Sound in Windows depends on a sound device or audio device being present. If no audio device is installed, sound will not work. Audio devices in Windows can be input or output devices, so for your microphone to work an input audio device needs to be present, and for your speakers to work an audio output device needs to be installed.

If the Windows sound is not working, or your program reports that no audio output device is installed, you need to get the audio device working before any sound can be produced. There can be a number of causes for this error, so follow these steps to check for a solution to the audio output device not installed problem.

  1. Start by opening the Device Manager in Windows. Type “devmgmt.msc” at the Start menu or Run option. Open the Sound, video and game controllers group, and make sure the audio device, when present, is not disabled.
    Simply right-click the device, and in the popup menu select Enable to activate it again.
    Enable audio device in Device Manager
    If the audio device is present and is enabled, try disabling it and re-enabling it to see if that solves your problem.
  2. If the device enabling does not work, but there is an audio device in the Sound, video and game controllers group, try uninstalling the device. Again right-click the audio device and in the popup menu select Uninstall. Once complete, reboot and Windows will reinstall the device.
    If required, you can select Scan for hardware changes in the Action menu of the Device manager, to force Windows to reinstall the audio device.
  3. If the audio device is present in the Device Manager, but you still get the no audio output device installed error, check if the Windows Audio service is running.
    In the Start menu or Run option type “services.msc”. In the Services window, scroll down in the list until you find the Windows Audio entry.
    Start Windows Audio service
    The Windows Audio service needs to have a Status that says Started, and the Startup Type should be Automatic. If this is not the case, right-click the Windows Audio entry, and in the popup menu select Properties.
    In the window that opens up, change the Startup type and Start the service.
  4. If there is no audio device listed in the Device Manager, the best option is to try and install the audio driver. An audio driver is a piece of software that ensures that Windows can communicate with the sound card. This software can either be provided by Microsoft, or by the manufacturer of the sound card.
    First make sure you use Windows Update to ensure that Windows is up to date, and any available audio drivers from Microsoft are installed. If that does not help, download the audio driver for your sound card from the sound card manufacturer’s website and install it. Make sure you download the right driver for your Windows version to prevent compatibility issues.
    If you are not able to do all this manually, you can try using a driver finder program to locate the right audio driver for your sound card automatically.

Using the steps above, most problems with no audio output device installed can be solved. If you still face problems, make sure there is no device conflict. Disable the onboard audio if you use a PCI audio card or USB audio card, and update your other device drivers to prevent device resource conflicts.

12 Responses to “No Audio Output Device Installed”

  1. Kim says:

    Am completely amazed…..your excellent directions/suggestions have fixed the audio input problem on my very old and almost good for nothing PC — it’s still great for my cloud music in a secluded part of the house. THANKS!!! (Thought we were headed to the pc graveyard but, not yet ?????) Keep up the great assistance.

  2. Geoff says:

    @Kim – Glad it helped! Older PC’s can often be used for exactly such relatively simple tasks. People tend to upgrade or disgard older PC’s way too fast.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  3. sandeep says:

    your help has gone down well and the problem has been duly fixed.

    thnx a lot

  4. Geoff says:

    @sandeep – Great! And thanks for letting us know it helped you your audio output device problem.

  5. Kuchyllo Amolo says:

    Hi guys, I was running win10 on an Acer aspire E1 571 laptop with 6GB ram and 1TB then ran into the sound issue. I’ve tried everything listed above but nothing has worked. I’m now stuck. I downgraded to win 8 and even 7 but still the same. I cant install Realtek( the official sound driver). Any pointers anyone?

  6. Geoff says:

    @Kuchyllo Amolo – Have you tried installing the Windows 8.1 audio driver from the Acer website?
    Try right-clicking it and running it in compatibility mode if it does not work.
    Another thing you could try is to use the latest Realtek audio drivers from the Realtek website.
    If that also does not work, see if you can post the hardware ID of your audio device here, so I can point you to the right drivers.

  7. ashish satpati says:

    thanks… 🙂

  8. sofiya says:

    My pc goes crazy. The sound just off for no reason and sometimes it is on. Whenever it off, i can’t find the right way to fix it cause there is no sound video and game controller tab in device manager once if the audio is off. Help me please i already reinstall my pc but nothing change. Email me if someone know the way to fix it please and thank you

  9. Tomide says:

    please help guys im in a serious mess. my old acer aspire 7800 sound was working fine untill i messed up the settings in realtek room\sound settings. i think i disabled some jack stuff or something then the settings control wasnt visible anymore and i got the red X sign on the volume nob saying no audio device installed . pls help

  10. Geoff says:

    @sofiya – Would be helpful if you can provide some more detail to your problem.
    Like, what is the computer (brand/model), and what Windows version are you running?

  11. Geoff says:

    @Tomide – Have you tried uninstalling the Realtek software from the Control Panel -> Add//Remove Software?
    Or try opeing the Device Manager, and then uninstall the audio device by right-clicking on it. Reboot after that, and the audio device will automatically get reinstalled, hopefully resetting the settings.

  12. Tomide says:

    Thanks geoff i fixed it. the problem i think was the fact that my default sound device is not working or something like that and the working realtek got deleted. the fix – searched the net and downloaded the specific working version for my pc ( its quite old ) NOW I GOT MY SOUND BACK 🙂 .

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