If your laptop’s speakers are not working or if the audio is stuttering, crackling, or distorted, you might be worried thinking that it is a hardware-related issue and the only solution is to take the laptop to a service centre. Even worse, such issues might force you to shell out money to get the hardware replaced if the device is out of warranty. Well, lucky for you, the solution to most of these laptop audio issues could be as simple as changing a few settings on your laptop.
With the Microsoft Windows 11 operating system offering so many settings for the audio output, there is always a possibility that one of those settings has been altered. All you might need to do is tinker with a few settings to solve the issue. In this article, we have listed the most common solutions to fix laptop audio issues.
Most Common Laptop Audio Issues & Their Solutions
- Check Your Audio Output Settings
- Restart Laptop
- Unplug Cables, External Devices, And Peripherals
- Run The Audio Troubleshooter
- Disable Audio Enhancements
- Update Audio Drivers
- Reinstall Audio Drivers
- Format Laptop And Install Windows 11 Again
1. Check Your Laptop’s Audio Output Settings
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If you are not getting audio from the desired output device (speakers or earphones), the first thing you need to check is if the appropriate audio output device has been selected on your laptop.
When you connect a headphone to the laptop, it becomes the default audio output device. Later, when you want the audio output from the laptop’s speaker, it might not happen because the audio is going to the headphones. Of course, you don’t know that because you forgot that you have connected headphones to the laptop. So, all you have to do to get the audio from the desired device is:
How To Select Desired Audio Output Device In Windows 11?
- Click on the Speakers icon from the taskbar.
- Click on the upward arrow.
- Select the desired audio output device from the list.
2. Restart Laptop
As simple as this solution sounds, believe me, restarting a device can solve so many problems. This is especially true with laptops or PCs running the Windows operating system. You will be surprised to know how restarting a Windows device can solve even the most serious issues.
So, just go ahead, close all the applications on your laptop and restart it. This will most probably solve the audio issue that you are facing. If the issue still persists, try out the next solution.
3. Unplug Cables, External Devices, And Peripherals
If restarting the laptop hasn’t worked for you, the next easiest solution to your problem is to unplug all the cables and external devices from your laptop and check if the issue has been resolved. It happens frequently that the laptop changes its audio settings according to the peripherals connected, causing issues with the sound output.
Sometimes, external devices also interfere with the standard working procedure of the hardware. Either way, disconnecting the cables and all external devices from your laptop will tell you if the issue is being caused because of them or if it is something else.
Please make sure to unplug each and everything from your laptop including the charging cable, HDMI cable, audio cable, and external keyboard and mouse. You also have to do is disconnect all the Bluetooth accessories. Yes, even the wireless peripherals can cause issues.
When you unplug all the cables and devices, go ahead and also restart your laptop. Doing so will usually restore the audio settings to how they were before. Once you restart the laptop, check for the audio issue. If the issue has been resolved, that is great. If not, proceed with the next step.
4. Run The Audio Troubleshooter
Windows 11 has an inbuilt audio troubleshooter. This program automatically detects the issues and solves them. Running the audio troubleshooter is one of the easiest ways to get rid of your audio problems. Here is how you can run the audio troubleshooter:
How To Run Audio Troubleshooter in Windows 11?
- Click Start > Settings > System > Sound > Troubleshoot.
- Click Next.
- Select the audio output device which is causing you the trouble.
- Click Next.
The audio troubleshooter will now automatically detect the problem and solve it. If that doesn’t work, go to the next solution.
5. Disable Audio Enhancements
The Windows 11 operating system comes with a couple of sound enhancement features which are aimed at improving the audio listening experience. Unfortunately, these enhancements could sometimes create problems with the audio output. Disabling these audio enhancements could solve your issue.
How To Disable Audio Enhancements In Windows 11?
- Click Start > Windows System > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound.
- Click the Playback tab.
- Right-click on Default Device.
- Select Properties.
- Go to the Enhancements tab.
- Select Disable all enhancements or Disable all sound effects.
- Click OK.
- Restart your laptop.
Check the sound output for issues once you restart the laptop. If the issue still persists, you need to try out the next solution.
6. Update Laptop Audio Drivers
A lot of audio issues on Windows 11 laptops are usually related to the audio drivers. Sometimes, laptop audio drivers could be buggy and that could cause problems with the audio output.
Usually, manufacturers are quick to rectify such issues and come up with an updated audio driver with a fix for the problem. The best way to make sure that you have the latest audio drivers is to check for software updates in Windows.
How To Install Windows 11 Updates?
- Click Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.
- Click Check for Updates.
Windows will now check for the latest drivers for all the components in your laptop and install them automatically.
Another way to update the audio drivers is using Device Manager. For that, just follow the steps mentioned in the Reinstall Audio Drivers section except for the uninstalling part. Once you have installed the latest drivers, restart your laptop, and check for the issues.
7. Reinstall Laptop Audio Drivers
It is possible that the audio drivers on your laptop weren’t installed properly or the drivers aren’t working as they should due to some issue. In such cases, you need to uninstall the existing audio drivers, go to the manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers, and install the audio drivers manually.
How To Reinstall Audio Drivers In Windows 11?
- Click Start > Windows System > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Device Manager.
- Click Audio inputs and outputs.
- Select the audio output device; it is usually listed as Speakers / Headphones or Realtek(R) Audio.
- Right-click on the selected audio output device.
- Click Uninstall device and confirm the action to uninstall the audio drivers. Note that sometimes there are multiple audio output devices listed in the Device Manager depending upon your laptop’s configuration. You have to uninstall the drivers for all those devices. Once you uninstall the audio drivers, the Device Manager will show a question mark in front of that audio output device.
- Go to Google Search or the manufacturer’s website and download the right audio drivers for your laptop. Make sure that you are entering the correct model number of your laptop in Google Search or on the manufacturer’s website while searching for drivers. If you don’t know the model number, check the laptop’s box or manual. Usually, the model number is also listed on the back panel of the device. You can also find the model number by going to Start > Settings > System > About.
- Go back to Device Manager.
- Right-click the audio output device whose drivers you uninstalled.
- Click Update Driver
- Click Browse my computer for driver.
- Select the audio drivers that you have downloaded and install them.
Make sure that no cables or devices are connected to your laptop while uninstalling and reinstalling the audio drivers. After installing the audio drivers, restart your laptop. Once you restart the computer, your audio issue will hopefully be solved.
8. Format Laptop And Install Windows 11 Again
If none of the methods mentioned above solves your issue, the last resort is to completely format your laptop, that is, remove the operating system itself by wiping the storage. You then have to install the Windows 11 operating system again.
If the audio issue that you are facing is related to software, formatting the laptop will most likely solve it. Go to this link to know how to format the laptop and install a clean copy of Windows.
If the audio issue that you are facing is still not resolved, unfortunately, the problem could be related to the laptop’s hardware. To fix that issue, you have to take the laptop to an authorised service centre and get it checked.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of going to the service centre, submitting your laptop, and then bringing it back when it is repaired, you can just opt for Onsitego’s Laptop Maintenance and Repair service. We will pick up your laptop from your home, take it to an authorised service centre, get it repaired with genuine spare parts, and bring it back to you. All of this is done at an affordable price.
We have listed service charges for the most common issues on our page for your reference.