Skype can’t access your sound card? We have the best fixes

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Skype is an instant messaging application with millions of users worldwide.
  • Issues with Skype can occur, and many users reported that Skype can’t access their sound card.
  • Fixing this problem is easy, and you just need to allow Skype to access your microphone and update your audio drivers.
  • Are you having more issues with Skype? If so, be sure to check our Skype hub, for more useful guides.
skype sound card problems
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Sound cards serve as the ultimate controllers of all audio functions on computer systems.

Hence, every program (system or installed) that hosts an audio (or video) function requires a seamless connection to the sound card, to enable it function properly. One of such programs is Skype.

Skype is an instant messaging app, which is prominent for its video calling functionality.

This calling function significantly relies on computer’s in-built sound system, for recording sounds (outgoing calls) and receiving sounds (incoming calls). In this regard, the sound card is a very important component.

However, at times, Skype users often encounter the Skype can’t access your sound card error. In this case, the app is unable to use the computer’s microphone.

What causes Skype error: Can’t access your sound card?

There could be a myriad of reasons for the Skype can’t access your sound card error. The most notorious of these, however, are system updates and Windows upgrades.

These often result in some form of system modifications, which remove Skype‘s permission to access the sound card and use the microphone.

Another notable cause of this error is an old and outdated sound card driver. The idea is that, a freshly updated Windows system that operates on outdated drivers is liable to encounter various forms of errors.

As such, outdated sound card drivers running on newly updated computers will most likely result in access error for Skype and other audio-related programs.

Aside the aforementioned causes, a whole lot things could cause the Skype audio error.

However, you don’t have to worry much, as we have compiled comprehensive solutions, to help you resolve this issue. Follow with rapt attention!

How to I fix Skype can’t access your sound card error?

1. Allow programs to access your computer sound system

For Windows 8 and older versions:

  1. Close your Skype app.
  2. Click on the Start button and navigate to Control Panel.
  3. Change the window’s view to Category and select Hardware and Sound.hardware and sound control panel
  4. On the displayed options, select Sound.
  5. Navigate to the Recording tab, located at the top left corner of your screen. This will reveal to you the type of microphone you are using.
  6. Click on the displayed Microphone and select Properties, which is below the microphone icon, by the right hand side.microphone properties
  7. On the displayed window, navigate to the base of your screen and locate Device usage drop-down menu.
  8. On the drop-down options, select Use this device (enable).enable microphone
  9. Scroll up and navigate to the right hand side to locate the Advanced Click on the tab.
  10. Locate Exclusive mode.
  11. Under this mode, locate the Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device checkbox and uncheck the box
  12. On the same window, locate the Give exclusive mode applications priority checkbox and uncheck the box.exclusive mode microphone settings
  13. Click Apply to save changes.
  14. Repeat the process for Speaker device and close the window.
  15. Reopen Skype and check if the Skype can’t access your sound card error still persists.

For Windows 10:

  1. Close Skype.
  2. Click on the Start
  3. Type Settings and click on Settings on the pop up options.
  4. Locate Privacy and click on it.
  5. Locate App permissions by the left hand section of your screen and click on it.
  6. Locate Microphone and click on it.
  7. Check if the Allow access to the microphone on this device pop up option is On. If not, change it to On.let apps use my microphone
  8. Locate Allow apps to access your microphone and set it to On.
  9. Locate Skype under installed apps, set the slider to On, under Skype.
  10. Relaunch Skype and check if the error is still there.

By default, Windows computers allow programs to access the microphone.

However, due to some changes, tweaks, scans, repairs or updates, this default setting might be disrupted. Hence, a program like Skype may be denied access to the system’s microphone.

Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in December 2018 and was revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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