Fix Sound Not Working Problems

Has the sound has suddenly stopped working on your PC or laptop? There are several reasons sound can stop working and the list below will help you troubleshoot the most common problems.

The steps below are written for Windows 7, however, they do also apply to Windows XP but some of the items in XP will have slightly different names.

Check sound settings in Control Panel

Always start with the basics. More often than not, sound stops working due to muting or incorrect settings. To check your sound output:

Open Control Panel -> Sound

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From here you can view details of your audio devices such as speakers, headphones etc. To check your speakers, select them from the list and click "Properties". You will now be able to view speaker details and volume levels. Check that there is adequate volume and no muting.

Update audio drivers

Missing or out-of-date drivers are a common cause of sound problems. To automatically scan and update your audio drivers, you can download Total PC Health.

To manually check your driver settings:

Open Control Panel -> System. Click on "Device Manager". From the device manager, expand the section related to sound/audio devices. You can then right-click on the device and select "Properties".

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After selecting "Properties" you will see a window that shows the status of the device. As you can see below, the status shows the device working correctly. To view driver details, click on the "Driver" tab.

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Check the Windows Audio Service

Windows has an audio service that must be running otherwise sound and effects will not function properly. To check the Windows Audio Service, do the following:

Open Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services, or you can type "services.msc" in the quick search box.

Look for the service called Windows Audio and check that it is running. Under "Status", it should say "Started".

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If the status is blank or "Disabled", you will need to start the service. Do this by clicking the "Start" link in the left window. You can change the startup settings for this service by double-clicking on the "Windows Audio" service.

fix sound not working

You can start or stop the service from this window. You can also set the startup type. We recommend that you keep this setting as "Automatic". This will ensure that the Windows Audio service starts up everytime you turn on your computer.

Check the DirectX Diagnostics

If none of the above worked, try the DirectX diagnostic tool. type in "dxdiag" in the quick search box. That will provide diagnostic information about sound and video devices.

Laptop users - Check external buttons

Many laptops have external volume control and muting buttons. Double check that none of these are affecting your sound output.


Hopefully by now you have restored sound to your computer. If none of the above worked, it is possible that you have a hardware issue with either your speakers or soundcard.