How to Install a Free Sound Driver

Written by andrew todd Google
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How to Install a Free Sound Driver
Sound drivers allow audio playback on your computer. (speaker image by Byron Moore from

Free drivers for virtually all sound cards can be downloaded from the sound card manufacturer's website. Sound card manufacturers will periodically release new sound card drivers when needed. An update may be released to fix a compatibility issue, fix a bug that was identified after the release of the last driver or to give the user additional features. Installing is simple and is done from the Windows Device Manager.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Sound card

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  1. 1

    Open the start menu and right-click on "Computer" or "My Computer," depending on your version of Windows.

  2. 2

    Click "Device Manager" from either the left side or top of the "Properties" window. If "Device Manager" is not listed, click on the "Hardware" tab at the top of the window and select "Device Manager" from there.

  3. 3

    Double-click on "Sound, video and game controllers." If the drivers are not yet installed, double-click on "Unknown Device."

  4. 4

    Right-click on your sound card and click "Update drivers" if you are updating or "Install Drivers" if the drivers are not currently installed. Updating will automatically search for, download and install the latest drivers available for your sound card. If you click "Install Drivers," Windows will prompt you to locate the drivers on your computer.

  5. 5

    Select the option to locate the files yourself and use the browse window to locate the sound drivers. If you have the drivers on CD, place the disc in the CD drive and select the CD drive from the browse window. Otherwise, locate the drivers on your computer that you downloaded from the manufacturer's website and click "Next." Follow the onscreen prompts to complete the installation.

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