No speaker or headphones are plugged in [FULL GUIDE]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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no speaker or headphones are plugged in error

There is a common problem circulating on the web about Windows 10 not recognising 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 recognised any more.

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 8 – This issue is especially common in Windows 8.
  • The speaker headset or headphone is unplugged Windows 10 – However, it’s also possible to encounter it in Windows 10.
  • Audio device not plugged in Windows 10 – If you get this error, you can still apply solutions from this article, because it’s basically the same problem.
  • Headphones not plugged in Windows 7 – This issue occurs when you’re not able to connect your headphones to a computer running Windows 7.

Steps to fix problems with speakers and headphones in Windows 10:

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

Solution 1 – Update Audio driver

The very first thing you should try when dealing with sound issues of any kind in Windows 10 is update your audio driver. If you’re not sure how to do that, just follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Search, type devicemngr, and open Device Manager
  2. Find your audio device, right-click it, and go to Update driver software…
  3. Follow further on-screen instructions. If there are any updates, the installation wizard will install them automatically.
  4. Restart your computer

Did you know that the majority of Windows 10 users have outdated drivers?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

Windows can’t automatically find and download new drivers? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

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 Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool.

We have to mention that this tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus and will help you not damaging 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 how to do it.

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver 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.driver updater diagnozing
    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 name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
      driver updater scan 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.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.

If updating your audio drivers didn’t get the job done, you can as well try with updating your sound card driver. To update your sound card driver, just apply the steps from above. If your problem remains unresolved, move on to another solution.

Solution 2 – Re-enable your sound card

Now, we’ll try and disable and enable your sound card again to see if there are any positive changes. Here’s what you need to do:

  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

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

Solution 3 – Re-enable disconnected devices

There’s also a chance you accidentally disabled your speakers or headphones. In that case, all you need to do is re-enable your peripheral, and everything should be working fine.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Right-click the sound icon in the taskbar
  2. Click 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

Solution 4 – Disable HDMI sound

If you’re using a HDMI cable to distribute audio, you’ll have to disable the HDMI sound if you want to use headphones or speakers.

If you’re not sure how to do that, just follow the instructions from below:

  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

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

Solution 5 – Disable Front Panel Jack detection

If you’re using a Realtek sound card, every piece of settings for your headphones or speakers is controlled through the Realtek HD Audio Manager.

So, if the No Speaker or Headphones Are Plugged in error appears, we may need to do some changes in the Realtek HD Audio Manager. Here’s exactly what you should do:

  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? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solutions for you.

Solution 6 – Run Sound Troubleshooter

If you’re running Windows 10 Creators Update or later, you can use Microsoft’s new troubleshooting tool. The new troubleshooter is designed to deal with various system errors, including audio problems.

So, if none of the solutions from above managed to solve the problem, you should try with the Troubleshooter:

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

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

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

Solution 7 – Restart Windows Audio service

The audio system service is essential for playing audio in Windows. Therefore, if this service is disabled, various problems might occur, including the one we’re talking about here. So, make sure the audio service is running.

Here’s what you need to do:

  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.
  5. Restart your computer.

Solution 8 – Perform SFC scan

The SFC scanner is a built-in troubleshooting tool in Windows. Similarly to the above-mentioned Troubleshooter, you can use the SFC scan to deal with various system issues in Windows.

But unlike the Troubleshooter, the SFC scan has no graphical interface, and you’ll have to run it through the Command Prompt.

In case you’re not sure how to do that, just follow these instructions:

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

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look on this guide.

scannow command has stopped before the process finished? Don’t worry, we’ve got an easy fix for you.

Solution 9 – Delete Windows updates

There’s a chance a certain Windows update disrupt the sound on your device. In that case, your best bet is to delete the troublesome update, and wait for Microsoft to release a new (working one).

In case you don’t know how to delete already installed Windows update, just follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Update
  2. Go to Update history > Uninstall updates
  3. Now, 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

Solution 10 – Perform System Restore

Another way to deal with a troublesome update in Windows is to perform System Restore. This tool reverts your computer back to the previous recorded state, and resolves the issues and faulty updates on the way.

Here’s how to perform the System Restore in Windows:

  1. Go to 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 the 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.

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.

If System Restore isn’t working, don’t panic. Check this useful guide and set things right once again.

Solution 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 keep receiving the same error, it’s obvious that you actually have a hardware problem.

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

In the market for the best speakers available right now? Don’t waste another minute and get the right ones for you.

Bonus: 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.

Check out this amazing guide to solve any sound related issues on Windows 10.

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.

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 November 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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