Drivers act as a bridge between the hardware components installed on your computer and the operating system. Without drivers, you won't be able to use the hardware installed physically on your system.
The same goes for the Audio drivers. Without them, you will not be able to have sound output or relay sound input from the microphone. Thus, it is crucial that you keep audio drivers up to date on your system.
Typically, Windows automatically handles this task and does not require any user intervention. That being said, there could be exceptional scenarios when Windows cannot update the driver or the drivers have been damaged or corrupted.
In such cases, you will need to intervene and manually update the drivers for a seamless experience. Thankfully, the process is straightforward. For your convenience, we have discussed all the ways you can update the audio driver on your Windows 11 system in this guide.
1. Update the Audio Driver Using Settings
Many times when Windows isn't able to download and install the driver by itself or needs user intervention, it holds the update in the 'Optional Updates' section, which you can reach through the settings app.
First, head to the Start Menu and click on the 'Settings' icon.
After that, click on the 'Windows Update' tab from the left sidebar to proceed.
Next, click on the 'Advanced Options' tile from the right section to continue.
On the next screen, click on the 'Optional Updates' tile.
Afterward, select the updates with 'Realtek/Audio' in the prefix/suffix and click the 'Download & Install' button.
2. Update Audio Driver using the Device Manager
If you cannot find an update in the 'Optional Updates' section, you can try to find an update using the Device Manager.
First, head to the Start Menu and type
Device Manager to perform a search. Then, click on the 'Device Manager' tile from the search results.
After that, locate and double-click on the 'Audio inputs and outputs' field.
Next, right-click on the 'Speaker' component and select the 'Update driver' option from the context menu. This will open a separate window on your screen.
On the separate window, click on the 'Search automatically for drivers' option if you want Windows to search for a driver on its official servers. Otherwise, if you already have an installer package for the driver, click on the 'Browse my computer for drivers' option.
Similarly, right-click on the 'Microphone' component and click on the 'Update driver' option. Then, either let Windows search for a driver or browse for the drivers manually on your computer.
3. Force Reinstall Driver
If the Device Manager route also didn't prove fruitful, the last resort is to uninstall the driver from your computer. Windows will automatically detect the missing driver on the next reboot, and you'll be able to install the updated version.
To do so, head to the Device Manager, as showcased in the above section. After that, locate and double-click on the 'Audio inputs and output' option.
Next, right-click on the 'Speaker' component and select the 'Uninstall' option from the context menu to proceed. This will bring a separate window to your screen.
On the separately opened window, click on the 'Uninstall' button.
Once the component is uninstalled, restart your PC. After it has been restarted, head to 'Settings'. Then, click on the 'Windows Update' tab from the left sidebar.
Then, click on the 'Advanced Options' tile from the right section. Next, select the 'Optional Updates' tile to proceed.
You should see an audio driver here. It will be the latest driver available on Microsoft servers for your Windows build. Click on the 'Download & Install' button.
That's about it, people. Using the above-mentioned methods, you can easily update audio drivers on your Windows 11 computer if automatic updates are not working for any reason.