How to fix the Failed to initialize smartaudio error

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about the...
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The Failed to initialize smartaudio error message usually appears during Windows startup.
  • The error is caused by the Conexant High Definition Audio software preinstalled with some Lenovo laptops and desktops.
  • Explore our Windows 10 section for a myriad of articles and information about the famous OS.
  • For any other PC problems, the first place to go is our Tech Troubleshooting Hub.
Failed to initialize smartaudio
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The Failed to initialize smartaudio error message is one that pops up during Windows startup that pertains to the Conexant High Definition Audio software.

Conexant High Definition Audio is a program that comes preinstalled with some Lenovo laptops and desktops. Some users lose sound when that error message pops up.

This is how you can fix the Failed to initialize smartaudio error in Windows 10.

How do I fix the Failed to initialize SmartAudio error?

  1. Update the Conexant Driver
  2. Open the Playing Audio Troubleshooter
  3. Disable all Other Audio Device Drivers
  4. Remove Conexant SmartAudio HD from the Windows Startup
  5. Disable Audio Enhancements for the Conexant Audio Device
  6. Reinstalling the Conexant Audio Software

1. Update the Conexant Driver

Some users have stated on forums that updating the Conexant SmartAudio HD driver has fixed the Failed to initialize smartaudio error for them.

As Conexant does not provide drivers on its website, it’s probably better to update the drivers with driver update software.

We strongly recommend DriverFix for that job because it will do that automatically in only a few seconds and clicks.

DriverFix will automatically scan for and list outdated drivers right after you download and install it.

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Then you can press the Update All button to update the drivers. Alternatively, click the box from the left of the Conexant audio driver and press the Update button from the right.

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2. Open the Playing Audio Troubleshooter

  1. Search for troubleshoot in the search box and select Troubleshoot to open the window shown directly below.
  2. Click on Aditional troubleshooters
  3. Click on Playing Audio
  4. Press its Run the troubleshooter button to open the troubleshooter.
  5. Then go through the troubleshooter’s suggested fixes.

Windows 10 includes a Playing Audio troubleshooter that can fix numerous audio issues. As such, that might provide a fix for the Failed to initialize smartaudio error message.


3. Disable all Other Audio Device Drivers

  1. Press the Windows key + X hotkey.device manager windows 10
  2. Click Device Manager to open it.device manager
  3. Double-click Sound, video, and game controllers to expand the list of audio devices.
  4. Right-click all the audio devices listed there, except Conexant SmartAudio HD, and select their Disable device options.
  5. Restart the Windows platform.

4. Remove Conexant SmartAudio HD from the Windows Startup

  1. If Conexant SmartAudio HD is not your default audio driver and manager, remove it from the Windows startup.
  2. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  3. Select the Start-up tab shown in the shot directly below.
  4. Select Conexant SmartAudio HD listed on the Startup tab, and press its Disable button.
  5. Restart Windows.

5. Disable Audio Enhancements for the Conexant Audio Device

  1. Right-click the speaker system tray icon and select Playback devices.
  2. Right-click the Conexant audio device listed on the Playback tab and select Properties.
  3. Select the Enhancements tab shown in the shot directly below.
  4. Select the Disable all enhancements (or Disable all sound effects) option.
  5. Press the Apply button.

6. Reinstalling Conexant Audio Software

  1. Press the Windows key + R hotkey, enter appwiz.cpl and click OK to open the window shown directly below.
  2. Select the Conexant SmartAudio HD software, and press the Uninstall button.
  3. Click the Yes button to confirm.
  4. Restart Windows after removing the software.
  5. You can download the latest Conexant Audio Software for Windows 10 from Lenovo’s dedicated page.
  6. If you’re running an older version of Windows, open this Lenovo webpage to download the software.
  7. Finally, open the Conexant Audio Software installer to reinstall the software.

Those resolutions will probably resolve the Failed to initialize smartaudio error message. Aside from those resolutions, rolling Windows back to a restore point with System Restore or restarting the audio service might also fix the issue.

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