Here are some solutions for getting proper sound from your computer. These solutions can also help if you don't hear any sounds from your computer or from a sound device connected to your computer, such as a microphone or speakers. For a step-by-step tutorial to help you identify and fix common sound problems, go to No sound in Windows.

You can also try running a troubleshooter to diagnose and fix common sound playback problems.

To run a sound playback troubleshooter

  1. Click this button:

    Picture of a Fix it button
    Fix this problem

  2. In the File Download dialog box, click Run, and then follow the steps in the wizard.

Hiển thị tất cả

I can't hear sound from my computer.

There are a few simple things to check first:

  • Make sure your computer has a sound card.

    You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.

    1. Open Device Manager by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Device Manager. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    2. Expand the Sound, video and game controllers category. If a sound card is listed, you have one installed. If no sound card is listed, You will need to install one. See Install or remove a sound card.

      Note

      • If you think you have a sound card installed but you don’t see it under the Sound, video and game controllers category, expand the Other devices category and check any devices listed there.

    3. If there is a yellow question mark next to the name of the sound card, there might be a problem. Right-click the name of the sound card, and then click Properties.

    4. Click the General tab, and then look in the Device status box to identify problems with the sound card.

  • Make sure your speakers are plugged into a working power source and turned on.

  • Make sure your speakers are correctly connected to the computer.

    On your speakers, find the cable that plugs into your computer. Make sure that the speaker cable is plugged into the speakers and the correct jack on the computer. For example, if the cable is a 1/8 inch cable, there should be a round jack for it on the back of the computer. If it is a universal serial bus (USB) cable, it will plug into any USB port on your computer.

  • Make sure that the speaker volume is not muted or turned down too low.

    1. Open Volume Control by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then, under Audio Devices and Sound, clicking Adjust system volume.

    2. Under Main Volume, move the slider up or down to raise or lower the volume.

    Note

    • Some mobile PCs have an external volume control on the outside of the case. If you're using a mobile PC, check the external volume control.

  • Make sure your headphones are not plugged into the line out (headphone) jack of your sound card or computer (unless you want to be listening with headphones rather than speakers). When you plug in headphones, most computers automatically cut the sound to the speakers.

If these steps don’t solve the problem, check the information that came with your computer and speakers or go to the manufacturer's website.

Sound from my speakers is crackled or distorted.

  • Make sure your speakers are correctly connected to your computer.

    On your speakers, find the cable that plugs into your computer. Make sure that the speaker cable is plugged into the speakers and the correct jack on the computer. For example, if the cable is a 1/8 inch cable, there should be a round jack for it on the back of the computer. If it is a USB cable, it will plug into any USB port on your computer.

  • If the music in your library skips or the audio breaks up when you play it in Windows Media Player, there might be a problem with the audio driver installed on your computer. Typically, this type of problem only occurs toward the end of songs (in the last 20 seconds or so).

    In some cases, you can work around the problem by disabling optional speaker effects that are collectively known as enhancements. If disabling speaker effects solves the problem, you might need to update your audio driver.

    For more information, see How do I stop my music from skipping or breaking up when I play it?

If these steps don’t fix the problem, check the information that came with your computer and speakers or go to the manufacturer's website.

I have a sound card in my computer, but Windows doesn't recognize it.

For Windows to recognize your sound card, you must find and install a compatible driver for your sound card. Most sound cards require driver software to work properly. Be sure that you have installed any software discs that came with the device. If you don't have a disc or the software on the disc does not solve the problem, follow these steps:

  1. Check if a driver for your sound card is available through Windows Update. For more information, see Install Windows updates.

  2. If Windows Update does not find a driver for your sound card, visit the website of the sound card manufacturer to check if a driver is available. If one is available, download it. If not, contact the manufacturer.

  3. Open Device Manager by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Device Manager. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  4. In Device Manager, look for a sound card under Sound, video and game controllers and confirm that Windows does not recognize your card.

  5. Close Device Manager.

  6. Open Control Panel by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel.

  7. In the Search box in Control Panel, type add hardware.

  8. Click Install drivers for older devices with Add Hardware wizard. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

I found a new driver for my sound card, but I'm not sure how to install it.

Windows Update can search for updated drivers and install them automatically, but if you already have a new driver you want to install, you can do this yourself. Out-of-date drivers can cause sound problems, so it is a good idea to install the latest driver for your sound card. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Device Manager. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  2. In Device Manager, locate your sound card under Sound, video and game controllers, and then double-click the device name.

  3. Click the Driver tab, and then click Update Driver.

I'm having trouble installing my sound card and wonder if it is compatible with Windows Vista.

To find out if your hardware is compatible with Windows Vista, go to the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor website. This website contains the information that used to be on the Windows Hardware Compatibility List.

I’m having trouble getting a portable music player, microphone, or other audio device to work with my computer.

You can use the line-in connection on your sound card to connect a portable music player, microphone, or other audio input device to your computer.

However, the line-in connection to your sound card is muted by default. This means that if you plug an audio device into this port, it will not produce any sound on your computer until you enable sound for the line-in connection.

Picture of the ports on the back of a sound card
Most sound cards have at least one line-out port to connect speakers and a line-in port to connect an audio input device

To enable sound for the line-in connection

  1. Open Audio Devices and Sound Themes by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Sound.

  2. Click the Playback tab, click Speakers, and then click Properties.

  3. Click the Levels tab, and then, under Line In, click the Mute button Picture of the Mute button to enable sound for the line-in connection.
Picture of the Speakers Properties dialog box
The line-in connection is muted by default

I've tried all the solutions here and still can't get my sound to work properly.

Some sound problems can't be solved by the solutions listed above. For example, problems can occur with specific models of hardware, such as a certain sound card, music player, or headset. It might help to check the Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) to see if it contains any information about your sound hardware.

If you’re stuck, here are some Knowledge Base webpages to start with:

You can also check for support information from your hardware manufacturer. They might have information about problems with your specific model of computer or sound card: