Why is there no sound from my computer?
This article deals with problems of sound in Windows where you cannot hear any sound (we have other articles dealing with distorted sound issues)
There can be a number of different causes of Sound problems, it makes sense to rule out the most obvious ones first.
Check that speakers and other cables are connected
This may seem obvious but it is actually the most common reason for no sound on a Windows computer. If you have external speakers, check the connection with the PC. If possible, use another PC or laptop to ensure that the speakers are working properly.
Check that the sound is not muted
This may again seem very obvious but it is all too easy to overlook!
If you have external speakers then first check the volume adjuster to ensure it is not turned down fully. To ensure that internal speakers are not muted you will need to navigate to the sound controller. There is often a sound icon on the taskbar which you can use as a shortcut. To adjust the sound. click the little speaker icon in your taskbar and slide up the volume or toggle the ‘mute’ option if already muted (if the speaker icon has a line through it then the sound is indeed muted). If the speaker icon is not showing on your taskbar you can right-click the clock in the taskbar and choose Properties, then turn the Volume switch to on.
Alternatively, you can adjust your PC’s volume via the sound area in the ‘Hardware and Sound’ category accessed through the ‘Control Panel’ as shown in the image below (screen shown is from Windows 8).
If none of the above solutions fix your sound issue and you are still experiencing ‘no sound’ in Windows, then the problem is most likely with either your Sound Card or your Sound Drivers.
‘No Sound’ resulting from Sound Card problems
To find out if your Sound Card is the problem, you will need to access the Device Manager.
- Go to Start > Control Panel
- Select Device Manager
- Go to Sound, Video and Game Controllers in the device list and click the ‘+‘ sign to expand the list
- Right-click on the audio device and select Properties. This will show details about the sound card and whether it is working properly. A problem will be indicated by an icon such as an exclamation mark within a yellow triangle
- This may indicate a problem with the sound card or the associated Drivers
‘No Sound’ resulting from missing/ out-of-date Sound Drivers
Sound Drivers need to be kept up-to-date and be appropriate to the device and Operating System in question. Missing or out-of-date audio device drivers is one of the main reasons for users experiencing sound problems on their windows computer. If you have the original Drivers disk for the audio device, then you should try and reinstall the Drivers (always do a backup first).
To check if the problem is with your Sound Drivers, you can run a driver update tool. You can then use the information from the Drivers report to track down the Drivers yourself, or you can choose to register the software to run automatic Driver Updates.