Have you ever switched on your laptop to binge watch a movie after a long time? Or switched it on in a hurry because you nearly forgot about that important Zoom call, and suddenly you find out that there’s no audio in your system? You check if your laptop (or desktop) is muted but instead find nothing out of the blue. And just then, your attention goes to the bottom right side of the screen and you see a small red cross on the audio icon. Hovering over the icon tells you something like “audio service is not running”.
Now you somewhat know what the problem is or what it is called. But the main problem is how to solve it. It is quite a common issue faced by the users of newer versions of Windows like Windows 7/8.1 and Windows 10 or the latest Windows 11. However, I have good news- it can be solved.
So, let’s look at some of the easy ways you can solve this issue.
Sometimes audio drivers are not working correctly due to several reasons. Most common among them is outdated drivers or some issues in their functioning which can be solved by updating, reinstalling or restarting them.
Very seldom do they require some advanced solutions. Most of the time, we don’t even need to get into the depth of what’s causing the issue. It is either of the below-mentioned causes.
Possibles Fixes for Fix Audio Service is Not Running Issue in Windows 10/11
1) Simply change the volume:
Let’s start with a minor quick fix. Sometimes what happens is your audio doesn’t work properly due to reasons unbeknownst to us. It might be that your laptop is not producing as much sound as it should for a particular volume level.
For this, you can simply increase and decrease the volume. As silly as it might sound, this method is quite effective.
Step 1: Go down to the audio icon at the bottom right side of your computer.
Step 2: Click on it. The volume bar will open.
Step 3: Drag the bar of the volume to increase and decrease the volume of the system.
2) Run the troubleshooter:
Just as the name suggests, this program troubleshoots the underlying problem and fixes it.
Step 1: Type “settings” in the search bar. Then, open it.
Step 2: In the search bar, type “Windows Update Settings” and open it.
Step 3: On the left-hand side, you will find troubleshoot option. Click on it.
Step 4: Here, you will see “Additional Troubleshooters”. Click on it.
Step 5: Under “Get Up and Running”, you will find several options. Click on “Playing Audio”.
Step 6: Just below it, another option, “Run Troubleshooter”, will appear. Click on it. You can further select whether you want to troubleshoot the headphones or the speakers and do as instructed by the troubleshooter.
If you have to troubleshoot speakers:
a) A troubleshooter will suggest disabling the audio enhancement to improve sound quality. You can either do that by clicking on that option or you can choose not to open “audio enhancements”.
b) Troubleshoot will also suggest you reinstall the audio drivers. For this, it will suggest you compare the sound quality to see if reinstallation is needed. If the sound quality is good, you don’t need to reinstall it.
However, if the quality is not good enough, it will suggest you reinstall the audio drivers.
The troubleshooter will show the same steps for all the other audio devices on your PC.
3) Update the drivers:
As said earlier, many-a-times, drivers don’t work correctly due to them being outdated. The audio drivers of your PC might be facing the same problem that could lead to the audio service is not running in Windows 10 or Windows 11. It is a good practice to check them regularly to avoid any last-minute difficulties.
Follow the below mentioned simple steps to update your drivers.
Step 1: Type “Device Manager” in the search bar and open it.
Step 2: Look for “Sound, video and game controllers”. Double click on it.
Step 3: In the drop-down, you will find all the audio devices installed on your PC. Right-click on any one of them you wish to update.
Step 4: Upon right-clicking, you will find some options appear. Click on “Update Driver”.
4) Reinstall the Drivers:
Sometimes, updating is not enough. You need to start from scratch. This is relatively less cumbersome and easy to do as you don’t need to do a lot. You just need to uninstall the required drivers and restart your PC.
Windows will install them again after your PC restarts.
Step 1: Just follow all the steps mentioned in the third method till Step 3.
Step 2: Click on the “Uninstall Device” option.
Step 3: Restart your PC. Your Windows will install it again.
5) Restart your Audio Drive Service:
Sometimes restarting provides an easy path to put things back in proper working order. Restarting the audio devices and drives services might be pretty simple but prove effective.
Step 1: Type “Run” in the search bar and hit “Enter”.
Step 2: The Run window will open. Type “services.msc” and hit Enter.
Step 3: A new window of services will open. Look for “Windows Audio” and “Windows Audio Endpoint Builder”.
Step 4: Double click on each of them and check their startup type. If it is Automatic, it is OK. But if it is not, make sure it is set to Automatic.
Step 5: Close the windows and right-click on “Windows Audio” and “Windows Audio Endpoint Builder”. Then hit “Restart”.
6) Check the registry key:
Due to some reasons, the data in the registry key changes. If that happens, it causes issues with the PC. To check if everything is OK with the registry, follow the following steps.
Step 1: Open “Run”.
Step 2: Type “regedit” in the search option given.
Step 3: A registry editor window will open.
Step 4: On the left-hand side, you will find different directories and file locations. Double click on the folder named “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE”.
Step 5: In that folder, go to “SYSTEM”.
Step 6: Then go to “CurrentControlSet”. In it, open “Services”.
Step 7: Finally, open “AudioEndpointBuilder”.
Step 8: Check the data in “ServiceDll”. It should be “%SystemRoot%\System32\AudioEndpointBuilder.dll”.
Step 9: If the data is the one mentioned above, then this is not the cause behind your problem. But if the data is not the one mentioned above, you have to update it to the one given above.
Step 10: To do this, double click on “ServiceDll” and update the data to the required one. Finally, hit “OK”.
7) An advanced solution (if all else fails):
This one is a bit advanced. If all of the above-suggested steps fail to show any successful results, use this one. With the help of executing a few commands In the PC’s command prompt, you can find aid to your computer’s ailment.
Step 1: Open “Command Prompt” and run it as administrator.
Step 2: Execute the following four commands by pressing “Enter” after typing each command.
- net localgroup Administrators /add networkservice
- net localgroup Administrators /add localservice
- SC config Audiosrv start= auto
- REG ADD “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Audiosr” /V start /T REG_DWord /D 2 /F secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose
Upon execution, the problem of the Audio service is not running should very likely be solved.
Sometimes, it becomes difficult to understand the underlying cause of the problem appearing on the PC. Many causes are pointing towards the same problem. However, the majority of the causes behind the dysfunctional audio driver have been listed in this article with proper step-by-step solutions to solve those issues.