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How to Fix Realtek Audio Issues

As a Windows 10 user, you might have noticed your PC came equipped with Realtek High Definition audio drivers. While it is pre-installed on your PC, it doesn’t mean it is free of common errors.

Learning how to fix Realtek audio issues means first identifying the problem you have, then finding the right troubleshooting steps to correct it.

Sometimes it just takes downloading a new driver, while other times you might need a replacement for your sound card.

Before you assume it is one or the other, review these common errors and solutions.

The Most Common Realtek Audio Issues

Before offering troubleshooting advice, you first need to know the more common issues from Realtek’s audio drivers. These include:

  1. Missing Audio Manager Icon: After a recent Windows 10 update, you may notice your Realtek HD icon disappears from the taskbar. Typically, this comes from a driver issue.
  2. Conflicts with Preinstalled Microsoft Drivers: There are known issues between Microsoft system drivers and Realtek, which are an easy fix.

Why is Realtek High Definition Audio on My PC?

Realtek High Definition Audio Driver is the most popular sound driver for Windows systems, and it helps manage surround sound, Dolby and DTS sound systems on your computer.

You need this driver for your audio device to even work on the PC – so uninstalling it would create serious audio errors.

To further customize your sound experience, you can download the Realtek High Definition Audio Manager, but it is not necessary just to plug in new speakers or use your system’s sounds.

How to Fix Issues from Outdated Drivers or System Update Conflicts

If you recently updated your Windows 10, and your Realtek audio is nowhere to be found, the first troubleshooting step is to locate and update the driver.

1. Go Into Device Manager to Find Your Drivers

First, you need to identify the driver version you have for Realtek. Use your search icon on the Windows taskbar to look for your “Device Manager,” and select it.

Device Manager

Once the Device Manager is open, find your Sound, Video, and Game Controllers.

find your Sound, Video, and Game Controllers

Expand the menu and see if your Realtek High Definition Audio driver exists.

Realtek High Definition Audio driver

2. Perform a Manual Update Push

manual update drivers

Once you locate the Realtek HD Audio driver, right-click on that driver and select Update Driver.

You will then be prompted to Search automatically for updated software, or to browse for a manual driver located on your computer.

Select to search automatically.

Windows 10 will automatically begin updating to the latest driver available in their database.

3. Reboot Your PC

Now, do a full restart of your PC to save the changes.

You should see the Realtek High Definition Audio in the taskbar now if you click on your speaker icon to select an output.

You should see the Realtek High Definition Audio in the taskbar

If you still do not see the Realtek option in your speaker list, the next step is to see if Microsoft’s pre-installed drivers are causing the issue.

Disabling Microsoft UAA Bus Driver for High Definition Audio

Two high definition audio drivers never mix – and that goes for Realtek and Microsoft’s UAA Bus Driver.

If you haven’t done so before, you will want to disable this pre-installed driver.

1. Go Back into Device Manager

In Device Manager, scroll down to System Devices.

Device Manager

Look through the expanded list for Microsoft UAA Bus Driver for High Definition Audio. If it is not on the list, it was disabled already.

If you do see it in the list, you will need to disable it.

2. Disabling the Pre-Installed UAA Bus Driver

To disable, right-click on the Microsoft UAA Bus Driver for High Definition Audio and select Disable device.

Disable device

3. Restart Your PC and Check for Further Issues

Do a complete restart on your PC for the disabled driver to take effect.

Then, see if your Realtek Audio shows in your list of outputs or if you get any further error messages.

Fix Realtek Audio Issues with a Rollback

If you recently updated and you see the version error compatibility message, then the next step would be to try a rollback of the most recently installed driver to the previous version.

1. Find Your Realtek Driver in Device Manager

Open the Device Manager and go to your Sound, Video and Game Controllers.

Expand the menu, locate your Realtek driver in the list, and right-click.

Find Realtek Driver in Device Manager

Select Properties.

2. Manually Rollback to Previous Versions

With the driver information up, click the Driver tab at the top of the menu.

Here you will see the driver provider, date of install, and version. Write down the version number on a piece of paper in case you need to reference it later.

Rollback to Previous Versions

Select the option to Roll Back Driver. Roll Back will take you to the previously installed driver, which is most likely the driver that was operating as it should before you did a Windows update.

If Roll Back is greyed out, then you have no previously installed version to roll back to. Click Roll Back Driver, then OK and follow the prompts to confirm the rollback.

3. Restart Your PC Again

Now, do another restart for the driver changes to take effect and see if that corrects the issue.

Use Automatic Recognition to Find the Right Driver

Often, Realtek HD audio drivers fail because they are out of date or you are using an incompatible version.

Instead of manually updating drivers and hoping for the best, you can take the guesswork out of the process by using Driver Support.

Upon installation it automatically inventories all drivers and software on your computer, and then searches for the most up-to-date drivers ready for installation.

Check out our step-by-step process to update your drivers within minutes below:

1. Download Driver Support

from the website, and follow the prompts to complete the installation on your PC.

Note, Windows PC will ask if you want to install anyway – even though Driver Support is not an app in their Microsoft Store.

Click Okay the installation.

2. Wait for the Initial Scan then Head to Drivers

Driver Support completes an initial scan of your system to inventory what drivers you have and any applicable updates.

Look under your Drivers menu and see if there are any warning icons next to your Realtek High Definition Audio drivers.

Realtek High Definition Audio drivers

If you see a warning icon, it means your driver is out of date, and Driver Support has located the proper driver for you.

Click on that Driver, and then press Fix It! and Driver Support will automatically update the driver.

Click on the Driver, and then press Fix It!

3. Restart Your Computer

As usual, you must restart your PC for any new drivers to take effect.

Once you have restarted, you should no longer see any issues with your Realtek High Definition Audio Manager.

No More Need For The Guess Work

Guessing the right driver for your computer is risky. Not only do you need to consider how recently you updated Windows 10, but also whether the version you are about to install is compatible. Driver issues are incredibly frustrating and unnecessarily time-consuming.

When you use an automated update software like Driver Support, you no longer have to worry about installing the incorrect driver or creating further compatibility issues.

Driver Support’s software is free to download, and if you register your product fully, the service automatically updates for you each time a new, compatible driver is available to save you more time in the future.

Driver Support has been helping users keep their drivers up to date since 1996. Join more than 4 million users and see how easy it is to enjoy automated updates.

Ready to see how easy it is to maximize the performance of your system and devices?  Give DriverSupport | ONE a try today! today and enjoy automatic updates that are as easy as two clicks and you’re done.