Fix: No Sound from Cortana in Windows 10

8 minute read

Cortana is definitely one of the most useful features of Windows 10, but various problems with this handy virtual assistant could occasionally occur. This time, we’re going to show you what to do if you can’t hear any sound from Cortana in Windows 10.

How to Fix No Sound From Cortana Problem in Windows 10

Many users use Cortana on daily basis, however, some users reported sound issues with Cortana. Speaking of sound issues, these are some of the most common problems that users reported:

  • Cortana has no voice – This is a relatively common problem with Cortana. This issue occurs if you have Quiet hours turned on, so be sure to disable this feature.
  • Cortana doesn’t speak – Many users reported that Cortana doesn’t speak on their PC. It’s worth mentioning that Cortana will only speak to you if you use your microphone to send voice commands.
  • Cortana doesn’t have sound – This issue can occur due to problems with your drivers. If your audio drivers are outdated, you might experience this problem, so be sure to update them.
  • Cortana voice not working Windows 10 – Several users reported that Cortana’s voice isn’t working in Windows 10. This problem can be caused by the third-party application, so remove them from startup or uninstall them.
  • Cortana speaker not working – Several users claim that Cortana speaker isn’t working. This can be a problem, but you should be able to fix it using one of our solutions.
  • Cortana makes no sound – According to users, sometimes you might encounter sound issues with Cortana. However, you should be able to fix that problem by removing hidden audio devices.

Solution 1 – Disable Digital Output

The most common solution for sound problems with Cortana is disabling the digital output in your sound settings. This is a problem usually occurs when you have two playback devices enabled on your computer, and one conflicts with Cortana. This doesn’t have to be the case, but in sometimes the second output device just blocks Cortana. So, here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Right-click on the sound icon on the right side of your taskbar and go to Playback devices.
    Cortana makes no sound
  2. Disable the Digital output that you’re not using.
    Cortana speaker not working
  3. Restart your computer.

Most people reported that this workaround actually solved their sound problems with Cortana, but if you still can’t hear anything from your virtual assistant, maybe you can try one of the solutions below.


Solution 2 – Reset Cortana

Maybe resetting Cortana to its default settings can solve the problem. Here’s what you need to do to completely reset Cortana in Windows 10:

  1. Open Cortana and go to Settings.
  2. The first button allows you to disable Cortana, so just disable Cortana with that button. It says: “Turning off Cortana clears what Cortana knows on this device, but won’t delete anything from the Notebook. After Cortana is off, you can decide what you’d like to do with anything still stored in the cloud”. Cortana speaker not working
  3. Restart your computer and enable Cortana again.

This will make Cortana completely forget about all your settings, so it would act like you just installed Windows, so maybe the solution for the sound problem with Cortana lays in this method.

Of course, if you’re in the region which is not supported by Cortana, you’ll have to change your regional and language settings, in order to make it active.


Solution 3 – Make sure that you don’t have Quiet hours turned on

Windows 10 comes with a useful feature that will prevent notifications from appearing. The feature is called Quiet hours and if you turn it on, you might not be able to hear Cortana. However, you can easily disable this feature by doing the following:

  1. Open Action Center. You can do that quickly by pressing Windows Key + A shortcut.
  2. Look for Quiet hours option. If it’s not available, click Expand.
    Cortana speaker not working
  3. Now click on Quiet hours to disable it.
    Cortana makes no sound

After doing that, your notifications will start appearing and you’ll be able to hear Cortana again.


Solution 4 – Update your drivers

If there’s no sound from Cortana on your PC, the problem might be your drivers. Outdated drivers can cause this problem to appear, but you can easily update them right from Device Manager. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Now select Device Manager from the list.
    Cortana doesn't speak
  2. When Device Manager opens, locate your audio driver, right-click it and choose Update driver from the menu.
    Cortana doesn’t have sound
  3. Choose Search automatically for updated driver software and wait while Windows updates the driver.
    Cortana voice not working Windows 10

Update drivers automatically

All drivers must be updated for your system to work properly. In order to prevent PC damage by installing the wrong driver versions,  we suggest to do it automatically by using Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool.

This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus and will help you update all outdated drivers safely. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution. Below you can find a quick guide how to do it.

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
    2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
      Automatically update drivers
    3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
      Automatically Update complete
      Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.

After updating your driver, check if the problem is resolved. Several users recommend updating your speaker drivers as well, so if you’re using USB speakers you might want to try that. If Device Manager can’t update your drivers, you might want to try downloading them manually from your sound card’s manufacturer.


Solution 5 – Uninstall all hidden sound drivers

If you can’t hear Cortana, the issue might be related to hidden sound drivers. This isn’t a big problem, and you can fix it simply by removing the hidden sound drivers. This is relatively simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator. To do that, press Windows Key + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu. If Command Prompt isn’t available, you can use PowerShell (Admin) instead.
    Cortana has no voice
  2. When Command Prompt starts, run the following commands:
      • set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
      • cd\ %SystemRoot% \System32
      • start devmgmt.msc
  3. When Device Manager opens, go to the View tab and click on Show hidden devices.
    Cortana doesn't speak
  4. Expand Sound, video and game controllers, right click the grayed out driver and choose Uninstall device from the menu.
    Cortana doesn’t have sound
  5. Confirmation menu will now appear. Click Uninstall to confirm that you want to remove the driver.
    Cortana voice not working Windows 10
  6. Repeat the last two steps for all hidden sound devices.

After doing that, restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved.


Solution 6 – Disable HD Audio Background Process and Realtek HD Audio Manager

Your Windows starts with many third-party applications, and sometimes these applications can interfere with Windows and cause issues with Cortana. If you’re getting no sound from Cortana, the problem might be your startup applications. However, you can easily fix this problem by disabling these applications. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Start Task Manager. You can do that by using Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut.
  2. When Task Manager starts, go to Startup tab. Now look for HD Audio Background Process and Realtek HD Audio Manager. Right click these applications and choose Disable from the menu.
    Cortana has no voice

After disabling these applications, restart your PC and check if the problem still appears. Several users reported that these two applications caused the problem, so if you have either of them, be sure to disable them.


Solution 7 – Configure audio in your audio manager

According to users, you might be able to fix this problem simply by configuring audio properly in your audio manager. If you’ve downloaded and installed audio drivers from your sound card manufacturer, it’s possible that you installed a new audio manager.

If that’s so, the default audio manager and third-party manager can come into conflict. To fix the issue, you need to configure your audio properly in the third-party audio manager. After doing that, the problems with Cortana should be resolved.


Solution 8 – Remove IDT High Definition audio

As we previously mentioned, third-party audio managers can interfere with your system and cause problems with Cortana. Users reported that IDT High Definition Audio was responsible for this problem, and in order to fix the problem, you need to remove it.

There are several ways to remove an application, but the best way to do it is to use an uninstaller software. Uninstaller software is designed to remove all files and registry entries associated with a specific application. By using these tools, you’ll ensure that the application is completely removed, and the problem won’t reoccur due to leftover files.

If you need to remove a certain application, you can do that by using IOBit Uninstaller (free), Revo Uninstaller or Ashampoo Uninstaller. All these applications have a friendly user interface, so you should be able to remove any application with ease.

Since this is a sound problem, maybe something else from your system prevents Cortana from playing sound, so you should check our article about other sound problems in Windows 10, and maybe you’ll find the solution (if none of the above worked, of course). That would be all, if you have any other Windows 10-related issues, you can look for the solution in our Windows 10 Fix section.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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