Fix: Skype problem with playback device in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic avatar. By: Milan Stanojevic
6 minute read

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Although Skype is one of the most popular messaging services, certain issues can appear once in a while. Windows 10 users reported that Skype has problem with playback device, but fortunately for you, there is a solution available.

Problems with playback device can be troublesome, especially because you won’t be able to hear the other person during a call, but you can fix these problems by following one of our solutions.

But first, here are some more examples of this problem:

  • Skype call failed problem with playback device – If you’re experiencing problem with a playback device, you won’t be able to make any calls with Skype. But you’ll probably be able to resolve the problem with the solutions below.
  • Skype cannot access sound card Windows 10 – You’re most likely experiencing the problem with playback device if Skype is unable to access your sound card.

Skype problem with playback device in Windows 10

Table of contents:

  1. Delete audio device
  2. Temporarily disable audio device
  3. Restart Skype
  4. Make sure the correct playback device is set in Skype
  5. Uncheck Automatically adjust speaker settings
  6. Enable and disable your speakers
  7. Turn off any audio programs running in the background
  8. Reset Skype configuration files
  9. Make sure your audio driver is up to date
  10. Reinstall Skype
  11. Switch to the UWP version
  12. Run Audio Troubleshooter

Fix: Playback device not working in Skype

Solution 1 – Delete audio device

Problems with playback device in Skype are usually caused by your audio device. In order to fix this issue, it’s advised to uninstall your audio driver, and to do that, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Device Manager from the list.
    device-manager
  2. Navigate to Sound, video and game controllers section and locate your audio device.
  3. Right-click the audio device and choose Uninstall.
    uninstall-driver
  4. After your audio device has been uninstalled, restart your computer and Windows 10 should install it automatically.
  5. Check if the problem still persists.

Solution 2 – Temporarily disable audio device

If you’re having a problem with playback device in Skype, you might want to temporarily disable your audio device. To do that, do the following:

  1. Open Device Manager. You can open Device Manager by pressing Windows Key + X and choosing Device Manager from the menu.
  2. When Device Manager opens, locate your audio device, right click it and choose Disable.
    device-manager-disable
  3. Right-click the device again, and choose Enable from the menu.
  4. Close Device Manager and check if the problem still persists.

Solution 3 – Restart Skype

Few users reported that problems with playback device can be fixed simply by restarting Skype. To do that, just find Skype icon on the Taskbar, right-click it and choose Quit. After you’ve closed Skype, start it again and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 4 – Make sure the correct playback device is set in Skype

Some users have multiple audio devices available, and by accidentally selecting the wrong audio device, you can cause the problems with playback device in Skype. To fix this issue, it’s advised that you manually select the playback device in Skype, and to do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Open Skype and choose Tools > Options.
  2. Navigate to Audio settings and expand Speakers section.
    skype-audio-devices
  3. Select the proper audio device and click Save to save changes.
  4. Check if the issue is resolved. You might have to try several different audio devices before you find the one that works for you.

Solution 5 – Uncheck Automatically adjust speaker settings

Few users reported that Skype problems with playback can be fixed by turning off Automatically adjust speaker settings option. To turn this option off, just navigate to Tools > Options > Audio settings in Skype. Navigate to Speakers section, uncheck Automatically adjust speaker settings and click Save to save changes.

Solution 6 – Enable and disable your speakers

If you’re having problems with playback device in Skype, you should try disabling and enabling your speakers. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Right click the speaker icon in the bottom right corner and from the menu choose Playback devices.
    playback-devices
  2. Right-click on the empty space in Playback Devices window and make sure both Show Disabled Devices and Show Disconnected Devices are checked.
    show-disabled-devices
  3. Right click your audio device and choose Disable from the menu.
    disable-speaker
  4. Right click the device again and choose Enable.
  5. Click Apply and OK to save changes.

Solution 7 – Turn off any audio programs running in the background

According to users, you can fix the problem with playback device by turning off any applications that are using your sound card. For example, if you have multimedia player running in the background you might want to disable it before you start a Skype call.

Solution 8 – Reset Skype configuration files

If you’re having problem with playback device on Skype, you might want to try resetting Skype configuration files. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Close Skype.
  2. Press Windows Key + R and enter %appdata%. Press Enter or click OK.
    appdata-run

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  4. Locate Skype folder and rename it to Skype.old. Keep in mind that by renaming your Skype folder your message history will be removed from Skype, but it will still be available in Skype.old folder.
  5. After you’ve renamed Skype folder, start Skype again and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 9 – Make sure your audio driver is up to date

Problems with playback device in Skype can occur if your audio driver isn’t up to date, and if that’s the case, it’s advised you update your audio driver. To do that, just visit your motherboard or sound card manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your device. After installing the latest drivers, playback issue should be resolved.

Update drivers manually

If you don’t want the hassle of updating drivers manually, we strongly suggest to do it automatically by using Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool. This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best automatized solution. Below you can find a quick guide how to do it:

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater.driver updater start 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.
    3. driver update dignozingUpon 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.

driver updater updates finished

Note: 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.

Solution 10 – Reinstall Skype

Users suggest that playback device problem can be fixed by reinstalling Skype, so make sure to try that. Few users claim that they managed to fix this problem by installing older version of Skype, so you might want to try that as well.

Solution 11 – Switch to the UWP version

If you can’t make a call with a standard Desktop version of Skype, try using the new UWP version. Microsoft has been heavily insisting on using this version lately. Truth be told, it’s still not the most stable app out there, but it’s improving.

You don’t need to install the UWP version of Skype, as it’s already pre-installed on your system. So, just give it a try.

Solution 12 – Run Audio Troubleshooter

And finally, if none of the solutions from above managed to solve the problem, we’re going to try Windows’ built-in troubleshooting tool. Here’s how to run it:

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Head over to Updates & Security > Troubleshooting.
  3. Find Recording Audio and click it.
  4. Now, go to Run the troubleshooter.
  5. Follow further on-screen instructions and let the wizard find any issues.
  6. Restart your computer.

With playback device problems you won’t be able to perform Skype calls at all, and that can seriously affect your Skype experience. We covered several major Skype issues in the past, and if you’re having Skype Error 0x80070497 or if you can’t close Skype in Windows 10, feel free to check some of our other Skype-related articles.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patented Technologies (requires upgrade).

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