This post will focus on how to fix the No audio output device is installed Windows 10 error when you mouse over to the speaker icon (with a red cross on it) on the task bar, particularly after Windows 10 update. It could also appear as “No speakers or headphones are plugged in” error.
Though the solutions listed below focus on cases that happen after Windows update, if you have the similar issue after other occasions, you can also use the same solutions to troubleshoot your audio problem.
The No audio output device is installed Windows 10 error is especially common in HP, Dell XPS 13, Toshiba, Lenovo Yoga, and Asus laptops.
Fix: No Audio Output Device Is Installed Windows 10 After Update
The error message basically indicates that Windows 10 is unable to detect any audio device in your system. It may be due to something has unintentionally disabled your audio device, incorrect audio drivers, audio connectivity issue, or audio hardware failure.
Enable your audio device
Windows update will sometimes mistakenly disable devices, including your audio output devices. If your audio device works fine before the update and only starts to show No audio output device is installed Windows 10 after update, it could mean the update disabled your audio device by mistake.
Here’s how to re-enable your audio device:
- Go to start menu.
- Search for Device Manager and open it.
- Expand Sound, video and game controllers.
- Right-click your audio device, then select Enable device.
If you have multiple audio devices listed under the category, just enable all of them. Restart your PC and verify if the No audio output device is installed problem persists.
If you don’t see your audio device, or even the entire sound controller category from the list, go to the next method.
Manually reinstall the audio driver
If you your audio device is not listed in device manager, it means that your audio device’s driver is not installed (or was mistakenly removed by Windows update), thus, resulting in No audio output device is installed Windows 10 error.
You will have to reinstall the audio driver. If you have a driver CD with you, install it. Otherwise, try to search for the driver from your device manufacturer’s website.
If you have no idea where to download the driver, you can try to manually install your audio driver by using the add legacy hardware option in Windows 10. To do this, follow the steps below.
- Go to start menu.
- Search and open Device Manager.
- Select Sound, video and game controllers.
- Click on Action from the menu, then select Add legacy hardware.
- Click Next.
- For now, you should try the first option first – Search for and install the hardware automatically (Recommended).
- If the wizard can’t find anything, click Next.
- Under Common hardware types, select Sound, video and game controllers.
- If you know the manufacturer and model of your sound card, select it. Otherwise, select Realtek High Definition Audio as instructed below.
- Click Next to begin the installation.
When the installation is complete, restart your computer and see if the No audio output device is installed Windows 10 error is fixed.
Uninstall the sound driver
The other method to fix this is to uninstall your sound driver if you can see it in Device Manager. When Windows a new device, it will automatically scan and install the best matched driver for your audio output device.
Open Device Manager. Right-click your audio device / sound card under Sound, video and game controllers. Select Uninstall device. Restart your computer and see if Windows can detect and install your audio driver automatically. Most of the time it’ll be able to detect and install the right driver for your audio, unless if the audio device or the sound card is broken.
If it doesn’t, try to run Windows Update again to let it install the missing driver from Windows driver repository. Alternatively, you can go back to the Device Manager and look for any audio output device with a question mark. Right-click the audio device and then select “Update driver”.
If no audio device can be detected, you need to check on your audio device’s connection – whether it is correctly plugged in to your PC or not. Also, you may need to update your motherboard’s chipset driver and any sound controller driver from the manufacturer’s website.
After trying all the fixes and you’re still getting the No audio output device is installed Windows 10 after update, or No speakers or headphones are plugged in error, drop us a comment and we’ll try to help.