How Do You Troubleshoot Computer Speakers Not Working with Your Windows 10 Computer?

Problem scenario
You have some older speakers plugged into your laptop that was recently reformatted (Windows 10 was recently installed). You know the laptop's audio works via its built-in speakers. You know the speakers work from your a second laptop. But one laptop seems not compatible with one pair of head phones or one set of external speakers. There is a 3.5 mm jack that you connect the speakers to your laptop. Everything seems fine, but there is no sound. What should you do?


  1. Go to the Windows search field in the lower left hand corner. Type in "Sound" (with no quotes) and press Enter.
  2. Click on "Sound Control Panel"
  3. Double click "Speakers/Headphones"
  4. Go to the "Advanced" tab.
  5. Click on different "Default Format" options in the drop down menu (e.g, 16 bit or 24 bit, and different Hz options) one at a time. After you click on one option, click "Test."
  6. Reboot your computer to see if the problem has been resolved. If you still have a problem, can you go to the Windows Device Manager and upgrade the driver for the audio device? If the driver date is April 2018 or you cannot upgrade the driver, try installing this driver here:
    (Go to the link above and find the word "Download" in the largest font of the other "Download" words. Run the .exe as administrator. Your computer will need to reboot twice, but it will automatically uninstall the previous driver.)
  7. If you know the laptop's 3.5 mm jack works and the speakers work, you may want to contact a computer repair person if the combination of hardware does not work and the above steps did not help.

See also this posting. As a last resort (if you have a physical hardware problem) you may want to buy new speakers; you can do so here. You can buy a new laptop here.

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