When Your System Says No Audio Output Device Is Installed

You want to listen to some music while working. But your system refuses to play any sound. Instead, it displays a red cross on your sound icon telling you that you don’t have any audio output device installed in your system.

Now, this could happen due to two reasons,

  • Either Windows has disabled your audio device, or
  • You don’t have the latest correct device drivers.

So, what do you do now? Repair of course. Here are a few things you can try doing to resolve the issue. Let’s go through them one by one.

Re-enable The Device

As mentioned above, one reason why your audio output device isn’t working could be because Windows has disabled it. So, to resolve the problem, all you have to do is to enable it back again.

To do that, open the run command by pressing Windows and R keys together. In the run box, type in devmgmt.msc and hit enter. The device manager will be launched. From the list in the device manager, select sound, video and game controller option. Expand the option, select your device and right-click on it. Now select enable and exit the Window.

If you can’t find this option in the list, click on the Action and select add legacy hardware option. When you click next, you will be taken to the add hardware wizard. Go with the recommended settings and click next.

If the wizard couldn’t find any hardware, click next and you will see a list of hardware types. Here you can find the sound, video and game controller option. Click next after selecting it.

Enter the brand and model of your sound card and click next. This will install the device and click finish when done.

If you don’t know the details, you can skip the above steps and expand the option to enable the sound device.

Update The Sound Driver

The problem with your audio output device could be because of the outdated driver as well. You can either use the tools available online for automatically updating the driver or do it through the device manager.

Launch your device manager and go to the sound, video and game controller option and expand it. Select your sound card and right-click on it. You will find the option of updating the driver, select it and follow the instructions. When done, exit the settings and see if the audio output is working.

Uninstall And Reinstall The Driver

If updating doesn’t work, you might have to uninstall the driver and then install it again. Go to the device manager and find the sound setting option. Expand the option, select your sound card, right-click on it and select uninstall.

Now, restart your system. Your system will automatically look for the missing drivers and will install them all back.

Run Windows 10 Audio Troubleshooter

Windows 10 comes with many exceptional tools, and its audio troubleshooter is one of them. It is one of the tools that come in handy if your system keeps saying No Audio Output Device is installed.

To access the troubleshooter. Press Windows and X together and type troubleshooter in the search bar. Hitting enter, click on view all to see all the troubleshooter options on your Windows 10.

Select the playing audio option, and then you will be given a series of instructions. Follow them for completing the troubleshooting. Your troubleshooter will detect all the audio issues, and these issues will be displayed after the search is completed. You can then proceed with fixing them with troubleshooter.

Replacing The Sound Card

In the worst case scenario, you might have the defective sound card. So, to fix this issue, you will have to replace it with a new one. To replace the sound card in your system, you will have to open the case and see if it is removable or integrated. If it is integrated, you will have to take it to the service center.

If it is removable, open the panel of your laptop, take out the sound card and replace it with a new sound card. However, if you haven’t done this before, or not sure about it, you must contact an expert or get this done in the manufacturer’s service center. Or you can even use a portable external sound card on your laptop if nothing else works.

Also, while you are getting the sound card replaced in any place other than the service centers, make sure that counterfeit parts aren’t used. This might end up in the reoccurring of the same issue shortly and even might bring serious damage to your system.

These methods will surely have the problem sorted. However, if the issue keeps occurring time and over, you must get in touch with the manufacturer’s customer support for a better understanding of the issue.


Maria Colombo
Maria Colombo
Articles: 1205