Audacity randomly completely disables my sound

OS: Windows 7
Audacity Version: Audacity 2.0.6
Installer: .exe
Whenever I open Audacity, seemingly randomly but more often than not, either instantly or after a short period of time my sound will quit working completely. Windows doesn’t display any errors with the sound and troubleshooters can’t find anything, but sound doesn’t play through any audio device after that, and the only way to fix it is seemingly to restart, which gets annoying very fast (although it seems to randomly fix it on its own sometimes?). This doesn’t happen with any other app, and it’s quite annoying since I have to restart whenever it happens. Audacity doesn’t detect any of my devices either after it happens, although Windows insists they’re still enabled and Device Manager says they’re working. Weird thing is, this problem has only started in the past couple days- have never experienced this before then. Any help as to what this may be?

What audio devices do you have?

Just my headphones and laptop built-in speaker. My built-in microphone also stops working.

USB headphones?

No, just normal headphones through the standard jack.

When it happens, you could try “Rescan audio devices” (in the Transport menu) to see if Audacity is able to reconnect to the device.
You could also try the current 2.1.2 version of Audacity:

I wonder what happened a couple of days ago.
Have you run a full anti-virus / anti-malware scan of your computer recently?

Rescan didn’t do anything. Ran a malware scan earlier today for an unrelated issue and found nothing.

What happened about the same time even if it has nothing to do with recording? Did you get a new game? Start using Skype or Chat on a regular basis?

If you look at the device toolbar, does Audacity still think it’s using the standard devices? Do those devices match before and after?

Games and Skype are famous for “talking over” sound services. Skype in particular has a reputation for working no matter how screwed up your computer is. That’s how they do it. Once you run Skype, it takes over and rams its own settings through.


Nothing really different happened that I know of- I didn’t install or use anything abnormal that day.
And it detects NO devices- the selection boxes are empty.

Is the problem repeatable?
Is there an exact sequence of steps, starting from rebooting your computer, that will reliably reproduce the problem? If so, please describe those steps, in sufficient detail that we can exactly copy what you are doing.

You could check in Windows Update > View update history if there has been an update to your audio drivers in the last few days. If there has been such an update, open Windows Device Manager, expand “Sound, video and game controllers” , select the built-in sound device, right-click and choose “Properties”. On the “Driver” tab, click “Roll Back Driver”.

If there has been no Windows Update to audio drivers and you are convinced you did nothing yourself to change things, then update your audio drivers. Assuming this is a branded computer like Dell or HP, go to their web site and download the latest Windows 7 audio drivers for your specific computer model. If you have 64-bit Windows 7, download the 64-bit drivers.

If you built the computer yourself, go to the motherboard manufacturer’s site to look for Windows 7 audio drivers for that motherboard model.

Then open Windows Device Manager, expand “Sound, video and game controllers” , select the built-in sound device, right-click and uninstall. Don’t reboot. Then install the new drivers and reboot.