How to reinstall audio drivers on the Windows 10 PC: the ultimate guide

Updated: May 04, 2023
6 min read
How to reinstall audio drivers on the Windows 10 PC: the ultimate guide
by Dmytro Sywyi
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

The sound on your device may disappear for various reasons, including the computer's drivers. Before dealing with the problem of the loss of sound, diagnose the PC and speakers for damage. Follow our instructions to troubleshoot the device.

Before we start

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How to troubleshoot the software PC audio issues: 3 step-instruction

Restart the computer and check the cables. If cords are connected to the correct ports but there is still no sound, the problem hides in the sound card or speaker drivers. Reinstall drivers manually. You have three ways to do this: via Device Manager, Control Panel, or with external software.

Diagnose the problem

Find out what causes your problem. Maybe your audio issues were caused by some hardware malfunction in the computer or speakers. The easiest way to do this is to check your devices physically and go to the Device Manager to test a software part.

Firstly, check the hardware. If your speakers fall onto a hard surface or in water, it could be the source of sound issues. Some hardware parts of the audio device are severely damaged. But if the physical test shows that everything is OK, check the software. Maybe you have problems with Windows 10 sound drivers.

Launch the Device Manager app. You have three ways to do this:

  • Call it with the Run app. Hold Win + R combo. Once you open the app, write devmgmt.msc and choose OK to confirm.
  • Right-click on the Windows and find it in the drop-down menu
  • Type it in the search bar near the Windows logo.

Once you are in the app, follow the next instructions:

  1. Find Sound, Video … controllers.
  2. Pick it to expand the list of devices.
  3. Look for a device with a yellow mark near it. This mark shows a critical glitch in the device's driver, which you need to repair.

If you don’t see this crisis mark but still face sound problems, it’s a minor bug. In any case, try to reinstall sound drivers in Windows 10. Choose the Realtek Audio driver and your current speaker driver.

Preparing your sound drivers for reinstallation

How to reinstall audio drivers on the Windows

Perform the error check on your device. Click on Windows and choose Settings → System → Sound → Advanced. Check those sliders are in maximum position. Click the Reset, so the system shuts down volume settings to the default values. You can also try next:

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  • Turn off and then turn on your computer.
  • Replug the cable. It may be moving away from the source of the power supply.
  • Check the sound settings on the computer.
  • Close programs with high CPU usage to optimize PC. They can interfere with performance and sound settings.
  • Upgrade your Windows to the latest version.
  • Connect an audio enhancement device (a system that for clarifying audio recordings by reducing unwanted noise).
  • Analyze your device for malware.
  • Revise your privacy settings.

3 quick strategies to refresh audio drivers

You have three options to reinstall the audio driver Windows 10: two built-in and a third external option. We show you how to freshen up the system’s drivers within 10-15 minutes.

Via the Device Manager

How to reinstall audio drivers on the Windows

Use this easy guide to update audio software:

  1. Right-click on the Windows logo.
  2. Open Device ManagerSound, video … tab.
  3. Find Realtek and right-click on it.
  4. Pick Update Drivers.
  5. If you use external speakers, repeat the same instruction with them.

Sometimes Windows shows that you have up-to-date drivers, while in reality, it’s not true. It happens because Windows doesn’t implement updates immediately, but rather waits until those drives recommend themselves as a stable option. So it can pass a few months after the driver’s release. If you want to reinstall the sound driver Windows 10 this way, you don’t get the latest options, but all drivers definitely work with your PC.

Via Control Panel

How to reinstall audio drivers on the Windows

The second way suits relatively old systems that have Realtek Audio as a separate app. You can reinstall the drivers through the Control Panel. To do it, follow our instructions:

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  1. Launch the Control Panel. You can find it in Settings by typing Control in a search bar. You can also click on the Windows icon and find it in the Windows System menu.
  2. Choose Programms → Programms and Features.
  3. Find a Realtek app and delete it.
  4. Run the latest Realtek codecs software.

Use external software

How to reinstall audio drivers on the Windows

You can manually research each driver on your own. But if you don’t have time, use some external software to reinstall the sound card driver Windows 10. Third-party software may vary in function, but here is an example of its work based on the Driver Booster app:

  1. Download the external app In this case, Driver Booster.
  2. Click on the Next tab twice.
  3. Wait a couple of minutes for the installation to finish.
  4. Start the program and choose Scan.
  5. Detect the wrong drivers or update them.

The DriverHub program will also allow you to get the latest drivers on your computer.

Note: Download it from official websites and choose only reviewed and proven programs you can trust. If it’s still challenging for you, contact Howly experts for help.

Technical assistance center

If you can not figure out how to reinstall sound drivers in Windows 10, contact Howly experts. We will show you what you should do so you can fix this problem on your own next time. It’s a more budget-friendly solution, rather than looking for the local technical center for help.

Once you ask for help in a local center, they do software troubleshooting for you, but they don’t explain all steps and teach you to apply them. So you need to call them whenever you want to troubleshoot your audio. Howly experts fix the computer for you and teach you how to fix it on your own.


What happens if I Uninstall my audio driver?

The only thing that happens when you don't have audio drivers, is that you don't have audio anymore. Nothing else should happen.

Why does my PC suddenly have no sound?

The reason there is no sound on your computer could be that it needs a simple restart. Keep trying different audio devices and see which one provides your computer with sound. It may be that Windows 10 is directing audio to the wrong output device.

How do I reset my audio service?

Press the Win + R key together and then type services. msc in the empty bar and click on Enter. Locate Windows Audio Services in the Service window. Right-click on the Windows Audio Service option and select Restart.


There are a few ways you can update the audio software. If you have an old computer, try a Control Panel. You can also try Device Manager, but beware that you may not get the latest drivers. If you want to save some time, run external software.

The first option is suitable for devices with Windows 7 and earlier versions. The second way is the easiest one, but you don’t get the freshest software. The third way might be helpful if the first two failed to help. You’ll also get the most recent drivers that way.

But before you start, we advise you to check the computer for external damage. Maybe there is no need to reinstall the Windows 10 audio driver, because you just encounter some hardware issues.

How to reinstall audio drivers on the Windows

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