How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (2023)


How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (1)

By Andre Da Costa

Last Updated on

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (2)

Audio plays a critical role in our experiences when using Windows. Here’s a look at how to manage audio settings in Windows 10 which includes new settings.

Audio plays a critical role in our experiences when using Windows. Whether it is listening to music, movies, or communicating with family and friends over Skype, depending on the type of computer you own, your choice of audio output might be different. Laptops and some desktops will have onboard audio, while both can accommodate external speakers to enhance sound quality.

Update: If you are looking for a quality alternative sound app that adds extra features, check out the Ear Trumpet App.

Adjust Volume and Audio Settings in Windows 10

Basic audio settings can be accessed from the Speakers notification on the taskbar. You can use the slider to increase or lower the volume.

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (3)

Audio can mute audio by clicking the speaker icon on the new volume menu.

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (4)

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update now makes it easier to switch between different audio devices. To do so, click the audio icon in the Notification Area.

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (5)

Click the audio output device you would like to use. This is especially handy if you want to switch between built-in audio or your headphones.

(Video) How To Fix No Audio Output Device is Installed in Windows 10

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (6)

Additional audio options can be accessed from a right-click menu.

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (7)

The Volume Mixer provides options for managing volume per desktop application. Not all applications support this feature, though. If they do, you’ll see them in the Mixer and can adjust the volume levels. For example, you might want to mute specific applications such as system sounds when watching a movie.

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (8)

A handy function of the Windows sound settings is the ability to modify audio behavior when multi-tasking. If you use a smartphone, you might be aware of an optionthat lowers the audio of the active application when you receive a notification. If you use an application such as Skype to send and receive video calls, Windows can automatically adjust the volume when communication activity is detected.

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (9)

Connected external audio devices such as speakers or headphones can be modified from the Sound Settings playback options. Enhancements such as bass, loudness, and surround sound quality can be applied.

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (10)

Troubleshooting Audio In Windows10

If you’re unable to hear audio, there are some things you can try. First, check if the volume is turned down or muted.

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (11)

If youhave recently upgraded to Windows 10, your previous audio driver might not be compatible. Uninstalling and reinstalling your audio device might resolve the issue. Press Windows Key + Xand click Device Manager. Then expand Sound > video and game controller. Select your audio device, right-click it and Uninstall. Please restart your computer and let Windows redetect it. You can also check Windows Update for the latest drivers for your sound card.

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (12)

If the problem persists, try running the Troubleshooting audio playback to fix it.

How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (13)

Check out our other articles about managing audio:

  • How to Turn Off or Change Windows 10 Notification Sounds
  • Silence Smartphone Notifications from Interrupting Your Music
  • Switch between Speakers and Headphones in 1 Click
  • EarTrumpet for Windows 10 Makes Using Audio Controls a Snap



  1. mur_phy

    If one does not want to simply use the basics of W 10 audio settings and the two major reasons for not doing so comes from the desire to play music in programs such as Paltalk or other VOIP programs. The problem that can occur is that the computer is not equipped with a sound card that has Stereo Mix or What You Hear or the user may be using a USB mic/headset. A super alternative is to use a program called Voicemeeter. For those using Paltalk, I have created a .rtf file of information on exactly how to setup VM to allow either type of user to use VM in order to play music and use the fine program as the default sound mixer in Windows 10.


  2. for_yxe

    Hello. My 1 left click on “sound” function has gone and i don’t know what to do. I can access volume settings only via right click “open volume mixer” and this is taking much longer and it’s annoying. Please help.


    • Murray White

      First — reboot the computer and see if anything changes.
      Two — if nothing, is sound working ok other than the icon in the notification tray not responding to L click?
      Three — have you tried a double click?
      Four — are you only trying to increase or decrease the sound volume and not do other settings?
      Five — is there any override on your headset that might be not allowing for the L mouse to function — not likely but I always like to eliminate any possibilities. Also if you can adjust the volume via the headset, that might provide as simple an alternative as there is. If using external speakers, there usually is a volume adjustment on them too.
      Six — if the computer is a laptop, perhaps a setting via FN has been adjusted causing the L mouse not to function. I don’t use lappy with sound so not sure and another reader may have more info.

