1. Check Your Sound Settings
Now, before you do anything, you have to check your sound settings. have you done that? It can be the most obvious things we overlook. Without insulting your computing ability, make sure to check you haven’t accidentally muted Windows 10—it’s easily done.
At the same time, check your:
2. Roll Back or Reinstall Audio Drivers
Drivers have always had an unhappy knack of creating issues. Windows 10 is no different. As Windows 10 takes control of driver updates, sometimes your system ends up with the wrong driver configuration.
How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers
In the early days of Windows 10 (especially following the upgrade cycle from Windows 7, 8, and 8.1) driver updates made a lot of users unhappy. Microsoft has vastly improved the driver update process since that time and manufacturers are now deep into the Windows 10 ecosystem.
As such, new drivers are configured for Windows 10, rather than trying to make an old Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 driver fit.
Windows 10 gives us a few options to fight an irksome driver. First, we can try to simply roll it back to the last good configuration. Right-click the Start button, select Device Manager, and right-click your sound driver, select Properties, and browse to the Driver tab. Press the Roll Back Driver option if available, and Windows 10 will begin the process.
If like the above image you have no option to roll the driver back, you’ll need to either Update or Reinstall the driver. As we’re dealing with audio driver issues, go for a reinstall. This will remove the offending driver during the process, and give your system a nice clean one instead.
Before proceeding with the uninstall, ensure you have the new manufacturer version of the driver. You’ll be able to download them directly from the hardware issuer’s website, or in some cases, via a third-party supplier.
In the same Properties tab, you should note the final option: Uninstall. Click this, and you’ll meet the Confirm Device Uninstall window. Depending on the driver issuer, this window may also contain an option to Delete the driver software for this device. If this is the case, check the box and press OK.
Once you wipe the drivers, restart your system, and install the new driver.
We have previously written about how you can better manage Windows 10 updates and generally run the rule over the at times unruly Windows 10 automatic update system.
3. Update IDT High Definition Audio CODEC
Some systems may encounter issues with their IDT High Definition Audio CODEC. This can be fixed with a manual driver update which allows us to choose the sound driver we wish to use.
Right-click the Start menu and select Device Manager. Expand the Sound, video games and controllers section. If you spot IDT High Definition Audio CODEC, right-click and select Update Driver Software. In the next panel, select Browse my computer for driver software, followed by Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer. This allows us to select from any drivers pre-installed on our system.
4. Fix Realtek Audio
Realtek drives pop-up all-to frequently in forum posts discussing the audio issue. I’ve not experienced issues with Realtek drivers personally, but it does seem to be a common Windows 10 audio issue. There are a couple of fixes for Realtek audio problems below.
7. Try the Audio Troubleshooter
You can also use the built-in audio troubleshooter, allowing Windows 10 to identify and fix its issues. If you’ve used the inbuilt Microsoft troubleshooters before, you know they don’t always catch everything, but it can be worth a shot.
Head to Control Panel > Troubleshooting > Troubleshoot audio playback, and follow the instructions.
We’ve covered some of the most common Windows 10 audio afflictions, and hopefully, you can hear the wonderful world on stereo once again.