Sound in Windows depends on a sound device or audio device being present. If no audio device is installed, sound will not work. Audio devices in Windows can be input or output devices, so for your microphone to work an input audio device needs to be present, and for your speakers to work an audio output device needs to be installed.

If the Windows sound is not working, or your program reports that no audio output device is installed, you need to get the audio device working before any sound can be produced. There can be a number of causes for this error, so follow these steps to check for a solution to the audio output device not installed problem.

  1. Start by opening the Device Manager in Windows. Type “devmgmt.msc” at the Start menu or Run option. Open the Sound, video and game controllers group, and make sure the audio device, when present, is not disabled.
    Simply right-click the device, and in the popup menu select Enable to activate it again.
    Enable audio device in Device Manager
    If the audio device is present and is enabled, try disabling it and re-enabling it to see if that solves your problem.
  2. If the device enabling does not work, but there is an audio device in the Sound, video and game controllers group, try uninstalling the device. Again right-click the audio device and in the popup menu select Uninstall. Once complete, reboot and Windows will reinstall the device.
    If required, you can select Scan for hardware changes in the Action menu of the Device manager, to force Windows to reinstall the audio device.
  3. If the audio device is present in the Device Manager, but you still get the no audio output device installed error, check if the Windows Audio service is running.
    In the Start menu or Run option type “services.msc”. In the Services window, scroll down in the list until you find the Windows Audio entry.
    Start Windows Audio service
    The Windows Audio service needs to have a Status that says Started, and the Startup Type should be Automatic. If this is not the case, right-click the Windows Audio entry, and in the popup menu select Properties.
    In the window that opens up, change the Startup type and Start the service.
  4. If there is no audio device listed in the Device Manager, the best option is to try and install the audio driver. An audio driver is a piece of software that ensures that Windows can communicate with the sound card. This software can either be provided by Microsoft, or by the manufacturer of the sound card.
    First make sure you use Windows Update to ensure that Windows is up to date, and any available audio drivers from Microsoft are installed. If that does not help, download the audio driver for your sound card from the sound card manufacturer’s website and install it. Make sure you download the right driver for your Windows version to prevent compatibility issues.
    If you are not able to do all this manually, you can try using a driver finder program to locate the right audio driver for your sound card automatically.

Using the steps above, most problems with no audio output device installed can be solved. If you still face problems, make sure there is no device conflict. Disable the onboard audio if you use a PCI audio card or USB audio card, and update your other device drivers to prevent device resource conflicts.

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