      I tried a quick search on the internet and did not find this specific problem and have not experienced it myself so let the group know if you find a solution, from where and what the solution is please.


      (Video) No audio output device is installed windows 7
  3. for_yxe

    Hello again.
    A day after it just started to work “most likely after a PC reboot”. Everything works fine now. I had a problem because of new “Windows 10 creators update”, after it sound stuff started not to work. Everything is okay now. Thanks.


  4. Glynne

    (Video) How to Set & Manage INPUT & OUTPUT Devices on Windows 10


    I set my system sounds lower than all others by accessing setting and the advanced app volume and device services settings but each time I reboot my PC I have to reset it. Is there anyway to make Windows 10 (latest version) actually save and remember these settings between sessions please?


  5. last straw with windows

    I have 7 options available to choose from but none of them are either my speakers or my headset. 3 are “Realtek”, 1 is “7.1”, 1 is “surround”, and 1 is “Nvidia”. I recognize that nvidia is my graphics card, I guess it does sound too. I feel like an idiot every time I try to use my computer. It’s like I need a degree in coding just to get my speakers to work. It’s so frustrating.


  6. muhammad reza

    i have win 10 light
    i want to use handsfree as microphone but it just give me noises
    i tried a voya mic on the “camera” mode and it worked but it was the same once on “smartphone” mode
    what shall i do ?
    Thank you


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How to Manage Audio Devices in Windows 10 (14)

(Video) Shortcut To Windows "Manage Audio Devices" Panel

Related Items:Microsoft, Windows 10


How do I manage audio devices in Windows 10? ›

Select Start (Windows logo Start button) > Settings (Gear-shaped Settings icon) > System > Sound. In Sound settings, go to Choose your output device, and then select the speakers or headphones you want to use.

How do I manage multiple audio devices in Windows 10? ›

You should enable Stereo Mix and select multiple outputs devices for audio playback Windows 10: right click on the sound volume -> select Sounds -> choose a primary audio playback device -> enable Stereo Mix -> set as default -> select a secondary audio playback device -> apply changes.

How do I manage the Sound on my computer? ›

How to manage advanced Windows sound options using Settings
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Sound.
  4. Under "Other sound options," click the App volume and device preferences option.
14 Apr 2020

How do I find audio devices on Windows 10? ›

  1. Left Click on the sound icon in the taskbar.
  2. Above the volume bar, there should be an audio device listed.
  3. Clicking on the drop-down list should show all the available audio devices that can be selected.
  4. Select the preferred device by left-clicking on it.
12 Oct 2022

How do I completely remove audio devices from Windows 10? ›

Press Windows Key + X and click Device Manager. Then expand Sound > video and game controller. Select your audio device, right-click it and Uninstall.

Where is audio in Device Manager? ›

Step 1: Right-click on the Start button in the taskbar area and then click Device Manager to open the same. Step 2: In the Device Manager, expand Sound, video and game controllers tree. Step 3: You should now see your audio driver's name.

How do I control multiple volumes on my computer? ›

To open the Volume Mixer, just right-click the speaker icon on your system tray and select “Open Volume Mixer.” When you first open it, Volume Mixer will likely just show two volume sliders: Device (which controls the master volume) and System Sounds.

Can you have 2 audio outputs Windows 10? ›

However, it is still there – it's just disabled by default on the latest and greatest iteration of the Windows Operating System. That being the case, you can enable the Stereo Mix feature and use it to have audio output through multiple devices on Windows 10.

How do I switch between audio devices quickly? ›

2. Switch Sound Output Devices via Volume Mixer
  1. Right-click on the Volume icon in the quick settings panel.
  2. Next, click on Open volume mixer from the context menu. ...
  3. In the Volume mixer window, click the drop-down for Output device and select the audio device you want to use.
20 Mar 2022

How do I change audio settings in Windows 10? ›

To turn that on, launch the Settings app by tapping the Windows key and typing Settings into the search, and then clicking Settings app at the top of the pop-up box. In the Settings box, click Audio in the left-hand panel, and then choose which kind of visual alert you'd like from the drop-down box.

