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Windows 10 update breaks audio for some systems

Here's your latest excuse to miss that Zoom meeting

Another Windows update, another Windows problem. Microsoft has admitted that a July update for Windows 10 may have broken audio for some users. 

KB5015878, released on July 26, apparently caused some Windows devices to have no audio, while others reported some audio ports malfunctioning, only some audio devices working, or sound only being played by certain applications.

Microsoft says in an update just before the weekend that it has resolved the issue, and presents a few prevention measures for users to try. 

Ultimately, though, Microsoft said that the only way to fix the problem is to use Microsoft's Known Issue Rollback, but with a pretty important – and limiting – caveat: it'll only fix the problem on systems yet to experience it.

"This KIR will prevent the issue on Windows devices which have not installed [the update] but will have no effect on devices already affected by this known issue," Microsoft says.

The main problem discovered was with audio device drivers that had "audio enhancements" settings disabled before the installation, and those that had trouble with the audio enhancements feature prior to the update.

Those who haven't yet installed the update can use the KIR or update the device drivers. Microsoft also recommends that anyone using advanced audio applications backs up all their settings before installing KB5015878.

If certain apps are affected, Microsoft recommends checking to be sure audio devices aren't being output to the proper sources, and/or reinstalling the affected app. If no audio sources are working, Microsoft suggests users try the Windows troubleshooter along with disabling audio enhancements in Windows. 

In short, if you still haven't deployed this update, which was issued in late July for client versions of Windows 10, you may be in luck; otherwise, expect potential trouble. 

Microsoft's past few Windows updates have introduced a whole host of problems. On the day the audio-breaking Windows 10 update was released, The Register reported that the previous update, KB5015807, issued July 12, caused problems with printing on both Windows 10 workstations and Servers. 

Microsoft had a workaround for that problem too – look for and delete duplicate printers – but as of release notes released on August 9, the problem is still present and being investigated. A security update released the same day brought an additional issue: Windows users were being sent into BitLocker Recovery and told to input a key to get past the locked boot screen.

Microsoft has confirmed the BitLocker update issue, and said it's only affecting Windows 11 users. For now, Microsoft is warning all BitLocker users to disable the service prior to installing the update. ®

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