How to Update Sound Drivers in Windows 10

Written by James Wilson
7 mins, 52 secs Read
Published On July 3, 2023

Sound drivers are also known as audio drivers which are essential components of the Windows 10 operating system. They enable seamless communication between software and audio hardware that allows you to hear music, watch videos, and interact with multimedia applications present there. Updating them is crucial for optimized audio performance, stability of the system, and compatibility with the latest updates and applications. 

We will explore the significance of these sound drivers, ways to upgrade them, a few troubleshooting tips, and the best practices to maintain them. 

Let’s dive in to enhance your experience on your PC Windows 10.

Understanding Sound Drivers

Understanding Sound drivers

What are Sound Drivers?

These sound drivers play an influential role in ensuring that you can listen to music, enjoy watching videos, play games, and interact with other multimedia applications that are present on your computer. Whenever you tap to play your favorite song or video, the sound driver present in the system translates the digital data into audio signals that your audio hardware can comprehend and return as sound.

Basically, in simple terms, these are like interpreters between the operating systems and the sound card or audio chip. These help you to hear all sorts of sounds which are produced by your computer no matter if it’s a dialogue in a movie or sound effects on an application present in your systems. 

Importance of Keeping Drivers Updated

Regularly updating your sound drivers is crucial for several compelling reasons. The foremost benefit of these updates is to ensure proper functionality of your audio hardware with the latest Windows 10 updates and applications. Outdated drivers may cause compatibility issues, resulting in audio problems and reduced performance. Hence, it is necessary to stay up-to-date for a seamless and enhanced audio experience on your computer.

Additionally, updating them can enhance your overall audio experience on your Windows 10 PC. Manufacturers often release updates that include performance improvements, bug fixes, and new features, all aimed at delivering better sound quality and smoothened audio playback.

Moreover, keeping your drivers updated can boost system stability. Outdated drivers can lead to crashes, freezes, and other technical issues, negatively affecting your computing experience. By updating your sound drivers, you reduce the risk of encountering these problems and ensure a more reliable system.

Furthermore, updating drivers on Windows 10 regularly is crucial for sustaining optimal performance and safety across your whole system. Drivers for segments such as graphics cards, network adapters, and peripherals should be kept updated regularly to have secured compatibility with the latest software and to fix any safety vulnerabilities which usually exist in outdated versions. This also contributes to a smoother and safer computing experience overall.

Checking Current Sound Driver Version

It is necessary to keep an eye on whether your sound driver is updated or not. It will help you to identify if you need to update or not and to assure that you have a correct update with you based on your audio hardware. 

Accessing Device Manager

Access the device’s manager to check your driver’s version. Here’s how:

  • Press Windows Key + X: Keep holding the Windows key and quickly press the “X.” It will direct you to a context menu with multiple options.
    Device Manager
  • Choose Device Manager: Tap on “Device Manager” from your context menu. This step leads to opening up the window displaying a list of hardware devices associated with your computer.
    Choose Device Manager

Locating Sound, Video, and Game Controllers

You will find a list of different device categories in the device manager window. Look for the category named “Sound, video, and game controllers.” Tap on the arrow successive to this to expand it.

Identifying the Sound Driver Version

Once you have expanded you will notice your audio hardware itemized there. It might be named differently based on your system, such as “Realtek High Definition Audio,” “Intel Display Audio,” or other variations.

Identifying the Sound Driver Version

To identify the current version of your sound driver, follow these steps:

  • Right-click on the Audio Device: Now, just right-click on it. A context menu will emerge providing you with various options related to the audio device.
     Audio Device
  • Open Properties: Next, hit on “Properties.” On a fresh window, you will have explicit information about the audio device.
    Open Properties:
  • Go to the Driver Tab: In the properties window, hop to the “Driver” tab. You will see details about the existing sound driver version and the date it was established.
    Driver Tab


Make a note of your current sound driver version before proceeding with any updates. This information will be essential to verify whether the driver update was successful.

Methods for Updating Sound Drivers in Windows 10

For sustaining an optimal audio performance it is essential to ensure that your sound drivers are updated regularly. Here are four methods to do it:

Using Windows Update

It is a native feature in Windows 10 that automatically scans and installs updates, including driver updates too. Here is the step-wise approach to do it:

  • Open Settings: Hit the Start menu, and select the gear-shaped icon to access the Settings.
  • Go to Update & Security: Now, click on “Update & Security.”
    Driver Tab:
  • Check for Updates: Under the Windows Update section, click on “Check for updates.” Windows will initiate a search for available updates, including sound driver updates.
    Check for Updates
  • Install Sound Driver Updates: If Windows Update finds any sound driver updates, click on “Install” to download and install them. After installation, restart your computer to apply the changes.

Downloading the Latest Sound Drivers from the Manufacturer’s Website

Another method to update your sound drivers is by downloading the latest drivers directly from the manufacturer’s website. Follow these steps:

  • Identify Your Audio Hardware: Refer to the steps in the section “Checking Current Sound Driver Version” to identify your audio hardware and note down the specific details, including the manufacturer and model.
  • Visit the Manufacturer’s Website: From your web browser and visit the website sound card manufacturer.
  • Find the Support or Downloads Section: Find a section labeled “Support” or “Downloads” on the website. You will find a list of available updates.
  • Download and Install the Latest Drivers: Look for the correct one that matches your specifications and download the latest version. Follow the instructions to install the driver.

