How to Fix Audio Drivers

By Kefa Olang

Audio drivers are used to supply sound to media programs and sound devices on your computer. They come in a variety of types and have different features to improve audio quality. They can, however, get damaged, corrupted or go missing depending on system updates and what you install on your computer. With some simple troubleshooting steps, you can repair audio drivers safely.

Check your speakers and make sure they are connected to the right inputs on your computer before proceeding to check the sound drivers.

Click the Windows "Start" button and click the "Control Panel." Double-click "System" and click the "Hardware" tab. Click the "Device Manager." For Windows Vista users, click "Hardware and Sound" and click "Device" manager. The Device Manager allows you to verify the status of drivers and hardware running on your computer.

Scroll down the Device Manager until you locate "Sound, video and game controller." Click the "+" button next to it to expand it. You should see a list of sound drivers on your computer. If you see a question or exclamation mark on any of the drivers, it means it is either corrupt or missing.

Right-click the sound driver that has a question or exclamation mark and click "Properties." You should see a title stating that the device is not working properly if it is damaged. Click the "Driver" tab and click "Update." Follow the wizard to install the audio drivers. Move to the next step if this does not solve the audio problem.

Write down your computer model number. The location of the number varies with different computer models, but can generally be found on the back off your system.

Go to your computer manufacturer's website and look for the drivers and downloads page. Use your computer model number to locate the sound drivers.

Download the sound drivers when you have found the right ones (they are different with different computer models) and install them on your computer. Go back to the Device Manager and verify that the question and exclamation marks are no longer there.

Restart your computer. Verify that the sound is now available by launching a media program (e.g. Windows Media Player) and playing back an audio file.