How to fix no sound after adding second monitor

By: Matthew Adams
5 minute read
no audio 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 or laptop with HDMI cable. Some persons have found that they lose all sound when a secondary VDU is plugged in, but then the audio works fine when that monitor is unplugged. This is how you can fix loss of audio after adding a second monitor to a Windows desktop or laptop.

No sound after connecting second monitor to computer

  1. Reconfigure the Default Audio Playback Device
  2. Check the Speakers
  3. Open the Volume Mixer to Check Audio Settings
  4. Open the Windows Playing Audio Troubleshooter
  5. Update or Reinstall the Sound Card Driver

1. Reconfigure the Default Audio 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. Fixing this usually requires that you reconfigure your external speakers as the default playback device as follows.

  • First, right-click the speaker icon on the Windows system tray and select Playback devices to open the window in the snapshot directly below.

  • Select the speakers that are usually your default playback device.
  • Then press the Set Default button.
  • Alternatively, you can right-click a playback device and select Set as Default Device on the context menu.
  • Press the Apply and OK buttons to confirm your newly selected default playback device.
  • 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 default playback device.

2. 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 up. If there is still no sound, check that the speakers work with alternative devices. If not, then you might need replacement speakers.

3. Open the Volume Mixer to Check 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. That will open the window shown in the snapshot directly below.

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.

4. Open the Windows Playing Audio Troubleshooter

  • The Windows Playing Audio troubleshooter can come in handy for fixing Windows audio. To utilize that troubleshooter, press the Cortana button on the Windows 10 taskbar.
  • Enter the keyword ‘troubleshoot’ in Cortana’s search box.
  • Click Troubleshoot to open the system settings shown directly below.

  • Select Playing Audio and press its Run the troubleshooter button to open the window in the snapshot directly below.

  • Now go through the troubleshooter’s suggested fixes to fix the sound.

5. Update or Reinstall the Sound Card Driver

A lack of audio can be due to corrupted or outdated sound card driver.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


Manually update using Device Manager

  • 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.

device manager windows 10

  • Now open the sound card manufacturer’s website in your browser.
  • Next, open a driver or downloads section the manufacturer’s website.
  • 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.
  • Download the most update 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.

  • After downloading the sound card driver, open Device Manager again, right-click your listed sound card and select Update driver.
  • Select the Browse my computer for driver software to manually browse for the saved driver.
  • 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.

  • Click Browse, select the driver you downloaded, click Open and then press the Next button.

Update drivers automatically

We recommend updating your drivers automatically by using Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool (approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus). This tool will avoid permanent damage caused by the installation of the wrong driver version. Below you can find a quick guide how to do it.

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
  2. driver updater starting windowOnce 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.tweakbit's driver updater scanning
  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.tweakbit driver updater updates finishedNote: 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.

Those are a few fixes that might restore lost sound for a dual monitor setup. Aside from that, system file checker and anti-virus scans might also help resolve the issue.


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