Last Updated on September 29, 2019 by Dave Farquhar
My Windows 10 sound stopped working suddenly. One day it worked, the next day, it quit. Nothing else changed–I hadn’t even rebooted. If, like me, you experience Windows 10 sound not working, here’s a quick fix to try that should take you less than a minute.
My symptoms were simple. My web browser quit playing audio. Muting and unmuting didn’t help. Changing the volume didn’t help. I tried a different browser and it wouldn’t play audio either. Then I fired up Windows Media Player and tried to play a song. I got silence. Then I got a red X next to the song that didn’t play. If this sounds familiar, keep reading. I can probably help you.
Windows 10 sound not working? Restart these two services
Click the Windows logo (what we used to call the Start button) and then type services.msc. This is the shortcut to bring up the Windows services. Click the column heading called Name to sort the services alphabetically. Click it again to sort in reverse alphabetical order. Scroll until you see Windows Audio and Windows Audio Endpoint Builder. You need to restart those services. There’s a trick to that too.
Click on Windows Audio Endpoint Builder, then right-click and select Restart. Windows will warn you that it needs to restart the Windows Audio service too. Click Yes. That’s another shortcut. Windows will bounce those two services. If all’s well, you’ll see those services show up as running. If you get an error message, then you’ll want to reboot at the very least, and think about messing around with audio drivers.
In my case, I didn’t get any error messages. So I just switched back to my web browser, went back to Youtube, and I could hear audio again. Media Player and everything else that uses audio worked again too.
It’s even easier than the fix for a common Youtube malady involving Video Converter.
Yes, do this before you reboot
As a guy who did desktop support in the mid 90s, I said the word “reboot” a lot. This time I’m not going to. Most sites go straight to messing with sound drivers and reverting drivers to fix Windows 10 sound not working. But sometimes there’s an easy fix, and this is one of them.
Do this first. Then, if it doesn’t work, try rebooting. And if that doesn’t work, upgrade or revert your sound drivers. There are a thousand other web pages that tell you how to do that.
Also, if this happens to you a lot, that’s a good indication you have a driver problem. But if it’s a one-time event, there’s no reason to do major surgery that could just as easily make your problem worse.