By: -

Audio test tones are the only way to know if your Windows computer is audible or not. When you turn on your Windows, it plays test tones through your speakers (or connected audio devices).

If your speaker failed to play test tone, then your Windows PC has got a serious problem. The ‘failed to play test tone’ error amounts to literally having no sound on your computer.

You need to find a fix for “failed to play test tone” error before it disables audio for other services on your Windows 10/8/7 computer.

How Does “Failed to Play Test Tone” Error in Windows 10?

It is a complicated error that revolves around various issues with software and hardware components of your Windows computer. In Windows 10/8/7, the ‘failed to play test tone’ error occurs due to multiple reasons, such as –

Advertisement
  • Default audio device incompatible with outdated drivers
  • USB sound card or other USB audio device facing a technical error
  • Few apps having exclusive control over installed audio drivers
  • Sound card failures
  • Unable to access audio device on the laptop
  • Sound disabled on the default audio device

To play test tone on your Windows 10 PC, you need to consider several such factors that could cause the error.

Now, let’s learn how to fix the Windows 10 “failed to play test tone” error.

10+ Ways to Fix “Failed to Play Test Tone” Error in Windows 10

There are dozens of ways to fix this error. But, you must try each of the solutions one-by-one. Find the right solution and understand the cause of the problem to fix “failed to play test tone” error effectively on your Windows system.

1. Tweak Your Speaker Settings

A simple tip can be a quick fix to “failed to play test tone” error in Windows 10. If your computer’s sound output is set for Quadraphonic speakers, then change the configuration to ‘5.1 multichannel’ speakers.

2. Use Tools (SFC and DISM) to Repair Corrupted Windows Files

“Failed to play test tone” error in Windows 10 could occur due to corrupted files. If system files linked to Windows Audio service are damaged, you can repair and restore them with two Microsoft Windows tools.

Repair corrupted files with System File Checker (SFC)

To run an SFC scan,

  • Go to the Start menu
  • Type “command prompt” and hit the Enter key
  • Right-click on Command Prompt program (the top search result)
  • Click on ‘Run as administrator’ from the context menu

Use Tools (SFC and DISM) to Repair Corrupted Windows Files

Advertisement
  • In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press the Enter key to execute it – sfc /scannow

Use Tools (SFC and DISM) to Repair Corrupted Windows Files

Now, allow the SFC tool to scan your Windows 10 computer. It will take a few minutes. Thereafter, you’d see the results of the SFC scan.

Damaged files detected with SFC scan are automatically repaired or replaced. If the tool is unable to fix any file, it shows the name of the corrupted file in the Command Prompt window.

After an SFC scan, restarting your PC can help your Windows operating system to load the repaired system files properly. This possibly solves the “failed to play test tone” error in Windows 10 for several users.

Fix damaged files with Deployment Image Servicing & Management (DISM) Tool

You can also run the Windows PowerShell program as administrator and use the SFC tool to fix corrupted files. Another effective tool to do so is the DISM tool.

To run a DISM scan,

  • Open the Command Prompt as admin (shown above)
  • Type the command “dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth” and hit the Enter key

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 17_48_28-Command Prompt.png

Let the DISM scan complete in the next fifteen minutes. After the scan is complete, check for the “failed to play test tone” error.

If this fixes the ‘no sound’ problem for your Windows 10, then keep scanning your PC with DISM tool whenever possible.

3. Fix with Sound Troubleshooter

Your Windows 10 can troubleshoot the “failed to play test tone” error. It can automatically repair issues that cause this error.

By running the Sound Troubleshooter program, you can give a shot at fixing the “failed to play test tone” error automatically.

To use Sound Troubleshooter,

  • Open the Start menu and click on the gear icon (Settings app)
  • In the Settings window, go to Update & security

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 17_56_00-Settings.png

  • Here, click on Troubleshoot
  • Choose “Playing Audio” under its right pane and click on Run the troubleshooter button below

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 17_56_00-Settings.png

  • Allow the Sound Troubleshooter to detect problems and find a possible fix
  • When it finds the fix, click on Apply this fix
  • Follow the onscreen instructions and restart your PC

For Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, you can use the Sound Troubleshooter as follows –

  • Click on the Start menu search box and search for “control panel
  • Open the Control Panel window and click on Troubleshooting link

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 18_06_29-Playing Audio 4.png

  • On the left, click on View all link

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 18_06_29-Playing Audio 4.png

  • Select ‘Playing Audio’ and click on Next

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 18_06_29-Playing Audio 4.png

 

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 18_06_29-Playing Audio 4.png

This method may temporarily fix the sound issues on your Windows computer. You may need to run the Troubleshooter the next time you face the “failed to play test tone” error in Windows 10.

4. Turn off Audio Enhancements for Playback Devices

Disabling the audio effects can remove playback sound issues. It can help your Windows to play test tones clearly and bypass the ‘no sound’ issue with your speaker.

On your Windows 10 desktop, you’ll find the sound icon in system tray section of the taskbar.

