Hello silence, my old friend… If you’re getting no sound from your laptop speakers even when you’re trying to blast out AC/DC, it’s time to start fiddling with your sound settings.
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First, let’s work through the obvious, just to be sure you’ve not done something silly. Make sure any headphones or speakers plugged into the laptop are removed or switched off. Bluetooth headphones and speakers can catch you out here, as there’s obviously no lead sprouting from the laptop.
Most laptop keyboards will have a mute button that it’s easy to accidentally activate, especially as some of them are on the row of function buttons directly above the numbers. Look for a little speaker icon with a line through it and push the button to see if that restores the speakers.
You can also use the Windows settings to check if your speakers are silenced. In the row of tiny icons next to the clock, look for the speaker icon and click on it. Drag the volume slider up if it’s down on the left-hand side. On Macs, the speaker icon is found in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
If the volume appears to be turned up but you still can’t hear any sound from the video/music you’re trying to play, it’s time to dig a little deeper. If you’re playing the media in a web browser, it’s possible the browser tab is muted. Today’s web browsers have tools designed to silence those furiously irritating ads that play in the background, but these can sometimes result in content you want to hear being accidentally blocked.
In browsers such as Chrome or Firefox, a little speaker icon will appear at the top of the tab if content is playing, or a speaker with a line through it will be shown if it’s been muted. In Chrome, you can right click on that tab’s header and select Unmute Site to restore volume; in Firefox you merely have to click on that tiny speaker icon in the tab header.
Likewise, if you’re using an app such as Spotify or iTunes to play music, just check there are no mute buttons activated from within the app itself. These can be tricky to spot. Spotify will mute if you click the speaker icon next to the volume slider, which is easy to do by accident.
If all else fails, Windows 10 users can run a troubleshooter to see if the operating system can repair the audio. Type “troubleshooter” into the search bar and click on Troubleshoot Settings. Now click Additional Troubleshooters and select Playing Audio and Windows will have a stab at sorting out any problems.