How to fix no sound on a laptop via HDMI
Vladimir Sereda / Splaitor Media

Often the problem of no sound when connecting the laptop via HDMI to other devices is related to the cable. However, there are situations where it can also be due to a hardware or software error in the laptop itself. And this problem can appear and disappear almost randomly. Sometimes the sound is transmitted perfectly via HDMI, and sometimes it keeps playing from the laptop’s speakers.

Of course, many reasons can cause sound not to be output through HDMI. But, more often than not, the cause is improper laptop settings. Anyway, here’s how to fix no sound on a laptop via HDMI.

What to check first to fix no sound on a laptop via HDMI

Before you send your device in for repair, check whether the sound works on your laptop, as well as on the device to which you connect. If the sound works on both devices, then the problem is most likely in the cable.

In many cases, mechanical damage to the cable or connectors is the main culprit. First and foremost, the cable may have become frayed or broken. If you have more than one HDMI cable, try using a different one. Also, inspect the connectors. They should be free of dust, and the contacts inside should show no signs of oxidation.

If you find that your HDMI cable is in good order and there is no visual damage, the problem may be in the settings of the laptop itself. Laptop audio can also sometimes be missing when you connect it to the TV via HDMI.

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How to select an output device on your laptop with Windows 10

First of all, it’s also necessary to decide on one question. Where do you want the sound to come from – from the laptop or the TV? For example, if you connect the second monitor to your laptop, then the sound must be from the laptop speakers (unless the monitor itself has speakers, which is very rare).

If you hear no sound on your laptop – follow these steps to select the right output device:

  • Right-click on the sound icon at the bottom right corner and select “Sounds”.
  • After that, click on the “Playback” tab.
  • Finally, just select your laptop speakers if you want to hear sound from them. If not – select the device you connected your laptop to.

If sound appears, but in some programs and games it is still absent, then the cause may be similar settings, only within a particular app. You will need to additionally go into the game/program settings and select the output device again.

How to select an output device on your laptop with Windows 11

If your laptop is running Windows 11 – follow these steps to select an output device:

  • Right-click on the Sound icon in the lower right corner of the screen.
  • Then select “Sound settings”.
  • Now, just click on the output device you want to use.

If you still hear no sound from your laptop or from the TV connected to it via HDMI, there’s also one more way to solve this problem. You can try to update your audio drivers.

How to update drivers for HDMI audio on your laptop

If you encounter the “Device is already being used by another application” error, the reason why you have no sound is because of the drivers.

To install the correct software, you need to determine the type of connection. If you are using the port on the motherboard, you will have to deal with the built-in sound card software. If the signal is coming from the video card, you will need drivers for the graphics adapter.

First, check if the devices are displayed correctly in the Device Manager. To do this:

  • Press the “Win + R” key combination, and in the window that appears type “devmgmt.msc”.
  • Then, check the sections: “Display adapters” and “Sound, video and game controllers”.
  • If you see a question mark or exclamation mark next to any of the names, you need to install the drivers.
  • Right-click on the driver and select “Update driver”.

You can also use the services of special packages that include a huge database of drivers. Alternatively, you can download the necessary driver manually. Each method has advantages and disadvantages.

Note that when you install a video driver, it also comes with an audio driver. If you accidentally uncheck this box during installation, you are guaranteed to experience a lack of sound.

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What to do if there’s still no sound on TV from the laptop via HDMI

If both methods didn’t help and the right item is exactly set in the playback devices, I recommend paying attention to:

  • Check the TV settings.
  • If possible, try a different HDMI cable, or see if the sound will be transmitted through the same cable, but from a different device than the current laptop.

Moreover, in the case where an HDMI adapter is used to connect via HDMI, you may not be able to make the sound work. If a VGA or DVI to HDMI connection is used, definitely not. If DisplayPort to HDMI, it should work, but some adapters have no sound.

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