No Sound After Connecting Second Monitor [Solved]

Learn to enable dual monitor sound back on

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
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... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • 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

Adding a second monitor 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 an 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 no sound after connecting a second monitor issue on your device.

How do I fix the sound on my laptop after connecting an external monitor?

In this article

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.

How we test, review and rate?

We have worked for the past 6 months on building a new review system on how we produce content. Using it, we have subsequently redone most of our articles to provide actual hands-on expertise on the guides we made.

For more details you can read how we test, review, and rate at WindowsReport.

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.

The solution recommended below will update and repair all your drivers in one swift action, quickly and with the minimal implication from you.

Most common Windows errors and bugs can result from faulty or incompatible drivers. An outdated system can lead to lags, system issues, or even BSoDs.

You can prevent these problems by using an automatic tool that will search and install the correct drivers on your computer with just a few clicks. That's why we recommend you use Outbyte Driver Updater. Here's how to do it:
  1. Download and install the Outbyte Driver Updater app.
  2. Launch the software.
  3. Wait for the app to detect all incompatible drivers.
    OutByte Driver Updater Scan
  4. Afterward, it will show you a list of the drivers found to select the ones to Update or Ignore.
  5. Click on Update & Apply Selected to download and install the newest versions.
  6. Restart your PC to ensure the applied changes.
Outbyte Driver Updater

Outbyte Driver Updater

Use this software and solve all driver-related issues from your PC.
Free trial Download now
Disclaimer: You may need to upgrade the app from the free version to perform specific actions.

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 dual monitor sound is not working, 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 of having no sound when connected to an external monitor on Windows 10.

If you have any other questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section below.

This article covers:Topics: