You’re playing audio on your PC when the sound suddenly stops. Looking for what could be the issue, you discover the “One or more audio service isn’t running” error message. What do you do? If you have no idea, we do – and this post was written to help you out.
First, let’s talk about this error and what causes it.
What Does “One or More Audio Service Isn’t Running” Mean?
There are two scenarios under which most users encounter the “One or more audio service isn’t running” error in Windows 10. When audio playback suddenly runs into issues and the sound stops, a notification might appear on the desktop. The speaker icon on the taskbar may also become disabled and show a small x. Hovering the cursor over the icon will reveal a message saying that the audio service has stopped or isn’t running.
Another scenario is when you decide to go troubleshooting what could be wrong with your sound devices and run the Playing Audio Troubleshooter on Windows 10. When the troubleshooter is done, it presents “One or more audio service isn’t running” as the problem found and offers some additional options, which may or may not resolve the issue.
The error signifies that there is a problem with your sound devices. This can be a result of sound card errors, or maybe there is a problem with the sound drivers. Your audio devices stop responding to what the system tells them to do, which means you won’t be able to enjoy audio playback on the PC until the issue is fixed.
Even though this problem is annoying, you can fix it easily. One of the four fixes given in this guide should be able to solve the problem for you.
How to Fix “One or More Audio Service Isn’t Running” in Windows 10
If you encounter the “One or more audio service isn’t running” error
while playing audio in Windows 10 or running the Playing Audio Troubleshooter, you can try the methods here one by one until you find the one that suits your situation best.
Run the Playing Audio Troubleshooter
How to fix audio in Windows 10 if it isn’t working properly? There is an inbuilt troubleshooter for sound devices known as the Playing Audio Troubleshooter. Only use this method if you get the “One or more audio service isn’t running” error message on your desktop or as part of a notification. Skip this step if you got the error while running the troubleshooter.
Here are the instructions to follow:
- Press the Windows logo key and select Settings.
- Navigate to Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
- In the central pane on the right, scroll down to Playing Audio and click it.
- Click the “Run the troubleshooter” button.
- When the Playing Audio Troubleshooter window opens, tick the “Apply repairs automatically” checkbox and click Next.
Wait for the tool to fix whatever problem it discovers if possible. It may suggest additional fixes for you to carry out by yourself.
Make Sure Audio Services Are Running
When we do certain tasks on our Windows PCs, there are certain services and components that work in the background to ensure that those tasks get done. For example, updating Windows isn’t possible if the Windows Update service and associated services aren’t running or working properly.
In the same way, issues with services related to playing audio can stop sound from working in Windows. So, how to fix a Windows audio service if it is not running properly?
The message “One or more audio service isn’t running” is an indication that at least one audio service might have stopped working. You need to figure out if this is the case and which audio service is affected. If it’s discovered that a service related to system sound has indeed stopped working, you can manually restart the service and everything should be fine again.
The three audio services to look out for are:
- Windows Audio
- Remote Procedure Call
- Windows Audio Endpoint Builder
Let’s go to the Services app and check the status of the audio services:
- Hold down the Windows key and press R to open Run.
- Type “services.msc” and click OK to open the Services app.
- In the Services window, scroll down to the Windows Audio service.
- Right-click it and click Restart.
- Now double-click the Windows Audio service and verify that “Service status” is set to Running while “Startup type” is set to Automatic.
- Click Apply and OK to save the changes.
- Repeat Steps 3-6 for the Remote Procedure Call and Windows Audio Endpoint Builder services.
- Next, look for the Multimedia Task Scheduler service. If it is present in the Services window, repeat Steps 3-6 for it as well.
You can now exit the Services window and test your audio. If problems with sound persist on the machine, try the next fix.
Update Your Sound Drivers
A device driver is software added to the operating system to make communication between the OS and hardware as smooth as possible. A faulty sound driver won’t be able to perform its role well, and this can lead to miscommunication with the sound hardware. This, in turn, can cause the “One or more audio service isn’t running” error in Windows 10.
Usually, you don’t need to bother about drivers as the job of keeping the main ones up to date is done by the system via Windows Update. However, when errors like the current one arise, you may need to do it yourself so you can regain sound functionality on your PC.
You can update your sound drivers through
- Windows Update,
- Device Manager,
- an OEM website, or
- a third-party driver updater.
Let’s go through each method one by one.
- Using Windows Update
This method is as simple as updating Windows. However, not every Windows update contains a driver update. Moreover, not every Windows update that includes driver updates will contain an update for a faulty or obsolete sound card.
All the same, Microsoft does a pretty okay job of bundling the latest driver releases with its major updates. So, if a feature update is available, you can be fairly confident it includes driver updates.
