Can't select W10 mix output as recording input

Hi all … Windows 10.0.18363 (W10Pro), Audacity 2.4.1…

Since the forced update from W7, which worked perfectly with Audacity, I cannot feed the soundcard output as the recording input. The Mic input pulldown shows only “Microsoft Sound Mapper” and “Microphone (Hi-definition audio”). Before the W10 “upgrade,” that mic-input pulldown always included the choice of “RealTek Audio Mixer,” or something like that, which would capture the output of the computer’s audio. (Note this is a laptop with integrated audio, not a separate soundcard.)

I’ve searched through the Forums and the wider web, and all of the advice comes down to enabling devices, either by:

Right-clicking the speaker icon in the tray, choosing “Record” and then enabling the missing devices; or
Using Device Manager > Sound, video and game controllers and re-installing the drivers for the missing devices.

Unfortunately, right-clicking the speaker icon does not offer a path to the recording device settings:

Clicking “Open Volume mixer” doesn’t show a Record tab.

Also unfortunately, using Device Manager doesn’t work either. The computer seems to know the card is there and says the driver is working. I reinstalled the driver both automatically and manually, and nothing changed.

I’m assuming this has been a problem for more than just me, given the huge volume of complaints about it online. I want to use Audacity to directly record the audio from other sources on my computer (like video clips, for instance), and as I said, that was easy with W7. Now it’s impossible. I have workarounds like recording the computer audio as a wav file to a digital recorder, then uploading the audio to the computer, then opening the file in Audacity. But as you can imagine, that’s a hassle.

Anybody had any success getting W10 to play nice with Audacity?

To record what’s playing on the computer with Windows 10, use “WASAPI loopback”. See: