FIX: Windows can’t find audio devices

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • No audio output device is installed error means that you won't hear any sound on your Windows 10 device.
  • The fixes suggested below can be applied by anyone, no tech knowledge required.
  • If you're looking for awesome audio accessories, our Accessories & Peripherals Hub will surely be helpful.
  • Bookmark our Troubleshooting section and be prepared for any similar unexpected situation.
windows can't find audio devices

The No audio output device is installed error occurs when Windows can’t find the audio device. You can see this notification just above the system tray when hovering the cursor over the sound icon.

Consequently, no sound plays when Windows can’t find audio device hardware.

The issue often arises after system upgrades. There are, however, a few potential resolutions for this problem and we’ll discuss them here.

How do I fix No audio output device is installed error?

  1. Reinstall the sound card’s driver
  2. No audio output device is installed
  3. Run the Playing Audio Troubleshooter
  4. Re-enable the sound adapter
  5. Check that Windows Audio Services are enabled
  6. Roll back Windows
  7. Factory reset Windows

1. Reinstall the sound card’s driver

  1. Open Device Manager by pressing the Windows key + R hotkey and entering devmgmt.msc in Run.
  2. Double-click Sound, video and game controllers.
  3. Right-click the audio adapter and select Uninstall.
  4. Select the Delete the driver software for this device option on the dialog box that opens.
  5. Press the Uninstall button.
  6. Reinstall the sound adapter driver by clicking Action and selecting Scan for hardware changes.

Alternatively, you can replace corrupted audio adapter drivers with a dedicated third-party tool like DriverFix.

DriverFix automatically update drivers

To do so, click the button below go to the official website and download the tool.

Install it and open the software’s window. DriverFix will automatically scan for and detect a corrupted or outdated sound card driver.

DriverFix will recommend the compatible updates not just for your audio driver, but for any outdated software it will find so that you can choose the preferred ones.

DriverFix

DriverFix

Use this fast and reliable method of detecting and updating all your device drivers and restore your audio options in Windows 10.
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2. Run the Playing Audio Troubleshooter

  1. Open the troubleshooter by pressing the Windows key + Q hotkey.
  2. Next, enter the keyword troubleshoot in Cortana’s search box.
  3. Click Troubleshoot to open the Settings app.
  4. Select Playing Audio and click Run the troubleshooter.
  5. Then the troubleshooter’s window will open and might provide some resolutions for the No audio output error. Go through the troubleshooter’s suggested fixes.

3. Re-enable the sound adapter

  1. Press the Windows key + X hotkey and choose Device Manager.
  2. Double-click Sound, video and game controllers to expand that category.
  3. Then right-click the audio adapter listed there and select Disable device.
  4. To re-enable it, right-click the audio adapter and select Enable device.

4. Check the Windows Audio Services are Enabled

  1. Launch the Run accessory by pressing the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  2. Input services.msc and click OK.
  3. Double-click Windows Audio.
  4. Select Automatic on the Startup type drop-down menu if the service is disabled.
  5. Press the Start button.
  6. Press the Apply button.
  7. Click OK to close the window.
  8. Then double-click Windows Endpoint Audio Builder to open the properties window for it.
  9. Select the Automatic startup type option, and press the Start button.
  10. Remember to click Apply, and press the OK button.

Keep in mind that Windows Audio and Windows Audio Endpoint Builder are two services that need to be enabled for audio devices.


5. Roll back Windows

Rolling Windows back to a restore point could fix the No audio output device error if you can select to restore the platform to a time when you know there were no audio issues.

The System Restore utility will undo system changes after a selected restore point.

  1. Open the Run accessory.
  2. Open System Restore by inputing rstrui in Run and click the OK.
  3. Press the Next button to open the list of restore points.
  4. Users need to select Show more restore points to get a full list.
  5. Select a restore point date that will revert Windows back.
  6. Press the Next button.
  7. Then users can provide confirmation for the restore point by pressing the Finish button.

6. Factory reset Windows

  1. Open the Cortana app by pressing the Windows key + Q hotkey.
  2. Enter reset in the search box and select Reset this PC.
  3. Press the Get started button.
  4. Select the Keep my Files option.
  5. Press the Reset button to confirm.

As you might imagine, a factory reset enables you to reinstall Windows 10 and retaining your important files.

These are some resolutions that should fix the No audio output error when Windows can’t find audio device hardware.

If the resolutions above don’t restore audio, you might need replacement sound cards.

We hope that this article was helpful. Feel free to tell us what solutions worked for you – use the comments section.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and was revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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