What to do When the Windows 10/11 Speaker is Stuck on Mute

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Despite having properly connected speakers and no visible signs of audio issues, you may encounter a common problem where no sound is produced when playing games, videos, or audio files. Rest assured, this guide provides assistance and solutions to resolve the issue and restore sound output on your system.

Although prevalent, the issue can still be complex. After all, sound errors can be delicate. Associated problems can range from operating system glitches to the interference of third-party software. Hardware malfunctions may also result in an audio issue. Since the causes vary, the solutions also differ, depending on the scenario.

These solutions provided start with the easy steps moving on to complex ones. We advise applying them in their order to achieve better results.

How to Fix Windows 10/11 Speaker Stuck on Mute

Start by checking for simple solutions. Common sense is always the best when it comes to fixing tech errors. Check if the sound is not on mute on the computer side. On your keyboard, use the volume control buttons to check if the system is responsive to the inputs. Then, hover the mouse cursor to the bottom to bring up the taskbar.

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Check if the speaker icon on the far bottom-right next is active. If there is an X on the virtual speaker, it means it’s on mute. Click on it to bring up the volume slider, then adjust to the right to unmute.

If everything seems fine from the PC’s end, check the hardware. If your speaker has volume keys, confirm it is turned up. Check and plug the headsets into the correct audio jack.

Once you have confirmed the above, you can move on to another solution on how to fix speakers stuck on mute on Windows 10/11. Confirm that the issue doesn’t occur to a specific app or program. Take, for instance, YouTube. Apart from the system’s volume control, you can adjust the volume within the app. The same applies to games and other programs. So, check if the problem does not stem from the app.

How to Fix Sound Problems on Windows 10/11

Now that you have verified a couple of simple fixes with no luck, let’s move on to the complex side.

Check for System Updates

If you updated audio drivers before the issue occurred, install any pending Windows 10/11 updates. Your operating system might likely be behind the latest audio drivers installed hence causing discrepancies.

Here is how you can check for any pending updates and install them:

  1. Press the Windows + I keys to bring up the Windows Settings app.
  2. Select the Update & Security tab before clicking on Windows Update.
  3. On the right, click on Check for Updates, and the system will begin searching.
  4. If found, click on Install Now. Note that update installation might need your system to reboot. So, make sure you don’t have any unsaved work in the background before initiating the update process.
  5. When done, reboot the system for the last time and check if the issue still occurs.

Identify the Default Audio Device

Wireless Xbox controllers, headset, speakers, and the Display screen have in-built audio devices. When sound peripherals are plugged in, the system can auto-switch to another output audio device. To overcome this, you need to check your default audio device.

  1. From the taskbar, click on the speaker icon to bring up the active audio output.
  2. Select the caret symbol to show the list of audio devices available.
  3. Click on a different audio device until there is sound.

Launch the Troubleshooter

Windows 10/11 OS has a built-in troubleshooter utility that can help fix a range of system issues. Follow the steps below to launch the audio troubleshooter:

  1. Press the Windows key and then type “Audio” (no quotes) before hitting the Enter key.
  2. Now, in the Sound Settings window, choose your output device.
  3. Then, go down to Master volume and click on Troubleshoot. The system will begin to scan for issues. If it finds any, the troubleshooter will suggest possible fixes.
  4. Apply the recommended solutions and then reboot the system when done.

Restart the Audio Services

Under the Services app, three entries need to be rebooted. These include the Windows Audio, Remote Procedure Call, and Windows Audio Endpoint Builder.

Here is how you can access Services app and reboot the Audio Services:

  1. Press a combination of Win + R keys to launch the Run dialog.
  2. Type “services.msc” (no quotes) in the text field before hitting the Enter key to open the Services app.
  3. Among the list of services presented, find the ones mentioned above. Right-click on each to bring up the context menu.
  4. Click on the Restart option. If not active, select the Refresh option.
  5. When done with all the three services, restart the computer and check if the issue has been fixed.

Deactivate Audio Tuners/Enhancers

To offer the best experience possible, hardware vendors such as Microsoft offer audio tuning software. However, such an application can generate audio problems. It’s best to deactivate all audio enhancers if you suspect the same case.

  1. Access Control Panel app from the taskbar’s search field. Then, choose Hardware and Sound before clicking on Sound.
  2. Check under the Playback tab and right-click on your default audio device to access the context menu.
  3. Click on Properties. Go to the Enhancements tab and Disable All Enhancements by checking the box next to the title.
  4. Click on the Apply option before selecting the OK button to confirm changes.

Update the Audio Drivers

Keeping your system drivers up to date might require some effort, but it is necessary for optimal system performance. It helps in maintaining your system performance and preventing numerous computer issues. Drivers are automatically updated along with system updates. However, Windows Update can still miss the latest version of the drivers, which may cause the audio issue.

Here is how to update audio drivers manually:

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start button to bring up the power menu.
  2. Select Device Manager from the list before expanding the ‘Sound, video and game controllers’ category.
  3. Right-click on your default device and select Update Driver from the context menu.
  4. Now, click on the ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’ link and the system will begin to scan for the latest drivers.
  5. If the computer does not find any, select the option to use Windows Update to check for the latest drivers.
  6. Choose the Browse my computer for driver software option in Step 4 if you’ve already downloaded the latest compatible drivers from the manufacture’s website.

Alternatively, for ease and efficiency, you can utilize a trusted driver updater software to manage updates. Such programs are designed to work in the background keeping all your system’s device drivers up to date. This type of utility makes sure you don’t miss an essential driver update.

Reinstall the Audio Device

If you’ve identified the affected audio device, you can uninstall the driver from the system. Reboot the computer and Windows will reinstall compatible drivers for the device.

  1. Use Steps 1 and 2 in the previous solution before right-clicking on the default audio device.
  2. This time, select Uninstall Device from the context menu and follow the prompts.
  3. When done, reboot the computer. Windows will identify and install the appropriate audio driver.

Final Thoughts

Like any other man-made device, a computer can be delicate to maintain. System problems can stem from unexpected sources. This makes it hard to know the right method to resolve them. Hence, a tool such as reliable PC Repair tool could be an option to explore for detecting and addressing performance problems, although various solutions may be suitable depending on the specific issue.

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