Why is there no sound from my PC speakers?

No sound from my PC speakers
Sound of silence: check Windows has your speakers selected

You’ve clicked on a YouTube video of Spandau Ballet’s Gold, but you can’t hear Tony Hadley belting it out. Why is there no sound from my PC speakers, you wonder, remembering how life was much simpler in 1985, with your Spandau Ballet LP, stacking hi-fi system and luminous green socks. Here’s how to restore sound to your PC’s speakers.

Check the volume

We’re not going to insult your intelligence by suggesting you’ve forgotten to turn up the volume, but you have checked the volume, haven’t you?

If you’re using external speakers on your PC, there are two volume levels you must check. First, the volume knob on the speakers themselves and then Windows’ own volume control.  In your Windows taskbar, you should see a little speaker icon. Left click on that and just check that the volume level is turned right up – it’s normally easier to fine-tune the actual volume level of the speakers themselves.

Windows volume control

If both the Windows and the speaker volume is up, check the volume of the video player itself. YouTube and other videos embedded in website pages often play with the sound muted. Hover your mouse over the video and look for a little speaker symbol with a cross through it, as shown below. If you see that, click on the speaker icon and sound should be restored.

Video sound muted

Check your Windows audio devices

If you’re sure all the volume knobs have been twiddled to 11, then it’s time to explore your audio device settings. Windows has a horrible habit of assigning audio to the wrong device, often at random. For example, Windows 10 frequently tries to route audio through my monitor, even though the screen has no speakers.

To fix this, right-click on the little speaker icon in the taskbar and select Playback Devices. A small window should appear showing all of the audio devices supported on your PC, as below:

Windows Playback Devices

As you can see, Windows has handily chosen to send audio through my monitor instead of the speakers. To correct the error, click on the speakers, choose Set Default and the green tick should now be displayed on the speakers. Click OK, kick back and listen to that sweet, sweet Hadley sound.

Now click here: how do I turn my Amazon Echo devices into multi-room speakers?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at


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  • Thanks for posting this Barry.

    I have a slightly more odd problem with my PC sound – videos etc. all play fine, but the ‘toggle’ sounds on my Caps/Num lock buttons no longer works in normal use…

    However, if I open volume mixer and click on system sounds (which is enabled with volume), the toggle sounds start working again. As soon as I close the volume mixer, the toggle sounds stop again!

    Any thoughts?


  • I hope you’re still monitoring replies to this Mar 2, 2018 article. Although this doesn’t related to the technical advice, can you tell me what is the brand of the desktop speakers pictured at the top of the article?