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Dell Laptop Speakers Not Working

There are many reasons why your internal speakers stop working unexpectedly.

Unfortunately, there isn’t one root cause for Dell laptop speakers failing.

We’ll cover the most common reasons your laptop speakers are not working and what you can do to get them back up and running.

If Dell laptop speakers are not working, the cause may be a software conflict, a volume or audio settings error, or a corrupt driver. Start by closing all applications and then restarting your laptop. If there is still no sound, disconnect your headphones and check that the speakers are not muted.

frustrated woman looking at her laptop

Closing all applications and rebooting your laptop can sometimes resolve software conflicts. This is especially true if you have installed new software.

Often, you may inadvertently change an audio setting without realizing it. To check your settings, click the speaker icon on the bottom-right of your screen.

If you have an audio driver such as the Realtek High-Definition Audio Driver, check its settings. This Windows sound driver is a popular way to manage various aspects of your laptop’s sound system. It can be a problem if you make a change to the standard settings, so check that it is working correctly.

Avoid uninstalling the Realtek audio driver as removing it can cause further audio problems. However, if your speakers continue to malfunction, you may have to replace this driver with a native Windows driver to resolve the issue.

Dell Laptop Speakers Not Loud Enough/Too Quiet

Confused woman looking at her laptop

Most laptops are used in crowded, noisy spaces such as coffee shops or office environments.

Due to the noise, listening to laptop speakers won’t be a viable option. Instead, the speakers are replaced by headphones or wireless ear pods as the preferred audio device to improve sound quality and avoid disturbing those around you.

This can lead to problems later when you want to use your internal laptop speakers.

When Dell laptop speakers are not loud enough or are too quiet, it is normally an audio setting causing the problem. Your laptop has volume keys on the top left of the keyboard. If adjusting the volume doesn’t work, then you may have to go into your driver settings to set the volume there.

To access the audio driver setting, type “Sound” in the Windows search box. There is a master volume slider that you can use to adjust the sound level. Slide it to the right to increase your speaker volume.

If the volume is still too low, then try the troubleshooting button located under the slider.

Often, turning off the sound effects and enhancement will improve sound quality.

If none of this works, then you can try reinstalling the audio driver or changing it to the native Windows driver.

To uninstall the audio driver, type “Control Panel” into the Windows search bar at the bottom of your screen. Click “Control Panel” and select the “Device Manager” in the menu options.

Select “Audio Inputs and Outputs” from the list of items and then double-click your speakers in the drop-down list. Open the “Driver” tab and click “Uninstall Device”.

Now, reboot the laptop and Windows will reinstall the missing speaker driver.

Test your speaker volume to see if the new driver you installed has fixed your quiet speaker problem.

Dell Laptop Speakers No Sound or Disabled

Confused woman looking at her laptop

It can be frustrating to find that there is no sound or that the sound on your Dell laptop is disabled.

To restore sound when your Dell laptop speakers have no sound or are disabled, right-click the sound icon at the bottom of your screen. Select the “troubleshoot sound problems” option at the bottom of the menu. Follow the onscreen prompts to detect and fix the problem.

If the application cannot resolve the problem, uninstall the audio driver and reboot the laptop. Windows will reinstall a generic audio driver that should resolve the problem of no sound.

If you are still experiencing sound problems, click the Windows key and select the settings key. Then type “find and fix problems with playing sound” into the query box.

Windows’ troubleshooter will then run.  It will present you with a list of options relating to the audio devices on your laptop. Select the appropriate device and click next.

Follow the prompts to solve any problems that Windows discovers.

The troubleshooter reinstalls your drivers for you. It will eventually cover all the possible reasons that your speakers are not producing sounds and attempt to provide a solution.

Dell Laptop Speakers Crackling Sound

frustrated man looking at her laptop

Over time, your laptop speakers may develop sound quality problems.

This can usually be traced back to poor connections or damage due to the laptop being dropped.

If your Dell laptop speakers are crackling, then first check that the speaker connection to your motherboard is secure. Disconnect and then reconnect the cable on the motherboard. If the speakers still crackle, then you must check the audio driver installed on your machine.

You may have the Realtek audio driver pre-installed. If it is, then uninstall it and change over to the native Windows audio driver instead.

Test the speakers to see if the change has had any effect on your sound quality. 

If you are still experiencing crackling noises coming from your speakers, you may need to replace them.

To do so, open the laptop and locate the speakers that normally sit on the edge adjacent to the hinges. Remove them and order replacement speakers that match the manufacturer’s code.

If you can’t find the serial numbers for your speakers, then visit the Dell website to search for the codes associated with your laptop.

Dell Laptop Speakers Hissing Sound/Static Noise

frustrated woman looking at her laptop

When your laptop develops unusual sounds coming from the speakers, it can be very annoying.

If sound problems occur when using headphones, you can assume that it is the driver that is causing the problem.

Here’s what you can do about it.

Dell laptop speakers that develop a hissing sound or static noise are usually suffering from audio driver problems. You can resolve the issue by changing from the Realtek audio driver to the Windows native audio driver. Uninstall the Realtek driver and reboot your laptop.

