No sound from headphones in Windows 10? Try these solutions

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Users are constantly reporting that there's no sound coming from headphones in Windows 10. Fortunately, you can quickly fix this in case of being one of those bothered by the same issue.
  • Checking if the audio driver is updated and using the Troubleshooting tool could be your first steps into solving this.
  • The article is part of a larger section dedicated especially towards fixing sound issues, so make sure to visit it next.
  • The risk of ruining an otherwise pleasant computer experience is high enough when experiencing issues. We suggest checking out our detailed Fix hub to correct things right away.
Fix No sound from headphones in Windows 10
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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.

Windows won’t recognize headphones? Things are not as serious as they seem. Check out this guide to solve the issue!

What can I do if getting no sound from headphones?

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 PC 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 Outdated drivers often cause various problems, and the case is the same with speakers.

Go to Device Manager, find your Speakers and Check if your drivers are up to date.

Updating drivers manually is very annoying, so we recommend you to download TweakBit driver updater (100% safe and tested by us) to do it automatically. Thus, you will prevent file loss and even permanent damage to your computer.

If your drivers are updated, but you’re still facing problems, perform of these further solutions:

2. Use the Troubleshooting tool

The Troubleshooting feature 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.

audio troubleshooter control panel

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 the 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 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.

3. Set default speakers and test the sound

After you finished using the Troubleshooting tool, 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.

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.

re-enable High Definition Audio Driver

  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.

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.

Run a System Scan to discover potential errors

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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.

Check out this comprehensive guide create a System Restore Point like a real technician!

Fix No sound from headphones in Windows 10

Here are some additional problems and error messages that can cause sound problems in Windows 10, so we prepared a couple of more solutions for you.

  • 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

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 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 a green tick mark next to it).
  3. Go to the Advanced tab.
  4. Now just change default sound format from the dropdown menu (experiment a little, because these settings aren’t the same for all).advanced speaker properties

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.
  3. In the General tab, under Controller information, go to Advanced.
  4. Go to Driver tab.
  5. And now go to Roll back driver.

Many users had no sound after updating Realtek driver. Here are some quick tips to solve the problem!

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.disable audio enhancements
  5. Restart your computer

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.change default sample rate format
  6. Now click on Apply and OK to save changes.

5. Use Sound Troubleshooter

Users can always benefit from this troubleshooting tool to resolve various system-related problems, including the headphone sound issue.

Here’s how to run the 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 audio troubleshooter windows 10
  4. Follow further on-screen instructions.
  5. Restart your computer.

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.restart windows update service
  4. Wait for the process to finish.
  5. Restart your computer.

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/scannowrun sfc /scannow cmd
  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.

Looking for the best headphone? Look no further! Here are the best USB-C headphones for top-notch audio experience!

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.

FAQ: Learn more about sound issues in Windows 10

  • What can I do if the computer can’t find Bluetooth headphones?

To solve this issue in no time, use the solutions described in this article on how to fix Bluetooth headphones not connecting.

  • How do I get sound to play through headphones in Windows 10?

If this seems like an impossible mission, check out this guide dedicated to fixing headphones’ sound issues.

  • How do I stop sound from both speakers and headphones?

To make that happen, make sure the default audio device is set correctly. If nothing seems out of the ordinary, run the Audio Troubleshooter to get further answers.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in November 2017 and was revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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  • I had a technician help me get my sound working again after I upgraded from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. The very next day my sound was gone again. Windows, you suck!