How to Detect a Sound Card

By Contributor

Updated December 13, 2019

When you get a new computer, it is easy to determine what is contained in it. If you are buying a used computer or receiving a pass-me-down computer, you don't know what it has installed in it. A sound card is a very important piece of hardware, especially in the multimedia-rich Internet of today. Check your computer to see if it has a sound card or not.

Check the front or back of the computer to see if there are audio jacks for speakers, microphone or audio inputs. These plugs are typically in a standard color code of green, pink, and blue. If you can find no plugs available, then it is a good bet that the computer doesn't have a sound card installed.

Open the control panel, Start>Settings>Control Panel. Look for the icon that says "Sound and Audio Devices." Open the icon and look on the "Sounds" tab. The sound device used for audio appears in a box in the upper portion of the screen. There should also be entries in the last three tabs. The last tab is the "Hardware" tab. It will list all the available audio and sound devices on the computer.

Right-click on the "My Computer" icon and select "Properties." Click on the third tab and then select the "Device Manager." The Device Manager shows all the hardware on your computer. It displays any devices it cannot identify under "Other" with a yellow question mark. These may be the sound card. If there is nothing listed under "Sound card" and nothing under "Other", then you don't have a sound card in your computer.