When the sound stops working on your computer, things can get really frustrating really quickly. After all, we depend on sound for nearly everything – from making calls to watching videos. Here are five tips to help you troubleshoot computer audio for Windows.

1. Check the cables

This might sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many people don’t check their cables before panicking. Make sure, first, that all cables are attached correctly and, second, that all cables are working properly. Faults can pop up unexpectedly.

2. Make sure that the volume is turned up – everywhere

For sound to work, there must be audible volume at every point – the internet browser (if relevant), the computer and the speakers and/or headphones.

3. Run the Windows Playing Audio troubleshooter

This efficient program runs through the computer’s whole system, including volume settings, sound cards, sound drivers, speakers and/or headphones. To troubleshoot computer audio this way, click Start, then Control Panel, then type ‘troubleshooter’ in the Panel’s search box. Click Troubleshooting, then click audio playback, which you’ll find in the Hardware and Sound section. You might need an admin password. For best results, be sure to use an updated version of the troubleshooter.

4. Check your drivers

Every now and again, your drivers can become disabled or faulty without you knowing it. This can sometimes be caused by a virus or malware. To check this, open your Windows Device Manager, then click on Sound, Video and Game Controllers. Here, you’ll be able to see if the drivers have been disabled – you can reverse this easily, by simply clicking Enable. If you’re unable to see your drivers or you see a warning symbol, you can try either reinstalling or updating your drivers.

5. Visit the computer manufacturer’s support page or website

If none of the above tips solve the problem, it might be time to seek some extra, and more specific, information. The easiest way to do this is to go straight to the support section of your computer manufacturer’s website – some brands even have entire sites dedicated to this. Or get in touch with the knowledgeable team here at Rapid IT Support.