How do I get to advanced Sound settings on Windows 10? ›

Use the Windows Start Menu, the Sound Icon, and a Keyboard Shortcut. To use the Start Menu, navigate to Windows Start Menu > PC Settings > System > Sound. To use a keyboard shortcut, press Win + I. To use the sound icon, right-click the sound icon on the taskbar and select Open Sound settings.

How do I change the audio output device in Windows 10? ›

Steps on how to change the audio output
  1. Open the Sound Settings window. Right-click on the speaker symbol in your system tray area near the time and date. ...
  2. Open the list of devices in the drop-down box. Left-click on the arrow on the right side of the drop-down box under 'Choose your output device'.
  3. Select your device.
3 May 2022

Where is audio device settings? ›

Windows Playback and Recording Device Settings
  • In the Start menu or search bar, type "Sound" and click on the "Sound Control panel" option.
  • Click on device you would like to configure.
  • From here you can rename, disable, or otherwise change and verify your sound device.

How do I see all sound devices? ›

In the Settings app, navigate to System, and then to Sound. On the right side of the window, click or tap on the currently selected playback device under "Choose your output device." The Settings app should show you a list of all the audio playback devices available on your system.

Where are hidden audio devices in Windows? ›

For Windows 8 and later: From Start, search for device manager, and select Device Manager from the search results. Troubleshoot the devices and drivers in Device Manager. Note Click Show hidden devices on the View menu in Device Manager before you can see devices that are not connected to the computer.

Is it OK to delete Realtek? ›

Is it OK to uninstall Realtek audio? Splendid. Yes, you can uninstall the whole bundle and then let the rig startup and it'll install just the drivers for the audio device. Check the Add and Remove Programs in the CP and remove the Audio Manager Software.

How do I disable all audio devices? ›

Enabling and Disabling Playback Audio Devices in Windows 10
  1. 1) Right click the sound icon in your system tray (or task tray)
  2. 2) Open sound settings.
  3. 3) Manage sound devices.
  4. 4) Click on the devices you'd like to enable or disable.

What happens if I uninstall Realtek audio? ›

Open Device Manager to Scan for Changes

Windows automatically scans and detects the uninstall of your Realtek HD Definition Audio driver and prompts you to reinstall. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the reinstallation. Now, do another restart of your PC, and you shouldn't see the error message.

Where is my Realtek audio Manager? ›

The simple way to access Control Panel is to press Windows + R, type control panel, and press Enter to open it. Step 2. In Control Panel window, click Small icons next View by. Find Realtek HD Audio Manager and click it to open Realtek HD Audio Manager in Windows 10.

Where is Realtek audio in Device Manager? ›

1) Go to Device Manager. Open the “Run” dialog box by pressing and holding the Windows key, then press the R key (“Run”). 2) Expand category “Sound, video and game controllers” by click the arrow that is point right as seen below. Under this category, right-click on “Realtek High Definition Audio” or “Realtek Audio”.

What is volume control in audio? ›

The current, voltage, and power gains of transistor stages are usually varied by using variable resistors in the coupling networks. The variable resistor is usually referred to as a gain control. At audio frequencies, the gain control is referred to as a volume control.

How do I list all volumes in Windows? ›

  1. Connect to endpoint.
  2. Launch elevated command prompt.
  3. Run diskpart to list all volumes C:\>diskpart DISKPART> LIST VOLUME.
  4. Create script text file with the following LIST VOLUME.
  5. For each volume listed, add the following to the script text file SELECT VOLUME <#> LIST PARTITION.
2 Sept 2020

How do I override volume limit on PC? ›

How to Increase Volume Beyond 100% in Windows 10
  1. Method 1. Install Sound Booster to Windows 10.
  2. Method 2. Download the Boom 3D Sound Enhancer.
  3. Method 3. Use Windows 10 Loudness Equalizer Alternative.
  4. Method 4. Get a FxSound Application.
  5. Method 5. Increase Volume in Google Chrome.
  6. Final thoughts.

