Does your audio device automatically change on its own in Windows 11? Try These 7 Fixes

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It can be annoying to play something on your computer and hear nothing coming from your primary audio device. Before long, you realize that Windows 11 somehow automatically changed the audio device without your permission. And the worst part is that it keeps doing it no matter how many times you turn it on again.

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There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening. Try these seven troubleshooting steps.

1. Update Windows 11

If the problem is a bug with Windows, an update might fix the problem.

To manually update Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Hurry Win + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Move towards Windows Update.
  3. Click it Check for updates button at the top right.
  4. If a Windows update is available, click Download and install.

Windows will then download the update and you will need to restart your computer for the operating system to install it.

2. Troubleshoot Windows 11 update issues

Not all Windows updates are perfect, and some can introduce bugs that can cause your system to misbehave to the point of switching audio devices behind your back. If you notice that the problem started occurring after an update, there are several ways to fix update errors in Windows 11.

But before doing anything drastic like resetting Windows 11, you should try uninstalling the update and see if that helps.

Here’s how to undo an update in Windows 11:

  1. Hurry Win + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Move towards Windows Update > Update History.
  3. In the Related Parameters section, click Uninstall updates.
  4. Right-click on the recently installed Windows Update and select Uninstall.

Now that you have rolled back the Windows 11 update, the problem might go away. And when Microsoft releases another update, which will likely contain a bug fix for the problem, update Windows and see if it happens again.

3. Install or uninstall the audio driver

An outdated driver can also cause the automatic audio device switching issue. You just need to update it in Device Management to fix it if this is the case.

Here are the steps to update the audio driver:

  1. Hurry Win + S to open Windows Search.
  2. Type Device Manager in the search field and select Device Manager in the search results.
  3. Scroll down the list of devices and expand Sound, video and game controllers.
  4. Right-click your primary audio device in the device list and select Update Driver.
  5. A pop-up window will appear and you need to click on Automatically search for drivers.

If the problem started after a driver update, you can restore it by following these steps.

  1. Open Device Management, right-click on the primary audio device and select Properties.
  2. Select the Driver tab in the Properties window.
  3. Click on Driver Rollback.

This will revert the driver to the previous version that worked.

4. Run the Audio Playback Troubleshooter

When you have sound issues, it’s always a good idea to use the audio playback troubleshooter. It’s a handy tool that can help you fix many sound problems automatically, especially when you don’t know what to do.

Here are the steps to launch the audio playback troubleshooter:

  1. Hurry Win + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Move towards System > Troubleshooting > Other Troubleshooters.
  3. Click it To run button next to Audio playback.
  4. The troubleshooter will detect the issues and ask you which device you want to troubleshoot.
  5. Select the radial button for your primary audio device and click Next.

The Audio Playback Troubleshooter will scan the audio device for problems and if it finds any, it will offer a solution.

5. Make sure you have set your primary audio device as default

Windows 11 may switch to the other audio device because it is confused about the default audio device. You just need to tell the operating system about it.

Follow the steps below to set the default audio device in Windows 11:

  1. Hurry Win + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Move towards System > Sound and click on the audio device you want to use as default.
  3. Expand the drop-down menu to Set as default audio device and select Use default for audio.

Now Windows 11 will always know which audio device is the default device.

6. Unplug and Disable the Audio Device Windows Keeps Switching To

If the audio device your Windows PC keeps switching to is still connected, disconnect it. But even if you disconnected it, Windows can still try to connect to it because it is still registered in the system. So to hit the nail on the head, you can also disable it in device management.

To disable an audio device in Windows, follow the steps below:

  1. Hurry Win + R to open Windows Run.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc in the text box and press Walk in to open device management.
  3. In Device Management, scroll down and expand the drop-down menu to Sound, video and game controller.
  4. Right-click on the problematic audio device and select Disable.

Luckily, now that you’ve unplugged and disabled the other audio device, Windows will stop switching to it. You can plug in and reactivate the device whenever you need to use it again.

7. Check if your primary audio device has a fault

If nothing has worked so far, the audio device you are using may be faulty. You can scan it for problems using the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter.

Here are the steps to run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter:

  1. Hurry Win + S to open Windows Search.
  2. Type powershell in the search field and click on WindowsPowerShell in the search results.
  3. Copy and paste the command below into powershell and press Walk in to run it:
    msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic

    The screenshot below shows how the command should look like in PowerShell.

  4. This will launch the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter. Click on Next.
  5. The troubleshooter will ask you to allow it to find and install the latest device drivers as well. Click on Enable.

With these steps, the hardware and device troubleshooter will scan all devices in your system, including your primary audio device, for problems. If your audio device has a fault that Windows cannot fix, you may need to hire a hardware professional to help you.


Make Windows Stick With One Audio Device

When your audio device keeps turning you on in Windows 11, it can put a damper on whatever you’re trying to listen to. Although these troubleshooting steps aren’t 100% guaranteed, there’s a good chance that one of them will solve your problem.

We’ve covered several fixes here, including updates, drivers, and troubleshooters. You just have to try them all and see which one works for you.

If the sound on your Windows PC is simply not working in general, you can try other troubleshooting steps.

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