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How to Update Audio Drivers on Windows: A Step-by-Step Guide

Up-to-date audio drivers fix many sound issues and might even improve the audio. Here’s how to update audio drivers on Windows.

If there is one thing that improved the Windows user experience by leaps, it is non-other than the automatic driver updates. I know it is a controversial take, but it eliminated the need to install outdated drivers via the included CDs/DVDs or go through hoops to download new drivers.

When Windows is installing new drivers or updating the existing ones, it should automatically install up-to-date audio drivers. However, it might not be the case every time. Mainly because you might be using an audio device that requires a specific audio driver other than the generic ones installed by Windows. Additionally, wrong audio drivers can also cause all kinds of sound issues.

In those cases, it is better to update audio drivers on Windows. That way, you can fix any possible audio driver problems and even get access to the enhancements specific to the audio device. The good thing is that Windows provides multiple ways for updating audio drivers.

I will show you three easy ways to update existing audio drivers on Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.

Table of contents:

  1. Why should you update audio drivers on Windows?
  2. Update audio drivers using Device Manager
  3. Use Windows Update to update audio drivers
  4. Download audio drivers from the manufacturer’s website

The steps below work the same in Windows 10 and 11.

Why should you update audio drivers on Windows?

As with any piece of software, it is important that you keep it up-to-date. Audio drivers are no different. Here are a few reasons to update audio drivers in Windows.

  1. To fix bugs or issues that you may be experiencing with your current drivers.
  2. To improve the overall performance of your audio system, including better sound quality and support for new features.
  3. To ensure that your audio drivers are compatible with any new hardware or software that you may have installed on your computer.
  4. To take advantage of new features and improvements that are included in the latest driver updates.

In general, it’s a good idea to keep your audio drivers up to date to ensure that your system is performing at its best and to avoid any potential problems.

Update audio drivers using Device Manager

You can update audio drivers using Windows’s Device Manager application. It is a built-in tool and can download driver updates from Microsoft servers. In fact, it is one of the easiest ways. Let me show you how to do it.

  1. Right-click the Start menu.
  2. Select the “Device Manager” option.
  3. Expand “Sound, video, and game controllers.”
  4. Right-click on your sound/audio card.
  5. Select the “Update driver” option.
  6. Choose the “Search automatically for drivers” option.
  7. Windows will update the audio driver, if available.
  8. Close the Device Manager.
  9. Reboot the computer.
  10. With that, you’ve updated audio drivers in Windows.

Steps with more details:

First, we must open the Device Manager tool. To do that, right-click the Start menu and select the “Device Manager” option. You can also search for it in the Start menu.

open device manager

After opening it, expand the “Sound, video, and game controllers” option, right-click on your sound card and select the “Update driver” option.

update audio drivers in Windows using Device Manager

When prompted, choose the “Search automatically for drivers” option.

select search drivers automatically

As soon as you do that, Windows searches for available audio driver updates. If available, it automatically downloads and installs it.

Finally, close the Device Manager and reboot Windows. After rebooting, the audio driver is updated completely.

Use Windows Update to update audio drivers

Most don’t know this, but Windows Update can update drivers. The audio driver is nothing different. Here’s how you can use the Windows Update to update the audio driver.

  1. Press “Win + I” to open Settings.
  2. Select “Windows Update” on the sidebar.
  3. Click the “Check for updates” button.
  4. Windows will update audio drivers, if available.
  5. Close the Settings.

Steps with more details:

First, open the Settings app. You can press the “Start key + I” keyboard shortcut or click the “Settings” icon on the Start menu.

After opening it, click “Windows Update” on the sidebar.

Note: Windows 10 users should go to the “Update & Security -> Windows Update” page.

Here, press the “Check for updates” button. As soon as you do that, Windows searches for available updates and install the updated audio drivers, if available.

click check for updates

Reboot the computer after installing the updates, and you are done.

Download audio drivers from the manufacturer’s website

If you want to make sure your audio drivers are up-to-date, then there is no better option than downloading them from the audio card manufacturer’s website. This method is also helpful if you can’t find updated audio drivers using the Device Manager or Windows Update.

Generally, you can either Google or Bing to find the manufacturer driver page. However, to make things easier, I’m listing links to popular PC and laptop manufacturers. Click the links and follow the on-screen instructions to download the latest audio drivers.

After downloading the audio driver compatible with your audio card, install it like any other software and reboot the computer.

That is all. It is that simple to update audio drivers in Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.

I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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