No speaker or headphones are plugged in [FULL GUIDE]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
8 Comments
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  • For some users, Windows 10 is not recognizing audio devices plugged in the PC, especially after a Windows 10 update.
  • There are many causes for this problem but most of them are pretty easy to fix by using our guide.
  • For the most comprehensive collection of articles on Windows, check our Windows 10 page.
  • Visit our Tech Troubleshooting Hub for plenty of solutions to any other PC problems.
no speaker or headphones are plugged in error

There is a common problem circulating on the web about Windows 10 not recognizing audio devices plugged in the machine.

There are many things that can cause this problem depending on your system. However, most of them are fairly easy to fix.

We will go through the most common root-causes of the problem and figure out a working solution for these types of issues.

The majority of people complain that after they upgraded their OS to Windows 10 they lost all sound, their devices not being recognized anymore.

There are more than a few people that are still looking for a working solution, not being able to resolve the issue by restarting the computer or plugging the devices in and out.

Along with the No Speaker or Headphones are plugged in problem, you might also encounter some more sound-preventing issues like:

  • No speakers or headphones are plugged in Windows 10 – A common issue in Windows 10.
  • The speaker headset or headphone is unplugged Windows 10 – A variation of the first issue in Windows 10.
  • Audio device not plugged in Windows 10 – The solutions from this article will also solve this issue.
  • Headphones not plugged in Windows 10 – Occurs when you’re not able to connect your headphones to a computer running Windows 10.

How can I fix problems with speakers and headphones in Windows 10?

  1. Update the Audio driver
  2. Re-enable your sound card
  3. Re-enable disconnected devices
  4. Disable the HDMI sound
  5. Disable Front Panel Jack detection
  6. Run Sound Troubleshooter
  7. Restart Windows Audio service
  8. Perform an SFC scan
  9. Delete Windows updates
  10. Perform a System Restore
  11. Try your headphones/speaker on another computer
  12. No sound in specific apps

1. Update the Audio driver

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager
  2. Find your audio device, right-click it, and select Update driver.
  3. If there are any updates, the installation wizard will install them automatically.
  4. Restart your computer

Update drivers automatically

Downloading and updating drivers manually can permanently damage your system by installing the wrong versions. In order to prevent that, we strongly suggest to do it automatically by using DriverFix.

We have to mention that this tool will also prevent any damage on your PC by downloading and installing the wrong driver versions.

After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution. Below you can find a quick guide on how to do it using DriverFix.

    1. Download and install DriverFix.
    2. Running it will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. The tool will confront the driver versions against its cloud database of over 18 million drivers and recommend proper updates.
    3. In the end, you will get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC.DriverFix automatically update drivers
    4. Look at the list and check the boxes to the left of the drivers you want to install. You can also check the Select All box from the top and install all of them.
DriverFix

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2. Re-enable your sound card

  1. Go to Search, type devicemngr, and open Device Manger
  2. Expand Sound, video and game controllers
  3. Right-click your sound card, and go to Disable
  4. Restart your computer
  5. Go back to Device Manager, and Enable your sound card once again
  6. If you can hear the sound, you problem is resolved

Note: If you’re having any sound card issues, solve them quickly with the useful solutions from this expert guide.


3. Re-enable disconnected devices

  1. Right-click the sound icon in the Taskbar
  2. Click on Playback Devices
  3. Right-click anywhere under the Sound window and choose Show Disabled Devices
  4. If you device is disabled, simply right-click it and select Enable
  5. Restart your computer

4. Disable the HDMI sound

  1. Right-click the sound icon in the taskbar
  2. Click Playback Devices
  3. Right-click the High Definition Audio Device you’re currently using, and select Disable
  4. Restart your computer

Note: If your HDMI isn’t showing up in playback devices, take a look at this guide and solve the problem easily.


5. Disable the Front Panel Jack detection

  1. Go to Search, type realtek hd audio manager, and open Realtek Audio HD Manager
  2. Go to the Speakers tab, and click the folder under Device Advanced settings
  3. Select Disable front panel jack detection
  4. Restart your computer

Realtek HD Audio Manager is not opening in Windows 10? We’ve got the right solutions for you


6. Run Sound Troubleshooter

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Click on the Update & Security, then click on Troubleshoot.
  3. Click Playing Audio, and select Run the troubleshooter.
  4. Follow further on-screen instructions.
  5. Restart your computer.

Note: If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this comprehensive article to solve the issue.


7. Restart the Windows Audio service

  1. Go to Search, type services.msc, and open Services.
  2. Find the Windows Audio service.
  3. If this service is not enabled, right-click it, and select Start. If it’s enabled, right-click it and select Restart.
  4. Wait for the process to finish and restart your computer.

8. Perform an SFC scan

  1. Type cmd in Search, right-click Command Prompt and select Run As Administrator
  2. Enter the following command, and press Enter: sfc/scannow
  3. Wait for the process to finish
  4. Restart your computer

The scannow command has stopped before finishing? We’ve got an easy fix for you


9. Delete Windows updates

  1. Open Settings, click on Updates & Security , and then on Windows Update
  2. Go to Update history and click on Uninstall updates
  3. Find the troublesome update, (it’s usually the latest installed update on your computer) right-click it, and go to Uninstall
  4. Reboot your computer

10. Perform a System Restore

  1. Open Control Panel
  2. Go to System and Security > System.
  3. Under the Control Panel Home menu, click System protection.
  4. Click System Restore.
  5. Choose a Restore point.
  6. Follow further on-screen instructions.
  7. Once you initiate the process, your computer will restart, and System Restore will get it to the selected previous state.

Note: If you can’t open Control Panel on Windows 10, take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.

If you’re interested in more info on how to create a restore point and how would that help you, check out this simple article to find out everything you need to know.


11. Try your headphones/speaker on another computer

And finally, if none of the solutions listed above worked, try your headphones or speakers on another computer. If you keep receiving the same error, you most likely have a hardware problem.

So, it’s time to get new speakers/headphones!


12. No sound in specific apps

If the issue presents itself only in some applications make sure the volume is not set to minimal or disabled from the application option menu or the Windows 10 sounds menu.

Windows 10 has specific sound volume for each of the applications opened on your machine, and to access those you need to tap or left-click the speaker icon on the right side of the taskbar and tap or click the mixer option on the bottom of the window.


That’s about it, we hope at least one of these solutions helped you resolve the annoying No speaker or headphones are plugged in problem in Windows 10.

For any other sound problems in Windows 10, check out this excellent guide to fix it.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments down below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • Not helpful in my case (I have a sound card and no onboard device). I tried every solution I found on web nothing worked. finally I physically removed the sound card device from PC and replugged it, restarted the PC and it started working again! :/

  • when I click playback devices it showing speakers not plugged but in other os(xp) speaker working without any problem

  • This is a very incompetent and useless article. Someone with a brain should show us how to disable Windows’s hateful and faulty “plugged in” detection.

  • What the heck should i do if my speakers doesn’t even show up in playback devices, i search, like The whole internet and noone wrote how to fix it -_-

  • No it did not help. Every suggestion I found on the net I tried. Nothing , helps. Absolutely nothing. Went into Bios to check. Did the above. W 8.1 will not recognize my headphones.Not in front of pc or in back. They should give a warning when they sell this shit.