Fix playback devices do not display headphones

playback devices do not display headphones

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Sometimes we want to plug our headphones into our desktop/laptop and enjoy our favorite movie, but if the headphones don’t play sound, you will surely be annoyed.

Many users have this problem with Windows 10 computers. But don’t worry, we can help you with this problem, just follow the solutions below and you will be able to use your headphones.

But before you fix the problem, please make sure that you don’t have any hardware issues. Most desktops have two headphone outlets. If your desktop has another outlet, plug in your headphones and see if it works. You can also check if your headphones work by plugging them into another computer or smartphone. If you have a hardware problem, these methods will not work and you will need to go to a repair shop and have your computer checked.

After plugging headphones into your Windows 10 computer, you could not hear sound from the headphones. The headphones didn’t even appear on the playback devices. What happened? Don’t worry. This is a common problem in Windows 10, and you can fix it with one of the solutions listed below.

Before you try the solutions, make sure it’s not a hardware problem:

If your computer has a different port, plug your headphones into a different port and see if the problem persists. If you could hear sound from headphones with a different port, the problem is probably with the port. If you don’t have another port for your headphones, ignore this troubleshooting.

If possible, connect the headphones to another computer to see if the problem persists. If you can properly use the headphones on another computer, the problem is in your computer settings. If it is, try the following solutions. If you can’t hear sound from the headphones, even on another computer, the problem is probably with the headphones.

The headphones do not appear on the playback devices

playback devices do not display headphoness

The problem could be with the headphones, the headphone jack, or the system. If the problem is hardware-related, you may need to replace the components. However, it would be wise to try the following troubleshooting before replacing anything.

The causes of this problem are not numerous and are usually related to certain errors or unrelated actions that the user may have committed. See the following list:

  1. Old or outdated drivers: Old drivers are always the cause of many problems, so they need to be updated.
  2. Headphones are off by default: Users have reported that their headphones are off in playback devices, so be sure to check and turn them on.
  3. Realtek HD Sound: For some reason, this sound manager is to blame, and the problem disappeared after users uninstalled it.

Correction for headphones not showing

Updated: June 2024

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The problem is quite common in Windows 10. Before you start troubleshooting, make sure there are no hardware problems with your headphones by connecting them to another device. If the headphones work, you can use the following options to solve the problem.

Update the audio driver

If your headphones aren’t working, you can try updating the audio driver to fix the problem of headphones not displaying.

Step 1: Open the Startup window by pressing Win + R and type the command “devmgmt.msc” to open the Device Manager.

Step 2: Right-click the driver associated with the headphones in the list of audio inputs and outputs and select Update Driver.

Note: You can also select Uninstall Device here to remove the audio driver, and more information about removing the audio driver can be found in the following text.

Tip: If you can’t find the driver, find it on the headset manufacturer’s website and download the driver.

Uninstalling Realtek HD Sound Software

As an excellent audio manager, Realtek High Definition Audio Diver is highly regarded. However, some users have reported that their headphones stop working unless they uninstall this software. You can do this by following these steps:

Step 1: Open the control panel in the search area of the taskbar. Then select “Category View” and click “Uninstall a Program” under “Programs“.

Uninstalling Realtek HD Sound Software

Tip: If you are using the Settings application, clicking on “Applications” will immediately open a list of all the programs installed on your computer.

Step 2: Right-click Realtek High Definition Audio Diver and select Remove/Change.

Uninstalling Realtek HD Sound Softwaree

Step 3: Click the Done button when the process is finished and restart your computer.

Tip: Make sure the problem is resolved before trying to reinstall Realtek HD sound.

Activating headphones on playback devices

If you have a problem that your headphones are not working, you can also try activating them from your playback devices.

Step 1: Enter the command “mmsys.cpl” in the “Run” window to open the playback devices.

Step 2: Right-click anywhere in the center of the window and check the Show Disconnected Devices and Show Disconnected Devices boxes. You will then see your headphones in the Playback Devices section.

Activating headphones on playback devices

Step 3: Right-click on the headset and activate it if it is disabled.

Troubleshooting Audio Playback Problems

You can check and troubleshoot audio playback problems by using the audio playback troubleshooter if the computer cannot play the headphones.

Step 1: Right-click the Start button and select Settings. Then go to Updates and Security.

Step 2: Under Troubleshooting, select Audio Playback, and run the program.

Troubleshooting Audio Playback Problems

Step 3: Reboot the system.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Activate the playback device in the audio settings

Step 1 - Open the control panel. Click on sound
Step 2 - You will see a list of available playback devices. If you don't see your headphones in the list, right-click and select Show Disabled Devices and Show Disabled Devices.

View and manually activate headphones

1) Open the playback devices.
2) Right-click an empty space, then select Show Disconnected Devices and Show Disconnected Devices. You will then see that the headphones appear in the list of playback devices with the status "Disconnected".
3) Right-click the headphones and then click Activate.

Set the headphones as the default playback device

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound.
  3. Find the Playback tab, and underneath it, right-click the window and select Show Disabled Devices.
  4. The headphones are listed there, so right-click on the device and select Enable.
  5. Click Set Default.

On the right side, check to see if the folder icon or the "i" icon is visible. Select the checkbox to activate the automatic dialog box when the device is connected. Click OK, then click OK. Restart your computer, reconnect the audio device after turning on your computer, and check to see if the automatic dialog box appears.