Enable a disabled audio device in Windows 7

If you cannot find an audio device in the Control Panel, then there is a possibility that it is disabled. Windows hides the disabled devices by default, so you cannot see them. But you can enable them using the instructions in this article :

  1. Press the key combination Windows logo key + R to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type mmsys.cpl in the Run dialog and press Enter.

  3. In the Sound window, select a tab — Recording tab or Playback tab. Choose a tab under which you think your missing audio de vice might be listed. For example, a missing Line In device should be listed under the Recording tab.
  4. Right-click anywhere on an empty area under the list of devices and choose Show disabled devices as shown,

  5. You will see the disabled devices in the list now. Choose a disabled device you want. Right-click on it and select Enable as shown,

  6. Click OK to save the settings.


  1. When I right clicked and clicked show disabled devices nothing happened it just kept saying no audio devices are installed. I know I just now disabled them on accident trying to figure out why my sound was so low I didn’t mean to disable all the audio on my whole laptop. It won’t load any app or website with audio now. Help.

  2. when i did Right-click still it says no audio device instolled. and on the recording there is no option like line in etc. thxs

    1. Remove and re-insert the headphone cable. Then follow the instructions above. If you are using Realtek audio drivers, then you should configure it not to auto-detect the front panel devices.

  3. OMG Thank you !!!! I have looked at Microsoft for the past 5 hours and you showed the most concise and accurate fix I have seen. If I could get signed into Microsoft I would post a link to your page.

    I’ll be back to buy some stuff later and have you bookmarked too. I’m going to share it now too. Thank you my new found friends !!!

Comments are closed.