When you plug in your headphones or plug in a set of speakers to play a video or playlist, it is highly likely that you are utilizing a sound driver. Sound and audio drivers are some of the most pervasive bits of technology which allow users to experience quality sound and projection for class, work, or recreational purposes. It’s possible to find drivers other than Realtek that are more functional, that is just the most common brand in the field of technology. More than likely, regardless of the company your drivers come from, you will have to learn how to maintain them through your Device Manager.

What Are Sound Drivers?

Audio drivers are typically required for you to use audio at all on your device. As stated above, it’s possible to find alternatives but the vast majority of them you’d have to research and find yourself. Meanwhile, sound and audio drivers already come ready to use.

When Should I Update My Drivers?

All drivers can run into issues as time goes on and the machine inches closer and closer to the end of its warranty. One of the most annoying issues arises when your sound drivers actually malfunction, and you can’t get sound to come out of your machine. You can usually fix this by ensuring your volume is up or switching external devices to see if perhaps it’s your headphones that have proven problematic. Switching jacks while watching the Sound feature in Control Panel to see if there’s any reaction can feel tedious, as can right-clicking to make sure all devices, enabled or disabled, are being shown to you. More often than not, you just have to re-enable your device. If none of these tricks work, it’s time to update.

How Do I Update My Drivers?

There are many sites that can instruct you on how to update realtek drivers. The general instruction is to find your Control Panel and go to Device Manager. You could also do this by opening the “Run” dialog box by pressing the Windows key and R simultaneously, then typing “devmgmt.msc” in the box. Once in Device Manager, expand “Sound, video and game controllers.” Then right-click Audio, High Definition Audio, or whichever sound driver you have installed, and select Update Driver Software. The Search Automatically function should help you locate the proper driver. If you’d rather download the driver and run it yourself, then you can follow the instructions on this website.

Without sound drivers in general, you can’t enjoy music, YouTube, Instagram, or any of the media that you either use for entertainment or work. Creating projects that require audio is impossible without these drivers. Maintaining them is of utmost importance if you want to continue having a functioning computer that helps you get day-to-day tasks done. Keep your headphones and speakers safe, but also update your drivers when Windows prompts you to. If that doesn’t work, you can always roll back to older versions. This way, you can continue to use your sound drivers worry-free.