To reinstall an audio driver on Windows 11, use Device Manager to uninstall the current driver, then restart your PC, and Windows will automatically install the latest driver. Alternatively, you can use Control Panel to uninstall the driver or manually install a driver package from the manufacturer's website.
It is essential to have a specific driver installed for every hardware component in your system to ensure proper functionality. The audio driver is especially critical as it enables your system's speakers to function correctly and can recognize and relay audio to external peripherals.
Typically, Windows updates take care of driver-related issues to ensure you have the latest drivers for all hardware components. However, there may be circumstances, such as a corrupt or malfunctioning driver, where you need to reinstall a driver to ensure your system functions as expected.
Fortunately, reinstalling a driver in today's world is straightforward. You can uninstall your existing driver, restart your PC, and Windows will automatically install the latest available driver for the component. This means you no longer need to go through the time-consuming process of finding and downloading a driver manually.
Using Device Manager to Uninstall Audio Drivers
There are many ways you can uninstall a driver, and though using the Device Manager for such a simple task sounds like a difficult approach, but once you get the hang of it, the process hardly feels taxing.
First, open Start Menu and type ‘Device Manager’ to search for it. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Device Manager’ tile to open it.
Then, on the Device Manager window, locate the ‘Audio inputs and outputs’ label and click the little chevron (downward arrow) preceding it to expand the section.
Next, if you have been facing problems with the audio output, right-click on the ‘Speakers’ option. Otherwise, if your microphone seems to be not working, right-click on the ‘Microphone’ option and click to select the ‘Uninstall Device’ option. This will bring up a separate window pane on your screen.
From the separately opened window, click on the checkbox preceding the ‘Attempt to remove the drive for this device’ option and then click on the ‘Uninstall’ button.
Now, restart your Windows 11 machine from the Start Menu. The system will automatically detect the missing driver and install the latest driver available on your machine.
Using Control Panel to Uninstall the Driver
Along with the Device Manager, you can also use the Control Panel to uninstall the audio driver on your computer.
To uninstall the audio driver this way, open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard. Then type Control in the menu to search for it and click on the ‘Control Panel’ tile from the search results.
Then, locate and click on the ‘Programs & Features’ tile from the grid of options.
After that, locate your audio driver from the list and click it to select. Then, click on the ‘Uninstall’ button present at the top ribbon to uninstall the driver from your system.
And that’s about it, now restart your system from the Start Menu and Windows will automatically install the missing drivers for the audio hardware.
How to Manually Install Audio Driver in Windows 11
Though Windows can automatically detect and install missing drivers, however, there can be times when it isn’t able to do that. In that case, it becomes imperative that you install the driver manually and thankfully there are multiple ways to do that.
Checking the Optional Updates in Settings
At times a critical driver package gets labeled as an optional update and sits in the update queue if you are on a metered connection or you have configured your system to only install the critical updates.
To check if your driver package is listed as an optional update, open the Settings app from the pinned apps on the Start Menu or by searching for it.
Next, click on the ‘Windows Update’ tab present in the left sidebar of the Settings window.
After that, from the right section of the window, click on the ‘Advanced options’ tile situated under the ‘More options’ section.
Next, locate the ‘Additional options’ section and then click on the ‘optional updates’ tile present in the section to continue.
Then, click on the ‘Driver updates’ tile to reveal the available updates. Next, click on the checkbox preceding the audio driver (if you are not sure, check all of the options) to choose and then click on the ‘Download & Install’ button to install the updates.
Download and Install a Driver Package from Manufacturer Website
You can also download a driver package yourself and install it on your system. Though this route definitely requires the most effort from you. However, a driver is very critical for the proper function of your device, the effort is definitely worth putting in.
To download a driver package, you will first have to find it. In order to do so, head to google.com using your preferred browser. Then, type your component’s name (as Displayed in Device Manager) preceded by your device model and manufacturer’s name in the search box (as shown in the screenshot) and hit Enter to search.
Next, from the search results, you will be able to get the direct link for the audio driver leading you to your specific manufacturer support website.
Now, download the driver package from the website. Once downloaded, head to your default downloads directory and double-click if it’s an
.EXE file to run the installer.
In case the downloaded file is a
.ZIP folder, right-click on the folder and choose the ‘Extract all’ option from the context menu. Once contents are extracted, locate the
.EXE file and double-click on it to install the audio driver.
Having a properly functioning audio driver is crucial for the overall performance of your Windows 11 PC. If you encounter any issues with your audio output or microphone, you can use different methods to reinstall the missing or corrupted driver. Using the Device Manager or Control Panel are easy and convenient options, but if all else fails, manually downloading and installing the driver package from the manufacturer's website is also a viable solution.
With these different approaches, you can ensure that your audio driver is up-to-date and working properly.