How to Fix Unable to start the Dolby audio driver Error on Windows 8 and 10

If you’re getting the message Unable to start the Dolby Audio Driver. Please restart the computer or reinstall the driver if the problem persists, it means that Dolby’s audio drivers have malfunctioned, and you might not get any sound out of your device.

This is an issue that mostly appears when you’ve upgraded your operating system, for example from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, or to Windows 10. The drivers for the old operating system may be incompatible with the new one, and you will get the error message. This issue mostly plagued users of Lenovo laptops, however there have been some who used an Acer or HP laptop and got the same problem.


There are a few things that you can do to solve this issue, so read on and follow the methods described below to get your Dolby Audio Driver working again.

Method 1: Uninstall the Windows 8 and 10

Even though the message says that the error is with the Dolby driver, it is actually a misunderstanding between those, and the Conexant drivers. Consequently, by uninstalling the old and updating the new driver you will have your issue fixed. This applies to users who have upgraded from older versions of Windows, to Windows 10.

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard, type Device Manager and open the result.
  2. Within Device Manager, expand Sound, video and game controllers and locate the Conexant Audio Driver. Right-click it and select Uninstall from the menu. Follow the wizard to remove the drivers, and reboot your device in the end.
  3. When Windows boots, open Device Manager It should recognize the Conexant driver, but there may be a yellow exclamation or question mark in front of it, meaning you will need to update the drivers.
  4. Right-click the newly recognized Conexant device, and select Update Driver Software from the menu. Go along with the wizard to update the drivers automatically, and reboot your device when everything is done.


What may happen in the end is you might end up with two Dolby icons in the sound settings, but one of them will work and you will have your sound back, working as it should.

Method 2: Disable automatic driver installation, and manually delete and reinstall the drivers

Automatic driver installation can sometimes be of huge assistance, but other times it can completely mess up your drivers. In such a case, disabling it and manually downloading the necessary drivers will fix your problem.

  1. Right-click This PC and select Properties
  2. In the Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings, click the Change settings
  3. Go to the Hardware tab in the window that opens, and select Device Installation Settings from the Device Installation Settings
  4. Select No, let me choose what to do, and select Never install driver software from Windows Update. Click Save Changes and reboot your device for the changes to take effect.
  5. Using the steps in the previous method, uninstall the Conexant audio drivers from the Device Manager. Don’t reboot your device now.
  6. Press the Windows key on your keyboard and type Programs and Features, then open the result.
  7. In the list of programs you see, find everything related to Conexant/IDT and Dolby, and uninstall it. Now reboot the device.
  8. Go to this website and download the drivers. Go to your Downloads folder and install the drivers. If necessary, reboot your device again. Everything will be working now and you won’t be getting the error message.


Having no sound and getting annoying popups every time you turn on your computer is something no user should have to deal with, but it is a well-known fact that upgrading to Windows 10 messed up a lot of drivers for a huge number of users. Fortunately, by following the methods described earlier, you can solve this issue in no time and you won’t be dealing with the problems anymore.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.