How to Disable SPDIF

By Jacob Michael

Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format, or S/PDIF, is a type of audio connection that uses a special jack. On computer systems, the S/PDIF connection is typically used to output audio streams to digital sound systems, such as a home theater speaker system or a digital audio receiver and is found on sound cards and newer motherboards with on-board audio. Users who prefer to use an analog sound connection or another audio interface can disable S/PDIF output completely.

Step 1

Click on the "Start" menu button, click on "Control Panel," click on "Hardware and Sound" and then click on "Sound." The "Sound" control panel will appear.

Step 2

Select the "Playback" tab if it isn't already selected.

Step 3

Right-click on the S/PDIF icon (it may appear as "Realtek Digital Output," "S/PDIF Output" or "S/PDIF," depending on your sound card or motherboard) and select "Disable" from the contextual menu.

Step 4

Click "OK" to apply the changes and close the Sound control panel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Re-enable S/PDIF by opening the Sound control panel and switching to the Playback tab. Right-click on the window and select "Show Disabled Devices" from the contextual menu, and then right-click on the digital output or S/PDIF icon and select "Enable."
  • If there is no audio device connected to the port, the S/PDIF icon may not show up in the Playback tab in step three. Right-click in the window and click on "Show Disconnected Devices" from the contextual menu to display the S/PDIF icon.