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How to reinstall the Realtek HD Audio Codec driver

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If you have a Windows-based computer or laptop, you will need to know how to reinstall the Realtek HD Audio Codec driver in case things go wrong. The Realtek HD Audio Codec driver, which is the most widely used sound driver to manage the sound settings on Windows, is likely what makes almost all the sounds your computer produces.

Realtek audio is used if you are using Windows 10. It is loaded with features and delivers high-quality sound to your system via an audio card.

Even if your best computer is the most powerful Windows laptop, there are still many things that can cause audio driver problems and make you very unhappy. You can start by going to your device manager to see if Windows Update can provide a new driver.

This is easy on Windows 10, simply click the Start Menu to go to Device Manager. You can then navigate to sound, video, and game controllers, find the device you need to update, and click on it to open “update driver”.

Most of the time this will do the job. Windows will automatically reinstall the Realtek HD Audio Codec drivers without any additional input. Sometimes, however, it can be more complicated than that. This is why this guide is so helpful.

We will show you how to manually install the Realtek HD Audio Codec driver. It’s quick and easy to do, so you can enjoy high-quality sound again in no matter how little time. Want more tricks and tips? Check out our guide.

1. Uninstall your current audio drivers

Although it might seem counterintuitive at first, before you reinstall the Realtek HD Audio Codec drivers, you will need to remove all audio drivers. You can do this by clicking on the Start button or entering “device manager” in the start menu.

Scroll down to “Sound and video controllers” and locate “Realtek High Definition audio”. After you’ve done that, right-click it and choose “Uninstall device”. A dialog will open. Select the box “Delete driver software for this device”, and then click OK.

Follow the screen instructions until your device is removed. After that, scroll down to the “show hidden devices” section and click the “view” button. This is to make sure you don’t have duplicate drivers. Before moving on to the next step, uninstall duplicate drivers and restart your computer.

2. Get the Realtek HD Audio Codec driver

Next, you will need to download the driver. Open Realtek’s website. Look for the Downloads section. (opens in a new tab). A prompt will appear to let you know that not all motherboards use these drivers. These drivers are likely to work for you. Click “accept” to proceed to the actual downloads page.

The long list will take up only a quarter of your browser’s screen. It’s not a good look, we know. Simply find your operating system, and click the link “Global”, which corresponds to it.

3. Install the driver

After you have downloaded the software, locate it in your downloads folder. Once it is installed, open it and start it. Once you have granted the program access, it will open in a large blue window. Let the installer do its job. Next, click on each screen and then make a sandwich while the installer installs. It will take about a minute.

After the installer finishes installing, it will ask you to restart the computer. Otherwise, the driver won’t be able to finish the installation.

4. Verify and complete

The driver must be installed after you restart your computer. TechRadar prefers to verify that software works before we trust it.

Go back to Device Manager and check that “Realtek Hi Definition Audio” is listed under “Sounds, video, and game controllers”. It should be there! If it’s not, the installation failed. Find the driver again in your downloads folder.

After you have verified that the driver exists, open a YouTube video or listen to your favorite Spotify song. This will verify that the driver works properly. To help you troubleshoot the problem, we have a guide for you.

Once you have verified that everything is working smoothly, you can go ahead and congratulate yourself – you successfully reinstalled the Realtek HD Audio Codec Driver. You can now listen to your favorite music and immerse yourself in it again.

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