How to Get Sound Back on Windows 7

By Benjamin Aries

Several issues can cause audio to fail on a Windows 7 computer.
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Sound may stop playing on a Windows 7 system for a few reasons. If your computer has no audio, confirming that the sound card is installed correctly is one troubleshooting step. You'll also need to ensure that all of the audio cables are properly connected and the speakers are receiving power. If these basic steps do not restore audio, you can run a Windows troubleshooting wizard to find and fix sound problems.

Sound Card

Click the "Start" button, select "Control Panel," and then choose "System and Security."

Click on "Device Manager" in the System section and enter your administrator password, if prompted.

Double-click on "Sound, Video and Game Controllers." Verify that a sound card is listed. If you don't see a sound card, check your PC's user manual for re-installation instructions.

Cables and Connections

Check that your external speakers or headphones are connected to the computer. Verify that the audio plug is not mistakenly plugged into the Line In jack.

Confirm that your HDMI audio device is set to default, if you are using an HDMI audio cable. Click "Start | Control Panel| Sound | Playback." Select your HDMI device, then click "Set Default" and "OK."

Refresh the USB audio device, if one is in use. Unplug the USB cable from the computer and restart your audio program. Test for audio playback on a non-USB device. Reconnect the USB device and follow the Windows prompts to reload the driver.

Power and Volume

Verify that your speakers are turned on and properly connected to a power outlet.

Click "Start" and select "Control Panel." Choose "Hardware and Sound," and then click on "Adjust System Volume."

Move the "Volume" slider up. Make sure that the volume is not muted. If a red symbol is visible, click on the "Volume" button to unmute the speakers.

Audio Troubleshooter

Click the "Start" button and select "Control Panel." Type "troubleshooter" in the search field.

Choose "Troubleshooting." Locate the "Hardware and Sound" section and click "Troubleshoot Audio Playback."

Enter your administrator password, if prompted. The troubleshooting wizard will automatically attempt to fix your audio problem. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process.