No sound after adding second monitor [BEST SOLUTIONS]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Not getting any sound from speakers after hooking up a second monitor? Let us help you out.
  • Reconfigure the Default Audio Playback device and check that the speakers are turned on.
  • For similar tips that may be applied in no time, feel free to use our Audio Issues section.
  • Following certain steps always help you overcome common issues, so bookmark our Laptop & Computer Troubleshooting Hub with no hesitation.

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 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 the loss of audio after adding a second monitor to a Windows desktop or laptop.

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

  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

  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.

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

HDMI isn’t showing up in Playback devices? Check out this guide to learn how you can fix the issue quickly.

2. Check the speakers

external 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.

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.

Volume Control doesn’t work in Windows 10? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solution for you.

4. Open the Windows Playing Audio Troubleshooter

  1. 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.
  2. Enter the keyword troubleshoot in Cortana’s search box.
  3. Click Troubleshoot to open the system settings shown directly below.
  4. Select Playing Audio and press its Run the troubleshooter button to open the window in the snapshot directly below.
  5. Now go through the troubleshooter’s suggested fixes to fix the sound.

Your Windows search box is missing? Get it back in just a couple of easy steps.

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

5. Update or reinstall the Sound Card Driver

  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.device manager windows 10
  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. Now 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.

Manually update using Device Manager, as described above.

Did you know that the majority of Windows 10 users have outdated drivers? Be a step ahead using this guide.

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.driver 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.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’s 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 dual monitor setups. 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.

FAQ: Learn more about sound issues

  • Why does my monitor have no sound?

In order to understand the core issue, note that not all monitors come with their own set of built-in speakers. However, distorted sound problems may be fixed with the help of this quick guide.

  • Why is audio not working through HDMI?

When audio is not working through HDMI, chances are the correct output device is not selected.

  • How do I get sound to play through my monitor?

If you experience sound issues, reconfiguring the Default Audio Playback device is just one of the many confirmed tips you can apply.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018  and has been since revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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