Fix: No Speakers or Headphones are Plugged In

High quality sound is really important criterion for better user experience while you are working on your computer or notebook. In almost all computers and notebooks, sound card is integrated on motherboard, and they are called on-board sound cards. Also, some companies (HP, Lenovo, Dell or others) are manufacturing computers with speakers integrated in computer cases. Also, speakers are integrated in notebook case. Except internal speakers, end users are purchasing external speakers and headphones. There are different types of speakers or headphones, from standard devices which are cheap, to gaming devices which are really expensive.

When you plug your speakers or headphones in audio 3.5” jack on your computer or notebook, you will see that speakers or headphones are active on taskbar. In case your speakers or headphones are not plugged in, you will be red X on your speakers, on taskbar.

Sometimes when you plug your speakers or headphones in audio 3.5” jack, you expect that red X will disappear. Unfortunately, red X is still on your speakers, because there are some problems with your audio device.

There are few reasons why this problem occurred, including faulty speakers or headphones, audio card is disabled in BIOS or Windows, audio driver is not up to dated and others. We will show you how to solve problem with audio device using eight methods we prepared for you.

Method 1: Test speakers or headphones on another machine

To be sure that your speakers or headphones are not faulty, we are recommending you to check are they working on another computer or notebook. If you do not have another computer or notebook you can test speakers or headphones on your smartphone. If they are not working good, change your speakers and headphones. If they are working without any problems, continue troubleshooting sound problem from Method 2.

Method 2: Disable and enable sound card

One of the first steps when you have problem with your hardware device on your computer or notebook is to disable your device, and after than enable, again. You can try this method in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

  1. Hold Windows logo and press R
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter. Device Manager will open.
  3. Expand Sound, video and game controllers
  4. Right click on sound card and click Disable
  5. Click Yes to disable sound card
  6. Wait few seconds and then Enable your sound card
  7. Restart your Windows
  8. Test you speakers and headphones

Method 3: Update sound card driver

If first two methods did not solve your problem, next step will include updating sound drivers. We will show you how to update sound driver in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Procedure is really simple. If you are using Window 7, you do not need to download sound driver for Windows 10. Please do not download sound driver for another operating system. Also, you need to download sound driver based on your operating system architecture, including 32-bit and 64-bit. We will show you how to uninstall Realtek driver and how to download the latest audio driver for notebook Dell Vostro 15 5568.

  1. Hold Windows logo and press R
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter. Device Manager will open.
  3. Expand Sound, video and game controllers
  4. Right click on sound card and click Uninstall device
  5. Select Delete the driver software for this device and click Uninstall
  6. Restart your Windows
  7. Download the latest driver for sound card, which you will access on this LINK
  8. Install audio driver
  9. Restart your Windows
  10. Test your speakers and headphones

Method 4: Disable front panel jack detection

Realtek is manufacturer of sound cards and one of the leaders on IT market. If you are using Realtek sound card, you will need to do some changes in Realtek software. Changes will include disabling front panel jack detection in Realtek HD Audio Manager.

  1. Left click on Start menu and type Realtek HD Audio Manager
  2. Open Realtek HD Audio Manager and choose Speakers tab
  3. Click on folder under Device Advanced settings. Connector Settings will open.
  4. Select Disable front panel jack detection
  5. Click OK
  6. Test your speakers and headphones

Method 5: Disable HDMI sound

If you are using HDMI cable to transfer audio, you will need to disable HDMI audio and then try to use your speakers or headphones. We will show you how to disable HDMI output

  1. Right click on speaker in the lower right corner on taskbar
  2. Select Playback devices
  3. Open Playback tab
  4. Right click on S24D590 which is using HDMI and select Disable
  5. Click Apply and then OK
  6. Test your speakers or headphones

Method 6: System restore

Sometimes after Windows update, audio card stops to work. Solution for this to revert your Windows to previous state, before that update. One of the steps end users are ignoring is creating system restore checkpoints. If you are not one of the users who ignored this, we are recommending you to restore your Windows to previous state using System restore. If you know when audio worked without problems, revert your Windows to that date. If System Restore is not enable on your computer, then you need to read Method 7. We are recommending you to enable System Restore, by reading this LINK.

  1. Hold Windows logo and press Enter
  2. Type rstrui.exe and press Enter
  3. Click Choose a different restore point and click Next
  4. Choose proper checkpoint and click Next
  5. Click Finish
  6. Restart your Windows and wait until Windows finished system restore
  7. Test your speakers and headphones

Method 7: Enable audio card in BIOS or UEFI

If you are using integrated sound card, you will need to check settings in BIOS or UEFI. Sometimes, integrated sound card can be disabled in your BIOS and you need to enable it. You will need to access your BIOS or UEFI. How you will access BIOS or UEFI? It depends from vendor. For Dell you need to press F2 during boot, for HP you need to press F10 button. We are recommending you to check technical documentation of device you are using. We will show you how to enable audio card on ASUS motherboard.

  1. Restart or turn on your computer or notebook
  2. During the boot process press Del or F2 to access BIOS or UEFI
  3. Press F7 to access Advanced Mode
  4. Click OK to confirm access to Advanced Mode
  5. Choose Advanced, and then click Onboard Devices Configuration
  6. Navigate to onboard audio devices. As you see, there are two audio devices HD Audio Controller and Realtek LAN Controller. You need to enable them.
  7. Press Exit and after that click Save Changes & Reset
  8. Test your speakers or headphones

Method 8: Change your sound card

The last solution you can try is to disable current on-board sound card and install external audio card. You will do it by accessing BIOS or UEFI, which is described in method 7. Next step is to purchase compatible audio card with your device and operating system. There are USB, PCI and PCIx audio card. There are a lot of sound card manufacturer, including Asus, C-Media, Sound Blaster and others.

Jasmin Kahriman
Jasmin is a certified Senior Systems Engineer with over 10 years of experience and is currently employed by Paessler AG. Jasmin holds multiple IT certifications which includes CNIP, MTA, MCP, MCSA, Network+.

Expert Tip

Fix: No Speakers or Headphones are Plugged In

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