Here’s what to do if HDMI isn’t showing up in playback devices on Windows 10


Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Many users tend to connect an additional display to their PC using the HDMI connection, but sometimes HDMI is not showing up in playback devices section. This can lead to certain problems, but today we’ll show you how to easily fix this issue.

Sometimes your HDMI device won’t show up in the playback devices section. That can be a big multimedia issue, and speaking of HDMI issues, here are some common problems that users reported:

  • Digital output device (HDMI) missing Windows 10 – This is a common problem, and if this happens, be sure that your HDMI device isn’t hidden or disabled in playback devices section.
  • Windows 10 no HDMI audio option – Sometimes HDMI audio won’t work due to your audio drivers. To fix the issue, reinstall your audio driver. If the issue is still there, update the audio driver to the latest version and check if that helps.
  • HDMI port not working on laptop – Sometimes this problem can occur due to your graphics card drivers. To fix the issue, update the drivers to the latest version and check if that helps.
  • HDMI not showing up as audio device Windows 10, up in Sound – This is a relatively common problem, and in order to fix it, be sure that you turn on your HDMI device, connect it to the PC, and then turn on your PC. By doing so, you’ll force the PC to recognize the device.
  • HDMI not detected, working, recognized, playing audio – These are some relatively common HDMI issues, and we covered most of them in our how to fix HDMI output problems article, so be sure to check it out for more solutions.

HDMI not showing up in playback devices, how to fix it?


  1. Install the default graphics driver
  2. Reinstall graphics card drivers
  3. Double-check the playback devices list
  4. Update the High Definition Audio Device
  5. Disable Hyper-V feature
  6. Change the projection mode
  7. Make sure that you turn on your devices in the correct order
  8. Remove the problematic applications

Solution 1 – Install the default graphics driver

According to users, if HDMI is not showing up in playback devices, the problem might be related to the drivers. To fix this issue, users are suggesting to install the default graphics card driver. This is fairly simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Now select Device Manager from the list.
    device manager win + X menu Hdmi not working
  2. When Device Manager opens, locate your graphics card driver and right-click it. Choose Update driver from the menu.
    update driver menu HDMI not working
  3. Select Browse my computer for driver software.
    Search computer for driver software HDMI not working
  4. Now select Choose Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
    pick form a list of available drivers HDMI doesn't work
  5. Select the available driver and click Next.
  6. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process.

Once the default driver is installed, check if the problem is still there. Bear in mind that the default driver might not offer the same performance as the latest driver, so if you’re planning to play the latest games on maximum settings, perhaps this won’t be a good long-term solution for you.


Solution 2 – Reinstall graphics card drivers

As already mentioned in the previous solution, sometimes your graphics card drivers can cause this problem to appear. To fix the issue, some users are suggesting to remove your graphics card drivers and install the latest version.

This is fairly simple to do, and you can do it right from the Device Manager. However, this method might leave certain files behind, and that can lead to issues in the future. To completely remove your drivers, it’s advised to use Display Driver Uninstaller. This is a freeware tool, and it will remove all files and registry entries associated with your graphics card drivers.

Once you remove the drivers, try installing the latest drivers for your graphics card. This is fairly simple to do, and you can do that by visiting your graphics card manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest driver for your model.

If this process seems a bit complicated to you, or if you don’t know the model of your graphics card, you can always use tools such as TweakBit Driver Updater to automatically update all your drivers with just a couple of clicks. Once your drivers are up to date, check if the problem is still there.

    –  Get now Tweakbit Driver Updater

Disclaimer: some functions of this tool might not be free


Solution 3 – Double-check the playback devices list

Many users reported that HDMI is not showing in playback devices section, and if this happens on your PC, perhaps the HDMI device isn’t listed as HDMI on the list. Many users reported that their device was listed as the model of their display followed by NVIDIA High Definition Audio.

As you can see, the device won’t be listed as HDMI, so you’ll need to pay a bit more attention and check all devices in the playback devices section in order to find your HDMI device.

Several users reported that their HDMI device was disabled and therefore hidden in the playback devices section. To fix that, you need to reveal all playback devices by doing the following:

  1. Open the Playback devices
  2. Right-click the empty space and make sure that you check both Show Disabled Devices and Show Disconnected Devices.
    hidden devices playback settings HDMI not showing

After doing that, you should be able to see your HDMI device on the list and enable it.


Solution 4 – Update the High Definition Audio Device

According to users, if HDMI isn’t showing in playback devices, the issue can be related to your audio driver. To fix the problem, you just need to update this driver. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager and locate High Definition Audio Device. It should be listed as AMD High Definition Audio Device or NVIDIA High Definition Audio Device.
  2. Right-click the device, and choose Update driver. Now select Search automatically for updated driver software and Windows will try to update the driver on its own.
    automatically search for driver software HDMI not in playback devices

Once the driver is up to date, check if the problem is still there. If this method didn’t fix the problem for you, you can try updating the driver manually and check if that helps. Some users are suggesting to uninstall your HDMI sound driver and install it again, so you might want to try that as well.


Solution 5 – Disable Hyper-V feature

Hyper-V is a virtualization feature, and thanks to it, you can create a virtual environment on your PC and use it to run any operating system inside of Windows. Although this feature can be incredibly useful to some users, it can also cause issues with HDMI devices.

In fact, many users reported that their HDMI device wasn’t showing up in playback devices section due to Hyper-V feature. According to them, they managed to fix the issue simply by disabling Hyper-V feature. This is quite simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and type windows features. Now choose Turn Windows features on or off.
    turn windows features search HDMI not detected
  2. Windows Features window will now appear. Look for Hyper-V on the list and disable it. Once you disable this feature, click OK to save changes.
    hyper-V disable HDMI not detected
  3. Restart your PC to apply the changes.

Once your PC restarts, Hyper-V feature will be disabled and the problem with HDMI should be resolved.


Solution 6 – Change the projection mode

If HDMI isn’t showing in playback devices, the issue might be related to the projection mode. Windows allows you to switch between several projection modes, and it seems that only duplicate and extend modes will show your HDMI device in the playback devices section.

To change the projection mode, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + P.
  2. You should now see a list of options. Select Duplicate or Extend from the list.
    project modes HDMI not working

After doing that, the HDMI device should appear in the playback devices section.


Solution 7 – Make sure that you turn on your devices in the correct order

According to users, sometimes your HDMI device won’t show up in playback devices section due to certain glitches. Apparently, the HDMI device isn’t recognized if you plug it directly to your PC while it’s running. To fix this problem, you need to do the following:

  1. Make sure that your PC and second display are turned off.
  2. Turn on your second display or TV.
  3. Now connect the HDMI device to your PC.
  4. Turn on your PC.

Once your PC boots, the problem should be resolved and the HDMI device should appear in the playback devices section. Bear in mind that this is a one-time procedure, and once your HDMI device appears in the playback devices, the issue should be permanently resolved.


Solution 8 – Remove the problematic applications

Several users reported that third-party applications can sometimes lead to issues with HDMI and playback devices. If your HDMI device is not showing, perhaps the problem can be related to third-party applications. Several users reported that VLC Media Player caused this issue, but after removing the application, the issue was resolved.

Bear in mind that there are several ways to remove an application, but the most effective one is to use uninstaller software such as IOBit Uninstaller. In case you’re not familiar, uninstaller software is a special application that can remove any application from your PC along with all its files and registry entries.

Once the application is removed, check if the problem is still there.

Problems with HDMI devices are fairly common, and if your HDMI device isn’t showing in playback devices, be sure to try all of our solutions.

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