What To Do If Headphones Are Not Working in Windows 10?

It is not uncommon to get reports like Headphones are not working properly or not being recognized in Windows 10.

Many users are facing various levels of issues with the software configuration of this new OS. Headphone not working is one such issue.

This issue mainly arises due to drivers. For instance, drivers may clash with each other or the system may misread the one type of sound output as another type. When you open the sound settings, it will be very difficult for you to figure out what the hell is going on.

Don’t worry. In this guide, we will give you some committable fixes which will work out for you.

Solution #1: Reinstall, Replace or Update Audio Drivers

This is the first approach you should go by. If you are inserting your device’ plug into the system port, and you get that typical “ting” sound. That suggests that your device has been recognized at a hardware level, which is good news.

But still it is not working, that means something must be happening at the software end not dispatching the sound from the PC to the headphones.

So this is what you have to do here to deal with this issue:

Step 1. In the “Run” search box, type “devmgmt.msc” and hit “Enter” to open up the “Device Manager” operating section directly.

Step 2. Expand the option “Sound, video, game controllers”.

Step 3. Choose your sound driver, for example, “Realtek high definition audio” and right-click on it.

Step 4. From the context menu, click “update drivers”.

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Step 5. Click “Search automatically for updated driver software” option from the message box that next follows to let the system search for the compatible driver.

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In case this is failing, you can right-click the sound drive and choose “Disable” and then “Enable” option. This too in many cases works fine.


You can also roll back the drive by choosing the “Properties” option from the right-click.  You need to go to the “Driver” section and then click the “Roll-back driver” option.

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On many occasions, users have reported this one also as a quick fix. On the Update driver operating Window, click on “Browse my computer for driver software”, then go for the “Let me pick from a list” option followed with “High definition audio driver”. Immediately you will get a warning notification or message about the driver’s incompatibility. Just ignore the message, continue and install the driver. The problem surprisingly seems to disappear. Nobody knows how, but who cares.

The real issue is sorted out, that’s the main concern.

But if none of these fixes are resolving the issue. Don’t despair. Go to the next solution section.

Solution #2: Ensure that Headphones are “Default Device” and “Enabled”

Another vital sport where you can fix the headphone not working issue is the Sound Window.

Follow the step guidelines and you will know it:

Step 1. Right-click the “Speaker icon” icon and choose “Sounds” option.

Step 2. Next; head to the “Playback” tab in the operating Window.

Step 3. Right-click at an empty spot and from the context menu, simply check the two options “Show Disabled Devices” and “Show Disconnected Devices”.

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Step 4. Now from the list of devices shown thereafter, check if they are “disabled”. If they come with the disabled status, right-click on each one of them and select “Enable” option to activate it.

Finally, right-click the “Headphone” option and select “Set as default device” from the sub-menu.

Still not working? Wait there is yet one solution ahead.

Solution #3: Set HD Audio Over AC97

Generally, AC97 comes with two audio standards that usually connect to the 3.5mm port on many computers. Which standard your PC utilizes, depends upon the header that connects your motherboard to your front side sound ports.

Considering that everything is arranged in the right order, you must go to the audio driver tool setting page, and make sure that your “Connector settings” are correctly set.

Since our driver tool is Realtek, we first go to the Realtek HD Audio Manager page (You can access this from Control Panel).

Move to the Settings icon at the top right corner of the Window, and under “Connector Settings” panel make sure that the “HD Audio Front Panel” is selected.

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Moreover, instead of substituting your speakers by checking the checkbox option shown below in the image, you can also use headphones as a second audio device.

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Solution #4: Alter the “Default Format” of Your Headphones

Sometimes, it has been seen that by changing the headphone format the issue seems to disappear forever.

To pull this off, follow the steps listed below:

Step 1. First of all, go to the “Sound” Windows as explained earlier in the 2nd solution.

Step 2. Right-click on your headphone, which appears with a speaker icon.

Step 3. Select “Properties” from the drop-down menu list and go the “Advanced” tab.

Step 4. Now click on the “Default Format” option and a drop-down list will appear. Try out each of the formats by first selecting it and then clicking the “Test” button each time to change it. Choose that particular in which you begin to hear the audio.

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So the article wraps it up this way everything you needed.

As you know, the sound is typically a different aspect to troubleshoot, so you cannot approach that way. So these are the only applicable ways you can try out by yourself.

But still, if the issue recurs, again and again, you better take a piece of expert advice.

For more details, keep visiting our website.

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