Realtek High Definition Audio Driver-do I need it?

I need help! I had an IT guy reformat my computer but in the process we lost the Realtek High Definition Audio driver. I told him early on we need to reinstall it because it is my understanding you cannot use Audacity without this driver. I tried making Audacity work though I can’t remember how my audio setting were set. I’m trying to figure it out but I would feel more at ease knowing that I need this driver -or not- from someone who knows better than I do. My computer is a Dell OptiPlex 7020 and I’m using Audacity’s 2.4.1 version. I’d appreciate your help on this. Thank you!

You should install this version of the Realtek High-Definition Audio Driver

The current version of Audacity is 2.4.2 which is available via the Audacity website:

Thank you Steve,

I’d appreciate if you -or anyone else reading this- if you could tell me if the Realtek high Definition Audio Driver is a must for Audacity
to function properly. The reason I ask is because our IT people, with all due respect to them, are not able to address this issue as I hoped they would. The reasons are many. Suffice it to say that, if I have solid proof that this driver is a must, they will be more willing to install it for me since I’m not allowed because the computer is university property. Ironically, they provided me with the Audacity software but when I told them I needed the
Realtek driver, they regarded it as a difference that makes no difference -with the implication that I don’t know any better. So I’m hoping someone in the Audacity world knows better than me and our IT guys. Thanks!

Are you getting any sound at all with any applications?

Are you trying to record? If so, are you recording with a mic plugged-into the soundcard or into the line-input?

Your soundcard (or soundchip) needs a driver to play or record sounds. You only need a Reaktek driver if you have a Realtek soundcard/soundchip. Microsoft supplies some drivers with Windows and there is a very good chance that those generic drivers will work.

Unless you added your own soundcard the driver should have come with the computer so it shouldn’t be a policy violation to re-install it.

…If you can’t get it working you can get an inexpensive USB soundcard (and/or a USB microphone). Virtually all of these are “class compliant” so they work with the Microsoft-supplied drivers. Note that regular “cheap” USB soundcards only have mic-in and headphone/line out… There is no line-in.

Hi DVDdoug,

Before my computer was reformatted, I plugged my vintage audio amplifier into the 3.5mm headphone jack on the front of my computer.
This worked great with Audacity but it I now have my amplifier plugged in my speakersound bar because its the only way I get sound from my amplifier but I lost my ability to use Audacity. I saw a you tube video titled "Realtek HD Audio Manager Windows 10 not showing (FIXED). To my surprise, this video showed me that I indeed have the Realtek Driver installed- version Our IT guy never bothered to tell me it was already in. I tried to see if it was working but the IT department put a block in my attempts -or anyone else- to find out. At this point, I can’t do anything without their permission but in time they will come to my shop asking for help on some issue. When they do, I too will put conditions on their request: fix my audio. I’ve helped the IT Dept many times with no expectations but now I asked them to help me and they balk. Anyway, thanks for your reply and Steve’s too.

Good news! After playing around with my settings, I was able to get Audacity working properly. Turns out that my Stereo Mix was disabled. After enabling it, Audacity worked like a charm. I can now listen to SomaFM and record it at the same time while I’m working. If I like a track, I’ll save it though I often prefer to go to Mpv3a web site and purchase the track, provided they have it. I was really frustrated about all this because the IT department is not as helpful as I wish they were. Had they done so, it would have only taken them a few minutes to help solve my problem.
The driver was already there and it was just a matter of changing the settings. I wish I was more computer savvy.
Anyway, thanks again! After submitting this comment, I’m donating $10 to Audacity.