Are Your Laptop Speakers Not Working? Here's What You Should Do

Laptop Speakers Not Working - What Should You Do?
Finding laptop speakers not working properly can be a real bummer. The solution to this problem is widely discussed on tech forums and often lies in tweaking some software settings. In this article, I share some tips on effectively fixing such problems.
The miniaturization of laptops comes at a price and one feature that seems lacking in most, is the quality of laptop speakers and the sound they provide. Often, most laptop users have to resort to external speaker systems to enjoy quality music or watch movies. Complaints like 'Laptop speakers stopped working' and 'Laptop speakers not loud enough', are some of the most common complaints on tech forums.

My laptop has a mercurial and idiosyncratic nature. The problem started with laptop speakers being not loud enough and then it got worse. On a long weekend, when I plan to watch a nice movie, often the laptop speakers stopped working, making my movie plans go kaput. This case of dysfunctional speakers is especially annoying when voice chatting online with my friends. They could hear my voice but due to speakers not working on the laptop, I couldn't hear their voice! Ergo, I decided to find a way of fixing this problem and out of my research through online forums and a bit of my own tinkering, the objective was achieved. I share some tips here, that will help you in fixing laptop speaker problems at a software level quite effectively.

Laptop Speakers Not Working - What to Do?
Any laptop computer problem can be fixed, after you've properly diagnosed and isolated the underlying source. The problem either lies with the software or hardware. Every device attached to the computer has its hardware connections and control software, in the form of drivers. The case of dysfunctional speakers could be arising out of a software or hardware failure of some kind. Here are some simple things that you can do, to fix the problem, in case it's only a software anomaly.

Check Volume Mute Settings
Laptop speakers may not be working because of accidental muting of sound output. To check that, on your Windows XP operating system, click on the 'Start' button, then go to 'All Programs > accessories > Entertainment > Volume Control'. You could also reach the volume settings by simply clicking on the speaker icon, which is normally present in system tray, in case of Windows Vista. See if the mute check box is checked. In case it is, then uncheck it and your problem will be solved.

Install Sound Drivers Again
Another problem might be the corruption of the laptop's installed audio drivers. In that case, you must delete the old sound drivers and reinstall them from your driver installation CD. To delete old drivers go to 'Start > Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager > Sound and Video Game Controllers'. Delete the sound devices that are listed there, while taking care that the audio codecs and legacy audio drivers are not deleted. Then run the recovery driver CD to get the audio drivers newly installed. That should take care of your problem. All it takes is a few mouse clicks! If you don't have the recovery driver CD, search for sound drivers online, according to laptop brand and model number. Download and install the driver to restore sound.

Hardware Issues
A faulty headphone jack or sound card may be the reason for the continuing 'no sound' problem. There is a switch, within the headphone jack, that's used to switch off speaker sound, when a headphone terminal is inserted. Often, the switch tends to get stuck, even when a headphone is not being used, leading to muted speakers. Inserting and removing the headphone terminal in the jack a couple of times, might just fix your problem, if it prompts the stuck switch to work again. Otherwise, you'll need expert assistance in getting the part replaced. A problem with the sound card will undoubtedly be solved, only by a computer technician.

Go for a System Restore
Sometimes the installation of certain software programs and virus problems may have messed up the audio software settings and data may have been lost. In such a case, go for a 'System Restore' that will reset all the settings as they were before. To do that, go to 'Accessories > System Tools > System Restore'. If this works, your laptop sound should be back.

Hope your laptop speakers problem is fixed with some of the solutions suggested here. In case neither of these work, you may have a hardware failure which is best fixed by a qualified laptop technician. You may have to get the speaker and associated hardware (sound card) replaced. Mostly, you won't have to pay for it, unless it isn't covered by a warranty.