How to Fix the Sound on a Computer for Free

Computer sound problems can stem from hardware or software issues. Programs and Windows updates can cause conflicts, sound card drivers can become corrupted and hardware issues may necessitate a sound card replacement. You can fix the sound on your computer for free in most cases, especially if it's a software or driver error causing the problem.

Step

Go to "Start" and "Control Panel." Click "Hardware and Sound." Choose "Manage Audio Devices." Select the sound card and click "Configure." Uncheck the mute box if it is checked. Click "Apply" and "OK."

Step

Go to "Start" and right-click "My Computer." Click "Properties."

Step

Go to the "Hardware" section and click the "Device Manager" button. Click "Sound, video and game controllers."

Step

Right-click the sound card listing and choose "Properties." Look for error messages under the Device Status box. Go to the "Drivers" tab and click "Update Driver" to search for any driver updates downloaded by Windows or already installed on your computer. Click "Next" until the wizard completes.

Step

Go to the website of the manufacturer of your computer for on-board sound or the sound card manufacturer for separate sound cards. Search the support and download sections for updated drivers for your sound card. Download the file and double-click it to launch the driver installer. Click "Next" when prompted to install the new sound card drivers. Restart your computer and see if your sound card is working properly.

Step

Pull the cables out of your sound card ports on the back of your computer and put them back into place. A loose connection may cause some problems.

Step

Shut your computer down if you have a separate sound card. Remove the power cable and peripheral cables from the back of your computer. Open the computer case, using the screwdriver to remove any retaining screws.

Step

Push the sound card deeper into the PCI slot if it feels loose in the slot. Tighten the screw connecting the card to the case chassis. Spray canned air around the card to clean any dust or debris on the card. Put the case cover on, plug the computer in and test the sound card again.