How to fix “audio services not responding” on Windows 10

The “Audio services not responding” error is a very common one. It shows up in the Windows sound troubleshooter when a sound device is unresponsive. However, usually it is not the sound device that is faulty. Instead, it is very likely a Windows update that jumbled your audio services. There are a number of options you can try before having to do something drastic like reinstall Windows.

Restart Audio Services

Windows has a service called Audio which does nothing but manages sound and devices on your computer. Restarting this service might help.

  1. Type “services” in the Search bar, then click on Open to bring up Services manager.
opening services manager
  1. Find the Windows Audio service, right-click it and choose Restart.
restarting windows audio
  1. Right-click it again, then choose Properties. Set the startup type to Automatic. Press Apply then OK.
opening windows audio properties
  1. Repeat Step 2-3 with Windows Audio Endpoint Builder.
restarting audio endpoint builder
opening audio endpoint builder properties
setting audio endpoint builder startup to automatic
  1. Restart your computer.

If the error message didn’t clear, you need to look further. The next method will make sure that the audio components are running properly.

Check Audio Components

There are a couple of components that relate to audio services, and sometimes they glitch, causing the “audio services not responding” error. You may need to check your antivirus as well, sometimes that prevents these components from running.

  1. Type “services” in the Search bar, then click on Open to bring up Services manager.
opening services manager
  1. Find the RPC Endpoint Mapper service. If it isn’t running, right-click it and choose Start.
starting RPC endpoint mapper
  1. Find the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service. If it isn’t running, right-click it and choose Start.
starting remote procedure call
  1. Find the DCOM Server Process Launcher service. If it isn’t running, right-click it and choose Start.
starting dcom server process launcher
  1. Make sure that the Startup of these 3 services are set to Automatic. If that’s not the case, right-click them, select Properties, change the setting, press Apply then OK.
  2. Restart your computer.

Check if the issue got solved. If that’s not the case, time to hit Command Prompt.

Elevated Command Prompt Instructions

Adding networkservice and localservice to the Administrator local group sometimes helps this issue. Take the following steps:

  1. Type “cmd” in the Search bar, then choose Run as administrator.
opening command prompt as administrator
  1. Type “net localgroup administrators networkservice /add” then hit Enter.
adding networkservice to localgroup administrators
  1. Type “net localgroup administrators localservice /add” then hit Enter.
adding local service to localgroup administrators
  1. Restart your computer.

See if this fixed the error. If that is not the case, you will need to try more advanced methods. Read on for step by step instructions!

Install Default Drivers

Computers save a basic, default driver when they first recognize a piece of hardware. This driver later gets upgraded together with the operating system. If there is a problem and you uninstall your driver, the computer will automatically recognize the device and reinstall the default driver again. We are going to use this feature to try and fix the “audio services not responding” error.

  1. Type “system settings” in the Search bar, and click on the control panel item View advanced system settings.
opening advanced system settings
  1. Under the Hardware tab, click on Device installation settings.
opening device installation settings
  1. Choose No, then click Save changes.
turning off automatic download of device apps and icons
  1. Press Windows + X and open Device Manager from the quick start list.
opening device manager
  1. Go to the Sound, video and game controllers category. Right-click on your device, then choose Uninstall.
opening sound video and game controllers menu
uninstalling audio device
  1. In the pop-up dialog, click Yes.
confirming uninstall

You will need to restart your computer.

restarting computer after uninstall
  1. Once the uninstall is complete, click on the little icon for Scan for hardware changes. Now the computer will find your audio device without a driver and proceed to install the default driver.
scanning for hardware changes
  1. Restart your computer.

Check if this solved the issue. If that’s not the case, go to the next method.

Install Realtek or High Definition Audio Device

The IDT High Definition Audio Codec seems to cause the error you are trying to solve, so if this is what you are running, try and install something else instead.

  1. Press Windows + X and open Device Manager from the quick start list.
opening device manager
  1. Go to the Sound, video and game controllers category.
opening sound video and game controller menu
  1. Right-click on the sound device and choose Update Driver. In the dialog that pops up, choose Browse my computer for driver software.
updating driver
browsing computer for driver software
  1. Choose Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.
picking from a list of drivers
  1. Uncheck Show compatible hardware so all drivers show up. Find High Definition Audio Device, then click Next.
installing high definition audio device
  1. Follow the on-screen instructions until the installation is done. Restart your computer.
confirming driver update
driver update successful

If this did not fix the error either, you will need to restore from a restore point or do a clean install of Windows.

