What to Do If Sound Card Stopped Working After Installing Windows 10/11 Updates

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Most people find a lot to appreciate whenever they update to a newer version of Windows 10/11. Regrettably, big updates can also create new problems.

One of the most common issues that arise after installing updates is a problematic sound card. Many would agree that there are only a few things that are worse than firing up a Netflix movie or a video game on your PC only to find out that the sound is not working.

If your sound card stopped working after installing updates, rest assured, you are not alone. A lot of Windows 10/11 users have complained that after they installed KB4503293 and KB4498523, the sound card stopped working.

So far, there has been no word from Microsoft about how to resolve this problem. But you need not worry. We will help you get your audio working normally again.

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Why Your Sound Card Stopped Working After Installing Updates?

The issue of audio devices not working after installing updates can occur because of many reasons. For instance, in your case, it is most likely that the KB4503293 and KB4498523 updates included some components that are incompatible with your audio driver, or they triggered conflicts with the sound card in your PC.

Here are the common causes of the issue of sound card not working after Windows 10/11 update:

  • The sound card driver or audio driver is outdated, and therefore, it can’t work flawlessly.
  • The audio driver is removed or damaged during the installation.
  • An unexpected change in the sound settings occurred during the installation of the updates.

Therefore, the best way to resolve the issue is to modify the sound settings or fix the Windows 10/11 sound card driver. In this article, we will offer different suggestions on how to fix the dreaded sound of silence.

How to Fix Audio Devices Not Working After Installing Updates?

If your sound card stopped working after installing updates, try the following troubleshooting steps. You don’t necessarily have to try all of them. Just start with the first solution and work your way down.

Method 1: Check Cables and Volume

If there is no sound at all, then the issue could be Windows is trying to output sound to a different device, for instance, a Bluetooth speaker that is not turned on or a headphone that you forgot to plug in. So, check if you plugged the cables into the right jacks and the volume has not been muted. Other things you need to check are:

  • Headphone connections
  • Speaker connections
  • Cables
  • Any other audio connections

Method 2: Check Your Audio Settings

Sometimes the issue could arise because the speakers may have been disabled in the Sounds Settings. To rectify this shortcoming, take the following steps:

  1. Look for the sound icon at the bottom-right corner of your desktop, then right-click on it and choose Playback devices.
  2. In the Sound pane, navigate to the Playback tab and check if the Speakers option has a green tick.
  3. If your speakers are not set as default (not ticked), select them and click on the Set Default button, and then OK.

If you are still experiencing the audio issue, try experimenting with different sound formats. Here is how to do it:

  1. Highlight Speakers and click on Properties.
  2. Now, navigate to the Advanced tab, then head to the Default Format section and test different sound formats. Just start from the top and click Test after each selection.
  3. Hopefully, you will find a sound format that works for you.

Method 3: Restart Your Computer After Update

The cause of the issue of sound card not working after Windows 10/11 update could be an update that has not taken effect. So, a restart may resolve the problem. In fact, most Windows 10/11 updates require you to restart your PC after installation.

Besides restarting your PC, you may also need to restart audio services. Without insulting your computing ability, find out if the audio services miraculously disable themselves. Restarting them may give your sound card a jump start. Here is how to do it:

  1. Enter services into the search field and hit Enter.
  2. Once the list of results appears, scroll down until you see Windows Audio, then double-click on it.
  3. Choose the select Start option to restart audio services.
  4. Also, double-check on the startup type. By default, the audio services option is set to Automatic. If that is not the case, change it to the recommended default setting.

Method 4: Fix Your Sound Card Driver

Whenever you encounter the no sound issue on your PC, check if the audio driver is compatible with your version of Windows 10/11, and then install a well-matched driver if necessary.

Step 1: Update the Audio Driver

  1. First, click the Start button and enter device manager into the search field.
  2. Now, select Device Manager from the list of results.
  3. After that, click on the arrow next to Sound, video and game controllers to expand it.
  4. Once you spot your sound card, right-click on it and choose Properties.
  5. Navigate to the Driver tab and choose Update Driver.
  6. Windows will try to find a new driver, but if it finds none, look for the latest one from the device manufacturer’s website.

Step 2: Uninstall Your Audio Driver

  1. Open the Device Manager and look for the audio driver.
  2. Next, right-click on it and select Uninstall.
  3. When you restart your PC, Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver.
  4. If Windows does not reinstall the driver, try using the built-in High Definition Audio driver that comes with Windows 10/11. Just go to Device Manager and right-click on your sound card driver.
  5. Now, choose Update driver > Browse my computer for driver software.
  6. Select the ‘Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer’ option, then click High Definition Audio > Next.
  7. From here, follow the provided instructions to install it.

Method 5: Run the Windows 10/11 Audio Troubleshooter

While a built-in Windows troubleshooter might not catch everything, it is worth a shot. For our case, we will use the audio troubleshooter to identify and fix the no sound issue. To run the audio troubleshooter, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Start, type audio troubleshooter into the search box, and hit Enter.
  2. From the list of results, choose the Find and fix audio playback problems option, and then click Next.
  3. Now, choose the device you want to troubleshoot.
  4. After choosing the problematic audio device, follow the on-screen prompts.

Method 6: Turn Off Audio Enhancements

Audio enhancements are inbuilt packages that improve how your system-specific audio devices work. However, these very ‘enhancements’ could also trigger the no sound issue. Fortunately, you have an option to turn them off. Let’s now do precisely that:

  1. Click on the Start button and search for Sound.
  2. When the list of results appears, choose the Sound Control Panel option.
  3. Wait for a window to pop up, then right-click on the default audio device and choose Properties.
  4. Next, navigate to the Enhancement tab and check the box labeled ‘Disable all enhancements’.
  5. After that, click Apply.
  6. If the issue affects multiple devices, repeat the above process for each listed device.

Method 7: Roll Back Your Audio Driver

If nothing else works, try rolling back your sound card driver to the last good configuration. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Right-click Start and activate the Device Manager option.
2. Under Sound, video and game controllers, right-click on your sound driver and choose Properties.
3. After that, navigate to the Driver tab and select Roll Back Driver.

Alternatively, you can go back to a previous system restore point, if you had created one.

Is Your Audio Device Working Again?

We hope that our suggested solutions helped you fix your audio problem. While not a definite fix for every audio issue, focusing on the built-in High Definition Audio Driver usually resolve the problem. Updating, uninstalling, rolling back, or reinstalling this driver have worked for many users.

For even a better outcome, consider scanning and cleaning up your PC. Thankfully, you can rely on a decent tool like Outbyte PC Repair to accomplish the task. This tool will identify and remove corrupted keys and invalid entries in the registry, unneeded issue logs, web browser cache, and all sorts of PC junk.

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