Can you connect to 2 speakers at once? ›

Depending on the equipment you have, you may be able to connect to two Bluetooth speakers simultaneously. Newer technology comes equipped with Bluetooth 5 which allows you to pair with two devices at once. Other device manufacturers have developed their own similar solutions.

How can I use headphones and speakers at the same time PC? ›

Use an audio splitter or Bluetooth adapter

A splitter offers a plug-and-play solution. Simply plug the splitter into your PC and plug the headphones into one port and the speakers into another. It's best to buy a high-quality audio splitter.

Can you run 2 audio interfaces at once? ›

The short answer is: “Yes.” You can use two (or, theoretically, more) audio interfaces together in the same computer and have them be recognized by your DAW. But like many aspects of recording‒particularly computer-based recording‒you will have to do a bit of configuring to make it work.

How do I switch between speakers and headphones? ›

Press the Windows logo key + I to launch the Settings app. Click System on the left section, and then click Sound on the right pane. Under the Output section, click the “Choose where to play sound” drop-down list and you can choose either Headphones or Speakers as the default audio output device.

What is the shortcut to switch audio devices in Windows 10? ›

Head over to the Hotkeys tab. Click the plus button at the bottom right of the Hotkeys tab. On the Add Hot Key window, open the Device dropdown and select the audio device you want to set the keyboard shortcut for.

How do I use multiple devices as speakers? ›

To enable this feature:
  1. Go to Settings > Connections > Bluetooth. ...
  2. Tap Advanced. ...
  3. Turn on the Dual Audio toggle switch.
  4. To use Dual Audio, pair the phone with two speakers, two headphones, or one of each, and audio will stream to both.
  5. If you add a third, the first paired device will be booted off.
24 Dec 2021

How do I fix my audio settings? ›

Fix sound or audio problems in Windows
  1. Check your speaker output. ...
  2. Run the audio troubleshooter. ...
  3. Verify that all Windows Updates are installed. ...
  4. Check your cables, plugs, jacks, volume, speaker, and headphone connections. ...
  5. Check sound settings. ...
  6. Fix your audio drivers. ...
  7. Set your audio device as the default device.

How do I configure audio? ›

Configuring Sound and Audio Devices
  1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound > Playback tab. or. ...
  2. Right-click a device in the list and choose a command to configure or test the device, or to inspect or change its properties (Figure 4.33). ...
  3. When you're done, click OK in each open dialog box.
1 Oct 2009

How do I change the default audio device format? ›

Right-click the sound icon at the end of the taskbar. Select Sounds from the context menu. This will open the Sounds tab of the classic applet. Select the desired device in the list and click on the Set Default button.

Where is advanced sound options? ›

To check out the new options for sound, head to Settings > System > Sound. There you will see options to adjust the levels of the sound input (mic) and output (speakers) connected to your system. There are also important advanced features like the ability to control the audio preferences of individual apps.

How do I enable high resolution audio in Windows? ›

Starting Hi-Res Audio Player/Device settings (for Windows)
  1. Select [Hi-Res Audio Player] from the start menu. Hi-Res Audio Player starts.
  2. Select [Device] from the [Configure] menu. ...
  3. Select the device that you connected to the computer from the [Device] drop-down list, and then click [OK].

How do I enable HD audio in Windows 10? ›

Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager in Windows 10. Click Startup tab, and right-click Realtek HD Audio Manager to choose Enable. Restart your computer to see if Realtek HD Audio Manager shows up in the system tray.

How do I manually adjust audio output? ›

Tap the small button at the top right of the player notification tile. In the media player pop-up, you'll see a list of connected audio devices. Tap the one you want to switch to.

