Red X on Sound Icon
If you’re experiencing a red X icon over your Bluetooth or wired sound device, you may be experiencing a driver error. Here’s how to fix it.
The Basics Are a Good Place to Start
After you check your connections and router, you’ll likely conclude that some general troubleshooting is required. You can test these steps in whatever order you desire.
Verify the Windows Audio Service is Running
From the Windows 10 search box (on the taskbar), find and click on Services. Once the Services window appears, scroll down the long list until you come to Windows Audio.
If the service isn’t running, right-click and Start it.
If it is already running, you might want to right-click and Restart.
Try Rebooting Windows
This approach is as old as computers themselves. Still, it can correct behaviors that are mere hiccups.
After properly rebooting your machine, check for the red x on sound icon. If the X has gone away, you may be good to go – at least for a little while.
If it returns immediately – or later – another culprit should be considered.
Device Drivers Need to Be Up to Date
While the prior steps may help, you’ve likely arrived at this section because there’s a common reason behind why devices stop working.
Device Drivers that are corrupt, out of date or missing will typically cause issues such as this. There are a few approaches to remedy such a scenario.
Windows Can Search for a Driver
While the results are mixed, you can try and let Windows update the needed driver.
To do so, use the search box on the Windows taskbar to find the Device Manager. Locate the specific adapter under Network Adapters and right-click it. From here, you can select to Update Driver Software and then choose the option to search automatically for the driver.
Manually Search for the Correct Driver
A quest for the driver will take you to the manufacturer’s website. You will need to bring some information with you about the device – typically the model and serial number. If you’re able to find the correct driver, download it.
You can return to the Device Manager afterwards and choose to search for the file you recently acquired.
Run Software That Updates Drivers Automatically
There exists software, such as Driver Support, that will take away the burden of finding and installing drivers. Once run, no further steps are required.
There is a lot to be said about the hassle-free route to keeping drivers current. For one, it can be considered a proactive approach to avoiding situations where a device stops working due to its driver.
Other Possible Causes
There are less likely scenarios that can occur. Among these are conflicting devices or even defective ones.
A common approach to troubleshooting is booting into safe mode. There are several ways to do this across the multiple versions of Windows. Sometimes simply hitting F8 or Shift-F8 during bootup will work. Otherwise, you can go into the advanced startup settings in Windows.
You can always refer to a professional technician or the manufacturer for scenarios that involve defective devices – or go beyond standard troubleshooting steps.
Install Driver Support and Worry No More
Since 1996, Driver Support has helped users keep their computers running smoothly.
Upon installation, the software will inventory your computer for all supported device types. Once the service is registered, it will update any drivers that are missing or out of date. This will allow you to avoid having to search manually for drivers – in this case, for your sound.
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