Hardware problems can be caused by outdated drivers or by ones that aren’t working properly. Make sure your audio driver is up to date and update it if needed. If that doesn't work, try to uninstall the audio driver (it will reinstall automatically). If that doesn't work, try using the generic audio driver that comes with Windows. If you're having audio issues after installing updates, try rolling back your audio driver. 

To update your audio driver automatically 

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type device manager, then select it from the results.

  2. Select the arrow next to Sound, video and game controllers to expand it.

  3. Right-click the listing for your sound card or audio device, such as headphones or speakers, select Update driver, then select Search automatically for updated driver software. Follow the instructions to complete the update. 
    Right-click the device listing and select Update driver

    search automatically for updated driver software to update audio driver

If Windows doesn't find a new driver, look for one on the device manufacturer's website and follow those instructions. If that doesn't work, try uninstalling your audio driver. 

To uninstall your audio driver 

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type device manager, then select it from the results.

  2. Select the arrow next to Sound, video and game controllers to expand it.

  3. Right-click the listing for your sound card or audio device, select Uninstall device, select the Delete the driver software for this device check box, and then select Uninstall
    Delete the driver software for this device and uninstall

  4. Restart your PC.

  • Important Note: Save documents and any other current work before you restart.

  • This restart will automatically prompt your PC to reinstall your audio driver.

  • To restart, select Start  > Power > Restart .

If those options didn’t work, try using the generic audio driver that comes with Windows. 

To use the generic audio driver that comes with Windows 

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type device manager, then select it from the results.

  2. Select the arrow next to Sound, video and game controllers to expand it.

  3. Right-click the name your sound card or audio device, then select Update driver Browse my computer for driver software Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.

  4. Select the audio device for the driver you want to update, select Next, and then follow the instructions to install it. 

If these steps didn't solve your audio issue, visit your device manufacturer’s website and install the most recent audio/sound drivers for your device. Following is an example of a driver download page for a sound device manufacturer. 

Dell drivers and downloads OEM example

If you have audio problems after installing updates 

If your audio was working before you ran Windows Update and now isn’t working, try rolling back your audio driver. 

To roll back your audio driver 

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type device manager, then select it from the results.

  2. Select the arrow next to Sound, video and game controllers to expand it.

  3. Right-click the listing for your sound card or audio device, then select Properties.

  4. Select the Driver tab, then select Roll Back Driver
    Roll back the audio driver in Device Manager

  5. Read and follow the instructions and then select Yes if you want to roll back your audio driver.

If rolling back your audio driver didn't work or wasn't an option, you can try to restore your PC from a system restore point. 

Restore your PC from a system restore point 

When Windows updates are installed on your PC, a system restore point is created automatically in case problems arise. Try restoring from that point and see if that fixes your sound problems. For more info, see "Restore from a system restore point" in Recovery options in Windows 10

Need more help?

Expand your skills
Explore Training
Get new features first
Join Microsoft Insiders

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Any additional feedback? (Optional)

Thank you for your feedback!

×