cannot record - devices listbox empty Win7

Windows 7 Professional SP1
Audacity 2.0.5

The listbox of the recording devices is empty as well as the input channels list box right beside.

“High Definition Audio Device” Microsoft 19.11.2010, Ve4rsion 6.1.7601.17514

No clues,


What source are you trying to record from? (A built-in microphone?, external microphone? line-input?, a USB mic or UDB device?, streaming audio???)

Go to the Windows Control Panel and make sure whatever input or device you are using is enabled.

In Win7, the easiest way to get to the audio control panel is to Right-Click on the speaker/volume icon and select “Recording Devices”.

…Right now, nothing is plugged into my soundcard, Windows knows that, and I can’t select a recording input either.

I want to record from internal stream (youtube). Nothing is plugged, neither line nor mic. Do I need a mixer device?


See Tutorial - Recording Computer Playback on Windows - Audacity Manual . You can use Windows WASAPI host and the loopback output and input in Device Toolbar to record computer playback without enabling inputs in Windows Sound.

Otherwise to record computer playback, yes you must enable stereo mix or similar (if your sound device has it) in Windows Sound .


Right mouse click on the empty area in the Windows recording tab , text should then appear giving you the option to show disabled&disconnected recording devices, ( if you tick to show disabled&disconnected recording devices they should appear in the previously empty area ).

Just to be clear, Trebor is talking about Windows Sound there, not the Audacity Device Toolbar with the input channels box.


Thanks. I understood.

Choosing Windows WASAPI in the audio host list box (why does that listbox have no icon symbol left to it? only a tool tip?) make the recording device and channel listboxes get filled.

I see three disconnected devices in the recording tab. I activated “show deactivated devices” (right click) but no additional devices were shown.

I started Youtube and in the mixer app Adobe Flash shows as additional sound channel beside Firefox.

I restarted Audacity but no additional recording devices appeared.

Only Digital Audio (SP/DIF) (High definition Audio…) and Speaker (High definition Audio …) (!). A speaker as recording device?



Seems like it is solved.

The funny thing: when I choose “Speaker (High Definition Audio Device)” as a recording device, it works!
The physical sound comes out of the desktops innards, btw… Probably the speaker connected to the motherboard.


Using Windows in English, you have to show “disconnected” and “disabled” devices. If you see no devices in Windows “Sound” but you know your computer has a place where you can connect a microphone or a line-in, then it is possible you do not have the correct drivers for your sound device.

See Updating Sound Device Drivers - Audacity Wiki .

Yes, it is a special “loopback” device provided by Microsoft for recording computer playback. It only appears in applications like Audacity that support the “Windows WASAPI” audio interface. The “loopback” device does not appear in Windows Sound.