If you’re using a PC running Windows 10, you’re probably using Realtek audio. If you’re not using a sound card or working with HDMI audio with better video cards, the Realtek HD audio codec driver is probably the source of all the sounds your computer produces.
Unfortunately, there are a hundred different things that can break your audio drivers. When that happens, the first thing to do is go into Device Manager and see if you can get a new driver through Windows Update.
To do this in Windows 10, simply right-click the Start menu and then go to Device Manager. There, go to “Sound, video and gaming controllers”, find the device you want to update, right-click on it and select “Update Driver”.
In most cases, Windows will be able to find and install the right driver without you having to do much more, but sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. Fortunately, that’s why we created this guide on how to reinstall the Realtek HD audio codec driver yourself. It’s a relatively painless process, and we can walk you through it in just a few minutes.
For most Windows computer users, the standard Realtek HD audio drivers will work. Realtek High Definition Audio Manager is a tool used to manage audio on desktops and laptops and is the default option for Windows 10 systems. The program is packed with great features that produce stunning audio results.
However, users have reported some problems with the Realtek HD audio drivers.
Problems tend to include poor sound quality and the program not being available or not being available in the taskbar or on the computer. If you are experiencing sound quality or computer control problems, it is recommended that you update or reinstall the sound drivers.
Symptoms of Realtek High Definition Audio Driver Malfunction
In this guide, we will show you, step by step, how to solve problems caused by Realtek HD Audio Manager.
The best way to do this is to download Audio Manager, update it, or reinstall it completely. Then follow the steps below and get rid of your problems.
Many users have complained about faulty drivers and an audio system that doesn’t work even after getting updates. Sometimes, Windows 10 gives the message “Sound devices are not installed.” Microsoft said the company is investigating the issue but made no further comment.
The symptoms of a defective Realtek High Definition (HD) audio driver are obvious: no sound when the computer is running, sounds are interrupted, they play unusually, no HDMI sound, the computer crashes or reboots when trying to play audio, and so on. The device may also display an error message when trying to play audio, such as :
- WAV audio playback error detected ;
- CD audio device is being used by another application;
- A MIDI output error has been detected;
- Your audio device cannot playback the current file.
Usually, the problem with Windows 10 audio playback occurs when the audio driver is corrupt, defective, or deleted during Windows 10 installation/upgrade.
Microsoft has officially confirmed that Windows 10 installation is designed to automatically remove all applications and drivers that are incompatible with it.
These problems can be caused by outdated drivers, hardware problems, or even malware infections. You should scan your device with system recovery and malware tools to make sure that there is no malware on your system that could affect the sound or even more important parts of the system. However, since the lack of sound in Windows 10 is often caused by drivers, you need to learn how to completely reinstall the drivers as described in the instructions below.
How do I install drivers for the Realtek microphone?
Realtek is a company based in China and its website only offers drivers for ICs. However, these drivers cannot be installed on all motherboards, as each card makes additional adjustments to improve performance. Therefore, it is recommended that you look for drivers on your board manufacturer’s website. However, if you cannot find a driver for your board, you can follow these steps to download and install a generic driver. The driver may not provide the performance improvement expected by the manufacturer, but it will still work properly.
- For 32-bit operating systems, click here, and for 64-bit operating systems, click here.
- Wait for the download to complete and click on the executable.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to install the drivers on your computer.
- Restart your computer to complete the installation process.
- To verify that the drivers are installed correctly, press “Windows” + “R” to open the “Run” command prompt and type “devmgmt.msc“.
- Press “Enter” to open the device management window.
- Double-click the “Sound, Video and Game Controllers” drop-down menu and check to see if “Realtek HD Drivers” is there.
- To activate the drivers, right-click on the speakerphone icon in the taskbar and select “Sounds”.
- Go to the “Recording” tab and right-click on the “Realtek HD Audio Device” option.
- Select “Enable“, click “Apply” and then click “OK” to save your changes.
- The drivers are now installed and activated.
Frequently Asked Questions
To do this, go to the Device Manager by right-clicking on the "Start" button or by typing "Device Manager" in the "Start" menu. Once there, scroll down to "Sound, Video and Game Controllers" and find "Realtek High Definition Audio". Then right-click and select "Uninstall Device".
In the Device Manager window, double-click (or click the arrow) on "Audio Inputs and Outputs" to expand this section. Right-click on the recording device (microphone) and select "Uninstall driver" from the context menu. Restart your computer and Windows will reinstall the missing drivers.
- Make sure that the microphone is connected to your computer.
- Select Start > Settings > System > Sound.
- Under Sound Settings, go to the Input > Select Input Device, then select the desired microphone or recording device.
Open your device manager. Expand Sound, Video, and Game Controllers. Right-click Realtek High Definition Audio and click Update Driver from the drop-down menu. If your computer has the latest driver installation file, select "Scan computer for driver".