Mono only for sound

I purchased a new laptop recently and downloaded the latest version of Audacity and the plug in and ever since I cannot get any sound out of my files with the stereo selected for the audio. If I switch to mono I can here it. When I tried recording and then do a listen, the sound only came out of one side of my headphones. I am not sure what I am missing. I went in to my old laptop and put the settings for most of it the same it was previous to the new laptop and make sure that my mic when plugged in is showing correctly and the speakers are set to my laptop real tek speaker option. What am I missing. I can’t do any editing because the sound comes out awful due to this. I am at a full stop to be able to get any editing done and I can’t record my solo episodes either because the sound is in mono.

appreciate any help.

I assume it’s only a problem with files you’ve recorded? Are MP3s or other audio files playing OK in stereo?

If you are recording from a microphone, it’s probably a mono mic. (Stereo mics are rare and if you had one you would have mentioned it.) Do you have a USB mic? An analog mic plugged-into your computer? The mic built-into your computer?

When you record in stereo, do you see left & right waveforms or is one channel flat?

If you record in stereo with a mono mic, the sound usually gets recorded to the left channel.

A true-mono recording will play out of both speakers (assuming everything is working correctly).