there’s still something you can do.

Solution 4: Solve Audio Problems in Device Manager

If you cannot hear the sound, check Device Manager to determine the state of the sound hardware.
Maybe you somehow disabled your headphones or something like that. In that case, you’ll have to go to Device Manager and perform a couple of actions.

wind8apps audio device manager

  1. Right click on This PC and go to Device Manager. You can also access Device Manager from search, by typing device manager into it.
  2. In Device Manager, open Sound, video and game controllers.
  3. Do the following, depending on what displays:

If your headphones are displayed with a down arrow, the device is disabled. Right-click the name of your headphones and select Enable, to re-enable them.

If your headphones are listed, right click on the name of the device and select Properties to view more information about the device, in order to solve your problem easier. If the Device Status says that the headphones are connected correctly, the problem probably lays in the sound settings, or cables.

Solution 5: Restore your computer

If you tried all of these troubleshooting steps, and sound on your headphones still doesn’t work, try restoring your computer. To perform System Restore click the Start button, and in the search box type System Restore. Choose System Restore from the search results. After that, follow instructions in the installation wizard, choose a restore point and restore your system. Remember to create a backup of your data before you perform System Restore.

Fix: No sound from headphones in Windows 10

Here are some additional problems and error messages that can cause the sound problems in Windows 10:

  • Windows 10 headphones not showing up in playback devices
  • Windows 10 headphones not plugged in
  • Windows 10 headphones and speakers at the same time
  • Realtek headphone driver
  • Headphones do not show up in playback devices
  • Headphones not detected
  • Windows 10 headset mic not working
  • Windows 10 doesn’t work with headphones

These previous solutions were related to Windows 8, 8.1 and the Technical Preview of Windows 10, and since the full version of Windows 10 is now released, we prepared a couple of more solutions for you, which helped some people to return sound from their headphones in Windows 10.

Solution 1 – Change default sound format

This is actually the most common issue which causes the disappearance of sound from your speakers or headphones. If your default sound format is wrong, you just won’t be able to play any sound on your computer. So, all you need to do is to simply change the sound format and everything should work fine.

Here’s how to change the default sound format in Windows 10:

  1. Right-click on the speaker icon in the taskbar and go to Playback Devices
  2. Open your default playback device by double-clicking on it (it has green tick mark next to it)
  3. Go to Advanced tab
  4. Now just change default sound format from the dropdown menu (experiment a little, because these settings aren’t same for all) no sound headphones windows 10

Solution 2 – Roll back your headphones driver

We told you at the beginning of the article to update your sound driver, but maybe the solution is exactly the opposite. If you’re using an older version of the sound card, its latest driver may not be compatible with Windows 10, so you can try rolling back to the previous version, which worked.

Here’s how to roll back your sound driver to the previous version:

  1. Right-click on the speaker icon in the taskbar and go to Playback Devices
  2. Open your default playback device by double-clicking on it (it has green tick mark next to it)
  3. In General tab, under Controller information, go to Advanced
  4. Go to Driver tab
  5. And now go to Roll back driver

Solution 3 – Disable all audio enhancements

Another solution that might come in handy, and that a few users actually said to be useful is disabling audio enhancements. Here’s how to disable all audio enhancements in Windows 10:

  1. Right-click the sound icon in the taskbar
  2. Click Playback Devices
  3. Double-click your current playback device (headphones)
  4. Go to the Enhancements tab, and click Disable all sound effects
  5. Restart your computer

Solution 4 – Disable Exclusive mode

We’ll also try to disable the exclusive mode:

  1. Right-click the sound icon in the taskbar
  2. Click Playback Devices
  3. Double-click your current playback device (headphones)
  4. Head over the Advanced tab.
  5. Under the Exclusive Mode section, disable Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device.
  6. Now click on Apply and OK to save changes.

Solution 5 – Use Sound Troubleshooter

Starting from Windows 10 Creators Update, users can use a new troubleshooting tool for resolving various system-related problems. Including the headphone sound issue.

Here’s how to run the new Troubleshooter in Windows 10:

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Go to Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
  3. Click Playing Audio, and go to Run the troubleshooter.
  4. Follow further on-screen instructions.
  5. Restart your computer.

Solution 6 – Restart Windows Audio service

There’s a chance Windows’ default audio service got disrupted, and that exactly what blocks the sound from your headphones. So, we’re going to restart this service, and see if it has any positive effects.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Search, type services.msc, and open Service.
  2. Find the Windows Update service.
  3. If this service is not enabled, right-click it, and select Start. If it’s enabled, right-click it and select Restart.
  4. Wait for the process to finish.
  5. Restart your computer.

Solution 7 – Perform the SFC scan

The SFC scan is another built-in troubleshooter in Windows. It helps with various problems, including our sound issue. Here’s how to run it:

  1. Go to Search, type cmd, right-click Command Prompt, and go to Run As Administrator
  2. Enter the following command, and press Enter: sfc/scannow
  3. Wait for the process to finish
  4. Restart your computer

As you probably noticed, all these solutions are ‘system-related,’ so if you’re actually able to play sound on other devices, like speakers or other headphones, the problem lays in hardware. If that’s the case, you should consider getting new headphones, because your current headphones may be broken.

If you’re using VIA HD Audio driver, and you have some problems with playing sound, you can check out our article about solving problems with VIA HD Audio.

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