While deleting is great for removing unwanted programs and files, it really stinks when a device or hardware file is accidentally deleted. First thing to understand is there is a difference between removing something from the Desktop or Toolbar, and removing it from the computer entirely.
Audio driver from Control Panel
Let’s start by figuring out if you deleted the audio controller completely from the computer, or simply misplaced the shortcut or icon you are accustomed to using for access. If you simply deleted a shortcut off the Desktop, chances are it is still sitting in your Recycle Bin. Open your Recycle Bin and right click to “Restore” the program, file, or shortcut you didn’t want to accidentally delete.
If you actually succeeded in removing the controller from the task bar, we need to make sure it isn’t completely gone from the computer. Sign into Windows with an account that has full administration rights. If there is only one user account on your system, don’t worry about that step. Next, open Control Panel from the Start menu. I prefer the classic view because it shows more options.
How do I reinstall my sound driver on Windows 10?
Open Sounds and Audio Devices, and click on the Hardware tab at the top. Is your audio controller listed? In this case, you didn’t delete the audio controller, you simply disabled it somehow. Select the audio controller with the problem, and click Troubleshoot. At this point, a solution may be dependent upon your specific type of audio controller, and assistance is best found at the device manufacturer’s website or in any manuals you have for the device. Read the options in the Troubleshoot tab, and see if there are any common sense errors that stick out, such as a check mark next to ‘Disable this device.’
If the audio controller is not listed in the Hardware tab under Sounds and Audio Devices, return back to the main Control Panel screen. Our next step is to reinstall the hardware device driver. A driver is simply the file(s) that allow the operating system to talk to the physical device in your computer case. Windows’ hardware wizard is pretty adept at finding hardware and installing the proper device driver.
To access the wizard for reinstalling a device driver, select Add Hardware from the Control Panel. The system should automatically detect you have an audio controller device plugged into your CPU that lacks installation. If you have any recovery disk software from the company you purchased the computer from, you might need this software to reinstall the device driver.
Use System Restore Point
If Windows recognizes the audio controller is there, but can’t install a driver and you don’t have a disk, the next place to look is the Internet. Use a major search engine to search for “(your device name) drivers for Windows 10 and 11 (or the version you run).” Try to use the official manufacturer website for device drivers whenever possible, though older models may no longer be available and require you to use a third-party source. If you elect to use a device driver from a third-party, never allow the device driver to install itself without first a virus scan.
Once you have located the device driver for the audio controller, go back to the Control Panel and Add Hardware. Select the option allowing you to provide your own software, and follow the appropriate steps to reinstall the driver. In many cases, if you simply restart the computer, Windows will give a yellow bubble in the right corner of the screen alerting you it has detected hardware not installed. Simply click the bubble to allow Windows to automatically reinstall the device driver.