How To Update Realtek Audio Drivers on a Windows PC

Popular audio software Realtek requires the latest HD audio drivers to function. The audio drivers facilitate communication between your computer and the audio devices. Outdated drivers can cause sound quality issues, dropouts or no sound at all.

Read on to learn how to update the Realtek HD audio drivers on your Windows 11 or 10 PC.

Updating Realtek Audio Drivers in Windows 11

It is relatively easy to update your Realtek audio drivers. You can check for updates, search for drivers through Device Manager, or download the files from the Realtek website.

Follow these steps to check for a Realtek Audio Driver update:

  1. Open “Settings” using the keyboard shortcuts “Windows + I” or via the “Start menu”.
  2. On the left, choose “Windows Update”.
  3. Click on the “Check for Updates” option.
  4. Install the update.

Here’s how to find the Realtek audio driver with automatic search through device manager:

  1. Right click on “Start” and then choose “Device Manager”.
  2. Expand the “Audio Inputs and Outputs” option and right click on “Speaker/Headphones (Realtek(R) Audio”.
  3. Choose “Update Driver”.
  4. In the prompt, select “Search for driver software automatically.”
  5. Wait while the latest Realtek audio drivers are found. Then click “Install” to complete the process.
  6. Once the installation is complete, select ‘Close’ and restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

If you can’t find the drivers using the above method, try downloading them from the Realtek website.

  1. Visit the HD Audio Codecs Software page in a new web browser.
  2. In the “Description” category, find the correct driver for your system and then click the “Download” icon.
  3. If your system is not listed, you may need to download the “High Definition Audio Codecs software”. If you are using an older system, you can also download the driver for “AC’97 Audio Codecs Software”.
  4. When the file is downloaded, double click on the installation file and follow the steps to install the latest Realtek HD Audio Drivers.

Update Realtek audio drivers in Windows 10

There are three ways to update your Realtek HD audio drivers in Windows 10. You can check for updates through Update & Security, the Update Driver feature through Device Manager, or install the update directly from the Realtek website.

Follow these steps to update the audio drivers with the update status:

  1. Open “Settings” via the “Start Menu” or use the “Windows + I” hotkey.
  2. Choose “Update & Security.”
  3. Under “Windows Update”, click the “Check for updates” button.
  4. If an update is available for your PC, click ‘Install’ and restart your computer.

Follow these steps to update the drivers through the Device Manager:

  1. Type “Device Manager” in the search box on the taskbar.
  2. Click on it from the menu.
  3. Expand the “Sound, video and game controllers” option and right click on the “Realtek High Definition Audio” option.
  4. Choose “Update Driver”.
  5. Click “Search automatically for updated driver software on the next screen.”
  6. Once the latest sound driver is found, click “Install”.
  7. Once the drivers are installed, click ‘Close’ and then restart your PC to save the changes.

You can also download the audio drivers from the Realtek website.

  1. Visit the HD Audio Codecs Software page in a new web browser.
  2. Under the “Description” category, find the correct driver for your system and then click the “Download” icon.
  3. If you can’t find your system, you may need to download the “High Definition Audio Codecs software”. If you are using an older system, you can also download the driver for “AC’97 Audio Codecs Software”.
  4. Once the file has been downloaded, double click the installation file and follow the steps to install the latest Realtek HD Audio Drivers.

Troubleshooting Realtek audio in Windows 11

At the time of writing, Realtek has not officially advised on compatibility with Windows 11 and some users are reporting issues with the Realtek audio drivers. If you have up-to-date audio drivers and are having issues with sound, other common causes are:

  • Broken audio settings
  • Incompatible audio enhancements
  • A conflict between Realtek and Windows driver

Try the following tips to get your Realtek audio working the way you want it.

Restart your computer

Often a simple restart is enough to fix any temporary glitches that disrupt the sound or to force the sound card to work properly. The fastest way to restart your Windows 11 PC is to click the “Power” button in the lower right corner of the “Start menu”.

Tweak your audio settings

If there is no sound, the cause may be incorrect audio settings. This is how you adjust the settings:

  1. Press the “Windows” key to access “Search”.
  2. Type “Control” in the search bar and then press enter.
  3. Choose ‘Hardware and Sound’ and then ‘Sound’.
  4. In “Sound” you can change various sound settings, including the microphone and speakers.

Disable Sound Enhancements

In some cases, audio enhancements can cause problems with your sound card. Try disabling the improvements to see if this fixes the problem.

  1. Press the “Windows + R” keys to open “Run”.
  2. Enter a search query for ‘control’.
  3. Choose ‘Harware and Sound’.
  4. Select ‘Sound’, then select your speaker under ‘Play’.
  5. Click on the “Enhancements” tab. Select ‘Disable all enhancements’ and then ‘OK’.

Uninstall and reinstall the Realtek audio drivers

Uninstalling and reinstalling the audio drivers can help clear up temporary bugs that are causing the sound issues.

  1. Right click on the “Start menu”.
  2. Choose ‘Device Manager’.
  3. Select ‘Sound, video and game controllers’.
  4. Right click on “Realtek High Definition Audio”.
  5. Choose the option “Remove device”.
  6. Check the “Attempt to uninstall driver for this device” box.
  7. Select “Delete”.

To reinstall the drivers, do the following:

  1. Visit the HD Audio Codecs Software page to download the latest Realtek audio driver.
  2. Download the file and run the installer.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the driver installation.

Restart the audio driver

Problems with device drivers cause many software problems in Windows. Check if restarting the audio driver forces Realtek to work.

  1. Right click on the Windows icon and then select “Device Manager”.
  2. Click the down arrow next to “Sound, video, and game controllers.”
  3. Right click on your audio driver and then click on the “Disable device” option.
  4. Click “Yes” to confirm the disable confirmation pop-up.
  5. The “Change System Settings” window will open to restart your computer. Save unsaved work and then choose “Yes” to restart your PC.
  6. When your computer has restarted, right click on the Windows icon and then click on “Device Manager”.
  7. Right click on the audio driver and then click the “Enable device” option to re-enable your audio driver.

Restart Windows Audio Service

Another reason why you are having sound problems could be that the Windows audio services are not loaded correctly or are not working properly. See if restarting Windows audio services resolves the issue.

  1. Use the keyboard shortcuts “Windows + R” to open the “Run” app.
  2. Enter “services.msc” and then “OK”.
  3. Find the “Windows Audio” service in the list and double-click it.
  4. Press the “Stop” button to stop the Windows audio service.
  5. Close the “Windows Audio Service Properties” window and then double-click the Windows audio service again.
  6. Click the “Start” button to restart the “Windows Audio Service”.
  7. Close the properties window by clicking “OK”.

Realtek audio drivers updated!

Realtek audio drivers must be kept up to date so that your computer can communicate adequately with your audio devices. There are several ways to find the latest update of Realtek audio drivers for your PC, including searching Windows automatically or going to the official Realtek website.

Were you able to successfully update the Realtek audio drivers on your PC? Let us know in the comments below.

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