Being served as a hardware technician for many years, I am often asked by the customers and my friends – Why there’s no sound on my computer? Why does the audio stop working all of a sudden?
When the computer sound stops working, it can be a pretty much annoying anyone, especially when you’re watching an interesting movie or watching a presentation online.
Oftentimes the audio stops working on the computer due to outdated sound drivers or fault in the driver setup process, but it can also be due to issues with your sound hardware.
If you’re using Windows 10, you may sometimes see the error message — “No Audio” or the “Sound is missing” or “No Audio Output Device is Installed” on system. If you’re using Mac, you’ll see an error message —”No audio output device found”.
So what to do when there is no sound on the computer at all? How to get back the sound on your Windows or Mac computer?
This guide details some helpful ways to fix the sound problems on your Windows & Mac computers.
How to Fix “No Sound on Computer” Problem on Windows 10/8/7?
Let’s work your way through the methods mentioned below to get your sound back on your Windows system.
Note: Before we get to the solutions, ensure that the volume button is not on mute mode or silent.
1. Check the Hardware
If the sound on your PC has suddenly stopped working, it might be due to some connection problem with your hardware. Here’s how to identify the issues with the sound hardware:
- Check the headphone plug: Check whether the headphone jack is filled with any block or dirt. If yes, clean it with a cotton swab.
- Check the speaker: Ensure that the speakers are not covered with any other device or cloth and keep it clean.
- Check your headphone: See if there’s damage to the headphone and headphone cables.
- Check sound card: Make sure the sound card is working correctly.
To check your sound card, go to Device Manager (type devmgmt.msc in Run dialog box). Click and expand Sound, video and game controllers and check if there’s a sound driver installed such as RealTek High Definition Audio or any other sound driver.
2. Reinstall the Audio Driver
Incompatible or corrupt audio drivers cause no sound on your Windows PC. To fix this issue, you’ll need to first uninstall the current audio driver and reinstall the correct driver.
Here’s how to do it.
- Open Run dialog box (press Windows + R keys) and type “devmgmt.msc” to open Device Manager
- Windows 10 users, right click on Start Menu and select device manager to open Device Manager
- Double-click the Sound, video and game controllers and open its window
- Now, right-click on the audio card and hit the Uninstall device button
- A small window pops up to confirm. Here, tick on the box “Delete the driver software for this device” and once again click on Uninstall icon to delete the audio driver
Now, restart your PC and Windows will automatically install the correct audio driver for your system. Check whether your audio works correctly now.
3. Update the Audio Driver
If the above method doesn’t help you get back the sound on your PC, chances are high that the audio driver is missing or is outdated. Let’s try to update your audio driver.
You can update your drivers by visiting the official manufacturer’s website and search for the latest and correct driver which is compatible with your Windows system. Download these drivers and install it. This process may take a while, but most-likely fixes your problem
You can also try to automatically update your audio driver by any third-party tool and check if your audio system works now.
4. Use the Audio Troubleshooter
Windows 10 comes with a built-in audio troubleshoot feature which identifies and fixes issues automatically. It is again a quick fix and here’s how you use this troubleshooter.
- Open Run dialog box (Windows + R) and type “control panel” and hit Enter to open Control Panel
- Click on the Troubleshooting
- Select Hardware and Sound
- Then select Playing Audio from the list and follow the instructions on the screen and start the troubleshooting process
The Audio Troubleshooter does the drill for you to fix the no sound on computer problem.
5. Change the Audio Format
Let’s try to change the audio format to fix the no sound issue and check if it works. To do so,
- Right-click on the Volume button (to the bottom right corner) and hit the Playback devices icon
- In the Playback menu, choose your audio device and click on Properties
- Go to the Advanced option and in the Default Format, select another audio format and tap on the Test icon
- Play music and check if your audio works correctly
You might have to repeat the steps mentioned above until you find the perfect audio format and once you get it, click Ok to save the changes.
Fix “No Sound on Computer” Problem on Mac Computers
Although having no sound on your Mac computer is quite rare, there are two basic errors that you may come across once a while –
- Mac not playing sound through the headphones or speakers because there’s something wrong with the devices, or
- Mac won’t play the sound when the audio on your computer gets muted unknowingly
So, you can try replacing your headphones or trying out the sound on different speakers to fix the issue. You can also check your audio driver settings from the sound notification icon to check if you’ve muted your Mac or not.
