Playing video online is so common that you would expect it to always work. Unfortunately that is not always the case, Youtube as well as many other online video sources rely on the Adobe Flash Player for video and audio streaming. So any problem with the Flash player and your online videos might not show video or they do show video but you hear no sound.

If sound is the problem, and you have already checked the standard audio problems (default audio device, volume level in PC and flash player itself, speakers), then you need to take a look at specific Flash problems that could cause the sound not to be heard.

Check the Adobe Flash Player Settings

Uninstalling and reinstalling the Adobe Flash Player can be a solution in some cases, but often it does not. Make sure to try the Adobe Flash uninstall application to remove Adobe Flash properly before reinstalling.

Once the latest version of Adobe Flash is installed, open a website with Flash video content and right-click in the video area. This will bring up the Flash Player popup menu, in which you need to select “Global Settings…” That will open the Flash Player Help website, where you need to select the Global Storage Settings link.

Flash player storage settings

Although the default values should be correct, make sure the check box in front of “Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer.” is selected. Adobe recommends to select a different tab in the panel and then select the Global Storage Settings tab again to make sure the check box changes are stored.

Close the internet browser after this.

Clear the Windows Temporary Storage

As with many online websites, the Flash player stores local data to improve the streaming performance. This cache mechanism can also be the cause of problems, so if you hear no sound in Youtube movies or other Flash based content, clear your browser’s temporary files. In IE this is possible under the Internet Options menu, and in FireFox it is called Clear Private Data. For other browsers, please check the help file.

The next step is to clear the Windows temporary files. This will help ensure that no other temporary content is causing conflicts with the streaming. Right-click your local system disk in the Windows file browser, and in the popup menu, select Properties. Then select Disk Cleanup.

Delete temporary file

Other Ideas for Fixing Sound in Flash Video

In most cases the above steps will fix the sound problems in YouTube videos, restarting the browser after these steps and playing the video should result in audible sound again.

In case it does not, here are some more ideas that can help fix sound in YouTube:

  • Set the volume level for all other media players installed on your computer to a high level.
  • Check the firewall and your other security software to make sure the Flash content is not being blocked.
  • Verify the media player used on the website. In some cases you might think Flash is used, while it is really QuickTime or even something else. QuickTime has its own control panel in the Windows Control Panel (view classic settings) to control the settings.
  • Clean the registry. It is possible that registry corruption affects your Flash player operation. Normally reinstalling the Flash Player should fix this, but since a clean registry will generally help with Windows performance as well, there is no harm in cleaning the registry and fix registry errors.
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