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Troubleshooting a computer which plays no sound at all

Problem: Your Windows 7/8/10 desktop computer does not play any sound, such as a music cd or a .wav file


Consider the following questions when trying to resolve this issue:
  • Have you restarted your computer (as a potential quick fix to the problem)?

  • Are your speakers plugged in to a working outlet, the appropriate jack on your computer, and also turned on?

  • Are your speakers connected to each other?

  • Is the speaker's volume control turned up?

  • Do you need to adjust your computer's Volume Control (click the speaker icon in your task bar and adjust the slider)?

  • Do your speakers work when you plug them into another computer?

  • Is your sound device turned on in Device Manager? 
    • In Windows 7:  To open Device Manager right click My Computer and click Manage.   In the left hand pane click Device Manager.  Once in Device Manager double-click Sound, video and game controllers, right-click your sound device, and then click Properties. Click on the Driver tab and click on the Enable button if it is available. Click OK. Restart your computer if you are prompted to do so.
    • In Windows 8: If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search. If you're using a touch screen, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Type Device Manager in the search box, click or tap Settings, and then click or tap Device Manager.  Click on the Driver tab and click on the Enable button if it is available. Click OK. Restart your computer if you are prompted to do so.
    • In Windows 10:  To open Device Manager click Start, type This PC in the Search Windows field and then right click This PC desktop app and choose Manage.  In the left hand pane click Device Manager.  Once in Device Manager double-click Sound, video and game controllers, right-click your sound device, and then click Properties. Click on the Driver tab and click on the Enable button if it is available. Click OK. Restart your computer if you are prompted to do so.
  • Can you run the Windows Sound Troubleshooter?
    • In Windows 7: Click Start, and then click Help and Support. Type sound problem in the search box and then click the magnifying glass to search for relevant topics.
    • In Windows 8 or 10:  Use Microsoft's audio troubleshooter.