Updating Sound Drivers Manually

With Windows 10 you can quickly update sound drivers manually. Here’s how you can get it done:

  • Access Device Manager: Refer to the steps in the section “Checking Current Sound Driver Version” to access the Device Manager.
    Access Device Manager
  • Locate and Right-Click on the Sound Driver: Go to the “Sound, video, and game controllers” section in the Device Manager. Find your audio hardware, right-click on it, and choose “Update driver.”
    Sound Driver
  • Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software: Select the option to search automatically for updated driver software. Windows will then search for the latest driver online and install it if available.
    Updated Driver Software

Automating Driver Updates with Third-Party Software

Utilizing third-party software for automating driver updates can be a convenient and time-saving solution for Windows 10 users. These specialized tools are to streamline the process of maintaining updated drivers by automatically inspecting your system for outdated drivers and providing simple ways to upgrade them.

Examples of Third-Party Driver Update Software:

  • Driver Booster: Developed by IObit, Driver Booster is a popular and user-friendly utility. It boasts a large driver database and an intuitive interface that eases the process of upgrading. It also offers automated scans and upgrades for added convenience.
  • Driver Easy: Driver Easy is another tool that streamlines upgrading drivers. It provides detailed information about your hardware and offers one-click updates. The free version allows manual, whereas the paid version offers automatic updates.
  • Snappy Driver Installer: It is a free and open-source tool available for users. It does not require any kind of installation and can be run via a portable device too. It uses driver packs to update drivers offline, making it actually very useful for computers without internet access.
  • Notes: Before considering any tool for your use, make sure to do enough research and find something that is quite reputable in the market, designed by potential developers, and safe for your systems to dodge potential issues. 

Troubleshooting Sound Driver Update Issues

Even with the best intentions, updating sound drivers may sometimes lead to unexpected problems. Here are some common issues you may encounter and practical solutions to resolve them:

Common Problems and Solutions

  • No Sound After Driver Update: If you encounter no sound after upgrading your sound drivers, first check the speaker or headphone connections. Then, try restarting your system. If the issue persists, reinstall the previous driver version.
  • Audio Distortion or Stuttering: Audio distortion or stuttering can happen due to inconsistent or deteriorated drivers. Verify if the problem is driver-related by testing different audio sources. If it’s driver-related, update to the latest one from the manufacturer’s website or use third-party solutions.
  • Driver Conflicts: Driver conflicts can cause system instability and audio problems. Use the Device Manager to identify conflicting drivers. Disable or uninstall the conflicting driver and then update the sound driver.

Rolling Back Sound Driver Updates

In case you still face issues even after upgrading then, you can get back to the older one using the steps discussed below:

  • Open Device Manager: Tap on the “Windows + X” on your keyboard to select “Device Manager” from the menu displayed. 
    Open Device Manager
  • Locate the Sound Driver: In the Device Manager window, extend the “Sound, video, and game controllers” area. Right-click on your driver and select “Properties.”
    Open Device Manager:
  • Roll Back Driver: From the Properties window, hit the “Driver” tab and click on “Roll Back Driver.” Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
    Roll Back Driver

Seeking Help from Support Forums

When you are encountering tenacious problems, you must seek assistance from online support forums. Many platforms have active communities of skilled users who can deliver practical insights and solutions. Before posting, make sure to feed detailed information about your system specifications and the problems you’re facing.

  • Notes: Before troubleshooting sound driver issues or attempting updates, create a system restore point. This allows you to revert to a stable configuration if anything goes wrong during the process.

Best Practices for Sound Driver Maintenance

To ensure optimal sound performance and stability on your Windows 10 PC, follow these best practices for sound driver maintenance:

Regularly Checking for Updates

Occasionally explore for updates to ensure that you have the latest and most compatible version with you. Manufacturers often release such updates to address bugs, enhance performance, and improve compatibility with new software and hardware. You can have better audio quality and a smoother overall computing experience.

Creating System Restore Points

Before making any driver updates or modifications, create a system restore point. This precautionary step allows you to revert your system to a previous state in case anything goes wrong during the driver update process. System restore points act as a safety net, ensuring you can quickly recover your system without losing data or settings.

Avoiding Unverified Driver Sources

Always obtain sound driver updates from official and reputable sources. Avoid downloading drivers from unverified websites or sources that claim to offer the latest drivers but lack credibility. These untrusted sources may provide outdated, incompatible, or even malicious software that can harm your system.


On the manufacturer’s support page do check for your sound card’s model. Always pick to download drivers which perfectly resonate with your current version of Windows (e.g., Windows 10) and architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).


By following these finest practices, you can assure that you have the latest sound drivers, a protected system, and a top-notch audio experience. Regularly looking for updates, making system restore points, and sticking to verified driver sources will help you in maintaining a durable and pleasant audio atmosphere on your Windows 10 device.

Now you have all the essential information to update, troubleshoot, and maintain your sound drivers effectively. Get ready to experience improved audio performance and enjoy the full potential of your Windows 10 PC!

Author: James Wilson