The no audio device error is commonly encountered on the Windows operating system. The error is normally thrown when the end user upgrades a computing device to a newer version of Windows or after reinstalling the existing version of Windows. When the error is thrown, computer applications that require an audio device will not be capable of producing sound and may throw additional errors. Additionally, when viewing the Windows sound configuration option located under the Windows Control Panel, there will be a “no audio device” label displayed. All of the options located underneath of the device will also be disabled and grayed out. When an end-user encounters the error, it can be fairly frustrating. For many cases, the resulting fix will entail reinstalling a new audio driver.
No Audio Device Error Indications
There are several indications that a Windows computer is throwing the “No Audio Device” error. First, when an application is run that requires the use of an audio device on the Windows computer, a visual “No Audio Device” or “No Audio Device Found” error will be displayed on the screen. Second, if the audio device is displayed under the “Systems Properties” sub-menu of the Windows Control Panel, there will also be a “no audio device” label displayed beneath the sound or device option. Beneath the icon, all of the options will be grayed out and the device will indicate that it is disabled.
Steps to Fix the No Audio Device Error
The following troubleshooting steps are tailored to the Windows XP operating system, but can also be used to trouble shoot with slight variations on Windows Vista and Windows 7 when the “No Audio Device” error message is thrown.
Method 1 – Attempt to Enable the Microsoft Windows Audio Service
Although upgrading the Windows Operating System is a common cause of the No Audio Device error, the installation of other related audio software or related software upgrades have also been found to disable the Windows audio service. In some instances, the Windows Audio Service just needs to be restarted or re-enabled. The following steps can be used to confirm if this is the case with your computer and allow the audio service to be turned back on if required.
Step 1 – Ensure you are logged in to the computer with an account that has administrator privileges.
Step 2 – Select the Windows “Start” menu button and click the “Run” menu option.
Step 3 – Enter “services.msc” into the search text or “Open” menu field.
Step 4 – Scroll down the list of services displayed on the subsequently displayed Window and locate the “Windows Audio” option.
Step 5 – Select “Windows Audio” and then right click the program icon.
Step 6 – Choose the “Properties” menu option.
Step 7 – Click the “Automatic” menu option from the “Startup” type dropdown menu list.
Step 8 – Click the “Start” menu option to start the Windows audio service. If the option is grayed out, the service should already be started.
Step 9 – Choose the “Ok” menu button and test for sound being restored to the Windows computer.
Click OK and test for sound. If the problem has been corrected, then there may have been a software application that was causing the issue with Windows Audio starting up when the computer restarts or Windows opens. If the computer continues to see the Audio service disabled on restart, these steps can be repeated to enable the service after computer restart.
Method 2 – Enabling the Windows Audio Device
In the event the previous method did not work to help prevent the “No Audio Device” error from being thrown on your Windows computer, the following steps can be taken to enable the particular audio device on the affected computer.
Step 1 – Restart the computer and login using a user profile that has administrator permissions.
Step 2 – Select the Windows “Start” menu button.
Step 3 – Right click the “My Computer” icon and then select the “Properties” menu option.
Step 4 – Select the “Hardware” menu tab and then choose the “Device Manager” menu button.
Step 5 – Scroll down the menu listing and then select the “+” menu option located next to the “Sound, Video, and Game Controllers” menu label.
Step 6 – Beneath any menu item listed underneath this category that has an icon with a red “x,” right click the item and choose the “enable” menu option.
Step 7 – If there are no items that have a red “x” overtop of a “speaker” icon, then proceed to closing the “Device Manager.” If there are and you completed step 6, close the Device Manager and proceed to the next step.
Step 8 – Restart the computer and test to see if the “No Audio Device” error has been cleared. If the computer does not have the sound capability re-enabled, then proceed to the next method to troubleshoot the error.
Method 3 – Restore the Original Audio Driver on the Computer
Most Windows computers that have Windows XP or older versions of the popular operating system installed use Creative Audigy or Realtex Audio Codec software. To complete this method for correcting the No Audio Device error, it will be important to ascertain what audio driver software is installed on the computer in order to restore the software on the computer.
Step 1 – Select the “Start” menu button on your computer.
Step 2 – Choose the “Windows Control Panel” program icon and select the “Device Manager” program icon.
Step 3 – Scroll down the listing of installed hardware to locate the installed audio driver software driver(s) on your computer.
Step 4 – Locate the name of the sound hardware installed on the computer. Once located, download and install the appropriate audio drivers from the manufacturer’s website. Some of the more commonly encountered drivers for Windows computers include
Realtek and Creative.
Step 5 – After downloading the current driver for the audio device driver installed on your computer, double click the program file to start the installation process. Once the process is complete, if not prompted to do so restart the computer.
Step 6 – After restarting the computer, attempt to run the application that was throwing the No Audio Device error. If the computer does not have sound, proceed to the next method to correct the error.
