How To Update Realtek Audio Drivers on a Windows PC
Popular audio software Realtek requires the latest HD Audio Drivers to function. The audio drivers facilitate communication between your computer and the audio devices. Outdated drivers can cause sound quality problems, the sound to cut out, or have no sound at all.
Read on to learn how to update the Realtek HD Audio Drivers on your Windows 11 or 10 PC.
Updating Realtek Audio Drivers in Windows 11
It’s relatively easy to update your Realtek audio drivers. You can check for updates, search for drivers through the Device Manager, or download the files from the Realtek website.
Follow these steps to check for a Realtek Audio Driver update:
- Open “Settings” using the “Windows + I” hotkeys or via the “Start Menu.”
- On the left, choose “Windows Update.”
- Click the “Check for updates” option.
- Install the update.
Here’s how to find the Realtek audio driver with automatic search via device manager:
- Right-click “Start” and then choose “Device Manager.”
- Expand the “Audio inputs and outputs” option and then right-click “Speaker/Headphone (Realtek (R) Audio.”
- Choose “Update Driver.”
- From the prompt, select “Search automatically for drivers.”
- Wait while the latest Realtek audio drivers are found. Then hit “Install” to complete the process.
- Once the installation is complete, select “Close,” and then restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
If you can’t find the drivers with the above method, try downloading them from the Realtek website.
- Go to the HD Audio Codecs Software page in a new web browser.
- Under the “Description” category, locate the correct driver for your system, then hit the “Download” icon.
- If your system isn’t listed, you may need to download the “High Definition Audio Codecs Software.” Alternatively, if you’re using an older system, download the driver for “AC’97 Audio Codecs Software.”
- Double-click the setup file when the file has been downloaded, then follow the steps to install the latest Realtek HD Audio Drivers.
Updating Realtek Audio Drivers in Windows 10
There are three ways to update your Realtek HD Audio Drivers in Windows 10. You can check for updates via Update & Security, use the Update Driver function via Device Manager, or install the update directly from the Realtek website.
Follow these steps to update the audio drivers using update status:
- Open “Settings” via the “Start Menu” or using the “Windows + I” hotkey.
- Choose “Update & Security.”
- Beneath “Windows Update,” click the “Check for updates” button.
- If an update is available for your PC, click “Install,” and then reboot your computer.
Follow these steps to update the drivers via Device Manager:
- From the search box on the taskbar, type “Device Manager.”
- Click on it from the menu.
- Expand the “Sound, video, and game controllers” option, then right-click on the “Realtek High Definition Audio” option.
- Choose “Update Driver.”
- Click “Search automatically for updated driver software on the next screen.”
- Once the latest sound driver has been found, click “Install.”
- After the drivers are installed, click “Close,” then reboot your PC to save the changes.
You can also download the audio drivers from the Realtek website.
- Visit the HD Audio Codecs Software page in a new web browser.
- Beneath the “Description” category, find the correct driver for your system, and then click the “Download” icon.
- If you can’t find your system, you may need to download the “High Definition Audio Codecs Software.” Alternatively, if you’re using an older system, download the driver for “AC’97 Audio Codecs Software.”
- Double-click the setup file once the file has been downloaded, and then follow the steps to install the latest Realtek HD Audio Drivers.
How to Troubleshoot Realtek Audio Problems in Windows 11
At the time of writing, Realtek has not officially advised on Windows 11 compatibility, and some users report problems with the Realtek audio drivers. If you have up-to-date audio drivers and are experiencing issues with sound, other common causes include:
- Broken audio settings
- Incompatible audio enhancements
- A conflict between Realtek and Windows driver
Try working through the following tips to get your Realtek audio working as required.
Restart Your Computer
Often, a simple restart is enough to clear any temporary glitches interfering with the sound or to force the sound card to work correctly. The quickest way to restart your Windows 11 PC is by clicking the “Power” button in the lower-right corner of the “Start Menu.”
Tweak Your Audio Settings
If there’s no sound, the cause could be incorrect audio settings. Here’s how to adjust the settings:
- Press the “Windows” key to access “Search.”
- Type “Control” in the search bar and then hit enter.
- Choose “Hardware and Sound,” then “Sound.”
- In “Sound” you can alter several sound settings, including the microphone and speakers.
Disable Sound Enhancements
In some cases, audio enhancements can cause problems with your sound card. Try disabling the enhancements to see if it solves the problem.
- Press the “Windows +R” keys to open “Run.”
- Enter a search for “control.”
- Choose “Hardware and Sound.”
- Select “Sound,” then beneath “Playback,” select your speaker.
- Click on the “Enhancements” tab. Select “Disable all enhancements,” then “OK.”
Uninstalling and Reinstalling the Realtek Audio Drivers
Uninstalling and reinstalling the audio drivers could help clean up any temporary bugs causing the sound problems.
- Right-click the “Start menu.”
- Choose “Device Manager.”
- Select “Sound, video, and game controllers.”
- Right-click “Realtek High Definition Audio.”
- Choose the “Uninstall device” option.
- Check the “Attempt to remove the driver for this device” box.
- Select “Uninstall.”
Here’s how to reinstall the drivers:
- Visit the HD Audio Codecs Software page to download the latest Realtek audio driver.
- Download the file and run the installation program.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the driver install.
Restart the Audio Driver
Device driver problems cause many software issues in Windows. Check if restarting the audio driver forces Realtek to work.
- Right-click the Windows icon and then select “Device Manager.”
- Click on the down arrow next to “Sound, video, and game controllers.”
- Right-click your audio driver and then click the “Disable device” option.
- Click “Yes” to confirm the disable confirmation pop-up.
- The “System Settings Change” window will open to restart your computer. Save any unsaved work, and then choose “Yes” to restart your PC.
- When your computer restarts, right-click the Windows icon, then “Device Manager.”
- Right-click the audio driver and then click the “Enable device” option to re-enable your audio driver.
Restart Windows Audio Service
Another reason you’re experiencing sound issues could be that Windows audio services were not appropriately loaded or are malfunctioning. See if restarting the Windows audio services clears the problem.
- Use the hotkeys “Windows + R” to open the “Run” app.
- Enter “services.msc” then “OK.”
- Find the “Windows Audio” service in the list and then double-click on it.
- Hit the “Stop” button to stop the Windows audio service.
- Close the “Windows Audio Service Properties” window and then double-click on the Windows audio service again.
- Click the “Start” button to restart the “Windows audio service.”
- Close the properties window by clicking “OK.”
Realtek Audio Drivers Updated!
Realtek audio drivers must be kept updated so your computer can adequately communicate with your audio devices. There are several ways to find the latest Realtek audio drivers update for your PC, including performing an automatic search in Windows or going to the official Realtek website.
Were you able to update the Realtek audio drivers on your PC successfully? Let us know in the comments section below.
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