Why do my computer speakers not work?

The purpose of this page is to provide information regarding the most common causes of speakers not working and the steps that can be taken to resolve those problems. Following the troubleshooting steps below will help you identify your problem through the process of elimination, so you will need to follow them in order, as they help you identify your problem.

Volume issues

Here are some steps you can follow if you are having trouble adjusting the volume of the audio on your computer, which should help you resolve the problem.

Desktop speakers turned down

Taking the time to start with the basics may seem like a trivial step, but it is the key to solving problems effectively. You will need to check that the volume knob on the speakers is turned up to the level where you can hear something. There are certain pairs of speakers with knobs that can be turned left to right, also known as clockwise, in order to increase the volume.

Laptop speakers turned down

Make sure that the volume control on the keyboard is turned all the way up if you are using a laptop computer that does not have any external speakers connected. It is possible to control the volume with buttons (like the ones in the picture), or with one or more secondary keys indicated by blue text. It is necessary to hold the Fn key while simultaneously pressing the secondary function key in order to activate these keys.

Monitor speakers turned down

The speakers on some monitors are built right into the monitor itself. If you wish to adjust the volume in Windows, you will need to use one of the buttons on the monitor, or adjust the volume using the Windows settings on your computer. For specific instructions, please consult the owner’s manual of your monitor, as all monitor manufacturers have their own buttons and controls.

Make sure volume of the software is also turned up

On a computer with external speakers, one of the most important aspects of the sound is that it is controlled by software, not by hardware components. There is no difference in how high the external speakers are turned up if the volume is lowered or turned off in the software settings, for instance. There will be no sound coming from the speakers. As a result, users should verify that they have properly set up their sound settings in the software, so that it sounds good.

Mute is on

One of the most common mistakes that people make when using a keyboard is to accidentally activate the mute function. In order to confirm whether mute is turned on, you can see a symbol resembling an arrow on the right side of the Taskbar that appears when the speaker has a “no” sign beside it.

Speakers are not connected properly

It is possible that improperly connected speakers can cause some audio problems. Here are the steps you need to follow in order to ensure that the speakers are connected correctly.

Laptop computers

There is no way to verify the speaker connections on a laptop computer, so you will have to skip this step if you are troubleshooting a laptop computer.

External desktop speakers

As a result, there are different cables used for connecting sound devices to the computer, which means that they also use different ports. The first thing you should do is to make sure that the speaker cable is connected to the sound card on the back of your computer. Seeing as how there are multiple jacks on the sound card, it is obvious that it has multiple connections. There is usually an image of sound waves with an arrow pointing out on the Line Out connector, which indicates the speaker should be plugged into the line out. As far as color is concerned, most jacks are green in color. In order for your speakers to be connected via USB, you will need to connect them to any USB port on your computer.

In spite of the fact that the speakers used to work in the past, it is highly recommended you start by checking the connection since it is not uncommon for cables to loosen or fall out.

As soon as you have connected the power cable to the right speaker, or if it is a subwoofer, please make sure the cable is connected to the back. There are usually a small LED (light) on the top of the speaker which indicates whether or not the speaker is on. In most cases you can turn on the speakers by using a button or turning the volume knob from left to right. Once you have done that, you will find that there is a light on the speakers. If there is no LED visible on the device, or if the speakers still don’t seem to be receiving power even after checking all the power connections, you may have a defective power source on your hands.

Default playback device in Windows

Make sure the correct playback device is selected as the default sound device on your computer if it is running the Windows operating system. The sound does not come out of the expected device (e.g., the speakers or headphones) if the wrong playback device is selected as the default device.

  1. Go to the Control Panel and open it.

  2. The Hardware and Sound icon may be clicked or double-clicked to activate it.

  3. Under Sound, click Manage audio devices if you are using Windows XP or older.

  4. Find the entry for your speakers that are connected to your computer in the Sound window, on the Playback tab.

  5. When you right-click the entry for the speaker, you will have the option of setting it as the default device.

  6. In the Sound window, click OK at the bottom if you would like to save your changes.

Windows speaker setup

Using the steps below to set up your speakers is a good way to ensure that your Windows PC is running a correctly configured speaker setup.

  1. The Control Panel can be found under the Start menu.

  2. The Control Panel window will have a Hardware and Sound option as well as a Sound option.

  3. If you are using Windows XP or an older version of Windows, click the Manage audio device option under Sound.

  4. If you click the Configure button, you will be able to select your speakers on the Playback tab.

  5. Nevertheless, if you are still unable to hear the speakers after configuring them and testing them in the Playback tab, you can double-click the speaker to bring up the Speaker Properties window.

  6. On the Advanced tab, ensure that all settings are correct and then test them.

  7. In each of the appropriate windows, once all configurations have been verified and any changes have been made, click Apply and OK in each window before closing them as necessary.

Corrupt Windows system files

The Windows system files can become corrupt for a variety of reasons, and it is possible for these reasons to occur. A corrupted system file that is responsible for the output of sound can lead to the computer ceasing to be able to produce any kind of sound at all.

The computer might have produced sound up until now, but if it suddenly stopped producing sound, you can try restoring the Windows system to a previous point where sound was working. In the case where corrupt Windows system files are causing the sound problem, it might be possible to fix the problem by restoring Windows to a time when the sound was working as intended. See this article for more information on how you can restore a previous copy of Windows.

If you are thinking about activating a Windows restore point, you should make sure that you have backed up your important documents first.

Integrated or onboard audio disabled

There is a possibility that your computer’s BIOS is disabled if your computer has built-in or onboard audio. Find the integrated audio entry in the BIOS by accessing the BIOS settings. The device may be found in the Advanced menu, either under the Integrated Peripherals or Onboard Devices menu, or under a menu titled something similar to Integrated Peripherials or Onboard Devices.

The next step is to find the integrated audio entry in your system settings and check whether it is set to Enabled or Disabled. If the setting is set to Disabled, change it to Enabled in order to enable the feature. The sound should now be working after restarting the computer.

Bad sound card

A hardware problem is likely the cause of the problem if it is not related to software. There is a chance that the device which produces sound can fail just like any other part of a computer’s hardware. Connect another pair of speakers or headphones to the computer in order to ensure that the sound card on the computer is working properly.

The sound should not be tested through a game or another type of program. See if the sound file or CD can be used instead, as they are more likely to work. The sound card may not be responsible for problems caused by a program or game that are related to sound.

There is a good chance that your sound card is experiencing problems if you experience the same issue with another pair of speakers or headphones. You can find troubleshooting help on the following page.

Bad speakers

It is also important to note that if none of the recommendations above do not solve the problem, but you have been able to connect another pair of speakers or headphones, the speakers may be damaged. If the speakers or computer are still under warranty, we would recommend you get in touch with the manufacturer to have a new replacement sent out. The other option is for you to buy a new pair of speakers and connect them to your computer, instead of using an old set.