Restore from Restore Point

Always make a backup of your data before you do any of these steps.

  1. Type “restore point” in the Search bar and click Open on the restore point control panel.
opening restore point creator
  1. Under the System protection tab, click on System restore.
starting system restore

The wizard will guide you through the steps. Keep clicking Next until you get to the list of restore points.

  1. Select the last restore point when the audio services were still running. Click Next.
choosing restore point
  1. In the dialog box that pops up, click Finish. The system restore will run on its own.
confirming restore point
  1. In the dialog box, click Yes. This will confirm the restore.
confirming restore

If you don’t have any restore points to revert to, you can always perform a clean install.

Bear in mind that this will erase all your files, so you should make a backup before you proceed.

  1. Go to Microsoft’s site and click on Download tool.
download microsoft installation media tool
  1. When prompted, choose Save and save the MediaCreationTool1903.exe file.
  2. Run the file.
  3. Click Yes, if User Account Control is asking you to confirm.
confirming installation for user account control
  1. Click on Accept to accept terms and conditions.
accepting terms and conditions
  1. Choose Create installation media (USB Flash Drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC then click Next.
creating installation media
  1. Select the correct language, architecture, and edition of Windows 10 then click Next.
selecting language, architecture and edition
  1. Choose USB flash drive then click Next.
choosing USB drive
  1. Select USB flash drive (or click Refresh drive list if it’s not visible). Click Next, wait until the media is completed, then click Finish.
selecting drive

Your bootable USB is now ready. We need to change the boot order in order to install from this when starting up.

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings. Choose Update&security.
opening update and security settings
  1. Select Recovery. Under Advanced startup, click Restart now.
restart fo advanced startup
  1. On the screen that comes up, click Troubleshoot.
opening troubleshoot
  1. Choose Advanced options.
choosing advanced options
  1. Choose UEFI Firmware settings.
opening uefi firmware settings
  1. Click Restart.
restarting for uefi
  1. Under Boot settings, click Change boot order. Arrange them so USB is the first.
changing boot order
  1. Click Save settings.

Now we are ready to start the installation. Disconnect all unnecessary peripherals (printer, mouse, keyboard etc.) and start the computer.

  1. Press any key to boot.
  2. When the Windows setup window appears, click Next.
windows setup
  1. Click Install now.
installing windows
  1. On the next dialog box, choose I don’t have a key, since you have already activated this computer before and you are going to use the same product license. Click Next.
activating windows
  1. Select the edition of Windows you have, then click Next.
selecting windows edition
  1. Check the box next to I accept the license terms, then click Next.
accepting license terms
  1. Choose Custom: Install Windows only (Advanced).
installing clean windows
  1. Select the Primary drive (usually called Drive 0), and click Delete. This is so that the setup can use the entire drive. If it has multiple partitions, delete them all; Windows will create the necessary partitions.
deleting primary drive
  1. Select the empty drive (Drive 0 Unallocated Space), then click Next.
selecting unallocated space

The installation will run now.


Audio services not running is an annoying error. We hope our tips were helpful, and you did not have to get to the most drastic solution.

4 thoughts on “How to fix “audio services not responding” on Windows 10”

  1. 4. Repeat Step 2-3 with Windows Audio Endpont Builder.

    In the 4th step of first section Endpoint spelling is not correct (Informing in case you’re not aware of it).

    Please provide me solution for the below problem
    Sometimes in the meeting whether on teams zoom or any other app like on teams viewer, the incoming sound got disturbed it sounds like a very high pitch and nothing is audible, could you please help on this.
    Thanks and regards

  2. Hi,
    Thanks so much for these tips. I tried everything up until the ‘restore’ which finally worked, I was so happy! But then I put my computer in sleep mode for a little while until I had to start work and when I opened it back up again the same error came up again and the computer was once again not recognising the headphones. Any other ideas apart from doing a complete reset? I’d rather not do that if possible…
    Thanks, Aimee.


Leave a Comment