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A lack of audio on your computer can make it difficult or impossible to accomplish your daily tasks. You would have to skip video conferences, be unable to review clips, and miss important notifications. Some sound problems are easy to self-diagnose, so going through basic troubleshooting steps before reaching out to the helpdesk is the best way to get it working quickly.

Muted Speakers

One common cause of audio problems comes from having your speakers on mute. It’s easy to accidentally turn off the sound if you have sound controls on your keyboard. You could also forget to unmute them if you needed to disable audio. Fix this by going to the right-hand corner of your taskbar and looking at the speaker symbol. If it has an X over it, then the computer audio is muted. Click the symbol and move the volume slider to the right to take your system off mute.

Check Your Audio Output Device

You may have multiple audio devices hooked up to your computer, such as speakers and headphones. If your system is set to send the audio to the wrong device, then you may not be able to hear it properly. Click the speaker button again and hit the up arrow symbol. You get the option to select your playback device. You can choose a new output device to direct your audio to the appropriate piece of equipment. If you’re not sure which device is which, you can test each one until you hear sound through your preferred device.

Other Audio Issues and Troubleshooting Steps

If your audio still isn’t working, don’t despair. Try unplugging the sound device from your computer and plugging it back in. In the case of speakers that have their own power cord, check that cable and make sure that it’s fully plugged in. After that, try turning the computer off and on. The computer may have encountered an error and was unable to process sound correctly. A restart can clear out that error and make the sound usable again.

More complex sound problems can be difficult to diagnose and fix yourself. Sometimes the drivers don’t work properly or software causes conflicts with your audio devices. You could also run into intermittent hardware failure or improperly configured settings. These types of issues should go to an IT support professional. They will run a variety of diagnostics on your system and determine the best plan for getting your sound back to normal.

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