Enable or Disable Sound Output Device in Windows 10

How to Enable or Disable a Sound Output Device in Windows 10

In Windows 10, the user can specify the default sound output device. This can be speakers, a Bluetooth device, headphones, or other audio device connected to your PC or built into your  device. Today, we will see how to disable or enable a sound device in Windows 10.

Windows 10 introduced a new style of items and their panes/flyouts which open from the notification area. All of the applets which open from the system tray are different now. This includes the Date/Time pane, the Action Center, the Network pane and even the volume control. Once you click the sound icon in the system tray, the new volume indicator will appear on the screen.

Windows 10 default mixer

Note: In a number of situations, the Volume icon can be hidden in the taskbar. Even when you have all the drivers installed, the icon might remain inaccessible. If you are affected by this issue, see the following post:

Fix: Volume Icon is Missing in Windows 10 Taskbar

Tip: It is still possible to restore the good old "classic" sound volume control.

Windows 10 old volume control applet

Refer to the following article:

How to enable the old Volume control in Windows 10

The default sound input device is the device that the operating system uses to record or hear sounds. If you have connected several audio devices to your PC or laptop, such as microphones, a web camera with a built-in microphone, a Bluetooth headset, you might want to disable one or a few of them. This can be done with Settings, Device Manager, using the classic Control Panel, or with a Registry tweak. Let's review these methods.

To Disable a Sound Output Device in Windows 10,

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to System > Sound.
  3. On the right, select the sound output device under Output.Windows 10 Select Sound Output Device
  4. Click on the Device Properties link.Windows 10 Sound Device Properties Link
  5. On the next page, check the Disable box to disable the device. It is unchecked by default.Windows 10 Disable Sound Device
  6. Uncheck the Disable box to re-enable the device.

You are done.

Also, there is an extra page in Settings that you can use to disable sound devices. It is called Manage sound devices.

Disable a Sound Output Device with Manage sound devices Page

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to System > Sound.
  3. On the right, click on the link Manage sound devices under Output.Windows 10 Manage Sound Devices Link
  4. On the next page, select your sound output device in the list in Output devices.Windows 10 Manage Sound Devices Page
  5. Click on the Disable button to disable the selected device.
  6. Click on the Enable button to enable the disabled device.

You are done.

Besides the Settings app, you can use the good old Device Manager app to enable or disable devices, including the sound devices installed in your computer.

Disable Sound Output Device in Device Manager

  1. Press Win + X keys together on the keyboard and click Device Manager.
    Windows 10 open device manager
    Tip: you can customize the Win + X menu of Windows 10.Windows 10 Device Manager
  2. In the device tree, find your device under Audio inputs and outputs.
  3. Right-click on the device and select Disable from the context menu to disable it.Windows 10 Disable Output Sound Device
  4. To enable the disabled device, right-click on it and select Enable from the context menu.
  5. Confirm the operation if prompted.

You are done.

Also, the classic Control Panel applet 'Sound' can be used to disable or enable a sound output device.

Disable a Sound Output Device using Control Panel

  1. Open the classic Control Panel app.
  2. Navigate to Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Sound.Windows 10 Control Panel Sound Applet
  3. On the playback tab, select the device you want to disable.
  4. Right-click on it and select Disable from the context menu. This will disable the sound output device.Windows 10 Control Panel Sound Applet Disable Device

You are done.

To enable a disabled sound output device, do the following.

  1. Ensure that you have the disabled devices listed: Right-click on any device and see if you have the Show disabled devices entry checked. If not, click on it.Windows 10 Show Disabled Sound Devices
  2. Now, right-click on a disabled device in the list.
  3. Select Enable from the context menu.
  4. This will enable the disabled device.

You are done!

Tip: To save your time, you can open the classic Sound dialog using the following command:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL mmsys.cpl,,1

Refer to the next article:

Windows 10 Rundll32 Commands – the complete list

Finally, you can disable or enable a sound output device in the Registry. Here is how.

Disable a Sound Output Device in Registry

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\MMDevices\Audio\Render
    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.Windows 10 Registry Sound Devices 1
  3. In the left pane, expand the Render key and open the Properties subkey of each GUID until you find the device you want to disable.Windows 10 Registry Sound Devices 2
  4. On the right of the appropriate GUID key, modify or create a new 32-Bit DWORD value DeviceState.Windows 10 Registry Sound Devices 3
    Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
  5. Set its value data to 1 to enable the device.
  6. A value data of 10000001 will disable it.

That's it!

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