Following a European Union ruling, laptops sold in Europe must now include a high-volume warning, indicating that listening to music and videos at high volume through earphones can lead to hearing loss. Realtek users report a recurring issue where this warning surfaces whenever the volume exceeds 42, and sporadically afterwards. Given that this stems from a ruling, it’s probable that other laptop and system manufacturers will experience the same problem.
After selecting ‘Allow‘, users frequently encounter the following message:
High volume can cause permanent hearing damage. Protect your ears by keeping the volume at a safe level.
Method 1: Driver Update
To fix this issue:
- Hold the Windows Key and Press R.
- Type ‘hdwwiz.cpl‘ and click ‘OK‘.
- Expand the ‘Sound, Video, and Game Controller‘ option.
- Right-click Realtek High Definition Audio and select ‘Update Driver Software.
- Select the ‘Search Automatically‘ option and follow the on-screen prompts.
Method 2: Driver Rollback
- The first step is to roll back your audio drivers. Open Device Manager by pressing the Windows and X keys on your keyboard, then select Device Manager from the options list.
- In the open window, select “Sound, Video and Game Controllers” to view your computer’s corresponding hardware. Find “High Definition Audio Device,” right-click it, then select “Properties.” Click the “Driver” tab and search for “Roll Back Driver.” The process will initiate if an older driver is available.
- If you can’t locate ‘High Definition Audio Device,’ search for ‘Intel SST Audio Device‘ or any related Audio-tagged device.
- If no previous driver is available for rollback, proceed with the next method.
Method 3: Permanently Remove Realtek Audio Drivers
If you can’t revert to the previous driver, completely removing all Realtek audio drivers is the only effective solution. Press the Windows Key + R, type in ‘taskmgr‘, and click OK. Under the Processes tab, find anything labelled as Realtek, right-click, and select ‘End Task‘.
Then, navigate to the Device Manager, choose Sound, Video and Game Controllers, and find the entry for Realtek High Definition Audio. Right-click and select Uninstall.
Open Windows Explorer, navigate to C drive > Program Files > Realtek. Right-click the folder, select Properties, then the Security tab. Under ‘Group or user names‘, select SYSTEM, then click ‘Edit‘. A new window will open, permitting edits to SYSTEM permissions. Deny all permissions, then click ‘Apply‘ and ‘OK‘.
Reboot your computer and return to Device Manager. If the speaker drivers are missing, a yellow warning sign will appear next to the speaker entry. Right-click this, select ‘Properties‘, and click ‘Update Drivers‘. Choose the ‘Let me pick‘ option, opting for the standard Windows High Definition Audio Drivers instead of the Realtek drivers. Installing these will operate your speakers and bypass the warning popup caused by the Realtek drivers.