How to Fix Skype If It’s Unable to Access Your Sound Card

Quick Fix

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Sound cards are the ultimate controllers of your computer system’s audio functions. Without them, programs that have audio or video functions will not work properly. Among those programs is Skype.

An instant messaging app, Skype is known for its video calling functionality. This feature depends on a computer’s built-in audio system for receiving calls. That said, the sound card plays a vital role for Skype to work and deliver a great experience.

However, there are times when Skype users complain about issues with the sound card. While some say that Skype can’t access the sound card, others rant about hearing no sound on Skype. What causes these errors?

Why Skype Can’t Access Your Sound Card

There could be a plethora of reasons why Skype is unable to access your sound card. Among all those reasons, the most notorious ones are system upgrades and Windows updates, which remove Skype’s permission to use the microphone and access the sound card.

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Another possible reason is an outdated or old sound card driver. The idea is that when you update your Windows system and continue running it on outdated drivers, it is likely that you’ll encounter different errors. One could be Skype’s inability to access the sound card.

Then again, you need not worry much as we have scraped the web for possible solutions to help you resolve your Skype and sound card problems.

What to Do If Skype Is Unable to Access the Sound Card

If your Skype cannot access the sound card, you have four possible solutions. These are:

Solution #1: Give Programs Access to Your Computer Sound System.

By default, Windows computers allow apps and programs to access the microphone. But because of some tweaks, changes, and updates, the default settings could get disrupted and programs like Skype might be denied access to the microphone.

If you happen to encounter the “Skype can’t access your sound card” error, then this is the first solution you can try. Follow the steps below to know how:

For Windows 8

  1. Exit the Skype app first.
  2. Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound.
  3. Select Sound.
  4. Click on the Recording tab to know what type of microphone you are currently using.
  5. Right-click on Internal Microphone and select Properties.
  6. Scroll down and find the Device usage drop-down menu.
  7. Choose Use this device.
  8. Navigate to the Advance d Click tab.
  9. Click the Exclusive mode.
  10. Find the Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device option and untick the box.
  11. Next, untick the Give exclusive mode applications priority option.
  12. Save changes by clicking the Apply button.
  13. Re-launch Skype and check if the error still persists.

For Windows 10/11

  1. Exit Skype.
  2. Press the Windows button. In the search box, enter Settings.
  3. In the window that pops up, go to Privacy > App Permissions > Microphone.
  4. Toggle on the switch next to Allow access to the microphone on this device.
  5. Also, toggle on the switch next to Allow apps to access your microphone.
  6. Find Skype in the list of installed apps.
  7. Toggle on the switch and relaunch Skype.

If the error remains unresolved, try the next solution.

Solution #2: Upgrade Your Windows Sound Card Driver.

If the first solution did not fix Skype’s sound card problem, then it is possible that the problem is with your sound card driver. Hence, you might have to update it to fix the issue.

In most cases, Windows updates already come with drivers, enabling you to run a system update manually. To do this on a Windows 10/11 device, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and enter Settings in the search bar.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Go to Update & Security > Windows Update.
  4. Choose Check for Updates to know if there are any available updates for your device.
  5. If you find any new updates, download and install them.
  6. Open Skype and check if the issue is resolved. If not, you need to update the drivers.
  7. Close Skype.
  8. Click Start and enter Device Manager in the search bar.
  9. Select Device Manager.
  10. Locate the Sound, video and game controllers’ option and click on it. Two options should appear: Intel(R) Display Audio and High Definition Audio.
  11. Update the two drivers by right-clicking on each one of them and then selecting Update driver.
  12. Click Search automatically for driver updated driver software and wait for Windows to find the new driver for you.
  13. Re-launch Skype if the steps above successfully resolve the error.

Manually updating your sound card drivers can be a tedious task because you need to be familiar with each component you want to update. But you can make the process easier by using third-party tools like Auslogics Driver Updater. In just a few clicks, all your drivers should be automatically updated.

If you’re still unsuccessful, try the next solution.

Solution #3: Take Advantage of Windows Media Creation Tool.

The Media Creation tool is created by Microsoft and is widely used by many tech geeks and Microsoft enthusiasts to resolve Skype and sound card issues.

To try this solution, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Go to Microsoft’s official website and download the Windows Media Creation tool.
  2. Once the download is complete, double-click on it to start the setup process. Click Accept when asked for your permission.
  3. From the options that will be shown, choose Update this PC now. Click Next.
  4. At this point, some files will be downloaded.
  5. After the update, click Accept to agree to the terms and conditions.
  6. Next, a Ready to install window will appear with the options Keep personal files and apps and Install Windows. Choose the latter option.
  7. Wait for the installation process to finish before re-launching Skype again.

If the problem persists, you still have one last solution left, which is to clean-install Skype.

Solution #4: Clean Install Skype.

This is your last resort if Skype still can’t access the sound card. It requires removing all the files and programs related to Skype, and then downloading and reinstalling the latest, bug-free versions.

The first step involves removing Skype from your computer. Here’s how:

  1. Click Start and enter Settings in the search box. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Apps > Apps & Features.
  3. Locate Skype and right-click on it.
  4. Select Uninstall.
  5. Complete the uninstallation process by clicking the pop-up Uninstall button.

Once you have successfully uninstalled Skype, you need to clear all associated files from your computer. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys.
  2. In the dialog box, enter %appdata%.
  3. Click the OK button.
  4. Right-click on Skype and hit Delete.

Now, let’s remove Skype’s registry entries. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys.
  2. In the dialog box, enter regedit.
  3. Locate Skype.
  4. Delete any registry entry that will appear.

After removing all files associated with Skype, re-download Skype and reinstall it. By then, you should have resolved the “Skype can’t access your sound card” error.


Skype is indeed a popular instant messaging and calling application, but its popularity does not exempt it from errors. The good thing is that the solutions above should help you solve some errors related to it.

Once you have eliminated your Skype and sound card problems, make sure your system won’t trigger other errors that will affect your Skype experience. To do so, download and install Outbyte PC Repair. This tool can be used to run a quick scan on your system to determine any erroneous files or apps.

Did the solutions above help you resolve your problem? Let us know below.

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