The Audio Output Device is Not Installed Error [ Windows 7/8/10 ]

The Audio Output Device is Not Installed Error [ Windows 7/8/10 ]

The audio output device is not installedAmong other problems with sound in Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7, you can encounter a red cross on the speaker icon in the notification area and the message.

“Audio output device is not installed” or “Headphones or speakers are not connected,” while sometimes have to suffer.

This manual details the most common causes of errors “Audio output device is not installed” and “Headphones or speakers are not connected” in Windows and how to correct the situation and return to normal sound playback.

If the problem occurs after upgrading from Windows 10 to the new version, I recommend that you first try the methods from the instructions. Windows 10 sound does not work and then return to the current tutorial.

Checking the Connection Of Output Audio Devices

First of all, when the error appears, it is worth checking the actual connection of the speakers or headphones, even if you are sure that they are connected and connected correctly.

First make sure that they are really connected (as it happens that someone or something accidentally pulls out the cable, but you do not know about it), then consider the following points

  • If you are connecting headphones or speakers to the front panel of a PC for the first time, try connecting to the sound card output on the rear panel – the problem may be that the front panel connectors are not connected to the motherboard (see How to connect the PC front panel connectors to the motherboard ).


  • Check that the playback device is connected to the correct connector (usually green, if all the connectors are the same color, the output for headphones / standard speakers is usually highlighted, for example, circled).


  • Damaged wires, plugs on headphones or speakers, damaged connectors (including those caused by static electricity) can cause a problem. If you suspect this – try to connect any other headphones, including from your phone.

Checking audio inputs and audio outputs in Device Manager

Perhaps this item could be put, and the first in the topic about “Audio output device is not installed.”

  • Press the Win + R keys, enter devmgmt.msc in the “Run” window and press Enter – this will open the device manager in Windows 10, 8 and Windows.


  • Usually, when there are problems with sound, the user looks at the section “Sound, gaming and video devices” and looks for the presence of his sound card – High Definition Audio, Realtek HD, Realtek Audio, etc.

    However, in the context of the problem “Audio output device is not installed” more important is the section “Audio inputs and audio outputs.” Check whether this section is available and if there are outputs to the speakers and if they are not turned off (for disabled devices, the down arrow is displayed).


  • If there are disconnected devices, right-click on such a device and select “Turn on the device.”


  • If there are any unknown devices or devices with errors in the list in the device manager (marked with a yellow icon) – try to delete them (right click – delete), and then select “Action” – “Update hardware configuration” in the device manager menu.

Sound Card Drivers

The next step you should try is to make sure that the necessary sound card drivers are installed and they work, while the novice user should take into account the following points:

  • If you see only items like NVIDIA High Definition Audio, AMD HD Audio, Intel Audio for displays in the Device Manager in the “Sound, gaming and video devices” section, the sound card appears to be on or off in BIOS (on some motherboards and laptops this perhaps) or the necessary drivers are not installed on it, but what you see are devices for outputting audio via HDMI or Display Port, i.e. working with video card outputs.


  • If you right-clicked on the sound card in the device manager, chose “Update driver” and after automatically searching for updated drivers, you were informed that “The most suitable drivers for this device are already installed” – this does not provide useful information that the correct Drivers: just in the Windows Update Center there were no other suitable ones.


  • Standard Realtek audio drivers and others can be successfully installed from different driver packs, but they do not always work adequately – you should use the drivers of the manufacturer of specific hardware (laptop or motherboard).

In general, if a sound card is displayed in Device Manager, the correct steps for installing the correct driver for it will look like this:

  • Go to the official page of your motherboard ( how to find out the model of the motherboard ) or your laptop model and in the “support” section find and download the available drivers for sound, usually marked as Audio, can – Realtek, Sound, etc. If, for example, you have installed Windows 10, but at the office. Site drivers only for Windows 7 or 8, feel free to download them.


  • Go to the device manager and delete your sound card in the “Sound, gaming and video devices” section (right click – delete – check the box “Delete driver programs for this device,” if one appears).


  • After uninstalling, start the installation of the driver that was downloaded in the first step.

After the installation is complete, check if the problem has been resolved.

An additional sometimes triggered method (provided that “only yesterday” everything worked) – look at the properties of the sound card on the “Driver” tab and, if the “Roll back” button is active there, click it (sometimes Windows can automatically update the wrong drivers). , what do you need).

Note: if there is neither a sound card nor unknown devices in the device manager, there is a possibility that the sound card is disabled in the BIOS of the computer or laptop.

Search the BIOS (UEFI) in the Advanced / Peripherals / Onboard Devices sections for something related to Onboard Audio and make sure it is Enabled.

Setting up playback devices

Setting up playback devicesSetting up playback devices can also help, especially if you have a monitor (or TV) connected to your computer via HDMI or Display Port, especially if through any adapter.

Update: In Windows 10, version 1803 (April Update), in order to open the recording and playback devices (the first step in the instructions below).

Go to the Control Panel (you can open it via the search on the taskbar) in the field view, set “Icons” and open item “Sound”.

The second way is to right-click on the speaker icon – “Open sound settings” and then “Sound control panel” item in the upper right corner (or at the bottom of the list of settings when the window width is changed) sound settings.

  • Right-click on the speaker icon in the Windows notification area and open the “Playback devices” item.
  • In the list of playback devices, right-click and check “Show disconnected devices” and “Show disconnected devices.”
  • Make sure that the required speakers are selected as the default audio output device (non-HDMI output, etc.). If you need to change the default device – click on it and select “Use default” (it is also sensible to enable “Use default communication device”).
  • If the device you need is disabled, right-click on it and select the Enable menu item.

Additional ways to fix the problem “Audio output device is not installed”

In conclusion, there are several additional, sometimes triggered, methods to correct the situation with sound, if the previous methods did not help.

  • If audio output devices are displayed in the device output manager in Audio Outputs, try deleting them and then selecting Action – Update hardware configuration from the menu.


  • If you have a Realtek sound card, have a look at the Speakers section of the Realtek HD application. Turn on the correct configuration (for example, stereo), and in the “advanced device settings” check the box “Disable front panel jack detection” (even if problems occur when connecting to the rear panel).


  • If you have a special sound card with its own management software, check if there are any parameters in this software that may cause a problem.
  • If you have more than one sound card, try disabling the unused in Device Manager.


  • If the problem appeared after updating Windows 10, and the driver solutions did not help, try restoring the integrity of system files using dism.exe / Online / Cleanup-image / RestoreHealth (see How to check the integrity of Windows 10 system files ).

  • Try using system restore points if the sound previously worked properly.

Note: the manual does not describe the method of automatically troubleshooting Windows with sound since most likely you tried it anyway (if not, try it, it might work).

Troubleshooting automatically starts by double-clicking on the speaker icon crossed out with a red cross, and you can also start it manually, see, for example, troubleshooting Windows 10.


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