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Sound Not Working On Your Chromebook? Read This

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Chromebooks are a reliable machine. The operating system is simple to use, bloatware-free, secure, and fast. Many Chromebooks are very affordable, and there are even some high-end devices for those with expensive taste.

But even Chromebooks have their issues from time to time—something we see semi-regularly on the Google Product Forum issues with sound. One day your music works perfectly, the next, nothing.

There are a lot of things that could be causing sound issues on your Chromebook, and I will attempt to address the big ones here.

So, your sound isn’t working on your Chromebook, what should you do?

Well, let’s start with the basics. The fundamentals. Let’s make sure you haven’t inadvertently muted your Chromebook by pressing the mute button on your keyboard.

It happens.

Simply press the volume UP button a few times and make sure the volume is actually turned up, and test your audio.

If it’s still not working, make sure you’re not casting to a Chromecast, or Google Cast enabled device. Do check this, click on your profile picture in the bottom-right corner and you should see an option for casting.

Ok, so your volume is turned up, and you’re not casting but your audio still isn’t working. What next?

Click on your profile picture again, and select the audio option and make sure that your audio is set to the correct Output.

Chromebook speaker icon
Chromebook speaker icon

OK, so you’ve checked all these things and your sound still isn’t working. That’s not a great sign, but all hope is not yet lost. Let’s try a few more things.

First, what exactly isn’t working? Is there no sound coming out of your speakers? Try headphones. Does that work? What about vice versa? Maybe your speakers are working but headphones are not. Do these headphones work in other devices, such as your phone or another computer? Do other headphones work in this Chromebook?

Is it a Bluetooth speaker/headphones not working? That’s probably a Bluetooth problem, not an audio problem. Make sure you check the audio Output sources like I mentioned before. Sometimes Chrome OS doesn’t like to properly switch from internal speakers to Bluetooth and vice versa like it’s supposed to.

Maybe you have a Chrome extension that’s causing your issues. What happens when you log out, and log into Guest Mode? Does sound work there? If so, one of your extensions is interfering.

Do you have some kind of audio equalizer app/extension installed? Check the settings on that and make sure your sound didn’t get muted.

If all else fails, here are some things you can do to try and get your Chromebook up and running, in the order in which you should perform them:

  1. Hardware Reset
  2. Factory Reset (Powerwash)
  3. USB Restore

If you’ve done all these things, and your audio still isn’t working, you probably have a hardware issue. It’s worth providing feedback in case it’s an issue with the operating system that the Chrome OS team needs to know about. To provide feedback at any time while using your Chromebook, press ALT plus SHIFT plus the letter “i”. This opens a dialogue box which you can use to provide feedback to the Chrome OS team. You can provide a detailed description of your issue, as well as a screenshot.

I hope you found this useful. For a more detailed list of things to consider if you’re having audio issues, check out this awesome post from one of my fellow Google Top Contributors, Jim Dantin.

3 responses to “Sound Not Working On Your Chromebook? Read This”

  1. David Kimball Avatar
    David Kimball

    Thank you! The problem was one of apps was using the sound. Appreciate you.

    1. Andrea Avatar

      OMG! I found other articles before yours and they were CRAP! This one worked and I don’t know HOW it happened, but yes my output was set to headphones not internal speakers. FIXED! thank you SO much!
      I use zoom for my job like many times a week so I was about to flip out!

  2. Derek Anderson Avatar
    Derek Anderson

    Audio somehow set itself to my HDMI monitor that doesn’t have speakers. Thank you for the article

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