If you can’t wait for updates to be automatically installed, you can download and install them yourself:
- Press the Windows logo key and select Settings.
- Navigate to Update & Security > Windows Update.
- Click the “Check for updates” button and download the available updates.
- Install the updates immediately. Your computer will restart after that.
Using Device Manager
Device Manager allows you to control and manage the hardware attached to your PC. For example, you can uninstall and disable your PC components from there. You can also update, roll back, disable, or uninstall hardware drivers via Device Manager. An important function of Device Manager is showing you which devices have faulty drivers. A device that has a faulty or corrupt driver will have either a yellow exclamation mark or a yellow triangle besides its name.
Here is how to use Device Manager to update your sound drivers:
- Hold down the Windows key and press X to open the Power User menu.
- Select Device Manager.
- In Device Manager, navigate to the “Sound, video and game controllers” option. Click it once to reveal related devices.
- Right-click your sound device and select “Update driver”.
- In the Update Driver wizard, select the “Search automatically for updated driver software” option.
- You will see a message saying that Windows is “searching online for drivers”. Your system will download and install the latest compatible drivers. However, if it doesn’t find a matching driver, it will display the following message: “The best drivers for your system are already installed”.
The August 2020 update to Windows 10 added the “Optional updates” feature to Windows Update. With this feature, you can separately download and install available driver updates for system hardware. Here is how to access this feature if you’re on the latest version of Windows 10:
- Open the Settings app and navigate to Update & Security > Windows Update.
- Click the “View optional updates” button under “Check for updates”.
- On the next screen, check under Driver Updates for all available updates to your device drivers.
- Choose the update you want to install and download it. You can install it immediately or schedule the installation process for later.
From an OEM Website
If you use Windows Update or Device Manager to update your drivers, you may wonder where the drivers they install are sourced from. They are taken from hardware manufacturers. For example, Realtek occasionally releases new drivers for its sound cards.
If Windows Update can’t update your sound drivers or Device Manager cannot locate the necessary driver versions, you can download and install them manually. Provided you know what you’re looking for, simply visit the download or support page of the hardware manufacturer and look for the latest compatible drivers for your device. If you manage to find the right driver software, download it to your desktop and install it from there.
Using a Third-Party Driver Updater
You can use driver update software like Auslogics Driver Updater to install hard-to-find updates for device drivers. Sometimes, going through the native methods of updating drivers won’t work because those drivers haven’t been added to Microsoft’s database. Meanwhile, Auslogics Driver Updater can easily find the required compatible drivers if they have been released by their manufacturers.
Resolve PC Issues with Driver Updater
Unstable PC performance is often caused by outdated or corrupt drivers. Auslogics Driver Updater diagnoses driver issues and lets you update old drivers all at once or one at a time to get your PC running smoother
Driver Updater goes beyond merely updating your PC drivers. It shows you how many of your computer device drivers require an update. You are able to click one button to update everything in one go instead of spending so much time in Device Manager. Moreover, the tool creates a backup of your current drivers before it updates them so that you can easily roll back if something goes awry.
Here’s how to use Auslogics Driver Updater:
- Download Auslogics Driver Updater and install the software.
- Launch the program and let it scan your PC for missing, corrupt and obsolete drivers.
- If your sound driver requires an update, click the Update button to install the latest compatible driver.
Once you’re done updating your sound driver, reboot your PC. The “One or more audio service isn’t running” issue should no longer show up.
Reinstall Your Sound Drivers
If updating your sound drivers doesn’t help, reinstalling them might. Or, you may want to reinstall them first and see if that solves the error.
You don’t have to exert much effort to reinstall your sound card drivers. It’s rather simple. You just have to uninstall them through Device Manager and reboot the machine.
Without further ado, let’s see how it is done:
- Hold down the Windows key and press X.
- Select Device Manager.
- Find the “Sound, video and game controllers” node and click it to expand it. All your sound devices are listed in this node.
Tip: If the “One or more audio service isn’t running” issue is happening to a plugged-in or wirelessly connected external device, make sure it is connected so that it can show up here.
- Right-click each sound device and select “Uninstall device”. Click Uninstall if a confirmation prompt shows up.
- When you’ve uninstalled all the sound devices, reboot your PC.
- Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to return to Device Manager.
- Right-click your computer’s name at the top and click “Scan for hardware changes”.
- Now click the “Sound, video and game controllers” option.
- You will find that the sound device drivers have been reinstalled.
If nothing goes amiss, one of the fixes here should have helped you solve the “One or more audio service isn’t running” error in Windows 10. You can tell us what you think of this guide in the comments section below.