The Dolby Audio speaker system in the Lenovo ThinkPad T16 Gen 1
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek
To reset all audio devices and volume levels in Windows 11, open Settings and go to System > Sound > Volume Mixer. Look for "Reset Sound Devices and Volumes for All Apps to the Recommended Defaults" and click the "Reset" button.

If you’re PC’s audio isn’t working, or you’d like to bring the sound settings back to the defaults so you can re-customize them, it’s easy to reset all kinds of audio configurations on a Windows 11 computer. We’ll show you how to do just that.

Why Reset Your Windows 11 Audio Settings?

The most common reason to reset your audio settings is to fix your sound playback issues. Your PC may not be playing sounds properly, or you may not hear anything at all, which often happens due to misconfigured audio options.

Another reason to reset your settings is that you do not want to use your custom sound settings anymore. You may have made a few tweaks here and there with your audio options, but you want to go back to the defaults. Regardless of the reason, sound setting resets are easy.

How to Reset Your Audio Devices and Volume Levels for All Your Apps

If you’d like to reset your audio devices, or bring the volume level for all your installed apps to the default, follow the following steps.

Note: Following these steps will uncover your hidden audio devices, so you’ll have to disable those devices again after the reset.

Start by opening Settings using Windows+i. In the left sidebar, select “System.” On the right pane, choose “Sound.”

Select "Sound."

Scroll a bit down and select “Volume Mixer.”

Choose "Volume Mixer."

Next to “Reset Sound Devices and Volumes for All Apps to the Recommended Defaults,” click “Reset.”

Select "Reset."

How to Restore Default Settings for Audio Equipment

If you have issues with a particular audio device on your PC, or you’d like to bring a specific sound device’s settings to the defaults, the following steps will help you do that.

Open Settings by pressing Windows+i. Then, head into the System > Sound > More Sound Settings menu.

In the open window, select your audio device and choose “Properties.”

Select the audio device, then "Properties."

Access the “Advanced” tab, and at the bottom, click “Restore Defaults.”

Note: If the “Restore Defaults” button is disabled, then your audio device is already using the default settings.

Choose "Restore Defaults."

And you’ve successfully reset your sound equipment.

How to Reset Windows’ System Sounds

Windows’ system sounds are the ones you hear when you receive a notification, an error occurs, or another similar action takes place on your PC. If you’ve customized these sounds and want to go back to the defaults, it’s easy to do so.

Open the “Start” menu and find “Change System Sounds.” Select the item with that name.

On the “Sound” window, click the “Sound Scheme” drop-down menu and choose “Windows Default.” Then, at the bottom, select “Apply” followed by “OK.”

Restore Windows' system sounds.

Your Windows system sounds are now reset.

Still Having Audio Problems? Try This

If you’re resetting audio settings in Windows 11 to fix a specific problem, and none of the above changes fixed your problem, there are a few more things you can try to remedy the issue.

Use the Windows Audio Troubleshooter

One way to deal with your PC’s sound issues is to use the built-in Windows Audio troubleshooter. When you run this tool, it automatically finds and fixes the issues with your audio settings, letting you enjoy your music on your computer.

To open the troubleshooter, launch Windows 11’s Settings app by pressing Windows+i. Then, in the left sidebar, click “System.” On the right pane, choose “Troubleshoot.”

Select "Troubleshoot" in the menu.

Select “Other Troubleshooters.”

Choose "Other Troubleshooters."

Next to “Playing Audio,” click “Run.”

Select "Run."

Let the troubleshooter find issues with your PC’s sound and offer appropriate fixes.

Windows Audio troubleshooter.

RELATED: How to Make Windows Troubleshoot Your PC's Problems for You

Restart Windows’ Sound Services

Windows runs various sound services in the background so your apps can produce music. When you have issues with your PC’s audio, it’s worth restarting these services to resolve your problem. Doing so can fix minor issues with the services, which may be causing your sound problems.

Start the service restart process by opening the “Run” dialog box using Windows+R. Then, type the following in the box and press Enter:


Type "services.msc" and press Enter.

On the “Services” window, in the right pane, you’ll see various Windows services. Here, find the item named “Windows Audio,” right-click it, and choose “Restart.”

Select "Restart" in the menu.

Similarly, find the service named “Windows Audio Endpoint Builder,” right-click it, and choose “Restart.”

Uninstall and Reinstall Your Audio Drivers

If your audio issues persist, your PC’s sound drivers may be the culprit. In this case, remove your installed drivers and let Windows install the latest drivers for you.

To do that, first, open Device Manager by right-clicking the “Start” menu icon and choosing “Device Manager.”

Select "Device Manager."

In Device Manager, expand the “Sound, Video and Game Controllers” option. Find your audio device in the expanded menu, right-click it, and choose “Uninstall Device.”

In the open box, enable the “Attempt to Remove the Driver for This Device” option, then select “Uninstall.”

Activate the checkbox and select "Uninstall."

When you’ve uninstalled your audio device, reboot your PC. Do this by opening the “Start” menu, clicking the “Power” icon, and choosing “Restart.”

Select "Restart."

When your PC turns back on, it will automatically install the drivers for your audio device.

If after all of those steps your audio problems persist, it’s possible you have a problem with your computer’s audio hardware. If it’s still under warranty, you should contact your PC manufacturer about a repair or replacement. In the meantime, you can learn how to improve a laptop’s audio with a few hardware upgrades,

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Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
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