  • Right-click on the sound icon
  • Click on ‘Playback devices’ from the context menu
  • This opens the Sound properties window
  • Under the Playback tab, select Speakers

Turn off Audio Enhancements for Playback Devices

  • Click on ‘Properties’ button below
  • Go to Enhancements tab in the Speakers Properties window
  • Tick the box for Disable all enhancements (or Disable all sound effects)

Turn off Audio Enhancements for Playback Devices

  • Hit the Apply and OK button to save changes

This method has successfully fixed the “failed to play test tone” error for many Windows 10 users.

5. Reset your Windows Audio Service

The most effective way to solve this error is restarting the Windows Audio service. Here’s how you do it.

  • Press-hold the Windows key and hit the R key
  • This opens the Run dialog
  • Type “services.msc” and click on OK

Reset your Windows Audio Service

  • In the Services windows, go to Windows Audio from the names of services
  • Right-click on Windows Audio service

Reset your Windows Audio Service

  • Click on ‘Restart’ from the context menu

Follow these quick steps and get your audio devices such as speakers or headsets when they failed to play test tone.

6. Try a Different Sample Rate for Windows Playback devices

When headsets failed to play test tone or when new speakers failed to play test tone, configuring the audio quality is the perfect fix for your computer.

  • Go to system tray section on your Windows 10 taskbar
  • Right-click on the sound icon
  • Click on ‘Playback devices
  • In the Sound window and under the Playback tab, click on ‘Properties’ button

Try a Different Sample Rate for Windows Playback devices

  • Go to the Advanced tab in Speakers Properties window
  • Now, change the default sample rate from ‘16-bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality)’ to ‘16 bit, 48000 Hz (DVD Quality)

Try a Different Sample Rate for Windows Playback devices

  • Click on Apply and OK to save changes

If the new sample rate is unable to fix “failed to play test tone” error in Windows 10, then you can switch to older sample rate.

Follow the same steps, and click on ‘Restore Defaults’ button in the Advanced tab on Speakers Properties window.

7. Disable Exclusive Mode for Playback Devices

You can stop applications from controlling your audio drivers exclusively. This can fix your Windows 10 when the speakers are failed to play test tone.

To disable the ‘Exclusive Mode’,

  • Right-click on the sound icon from the desktop taskbar (see system tray section)
  • Click on Playback devices
  • Now, go to Playback tab in the Sound window
  • Select the default device and click on Properties button

Disable Exclusive Mode for Playback Devices

  • In the Speakers Properties window, go to Advanced tab
  • Below the Default Format section, there is Exclusive Mode section
  • Uncheck the box for – Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device

Disable Exclusive Mode for Playback Devices

  • Click on Apply and OK to save changes

Check if this fixes the “failed to play test tone” error or not.

8. Set a Default Communication Device

An audio device plugged into your Windows 10 computer fails to play test tone when it isn’t set as the computer’s default communication device. To fix this,

  • Right-click on the sound icon (from your desktop taskbar)
  • Click on Playback devices
  • In the Sound window, right-click on any audio device
  • Click on ‘Set as Default Communication Device’ from the dropdown menu
  • Right-click again
  • Now, click on ‘Set as default
  • Click on Apply and OK to save changes
  • Restart your PC

If the error still shows up, go ahead and try fixing the audio drivers on your Windows computer.

9. Check Your Audio Drivers

Outdated audio drivers can easily trigger the ‘failed to play test tone’ error. So, you can choose to reinstall the audio driver for resetting it to default.

  • Press-hold Windows key and hit the R key to open Run dialog
  • Type “devmgmt.msc” in the box and click on OK

Check Your Audio Drivers

  • In the Device Manager window, navigate through the list and expand Sound, video and game controllers

Check Your Audio Drivers

  • Click on ‘Uninstall’ and follow the setup wizard instructions to remove your audio driver
  • Now, restart your PC

During the bootup, your Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs the generic audio drivers.

If some driver updates had caused the “failed to play test tone” error in your PC, then rolling back the audio drivers could be a potential fix.

10. Remove Third-Party Audio Drivers, Switch to Default Drivers

Most of us, including me, prefer installing new audio drivers on their Windows computers. A new audio driver may not work well with some Windows computers.

System update issues or incompatibility with playback devices of the new audio driver can cause the “failed to play test tone” error in Windows 10.

You can manually remove third-party audio drivers and restore the default audio driver to fix “no test tone sound” error on a Windows 10/8/7 computer.

  • Open the Run dialog (press Windows + R key)
  • Type “devmgmt.msc” and press the Enter key

Check Your Audio Drivers

  • In the Device Manager window, expand the list for Sound, video and game controllers
  • In most Windows computers, High Definition Audio Device (AMD) is the default driver
  • Excluding this driver, right-click on other audio driver(s)
  • Click on ‘Uninstall’ from the dropdown menu

Check Your Audio Drivers

  • In the Uninstall prompt window, put a check for ‘Delete the driver software from this device
  • Click on Uninstall again

Now, the driver has been uninstalled. Click on the ‘Scan for hardware changes’ icon in the Device Manager taskbar. Your Windows computer switches back to default audio driver automatically.