Windows will automatically install the new driver.

If you wish to manually install the driver, then navigate to the Device Manager menu. Right-click the Realtek Audio driver in the Sound, Video, and Game Controllers tab.

Click the Update Driver button and select “Browse my computer for the driver software”.

Next, select “Let me pick from a list of drivers on my computer”. This will take you to a list from which you must select the “High-Definition Audio Device”.

Click “Next” so that Windows can complete the process.

Dell Laptop Speakers Not Working After Using Headphones

Man using laptop and headphone

It is surprisingly common for laptop users to experience problems with their audio after using headphones.

If you find that your laptop speakers develop a problem after you have disconnected your headphones, then this is what you can do.

If your Dell laptop speakers are not working after using headphones, the sensing mechanism in the headphone jack is possibly the problem. Run the PSA or ePSA tests to establish what the problem is. If the tones are audible during the test, then the speakers work. You may then have to replace the audio jack.

The PSA and ePSA tests can be found on Dell’s website.

To replace the audio jack, you will have to open the laptop and find the daughterboard on which the audio jack sits. Replacing this PC board is much less expensive than having to replace the entire motherboard.

Other problems may relate to the audio driver configuration. To fix this, reinstall the audio driver and retest the speakers.

Dell Laptop Speakers Not Working But Headphones Do

Man using laptop and headphone

Audio problems can be difficult to pin down. With so much conflicting advice, it is often a thankless task to uninstall and then install device drivers.

Use the following systematic approach to narrow down the problem.

If your Dell laptop speakers are not working but the headphones do, it is either a hardware failure or a software conflict. Uninstall the audio driver and replace it with the native Windows audio driver. If the speakers still fail to work, then you can assume that the problem is a hardware issue.

The most likely hardware failure point is the audio jack.

With constant use, the jack may fail. This results in Windows failing to recognize that the headphones have been removed.

To fix this, you will have to replace the audio jack. The audio jack either comes on its own small PC board or it’s attached directly to the motherboard. It all depends on the laptop model you have.

Dell Laptop Speakers Not Working When Docked

Confused woman looking at her laptop

While docking stations have made laptop users’ lives a lot easier, they do come with their own special set of problems.

If your Dell laptop speakers are not working when docked, there is a problem with the default sound output device. The default sound output should change automatically to the docking station when it is plugged in. To resolve the problem, verify if the default sound device is set up correctly.

To verify the default sound device, right-click the speaker icon and select playback devices? 

A list of audio devices will be displayed, one of which should be the Realtek High Definition Audio device.

If there are any others listed, test each one by selecting the device and clicking the advanced tab. You will see a test button which you must click. When you come to a device that you can hear while the laptop is docked, make it the default device when you are docked.

If you are still not getting any sound from your laptop when it is docked, check that the device has 24-bit 4800 Hz selected.

If you still have no sound, then in audio device properties, check the Levels tab to ensure that your speakers are not muted. 

Also, uncheck any enhancements listed under the audio device properties Enhancements tab.

Dell Laptop Not Detecting External Speakers

frustrated man looking at her laptop

External speakers make using your laptop far more enjoyable. But when they don’t work it can be frustrating to try and figure out what the problem is.

When your Dell laptop is not detecting external speakers, right-click the speaker icon. Select the playback devices option and highlight the speakers or speakers and headphones. Set these to be your default audio selection. If the speakers aren’t listed, the option may be disabled.

Another possible solution is turning your “audio jack detection” off.

You do this in the Control Panel by selecting the Realtek HD Audio Manager and clicking connector settings. Check the box next to the “Disable front panel jack detection” option.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on May 4, 2022.

You can also try uninstalling your audio driver if the solutions above do not yield results.

To uninstall your audio driver, click the Windows key and select settings. In the search box type “device manager”.

Under “Sound, video, and game controllers”, select “uninstall Realtek audio device”. Confirm your choice to delete the driver and press OK. Then reboot your laptop.

Windows will automatically install a native audio driver which should solve the problem.

Dell Laptop Not Detecting/Recognizing Internal Speakers

Confused woman looking at her laptop

It is, unfortunately, a common occurrence to find that your laptop doesn’t detect or recognize your internal speakers after it boots up.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on May 4, 2022.

This usually happens after installing software or after a Windows update. However, it can also be the result of a hardware failure.

If your Dell laptop is not detecting or recognizing the internal speakers, first check that your default speakers are correctly selected. If they are, then uninstall your audio driver and reboot your laptop. Windows will automatically reinstall a native audio driver to replace the missing one.

Replacing the audio driver may not work. You may still not hear any sound coming from your speakers.

Try plugging in your headphones or external speakers to check if they are working. If they are, then your internal speakers have likely failed or the connection has come loose.

Open your laptop and check that the speaker cable is tightly connected to the motherboard. You can disconnect the cable and reconnect before testing the internal speakers again.

If the speakers still do not work, then you may have to replace the speakers, as they will have failed. Order replacement speakers with the correct serial number and fit them. If you can’t find the serial number on the speakers or the cable, then look it up on the Dell website.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on May 4, 2022.

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