Audio randomly stops working for single applications


ltwally

New member
Local time
4:59 PM
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2
OS
Windows 11
This is a strange one. Audio output will randomly stop working for a single application. This is not particular to any specific application; the problem simply impacts one application while others continue to produce audio.

No amount of fiddling with the suddenly-unable-to-produce-audio-output application resolves it. Examples such as muting/unmuting the application, or stopping whatever audio it was playing, etc etc. However, if I exit the application and re-launch, audio will work fine. It may hold up for the rest of the day, or possibly only for a very short while (even just seconds).

While audio stops for one application, it will continue to work for other applications. It's like the computer suddenly gets grumpy at one application at random and decides to silence it.

Observations / notes:
  • There does not seem to be any correlation between the number of applications running, or how many of them are generating any audio output.
  • There does not seem to be any correlation between whether the application is running in the foreground or background.
  • The application experiencing this will still list my audio output device (nVidia), and the volume mixer does not list it as muted or with a volume slider suddenly at zero. According to both the application and Windows, it should be able to play audio.
  • I may go weeks without this happening, and then have it happen frequently one day.
  • There is a high degree of randomness to this.

I am running Windows 11 23H2 and using nVidia HDMI output for audio. This problem has persisted from the initial version of Windows 11 and through multiple OS patches and updates, as well as new nVidia driver updates.

Any ideas?
 
Windows Build/Version
Windows 11 23H2

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
Welcome to the forum. Sorry no one has answered. I just saw your post. I had a similar problem earlier this year before 23H2. I would lose sound only in Firefox.
When I went to Settings>System>Sound>Volume Mixer It always showed sound muted for FF while everything else worked. I could un-mute it and restore sound but it would randomly mute again.
I ran through this Microsoft article as well as checked for a FF update. Since then I've not encountered any problems. I can not say for sure which step made the difference but it's held for months now. Since this issue is so random, it's difficult to troubleshoot but it's worth a a try.

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3593
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1tb Solidigm m.2 +256gb ssd+512 gb usb m.2 sata
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 22H2 19045.3930
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
Welcome to the forum. Sorry no one has answered. I just saw your post. I had a similar problem earlier this year before 23H2. I would lose sound only in Firefox.
When I went to Settings>System>Sound>Volume Mixer It always showed sound muted for FF while everything else worked. I could un-mute it and restore sound but it would randomly mute again.
I ran through this Microsoft article as well as checked for a FF update. Since then I've not encountered any problems. I can not say for sure which step made the difference but it's held for months now. Since this issue is so random, it's difficult to troubleshoot but it's worth a a try.


Appreciate your response.

Unfortunately, this is not the issue/solution. The symptom is similar to yours, with three major differences: 1) random applications lose audio-output randomly, 2) the volume mixer shows the application as un-muted, and 3) the only solution seems to be exiting the affected app and re-launching it. After re-launching it, it could be fine for days, hours, minutes or only seconds.

It's like as far as both the (again - random) application and Windows itself are concerned, there should be audio. However, it is not actually producing audio out of my speakers.

There is no specific application that is impacted. It does not matter if there is only a single foreground app running and producing audio, or multiple apps producing audio simultaneously.

The only thing that I can think of is that whatever buffer Windows / the-audio-driver are allocating for an application somehow gets "silenced". Whether that means the buffer is de-allocated, set to silenced, or something else... I have no clue.

And, I can go days or even weeks without this being a problem. In the nine days since my original post, it hasn't been an issue. The day of that post it was driving me absolutely insane.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
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