How do I change audio output Realtek? ›

Method 1: Change Realtek Audio Manager Settings
  1. Double click the Realtek Audio Manager from the icon tray (bottom right corner)
  2. Click Device advanced settings from the top right corner.
  3. Check the option Make front and rear output devices playback two different audio streams simultaneously from the Playback Device section.
18 Aug 2022

What is Realtek digital output? ›

Many computers come with Realtek sound cards, and you can use digital output to create audio. Digital output simply means that the audio devices connected to your computer don't use analog cables. When using digital output, your audio devices require the correct feature to be enabled on your computer.

How do I configure my audio driver? ›

Update audio drivers on Windows 10
  1. Click on the Start menu and type in Device Manager. ...
  2. Search for Sound, video and game controllers. ...
  3. Double-click on the audio entry and switch over to the Driver tab. ...
  4. Select Search automatically for updated driver software.
26 Sept 2019

How can I see what devices are connected to my computer? ›

For Windows Users: Type CMD in the search box and click Run as Administrator from the menu. Enter the net view command to view devices connected to your network You will then see a list of devices connected to your network in the output.

How can I see hidden sound devices? ›

Open Control panel. Click Hardware and Sound and then Click on Sounds. Under Playback tab, right click on the empty area and make sure “Show Disabled Devices” has a check mark on it. If headphones/Speakers are disabled, it will now show up in the list.

Why is Realtek High Definition Audio hidden? ›

Digging deeper, it turns out that the latest version (v2. 82) of the Realtek HD Audio Driver is buggy on the Windows 10 platform. That causes HD Audio Manager to hide from the taskbar. On some PC, it doesn't even launch/open the HD Audio Manager at all.

How do I disable certain audio devices? ›

Here's a quick walkthrough on how to enable and disable playback (or output) devices in Windows.
  1. 1) Right click the sound icon in your system tray (or task tray)
  2. 2) Open sound settings.
  3. 3) Manage sound devices.
  4. 4) Click on the devices you'd like to enable or disable.

How do I stop unused audio devices? ›

Disable a Sound Output Device with Manage sound devices Page
  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to System > Sound.
  3. On the right, click on the link Manage sound devices under Output.
  4. On the next page, select your sound output device in the list in Output devices.
  5. Click on the Disable button to disable the selected device.
2 Sept 2019

How do I see all Sound devices? ›

In the Settings app, navigate to System, and then to Sound. On the right side of the window, click or tap on the currently selected playback device under "Choose your output device." The Settings app should show you a list of all the audio playback devices available on your system.

Where can I find audio properties? ›

To see an audio device's properties, choose Start > Devices and Printers (or Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers), and then double-click the audio device's icon (Figure 4.36).

How do I change what audio device is using a program? ›

Press “Open Sound settings.” Scroll down and press “App volume and device preferences” under “Advanced sound options.” Find the program or app for which you want to customize the audio output device and press the lower arrow on the right. Select the desired audio output device.

What are audio control devices? ›

A sound control system includes a plurality of electronic devices connected to a communication network, each of the electronic devices being capable of independently producing sound from connected speakers, and a sound control device transmitting control signals for controlling the electronic devices and audio signals ...

Can you block listening devices? ›

How to block listening devices, a quick take: Use a noise blocker or white noise generator to block long-distance recording or hidden devices in your home. Use frequency scanners or infrared smartphone apps to find hidden cameras.

Are your devices always listening? ›

Yes, your phone is listening to you — to an extent and namely through virtual assistant apps, that is. First came Siri in 2011, then came Google Assistant, and then Alexa and Cortana all followed.

How do I get to advanced sound settings on Windows 10? ›

Use the Windows Start Menu, the Sound Icon, and a Keyboard Shortcut. To use the Start Menu, navigate to Windows Start Menu > PC Settings > System > Sound. To use a keyboard shortcut, press Win + I. To use the sound icon, right-click the sound icon on the taskbar and select Open Sound settings.

Where are Windows audio files located? ›

Typically, a computer has one location under which all music files are stored. This location is on your hard (or, more modernly, solid state) disk. Some operating systems have common locations for this. For instance, the default location in Windows is C:\[your username]\My Music\.


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