Have you been facing issues related to the detection of audio devices lately? Even after trying out dozens of different things, you hardly get lucky. So here is an article for you that explains the six best troubleshooting tips that might get your problem solved.
But before we start trying out the different troubleshooting tips, we have to ensure that Windows 10 is not detecting any audio output devices.
Look at the speaker icon in the taskbar. If a small red cross (❌) appears in front of the speaker icon, then surely your computer is not detecting any playback devices.
Troubleshooting tip 1: Check the physical connections
Here is a list of all the physical connection issues that may arise with the 3.5 mm audio jack:
- Dust collection/Oxide formation: If you live in a dusty area, chances are your audio jack might accumulate dust. The simplest way to get rid of the dust is to apply a little lens cleaner or acetone cleaner on an earbud and gently clean the port using it.
- Loose connection: If the speaker/headphone is not plugged in firmly, then your PC might not detect them. Always check if the devices are plugged in properly.
- Plugged in the wrong port: Both the mic and speaker are connected to the computer via the 3.5 mm audio jack. If you plug in your speaker/headphone in the audio input jack, then there’s no way you’re going to hear something out of them. Check the color and symbol of the audio port before plugging anything into them. Red audio ports are for mics, and green audio ports are for speakers/headphones.
- Dead battery, audio device: If you are using a wireless audio device, check its battery. You can try plugging in your device somewhere else (other PCs, TVs, tablets, or smartphones) to see if it is in working condition. If yes, then you should continue with the troubleshooting process.
- Damaged audio jack: If you plug your headphones/speakers in and out a ton of times, then they might get worn out over time. If that happens, they don’t fit properly in the 3.5 mm audio jack. There isn’t much you can do in such cases except getting the port replaced from the service center.
Troubleshooting tip 2: Run the Windows Troubleshooter
If the hardware is fine, let’s move on to the software side. Now, we are going to put Windows Troubleshooter to work. Here’s how:
Step 1: Click on the Speaker icon in the Windows Taskbar.
Step 2: Now, the next steps that you have to do depend on what the problem is. In our case, the troubleshooter detects the audio devices that we have connected to the PC, but in your case, this might not happen. Follow the instructions and try to fix the problems.
There is a good chance that the troubleshooter does not detect anything. In that case, you’ll see something like this:
If that happens, you have no choice. Just proceed to the next troubleshooting tip.
Troubleshooting tip 3: Restart Windows audio services
Step 1: Press the Win + R key on your keyboard to open up ‘Run’.
Step 2: Type in ‘services.msc’ and hit OK.
Windows Services management will open up.
Step 3: Scroll down untill you find the ‘Windows Audio’ service.
Step 4: Right-click on it and press ‘Restart’.
Step 5: After restarting the Windows Audio service, restart the PC too.
Troubleshooting tip 4: Reinstall the audio drivers
Step 1: Right-click on ‘This PC’ icon on the desktop and open ‘Manage’.
Step 2: Navigate to Devices Manager > Sound, Video and Game controllers > Realtek Audio
Do not open Audio inputs and outputs as you won’t be able to change anything related to that if your headphones/speakers are not detected.
Step 3: Right-click on the Realtek Audio and open its properties.
Step 4: Now open the Driver tab in the Realtek audio properties window and Uninstall the driver from here.
Step 5: After the driver is uninstalled, restart your PC.
You don’t have to be concerned about installing the drivers manually again as Windows 10 will automatically install them for you the next time you plug in your audio device.
Troubleshooting tip 5: Switch off HDMI audio
HDMI ports support audio streams too. It is a very versatile port that sends both video and audio together. For the people who connect their monitors using the HDMI port, disabling the HDMI audio might be the thing that fixes everything. That way, the only audio output that will remain is via the 3.5 mm audio jack. Let’s see how that can be done.
Step 1: Right-click on the speaker icon in the taskbar again and press ‘Open sound settings’.
Step 2: In the sound settings, open ‘Manage sound devices’ setting.
Step 3: In the next window, find the HD audio device that might be causing conflicts and disable it.
Step 4: Try restarting your PC and playing something to see if your problem is fixed. If not, let’s try one last thing.
Troubleshooting tip 6: Turn off device plug-in detection
For the devices having two audio output ports (Front and Rear), as soon as headphones are plugged in, the audio output from the rear port is stopped. While this is a very convenient setting, there are times when the software (or hardware) behaves erroneously and disables the rear audio output port.
Disabling the plug-in detection on the front panel audio jack might help.
Step 1: Search for the ‘Realtek’ keyword in the start menu and open ‘Realtek Audio Console’.
Step 2: In the window that opens up, click on ‘Device advanced settings’.
Step 3: On the right side, you’ll get a slider that lets you toggle the jack detection when the device is plugged in. Disable it.
Step 4: Close the program and restart your PC.
One of the suggested troubleshooting tips should work for you. If they don’t, then you can either try completely resetting your PC or rolling back to the previous system restore point (if you have made any). If the issue is related to software, there is no way it wouldn’t get fixed. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything more you can do if the issue is related to the hardware. In such a case, you will have to visit a service center and get your device checked.