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Few situations that occur during daily Internet browsing are more annoying than a video in which no sound is played. You have probably experienced this at some point or another, and you are not alone, it is a very common problem. In general, most of the time it is nothing serious, and the resolution of this problem is simply quality by following a few simple steps. In this article, we will provide detailed instructions on how to troubleshoot sound not working in Chrome for Chromebook, Mac, Windows, and Ubuntu users.
Instead of a text-heavy post, there are more and more websites on videos, audio messages, and podcasts, hosted on sites like YouTube and Spotify, to liven up their content and deliver more value to viewers. That is, of course, if the browser you are using plays the videos or audio correctly. While major browsers like Google Chrome should allow sound to play automatically, sometimes there can be issues that prevent audio from playing properly. If your Chrome sound isn’t working, you’ll need to fix the problem by following these common solutions below.
Turn on the sound of the Website tab
In many cases, the reason you cannot hear the sound through Google Chrome is because the website that plays it is automatically muted. Each tab in Chrome can be muted, allowing you to hear only the sounds you want to hear on specific pages. You will need to turn on the tab sound to fix the problem.
- If you want to reactivate the page, right-click on the tab at the top of the Chrome window. In the drop-down menu, select the Unmute Site option.
- Alternatively, select the lock icon to the left of the URL in the address bar. In the drop-down menu, change the Sound option to Allow.
Check volume levels
While checking the volume levels on your PC or Mac may seem like an obvious answer, it’s not always straightforward. In particular, Windows PCs allow you to reduce the volume of the audio in certain applications, which is not always evident in the sound icon on your taskbar.
- If Chrome’s volume is muted, you won’t hear any sound, so it’s important to check this before ruling it out as a potential issue.
- To do this in Windows, right-click on the sound system tray icon in the lower right corner, then select the Open Volume Mixer option.
- A list of available volume sliders will appear; verify that the Google Chrome slider is at 100% by moving it towards the top of the bar.
- For Mac users, the system volume applies to all running applications. To access the volume controls (for macOS Big Sur and later), select the notifications icon from the menu bar. In the drop-down menu, move the Sound slider to 100% by moving it all the way to the right.
Switched output devices
When you regularly switch between headphones (Bluetooth or wired) or a speaker system, your operating system may not switch the audio output automatically. That means when you expect sound from your speakers, your operating system is trying to output sound from Chrome through another device.
- If this is the case, the audio in Chrome (and other apps) may not work. You will need to manually switch to the correct sound output device to resolve the Chrome sound not working issue.
- To do this in Windows, right-click the sound system tray icon in the lower-right corner of the taskbar. In the menu, select the option Open sound settings.
- In the Sound Settings menu, select the correct output device (for example, your speakers) from the Choose your output device drop-down menu. Once selected, make sure the master volume slider is at 100 by moving the slider to the right.
- Mac users can configure the audio output device in the System Preferences menu. To start this, select the Apple menu icon on the menu bar, then select System Preferences from the menu.
- From the System Preferences menu, select Sound> Output. From the available options, select the correct output device. Once changed, make sure the output volume slider at the bottom is moved to the right for maximum volume.
If your output device is not detected, or you are not satisfied with the sound quality, you may need to update the device drivers for that device.
Check the sound settings of Google Chrome
The Google Chrome settings menu includes options to block or allow audio output from certain sites, or disable sound output entirely. If this is the case, sound output will not be possible from Chrome until you change this setting.
- To do this, you will need to access the Chrome settings menu. In Chrome, select the three-dot menu icon at the top left, then select Settings from the options menu.
- In Chrome’s settings menu, select Site Settings> Additional Content Settings> Sound.
- In Chrome’s sound settings menu, make sure the Allow sites to play sound (recommended) slider is enabled. When disabled, the option is labeled Mute sites that play sound.
- To ensure that sounds can be played from your favorite sites, select Add next to the Allow category.
- In the Add a site box, provide the URL of a site you want to hear sound from, then select Add to confirm.
Once you’ve added a site to the audio exceptions list, Chrome will allow any sound from that site to play, assuming there are no other issues preventing it.
Disable Chrome extensions
While rare, certain Google Chrome extensions (such as overprotective security extensions) can cause problems with sound output. This is especially true if fake extensions are installed that are hijacking your sound, microphone, and camera output. If the cause is malware, make sure to scan and remove it first. If other extensions are to blame, you need to disable them to check if they are preventing sound output in Chrome.
- To do this, select the three-dot menu icon in the upper right. From the menu, select More Tools> Extensions.
- In the Extensions menu, select the slider next to each extension to change it from blue (enabled) to gray (disabled).
- Once you have disabled all the extensions, restart Chrome and check your output. If the audio is restored, return to the Extensions menu and re-enable each extension, one by one, verifying that the sound output is not affected. If re-enabling an extension causes audio to stop, disable and remove that extension.
Check for Chrome updates
Google Chrome is set to update automatically, ensuring that you always have the latest available version installed. However, if the updates are not installed, you may be missing the latest features or bug fixes, including fixes that can resolve issues with Chrome not working sound.
- To check for Chrome updates, select the three-dot menu icon in the upper right, then select the Settings option.
- In Chrome’s settings menu, select About Chrome. Chrome will automatically check for new updates once the page loads, and if an update is detected, it will install it (or ask you to install it manually).
- Once a new Chrome update has been installed, restart your browser to allow the process to complete.
Reinstall Chrome (or switch to another browser)
Unfortunately, there is not always an obvious reason for Chrome sound problems. If you can’t get the sound to work in Chrome, it might be time to try reinstalling Chrome or, if that doesn’t solve the problem, switch to another browser. Other browsers, like Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge, are good alternatives to Chrome.
Edge, in particular, is based on the open source Chromium code base that Chrome uses, with the ability to use many of the same extensions and features. If the sound does not work in an alternative browser, this would generally indicate that the problem is caused by another problem, such as a broken website, faulty hardware, or a system conflict.
Final words: How to Fix ‘Chrome Sound Not Working’ Issue in Windows 10
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