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How to fix the ‘Chromebook no sound’ error?

Several people have been facing the Chromebook no sound error over the past few years, and here we’ve discussed why it’s happening and eight ways you can try to fix the issue.

Apart from hardware damage to your headphones, speakers, headphone jack or HDMI port, there are several reasons why your Chromebook might suddenly go mute, and the primary ones are listed below.

  • An audio Bluetooth device connected to the device is no longer active, and the OS hasn’t switched back to the default speaker on your Chromebook. The same goes for any other connected audio output that is no longer available, including HDMI.
  • The wrong audio output is selected.
  • You’ve accidentally hit the mute button.
  • You’re using an app that doesn’t support audio through HDMI.
  • The equaliser settings are incorrect.
  • Incompatible audio codec or old web content.
  • An extension is interfering.
  • You’re in developer mode.
  • The system admin might’ve switched off the audio if you’ve got a ‘managed’ device.

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8 ways to fix the Chromebook no sound issue

In addition to checking if your headphones or speakers are working fine on some other device and restarting your Chromebook, you can follow the guides below to fix the Chromebook no sound issue.

Turn off the Bluetooth

If you had previously connected a Bluetooth headset or speaker and they’re currently unavailable, consider turning off the Bluetooth of your Chromebook to help the OS return the audio output to default if it doesn’t do that by itself.

If you’d like to listen to the audio on your Bluetooth device, reconnect the Bluetooth device (ideally unpair and repair it), and the sound should play fine on them too. If this doesn’t work, give your Chromebook a simple restart or follow the guides below.


Select the correct audio output device

If you’ve got multiple output devices connected, the chances are that Chromebook is playing audio on the wrong one. Check for the audio output device in the notification bar (beside the volume slider).

Moreover, make sure you didn’t accidentally press the mute button. Try to turn the volume up or down to ensure this isn’t causing the ‘Chromebook no sound’ issue.


Update Chrome OS

Running an older version of ChromeOS can often cause issues with updated apps and extensions. Quickly check for Chrome OS updates and install if any are available by following the two steps below.

Step 1: Open the Chromebook’s settings either using the notification menu from the home screen or open the Settings app from the app menu.

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Step 2: Select About Chrome OS at the bottom left of the screen and click on the Check for Updates button. If there is a new OS update, Chromebook will automatically start downloading.

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Clear the cache

Clearing Chrome’s cache can also help eliminate any cache problems that might be causing the ‘Chromebook no sound’ error.

Follow our guide here to clear the cache in an instant

Perform a hard restart

Perform a hard restart by pressing and holding the Refresh key and Power button.

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A hard restart clears the cache and RAM of the Chromebook, which should fix the issue.

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Reset the EC (Embedded Controller)

If the ‘Chromebook no sound’ error persists, resetting the device’s EC is one of the last hardware-assisted resets you can try. Follow the steps mentioned below to reset Chromebook’s EC.

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  • Press ad hold ESC + Refresh Key + Power buttons.
  • Wait for a few seconds until the Chromebook switches on.
  • If you see an ‘OS missing’ error, press and hold the Refresh + Power buttons.

Sign in as a guest user

Malfunctioning apps or extensions can also cause issues with Chromebook.

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If that’s the case, you can try logging in as a guest user or signing in to the device as a new user. This will allow you to experience the device without additional apps and extensions. If the sound works fine, an app or extension is causing the ‘Chromebook no sound’ issue.

You can add apps one-by-one in the guest mode to see which one is causing the issue and then uninstall it from the main account.

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Factory Reset/Powerwash your Chromebook

If nothing else has worked so far, you can powerwash your Chromebook as a last resort.

Keep in mind that doing this will remove all of the user accounts connected to the Chromebook, and you’ll have to set it all up again. However, a powerwash will most likely resolve any software issues causing ‘Chromebook no sound’ issue.

Step 1:  Open the Chromebook’s settings using the notification menu from the home screen or the app menu.

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Step 2: Select Advanced, located near the bottom of the options on the left.

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Step 3: Click on Accessibility, followed by the Reset button beside the Powerwash option.

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Contact customer support

If even a powerwash doesn’t help your cause, the issue is probably with the audio hardware on your Chromebook. The manufacturer’s customer service centres are your last hope to get the Chromebook up and running. Search for a service centre of your Chromebook manufacturer on your preferred search engine and give them a visit.

Also read: Chromebook not charging: 6 Fixes

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