How to Change Default Audio Device in Windows 10

In Windows 10, there are a number of options which you can use to change sounds for different system events, configure output and input devices, and more. Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft has added the ability to change the output audio device with the Settings app.


Windows 10 allows you to choose which output audio device to use by default in the OS. Modern PCs, laptops and tablets can use classic speakers, Bluetooth headphones and many other audio devices which you can connect simultaneously.

The default audio output device is a device which Windows 10 is using to play the audio. Other device can be set to mute or to play the same audio stream. Note: Some third-party apps can utilize other devices with special options in their settings and override the system preferences.

There are a number of ways to choose the default audio device in Windows 10.  Let's review them.

Change Default Audio Device in Windows 10

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to System - Sound.
  3. On the right, select the required device in the drop down list Choose your output device.Windows 10 Choose Default Audio Device
  4. You might need to restart some apps like audio players to make them read the changes you made.

You are done.

Set the Default Audio Device with the Sound flyout

Another new option starting with Windows 10 Anniversary Update is the ability to choose the default audio device right from the sound volume flyout. Here is how.

To change the Default Audio Device, do the following.

  1. Click on the sound volume icon in the system tray.
  2. Click on the up arrow in the sound flyout.Windows 10 Sound Flyout 1
  3. Choose the desired audio device from the list.Windows 10 Sound Flyout 2
  4. Restart your audio apps if required.

Set the default audio device with the classic Sound applet

The classic Sound applet can be used to set the default audio device. As of this writing, it is accessible from both the system tray and Control Panel. Here is how it can be done.

  1. Right-click the sound icon at the end of the taskbar.
  2. Select Sounds from the context menu.Windows 10 Sound Icon Context Menu
  3. This will open the Sounds tab of the classic applet.Windows 10 Classic Sound Applet
  4. Select the desired device in the list and click on the Set Default button.

Tip: the Sound dialog can be opened faster using one for the following commands:



rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL mmsys.cpl,,0

The command above is a Rundll32 command. The RunDll32 app allows launching classic Control Panel applets directly. See the full list of such commands available in Windows 10.

Note: The classic Sound applet is still available in the Control Panel as of this writing with Windows 10 Build 17074.

Control Panel Hardware and Sound icon Sounds

That's it

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

5 thoughts on “How to Change Default Audio Device in Windows 10”

  1. What registry keys are changed by changing this setting, as a user? I’m using non-persistent VMs and I want to change the selected sound device via logon script so that users don’t have to change it.

    I’m aware of the change to the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\MMDevices\Audio registry key, but that key cannot be changed via logon script that is run with user-level (non-administrative) rights.

    Thank you.

  2. To josh’s remarks I too am wondering if these settings will still be there if another user signs on to the same machine. Or do you have to set these settings for each user of a machine?

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