If the audio on your Mac device stops working completely, then you go for the simple and quick fixes shown below.
1. Restart Your Mac Device
Most of you know that restarting or rebooting your PC usually fixes the minor issues. When there’s no sound on Mac computer, you can start with restarting the system.
Sometimes, a restart does all the work for you to fix any operating system glitch. Just restart and check whether your Mac audio works correctly thereafter. If the issue gets sorted here, then look no further.
2. Check the Volume Level
You may have put the Mac on mute mode and forget to unmute it. Check if your volume button is set on the minimum level and press the Volume Up icon.
3. Audio Issue with the App
At times, the audio issue might be in the application you are running. You may have done it manually in a specific app’s volume configuration. So, check other application or website and see whether Mac’s sound is working properly for those or not.
Also, see if the website or application is running on mute mode, so you can un-mute it.
4. Update to the Latest Version of macOS
Your Mac’s sound system might not support on the app. It could also be the case of you running on an older version of macOS.
Ensure that your Mac has the latest version of macOS. Directly download and install the latest version in the Apple menu and the About this Mac icon. It checks for updates and offers you the latest version (if any) for you to install it.
Note: Before you upgrade your Mac device, make sure that you have a backup of your files and data with any backup tool or contact official Mac support center.
5. Check for any Hardware Issues
As discussed above, there can be any factor that can cause no sound on MacBook problem it includes any hardware issues as well. So, unplug and disconnect any external headphones or speakers.
If the issue persists still, and your sound doesn’t work, the problem might be with your system’s port and connector jacks or some blockage in it. Clean your system port and check if the problem persists.
6. Check Your Sound Settings
If all the above workarounds fail to fix the audio issues in your Mac devices, you might need to check Audio Settings. To do so,
- Open the Apple menu and choose the System Preferences option
- Hit the Sound icon
- Now, tap on the Output tab and choose Internal Speakers
- Confirm that you disabled the Mute mode and set the volume high (slide towards the right side)
- Close the System Preferences window
You have manually configured your sound settings as per your choice, and it most-likely fixes your issue. If you can’t find the Internal Speakers option, contact Apple Support.
Are you still facing the same issue after resetting your audio setting? Then, you have to move to the steps listed below. It might seem a little tricky but surely does the drill for you to get audio back on your Mac device.
7. Reboot Your Sound Controllers
Restarting your Sound Controller, deals with any sound issues on your Mac device, particularly on MacBook and MacBook Air. Follow the steps to fix the no audio issue.
- Open the Finder and go the Applications folder > Utilities folder
- After that, open the Activity Monitor
- Choose coreaudio in the Process Name list
- Hit the Quit Process icon
The Sound Controllers reboot normally and MacBook Air’s sound not working’ problem.
8. Reset the SMC/NVRAM on Your Mac Device
We recommend you to reset the NVRAM or SMC program, as soon as you face any sound issues in your MacBook Air/Pro. You can do it by pressing Command + Option + R and P keys together, right after your restart your PC.
Great! You have reset your SMC and NVRAM programs. If you still face the annoying no audio issue on your Mac devices, we suggest you contact the Apple Support for further help.
Mac Not Playing Sound through Headphones
Many users have reported this issue where the audio is not working after plugging in their headphones. The first thing you do is check that your internal Mac speaker.
- If it isn’t working correctly, then disconnect your headphones.
- If the issue is with your headphone, then try plugging the headphone in a different port or audio jack.
- Change the headphone’s settings.
Also, try out these other simple ways to troubleshoot ‘no sound on Mac computer’ when your headphone audio has issues.
- Set the Volume to a high level
- Try and use the headphones to other devices and see if it works
- Reboot your Mac device
- Unplug and reinsert your headphones
- Keep your Headphone port dust free and clean
- Reset your headphones settings
To reset your headphones settings:
- Go to the Apple menu icon and open System Preferences
- Click on the Sound button and in the Output section, select Headphones
- Slide to the right side to higher the volume and disable the Mute mode
- Now, Quit Preferences
You have successfully set your headphones settings correctly. Play some audio or music, plug in your headphone in the jack, and listen if your Mac’s audio works through headphones correctly.
That’s it. Using the above-mentioned methods, you can successfully fix the “no sound on computer” issue on your Windows & Mac computer.
Let us know which method was the most useful to fix your issue. If you’re experiencing any other issues with your computer, do let us know.