  • Unable to install High Definition Audio Device?

Sometimes, the “failed to play test tone” sound issue may persist even after switching the audio driver to default. Your Windows 10 can fail to install the High Definition Audio Device (default audio driver for Windows).

To fix this,

  • Open the Device Manager and go to the audio driver (as shown above)
  • Right-click on the active driver
  • Click on ‘Update Driver Software

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 18_46_44-Update Driver Software - High Definition Audio Device.png

  • Now, from the onscreen options, select – Browse my computer for driver software

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 18_46_44-Update Driver Software - High Definition Audio Device.png

  • Then, click on Let me pick from the list of device drivers on my computer

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 18_46_44-Update Driver Software - High Definition Audio Device.png

  • Select ‘High Definition Audio Device’ from the list and click on Next

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 18_46_44-Update Driver Software - High Definition Audio Device.png

  • If a prompt throws up, click on Yes to continue

Now, the default audio driver – High Definition Audio Device – is successfully installed on your Windows computer. Check if the error still shows up on your PC.

11. Fix with Registry Editor

Changing the security permissions could also solve the “failed to play test tone” error. In Windows 10, you can use the Registry Editor to manage permissions set for your audio device.

  • Open the Run dialog (press Windows + R key)
  • Type “regedit” and click on OK
  • Now, browse to the following address from the left pane –
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
      • SOFTWARE
        • Microsoft
          • Windows
            • CurrentVersion
              • MMDevices
                • Audio
  • Right-click on Audio key
  • Click on Permissions from the menu

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 18_56_46-Advanced Security Settings for Audio.png

  • Go to Advanced tab

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 18_56_46-Advanced Security Settings for Audio.png

  • Click on ‘Change’ link next to Owner name

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 18_56_46-Advanced Security Settings for Audio.png

  • Set your current user account as the owner of this key
  • Now, close the Registry Editor and restart your PC

Make sure you don’t make any other changes with Registry Editor. A small misstep can disable other abilities of your operating system.

12. Clear the DefaultLaunchPermission Entry from Registry

Another registry fix can solve this “failed to play test tone” error. It involves deleting the entry for ‘DefaultLaunchPermission’.

  • Open the Registry Editor (as shown above)
  • Navigate to the following: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>SOFTWARE>Microsoft>Ole
  • Right-click on Ole key

Clear the DefaultLaunchPermission Entry from Registry

  • Click on Export from the menu
  • In the Export window, enable the “Selected branch” option under the Export range section
  • Enter “DefaultLaunchPermission” as the file name and click on Save

Clear the DefaultLaunchPermission Entry from Registry

  • When you locate this entry, right-click on it and select Delete
  • Click on Yes if a confirmation prompt throws up
  • Restart your computer

13. Make Changes with Local Users and Groups settings

In some tricky cases, the “failed to play test tone” error gets fixed only when you modify the Local Users and Group settings on Windows 10.

To do so,

  • Open the Run dialog (Windows + R)
  • Type “lusrmgr.msc” and click on OK

Make Changes with Local Users and Groups settings

  • In the Local Users and Groups window, click on Groups
  • Right-click on Administrators
  • Select ‘Add to Group’ from the menu

Make Changes with Local Users and Groups settings

  • Hit the Add button on the Administrative Properties window

C:\Users\IPOAdmin\Desktop\2019-01-14 19_13_48-Administrators Properties.png

  • Type Local Service in the field for Enter the object names to select
  • Now, click on Check Names
  • When you click on OK, the object ‘NT AUTHORITY’ gets added as a member
  • Then, you click on Apply and OK to save these changes

Restart your computer to see if the speakers still fail to play test tone.

14. Remove Any Recent Updates

In Windows 10, a new update seems to be causing more problem than convenience for users. Several Windows 10 users have faced the “failed to play test tone” error after installing an update.

A recently-installed update could have triggered the “failed to play test tone” error in your Windows 10 PC too. Let’s try to fix it by uninstalling the latest Windows 10 update.

To remove recent updates on Windows,

  • Go to the Start menu
  • Click on the gear icon to open Settings window
  • Here, go to Update & security

Remove Any Recent Updates

  • Click on the ‘Update history’ link

Remove Any Recent Updates

  • Now, right-click on the recent update
  • Click on ‘Uninstall
  • Follow the onscreen instructions
  • Restart your Windows thereafter

If this works, then you may not need to try other solutions to fix the no sound issue on your Windows computer.

Tips on Fixing “Failed to Play Test Tone” Error in Windows

Based on the above methods, any Windows user can fix this ‘no sound’ or ‘failed to play test tone’ error. Some methods shown above are tricky, while others are relatively easy.

Registry fixes should be your last resort. Any misconfigured registry entry can cause serious problems on your operating system. You can also try disconnecting all USB devices to see if this fixes your problem quicker.

Advertisement

Make sure to restart your computer after attempting a solution. Also, you need to note down the fix that worked in temporarily solving the “failed to play test tone” error on your Windows 10 computer.

Let us know what you think

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *