HomeTechnologyNewsHow to fix no audio on TV on a Windows Steam platform

How to fix no audio on TV on a Windows Steam platform

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Marcus Mears III / Geek Instructors

The most common solution for sound problems when you connect your Windows Steam Deck to your TV is to open Device Manager, locate the High Definition Audio driver and enable it or check for hardware changes. If that doesn’t work, reboot your Deck, check your connections and output settings, and update your drivers and Windows version.

If you’re running Windows on your Steam Deck and experiencing audio issues when connecting to a TV, you’ve come to the right place. Our troubleshooting guide features nine potential solutions, one of which should resolve your audio issues when connecting the Windows Steam Deck to a TV.

Try the High Definition Audio Driver Fix

Many users suffering from no audio on TV issue, including us, have found that adjusting the “High Definition Audio Driver” setting in Windows Device Manager fixed the issue.

Start by right-clicking on the “Start” button; this works the same on Windows 10 and Windows 11, then click the “Device Manager” button in the list.

Once there, find the “System Devices” tab and double-click on it. The tab should expand with one of the devices listed as the “High Definition Audio Controller” mentioned above.

Right-click the “High Definition Audio Driver” button and then click “Enable device” if it is disabled or “Scan for hardware changes” if the device is enabled. One of two actions should cause Windows to recognize your TV and resolve your issue. Checking for hardware changes fixed the issue in our case.

You need to enable the high definition audio driver or check for hardware changes

In Windows 11, you can confirm if Windows now recognizes your TV by right-clicking the quick settings button (the one with the Wi-Fi, battery, and audio icons) on the taskbar and then clicking the speaker icon.

You should see your TV listed under “Sound Output” devices.

Check if everything works on the TV side

If enabling “High Definition Audio Driver” or checking for hardware changes didn’t work, make sure everything works on the TV side. Check your TV settings and make sure the sound system, if you use one, is connected to your TV and working as it should, or your TV is not muted.

For example, the soundbar our TV is connected to works great most of the time. However, on certain occasions, it will not turn on automatically once the audio starts playing on the TV. However, sometimes it’s not even as complicated as that. One time, the battery inside the soundbar remote died, so we thought there was something wrong with our PC until about half an hour later, when we turned on the soundbar by pressing the power button instead of trying to use the remote control.

Restart your steam rig

If all is well with your TV and sound system, please reboot your Steam Deck. You can restart Windows 11 and restart Windows 10 by clicking the Start button, then the power icon, followed by “Restart.” A reset can resolve a surprisingly large number of issues, including those related to audio.

Another example from our experience is that SteamOS in desktop mode can sometimes randomly drop audio or crash the touchpads, so you can’t use them to move around the desktop. And if that happens on SteamOS, similar issues can arise on Windows.

Test the 3.5mm audio jack on your Steam Deck

If restarting didn’t help, it’s time to check if the audio output feature works on your Steam Deck. To do this, plug a 3.5mm audio output device (speakers, headphones, or headphones) into your Steam Deck and see if audio comes out.

If you hear audio, it’s likely a problem with your connection and not with the Steam Deck or Windows itself. In that case, test the base or cables for problems as explained below. If you still don’t hear anything, it’s time to check if you have the Steam Deck Windows audio drivers installed.

Confirm that the Steam Deck drivers for Windows are installed

If you don’t have the Steam Deck audio drivers for Windows installed, the audio icon on the taskbar should show a small X next to the audio icon on the Windows 11 taskbar. On Windows 10, you should see a small X red next to the audio icon.

Sign that your audio drivers for steam deck are not installed

If that’s the case, you didn’t install the audio drivers. To install them, go to Valve’s Steam Deck Windows Resources website and download both audio drivers. Unzip the two files using 7-zip or any other unzip tool you have on hand, and then install the two drivers following Valve’s guidelines.

For the first driver, find the file “cs35I41” which has “Configuration Information” listed as its type, right-click and select “Install”.

To install the second driver, locate the “NAU88L21” file that has “Configuration Information” listed as its type, right-click and select the “Install” option.

If you already have both Steam Deck Windows audio drivers installed, try reinstalling them to see if that will fix the missing audio when connected to a TV issue.

RELATED: How to update audio drivers in Windows

Check Windows sound settings and troubleshoot if necessary

If installing the drivers did not resolve the issue, open Sound Settings in Windows 11 by right-clicking the Quick Settings button on the taskbar and then clicking the “Sound Settings” button.

In Windows 10, just right-click the speaker icon on the taskbar and click “Open sound settings”.

Once there, check if you can find your TV among the list of output devices by clicking the “Output Device” button.

You can also try scrolling to the “All Sound Devices” tab, clicking it (or in Windows 10, clicking “Sound Control Panel” under Related Settings) and checking if your TV shows up there.

If it is, but you don’t have audio, it may be disabled. Right-click the icon for your TV, and then click “Enable.” If you can’t find your TV in the list, right-click on any device displayed there and click the “Show disabled devices” and “Show disconnected devices” buttons.

To enable your TV as an audio device, go to the All Sound Devices tab and try to enable it there

If that didn’t work, in Sound settings find the “Fix common sound problems” tab and click the “Output devices” button in Windows 11, or the “Troubleshoot” button under Output in Windows 10. Follow the procedure Troubleshooting and see if the troubleshooting caused your TV to appear in the “Output Devices” list.

You can also troubleshoot output sound devices by looking for solutions to common sound problems in Windows sound settings.

If your TV still doesn’t show up, it’s time to test the device you’re using to connect your Steam Deck to the TV.

Test your USB dock/HDMI adapter and HDMI cable

We’re assuming you’re using a USB-C dock or USB-C-HDMI adapter to connect your Deck to your TV. If none of the tips we’ve given so far have worked, you may be using a faulty USB dock or HDMI adapter.

Test the dock or adapter with another device, such as a laptop if you have one, or find a device that you can test the dock or adapter with.

If the dock or adapter doesn’t work, replace it. If it works, try the HDMI cable you’re using. If the cable doesn’t work, replace it. If you’re still facing audio issues, it’s time to move on to the next potential fix.

Install Windows updates

If nothing has worked for you so far, try to install the latest updates in case there is a fix that occurs. To do this, simply type “Windows Updates” in the “Search” tab on the Windows taskbar and once there, download and install all available updates. After installing each update, let Windows automatically restart your Steam Deck or restart the Deck manually.

Once Windows restarts, find your TV in the “Sound output” list.

Connect to TV with Steam OS instead

If your TV still doesn’t show up in your output list, find out if SteamOS can output audio when you connect your Deck to your TV, even if Windows can’t. So either boot SteamOS (if you’re running Windows from a microSD card) or reinstall SteamOS using the recovery image provided by Valve. Once it starts up, connect your Deck to your TV and see if the audio is playing on your TV.

If not, your only option is to reinstall Windows 11 (or, if you prefer, reinstall Windows 10). If audio issues persist even after reinstalling Windows along with the Steam Deck audio drivers, there is a strong chance that something is wrong with the USB-C port on your Steam Deck. If that is the case, we recommend that you contact Valve regarding your Steam Deck warranty.

RELATED: How to Install Windows on Your Steam Platform

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