Are you having sound problems on your Windows 10 computer? You aren’t alone. It can conjure up static in your speakers, broken audio or worse, no sound at all. Thankfully, there’s all kinds of solutions to your inquiry. It’s just a matter of using the process of elimination to pinpoint and fix the root cause.

The Simplest Solution is Often the Best

Every now and then you might make a decision that you didn’t realize or simply forgot that it happened. Everyone has moments like that and you aren’t alone there. So, before you thrash your computer, thinking it’s messing with you, look closer to the chest. Did you mute it by accident?

Check Your Keyboard: Simple Solution #1

There’s dozens of keys on your keyboard and, more often than not, you bump one by accident. And it just so happens that a common feature among keyboards are volume controls. There’s a button for increasing volume, decreasing volume, and wouldn’t you know it, muting volume. If your keyboard has one, tap on it and see if that doesn’t fix your sound problems in Windows 10.

Check Your Speakers: Simple Solution #2

On that same note, the speakers you have also control volume. While not as common, mute buttons are generally not found on speakers. Instead, you may have turned the knob so low that it’s effectively muted. Give your speakers a look. While you’re at it, check that the cable is connected as well.

Check Your Headphones: Simple Solution #3

Continuing the trend, headphones—especially headsets with mics—almost always come with a mute button. You can find it by following the cable. Once found, check that the button hasn’t been shifted over to mute. While you’re at it, double-check that the volume wheel hasn’t been tampered with.

Reboot Your Computer: Simple Solution #4

Yes, there is a joke surrounding this solution, but all joking aside, rebooting your computer can fix a myriad of problems. However, it’s only limited to fixing software hiccups, not damaged hardware.

Check Your Sound Icon: Simple Solution #5

Lastly, the final simple solution is giving your sound icon a look. In the bottom right corner, at the end of your taskbar, there’s a small group of icons. That’s your system tray. One icon, the sound icon, is directly responsible for volume.

Click on the sound icon to open a volume slider. This allows you to increase and decrease volume, but will also clue you in on whether or not it’s muted. If the sound icon is followed by an “X,” it’s been muted.

Troubleshooting Sound Problems on Windows 10

Now that you’ve ran through all the simplest solutions, it’s time to move towards troubleshooting. If none of the solutions in the previous section worked, then it’s likely a setting out of place or outdated drivers.

Going In-depth with Sound Options

In the previous section, it was mentioned that you can alter the volume of your Windows 10 computer straight from the sound icon. However, that’s not all it’s capable of doing. It can also be responsible for choosing a default sound option.

1. Go to your system tray and click on the sound icon.

2. You’ll see the volume slider, but above that is the device that’s being altered. By clicking on it, you reveal additional devices linked to sound.

3. Use the menu to choose the correct audio device.

Update Audio Drivers

When a driver is out-of-date—severely out-of-date—you often run into an issue where the device no longer wishes to function. For example, an outdated audio driver can result in a large amount of static in your speakers or ceasing to work altogether. Getting your audio driver up to snuff can fix a laundry list of sound problems on Windows 10.

1. Open the Windows Start menu, then search for Control Panel.

2. In the Control Panel, click on Hardware and Sound.

3. On the following page, at the top, click Device Manager. It’s under Devices and Printers.

Now, you’ll see a list of different components, each one being a separate category. To the left of each one is a small arrow. By clicking on one of those arrows, you reveal specific components in that category.

4. Click the small arrow next to Audio inputs and outputs.

5. Right-click on the sound device in question and choose Update driver.

6. In the pop-up window, choose “Search automatically for update driver software.”

Note: You need a connection to the network to use this option unless you have the software already on your computer. In that case, you can choose “Browse my computer for driver software.”

And there you have it! The audio should be working again. Of course, updating drivers and other listed solutions won’t be able to fix a damaged audio device. If you tried everything and nothing worked, it might be time to consider replacing it.