How to Reset External Speakers on a Computer

By Jeff Grundy

Resetting your speaker settings in Windows can help correct many common sound problems.
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Most desktop computers ship with some type of external speaker system, and even laptops allow you to connect an extra set of PC speakers without special adapters. When using the speakers to listen to sound from music, videos or games, it is possible that the application you are using may change your speaker settings or you may change them yourself inadvertently. If that happens, you may hear distorted audio or strange effects from your speakers, or you may hear no sound at all. You can troubleshoot the issue without the help of a technician.

Step 1

Click the "Speaker" icon in the system tray of the Windows taskbar and ensure that the blue speaker icon does not have a red line through it. If the blue speaker icon does have a red line through it, click it once to remove it. Open a media application and play an audio file to test the sound of the speakers. If the audio through the speakers sounds normal, you have successfully reset the mute function and restored sound from the speakers.

Step 2

Shut down the computer. Power off the speakers, if they have a power button. Disconnect the speaker jack from the rear of the computer and reconnect it. Power the speakers back on.

Step 3

Reboot the computer and log in to Windows. Open Windows Media Player by clicking the Windows "Start" button, typing "media player" in the Search field and pressing "Enter." Play an audio or music file to determine if the speakers are operating properly.

Step 4

Click the Windows "Start" button if the sound from the speakers is still not acceptable. Click "Control Panel," select "Hardware and Sound" and choose "Sound."

Step 5

Click the "Playback" tab in the Sound window. Click the "Speakers" icon and select "Properties."

Step 6

Click the "General" tab and select the "Device Usage" drop-down menu. Choose the "Use This Device (Enable)" option and click "Apply."

Step 7

Click the "Enhancements" tab and enable the "Disable All Sound Effects" option. Click "Apply."

Step 8

Click the "Advanced" tab in the Speakers Properties window. If the "Restore Defaults" button is an available option, click it. After you click the "Restore Defaults" button, or if it not an available option, click "Apply" and click "OK."

Step 9

Close the Control Panel window and restart the computer to ensure that changes to the speaker settings take effect. Once you restart the computer, sound from the external computer speakers should play normally.