How to fix crackling audio after Windows update?

Issue: I have an issue with my audio that started to occur after the OS update. I recently upgraded Windows 10 to the newest version, and now I hear cracking audio whenever I try to listen to something. This craking/ popping sound is coming from my speakers, and I cannot fix the issue. It is obviously related to the operating system and the update, I think. Before the upgrade, everything worked just fine. Can you help?

Solved Answer

The crackling audio issue commonly occurs after the Windows operating system update.[1] But people can encounter this problem due to various reasons. The reason behind this problem can be improper internal system settings; the sound hardware of the computer is the culprit. Of course, one of the more common reasons are drivers that can get outdated or altered, and corrupted.

Adjusting some of the audio device settings, updating needed drivers, or altering the interfering application/ hardware piece can help with the sound cracking issue. Messing with settings and other parts of the system can create issues if you don't know what you are doing. When dealing with this kind of issue, the first step could be checking the hardware itself, cable connections might get loose, so the audio starts cracking and delivering bad sounds.

This issue with crackling audio after Windows update can persist even when common problems with the system and programs to hardware are solved. The buggy update of the operating system can often lead to issues with the performance or even more critical system errors.[2]

However, the issue can be fixed manually if you rely on the guide below. One of the quick methods could be tools like PC repair software or optimization applications. You can solve system issues by repairing altered files using FortectMac Washing Machine X9, and this way, get back to normal sounds. This tool finds and repairs system files on Windows machines and can resolve problems that occur due to the altered pieces.

We can assure you that this crackling audio issue is not related to critical system errors or malware infections[3] of any sort. There are fixes for this particular issue, and you solve the problem yourself. If the issue is not solved with a quick system repair scan, you can rely on the full guide listed here. Make sure to try a few methods at least.

Crackling audio issue on Windows

1. Change Audio format

  • Check your audio quality by right-clicking the speaker icon at the bottom.
  • Choose Playback Devices.
  • Double-click the default device with the green mark.
  • Choose the Advanced tab and use the Default Format box to select the sound quality level.
  • Set the audio to 16 bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality).
    Format options
  • Click OK.
  • See if the issue persists.

2. Disable audio enhancements

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  • Go to sound properties by right-clicking the speaker icon at the notification center.
  • Choose the Enhancements tab and un-check the marks near enabled enhancements.
  • Go to the Advanced tab then and uncheck Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device and Give exclusive mode application priority.
    Uncheck enabled functions
  • Choose Apply and OK, so save changes.

3. Reinstall drivers

  • Right-click on the Start button and select Device Manager.
    Device Manager
  • Expand the Audio inputs and outputs section.
  • Right-click on your sound device and select Uninstall.
  • Confirm with Uninstall.
  • Expand Sound, Video and game controllers section.
    Search automatically for drivers
  • Right-click on the malfunctioning output device and select Uninstall device.
  • Reboot the system.

4. Update sound drivers

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  • Press Windows + X select Device manager.
  • Expand Sound, video and game controllers.
  • Right-click installed sound driver and then select Update Driver.
  • This will check for the latest updated audio driver for your PC.
  • Choose to search and automatically download and install drivers for you.
  • Restart Windows.

You can manage everything with your device drivers and update, install, reinstall them with the help of a proper tool designed for this job. DriverFix is the program that can find needed updates and install them without your interaction. The program finds compatible upgrades and keeps those drivers up-to-date by checking for newer versions.

5. Edit registry

  1. Press Windows key and R key together to open the Run dialog.
    Run box
  2. Type regedit in the box and click OK to continue.
  3. In the Registry Editor window, navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\Realtek\\RAVCpI64\\Powermgnt path.
  4. Change the value data of Delay time to 10.
  5. Change the value data of Enabled from 0 to 1 so as to fix Windows popping sound.
  6. Change Only Battery to 1.

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About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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