Method 4 – Rest the On-Board Audio in the Computer’s BIOS
On Windows computers, the audio settings in the BIOS must be setup to match the audio hardware configuration on the computer. The following steps can be taken to setup the BIOS to automatically detect and implement these settings.
Step 1 – Restart the computer and press the “F1” key until a “BIOS Setup” screen is displayed. If the “F1” key does not work to display the BIOS, the “F10” key may be required to be pressed on certain models of Windows computers.
Step 2 – Once on the BIOS setup screen, press the “F5” key. Then, press the “Yes” or “Ok” menu button followed by selecting the computers’ “Enter” key.
Step 3 – Choose or press the “F10” key followed by selecting the “OK” or “Yes” menu buttons to save the default settings.
Step 4 – Restart Windows and check the program throwing the No Audio Device error to see if it has sound. If there continues to be no sound proceed to the next method for troubleshooting the error.
Method 5 – Reset the Sound Card on the Windows Computer
Step 1 – Logon to the computer with an account that has administrator access.
Step 2 – Select the “Start” menu button and then choose the “Windows Control Panel” program icon.
Step 3 – Select the “System and Security” menu option.
Step 4 – Choose the Windows “Device Manager” menu option and then click the “Continue” menu button if you are prompted to continue to access the Windows Device Manager.
Step 5 – Select the “+” symbol located next to the “Sound, Video, and Game Controllers” menu label.
Step 6 – Choose the appropriate sound card from the listing of audio devices subsequently displayed.
Step 7 – Right click the affected sound card and choose the “Disable” menu option.
Step 8 – Restart the computer and then repeat steps 2 through 5.
Step 9 – Right click the computer’s sound card and choose the “Enable” menu option.
Step 10 – Restart the computer and test the computer application that was throwing the No Audio Device error for proper operation.
Method 6 – Conduct a System Recovery on the Affected Computer
Another method that one can undertake to fix the No Audio Device error on a Windows computer is to conduct a system recovery on the affected computer.
Step 1 – Disconnect the affected computer from the local network or Internet.
Step 2 – Select the Windows “Start” menu button.
Step 3 – Select the “All Programs” and “Accessories” menu options.
Step 4 – Click the “Systems Tools” and “System Restore” menu options.
Step 5 – Ensure the “Restore my computer to an earlier time” radio button is selected and then click the “Next” menu button.
Step 6 – Choose an appropriate date and restore point on the “Select a restore point” menu screen. Then, select the “Next” menu button after selecting the appropriate restore point.
Step 7 – Choose the “Finish” menu button after Windows System restore is complete.
Step 8 – Test the Windows application that was throwing the No Audio Device found error to see if the issue has been corrected.
How to Reset a Computer Sound Card
A related error to the No Audio Device found problem on Windows computer is when a computer sound card cannot be found. When this error occurs, there are a number of actions that the computer user can take to correct to include updating the device driver or replacing the sound card.
Step 1 – Turn off all power sources to the computer to include removing the battery if conducting the actions on a laptop.
Step 2 – Disconnect all external devices and cables attached to the peripherals.
Step 3 – Take a screwdriver and undo the screws located on the back panel of the computer.
Step 4 – Remove the computer casing in order to make the motherboard accessible.
Step 5 – Locate the sound card that will normally be connected to an audio port on the motherboard.
Step 6 – Firmly grasp the sound card and remove from the slot on the motherboard. On some models, there will be screws holding the card in place that will need to be removed before disconnecting the card from the board.
Step 7 – Re-insert the sound card back into the motherboard slot. Ensure you follow the same order of pins as when the card was removed to avoid inadvertently damaging the card. When inserting the card into the slot, you should do so firmly, but in a slow motion to avoid disturbing other hardware devices installed on the board. Once reinserted, refasten any screws that were removed to hold the card in place.
Step 8 – Reinstall the computer’s casing. Then, refasten all screws that were previously removed.
Step 9 – Reconnect all of the cables and peripherals attached to the computer.
Step 10 – Restart the computer.
Step 11 – Once restarted, you will have to likely run the “Add New Hardware” wizard even if you were not installing a new sound card. If prompted to do so, insert the installation CD/DVD into the CD/DVD drive and restart the computer once installed.
Step 12 – Select the “Start” menu option and then click the “Control Panel” menu option.
Step 13 – Choose the “System” menu option followed by clicking the “Hardware” menu tab.
Step 14 – Then, click the “Device Manager” menu option and expand the menu for the “Sound, video, and game controllers” menu item.
Step 15 – Right click on the name of the sound device and then choose the “Update Driver” menu option to update the device driver for the audio hardware. Once you choose this option, follow the default instructions for the device driver update wizard.
Step 16 – Once the device driver update wizard has concluded updating the software on the target computer, restart the machine.
Step 17 – Attempt to run the software that has been throwing the No Audio Device error. If the error is no longer thrown, then the problem has been corrected.