No sound after adding second monitor [Best Solutions]

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... Read more
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  • If you're not getting any sound from speakers after hooking up a second monitor it can be an audio configuration problem.
  • You should check what is the default playback device in the audio settings and set the correct device.
  • If the dual monitor sound is not working, update the audio drivers using a dedicated tool.
  • Checking the speakers is also a good solution as they can also have separate volume controls.
Fix the sound after adding the second monitor
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Adding a second VDU to a desktop or laptop is a great way to expand the Windows desktop.

However, the sound might not always work after you connect another monitor to your desktop/laptop with HDMI cable.

Some persons have found that they get no sound when connected to an external monitor, but then the audio works fine when that monitor is unplugged.

This is how you can fix the loss of audio after adding a second monitor to a Windows 10 desktop or laptop.

How can I fix sound issues after adding a second monitor?

  1. Reconfigure the Default Audio Playback device
  2. Update or reinstall the sound card driver
  3. Check the speakers
  4. Open the Volume mixer to check the audio settings
  5. Open the Windows Playing Audio troubleshooter

1. Reconfigure the Default Audio Playback device

  1. First, right-click the speaker icon on the Windows system tray and select Playback devices to open the window in the snapshot directly below.
  2. Select the speakers that are usually your default playback device.
  3. Then press the Set Default button.
  4. Alternatively, you can right-click a playback device and select Set as Default Device on the context menu.
  5. Press the Apply and OK buttons to confirm your newly selected default playback device.
  6. If your secondary VDU does include built-in speakers, try unplugging the speakers and connecting the monitor with a secondary audio cable. Then you might get audio with the monitor selected as the default playback device.

It is often the case that audio is lost after connecting a second VDU because the connected monitor automatically becomes the default playback device.

HDMI cables do support audio signals, but not all monitors come with their own set of built-in speakers. Thus, you can’t get any sound from a VDU without any built-in speakers.

If, for some reason, you can’t see the HDMI in the Playback devices list, check out this excellent guide to learn how you can fix this problem.

2. Update or reinstall the Sound Card Driver

2.1 Update the drivers manually

  1. First, you’ll need to get the latest driver from the sound card manufacturer’s website. If you’re not sure what website to open, press the Win key + X hotkey and select Device Manager.
  2. Double-click Sound, video and game controllers, right-click your listed sound card, and select Properties to open the window in the snapshot directly below. The manufacturer for your sound card is listed on the General tab.
  3. Open the sound card manufacturer’s website in your browser.
  4. Next, open a driver or download section on the manufacturer’s website.
  5. Then search for the required sound card driver by entering the sound card in a search box or selecting it from drop-down menus on the website.
  6. Download the most updated driver for your sound card that’s compatible with your Windows platform. To check your system type, enter the keyword system in Cortana’s search box and select System to open the window directly below.
  7. After downloading the sound card driver, open Device Manager again, right-click your listed sound card, and select Update driver.
  8. Select the Browse my computer for driver software to manually browse for the saved driver.
  9. Click the Let me pick from a list from a list of available drivers button, and then press the Have Disk button in the shot directly below.
  10. Click Browse, select the driver you downloaded, click Open, and then press the Next button.

A lack of audio can be due to corrupted or outdated sound card drivers. So, updating or reinstalling the driver might restore sound. This is how you can update the sound driver in Windows 10.

2.2 Update drivers automatically

Manually updating the drivers can be a long task that implies a little bit of skill. That’s why, if you don’t want any headaches, we recommend updating your drivers automatically by using a dedicated, third-party tool.

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3. Check the speakers

If the above resolution doesn’t restore audio, check that the speakers are plugged in. Note that external speakers usually have separate volume controls.

So, make sure that the speakers are turned on. If there is still no sound, check that the speakers work with alternative devices.

If not, then you might need replacement speakers. Check out our best picks and choose the ones that suit you.

4. Open the Volume mixer to check the audio settings

It might just be the case that you need to raise your desktop’s or laptop’s audio level settings. So, checking the audio settings is an obvious resolution when Windows audio is seemingly lost.

The best way to crank up the volume is to right-click the speaker system tray icon and click Open Volume Mixer on the context menu.

First, check that the volume is not muted. If it is, press the Mute Speakers button. In addition, raise all the audio bars displayed there to at least the 70% mark.

If there’s still no audio, the lack of sound doesn’t have anything to do with the audio level settings. If the volume control doesn’t work in Windows 10 we’ve got an excellent guide to help you fix it.

5. Open the Windows Playing Audio Troubleshooter

  1. Type troubleshoot in the Windows search box.
  2. Click Troubleshoot settings to open the system settings shown directly below.
  3. Click on Additional troubleshooters.
  4. Select Playing Audio and press its Run the troubleshooter button.high definition audio has a driver problem
  5. Now go through the troubleshooter’s suggested fixes to fix the sound.

If the Troubleshooter stops before completing the process, fix it with the help of this complete guide.

That’s it! We hope that our solutions restored the lost sound for dual monitor setups and benefit again from the signal out of your second display.

Aside from that, system file checker and anti-virus scans might also help resolve the issue. If you have any other questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • In order to understand the core issue, note that not all monitors come with their own set of built-in speakers. We also have a helpful guide to fix distorted sound problems.

  • When audio is not working through HDMI, chances are the correct output device is not selected. We also have a great guide on what to do if the HDMI is not working.

  • If you experience sound issues, reconfiguring the Default Audio Playback device is just one of the many confirmed tips you can apply. We have an excellent guide to help you fix the sound for the monitor.

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