How to Resolve “No Audio Output Device is Installed” Error in Windows 10 PC

Many Windows 10 users, especially those who use HP or Dell laptops and PCs, encounter an error message that says no sound output device is installed. This means that you can’t hear any sounds on the computer, making it difficult to rest or perhaps work. The error is usually indicated by a red cross symbol next to the sound control in the system tray.

In this article, you’ll learn more about this error, and we’ll show you how to most effectively fix it. Read on to learn how to fix the “Audio output device not installed” error.

What causes the “Sound output device not installed” error?

  • Major Windows update
  • Disconnected playback device
  • Outdated or corrupt audio drivers
  • The wireless device is not paired with the PC.
  • The playback device is connected to the wrong port.

How to clear the “Audio output device not installed” message?


Launch the audio troubleshooter

  1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.
  2. Select Update and Security.
  3. Click the Troubleshooting tab.
  4. Select Advanced Troubleshooting.
  5. Select Audio Playback.
  6. Then select the Run Troubleshooter button.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions to troubleshoot your computer’s audio device.

Uninstall and reinstall your audio device

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Sound, Video, and Game Controllers section.
  3. Right-click the audio device on your computer and select Uninstall Device.
  4. Select the Uninstall driver software for this device (if available) checkbox and select OK to uninstall the device.
  5. Expand Audio Inputs and Outputs and repeat steps 3-4.
  6. Restart your computer. Your computer should now prompt you to reinstall the audio device.
  7. Open the Device Manager again.
  8. The newly installed audio device should be listed under Audio, Video, and Game Controllers and Audio Inputs and Outputs.
  9. If it is not, right-click on the empty area and select Check Hardware Changes.

Windows 10 Update

  1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.
  2. Select Update and security.
  3. Select Check for updates.
  4. Select Download and install to update Windows 10.
  5. Select Show additional updates (if they’re visible on the same screen).
  6. Then check the boxes next to the audio device updates and select Download and Install.

Reset Windows 10 settings

  1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.
  2. Select Update and security.
  3. Switch to the Restore tab.
  4. Under Reset this PC, select the Start button to start the reset process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Reboot your system.
  2. Run the audio system troubleshooter.
  3. Update your outdated audio drivers.
  4. Disconnect and reconnect your external output device.
  5. Update Windows.
  6. Use the "Add legacy hardware" option.
  7. Uninstall the audio driver.
  8. Check for hardware problems.

Expand the Sound, Video, and Game Controllers menu by clicking on the arrow next to it. Right-click on the audio device in the menu and select Uninstall Device. Reboot your computer. Windows 10 should automatically reload the latest driver for your audio device.

  1. Update the audio driver.
  2. Troubleshoot with the Device Manager.
  3. Reboot the system.
  4. Replace the faulty sound card.