Resolve “Error Opening Sound Device” On Audacity: Easy Fixes

Editing music files on Audacity is a really smooth experience. However, at times, an error on it restricts the users from accessing the tool. The message reads as “error while opening sound device” and this error will not let you do your work on Audacity anymore.

This error message can come up if no recording device is available. If the software playthrough in Audacity is enabled then also you might get this error message on the system. 

Even an outdated version of the audio driver can cause this error message to show on the system. 

If you are also getting the “Error opening sound device” error message on Audacity, then do not worry. Here, in this article, we are going to share some easy and effective methods which can help you get rid of this particular error message on the system.

Reliable Methods to Fix “Error While Opening Sound Device” on Audacity

There are various methods that can help you in fixing the “error opening sound device” on Audacity. Follow the methods given below one by one and hopefully, the issue will get fixed.

Method 1 – Make Sure that the External Sound Device is Turned On

Sometimes, this error message arises if the external sound device is turned off. So, you need to turn it on, in order to get rid of this error message on the system. To do that, follow the directions given below:

  1. At first, go to the Taskbar and locate the Speaker icon, right-click on it to open the list. After that, click on the Playback devices button.
  2. On the Sound window, if you find the Speakers are turned off, then right-click on it and select the Enable button to turn it on. 

You can also check whether the microphone is turned on or off. To do that, follow these directions:

  1. Find the Speaker icon, right-click on it. After that, click on the Recording Devices option.
  2. From the Sound window, if the Microphone is disabled, right-click on it and select the Enable button.
  3. After doing these, restart the system and then try to open the music file on Audacity. 

Method 2 – Make Sure Audio Device Settings in Audacity are Configured Perfectly

The “error opening sound device” message can be generated by inappropriate audio device settings on the Audacity application. So, you must configure the correct audio device settings on Audacity to resolve this issue. The following steps will help you:

  1. Launch Audacity.
  2. In the Audacity window, go to the Edit section located at the top menu bar. After that, click on the Preferences option.
  3. From the Preferences Devices window, select the Devices button on the left panel.
  4. On the right window, set the Host is to Windows WASAPI.

Once you are done with these steps, click on the OK option to save the changes. Then restart the device and check if the problem is fixed or not. 

Method 3 – Disable Software Playthrough of Input in Audacity

When you record the sound, make sure that the Software Playthrough is disabled. If it is turned on, then you might face this problem on your computer. 

So, you need to check whether it is disabled or not. If not, then properly turn it off on Audacity.

To do that, follow the instructions mentioned hereunder:

  1. Launch the Audacity application on the system.
  2. From the Audacity window, navigate to the Edit section and then locate Preferences, select it.
  3. On the Preferences Recording window, select the Recording tab. From that tab, go to the Playthrough section and unmark on the Software Playthrough of input button. 
  4. After doing these, select the OK option to save the changes. 

Method 4 – Update the Audio Driver

If you are using an older version of the audio driver on your PC, then you might get this “error opening sound device” message to pop up on Audacity. So, you have to update it as soon as possible. Go through these steps:

  1. Press the Windows Home key and X key to launch the WinX menu list and then choose the Device Manager from there.
  2. From the Device Manager window, go to the left side panel and find the Audio section, select it to expand. 
  3. Right-click on the Audio driver and then select the Update Software Driver button to start the update process.

Once the process is complete, restart the device and then check if Audacity works properly without any issue. 

Method 5 – Restart the Windows Audio Endpoint Builder Service

Restarting the Windows audio endpoint builder service should resolve this error message on the Audacity

If this feature is stopped from running, then you may get this error message on the system. So, go through these steps to restart this service:

  1. From the keyboard, hold the Windows Home button and press the R key to launch the Run window. Type services.msc and then select the OK option or hit the Enter key.
  2. When the Services window opens, scroll down the page until you find the Windows audio endpoint builder service, right-click on it. After that, select the Properties button.
  3. In the Properties window, go to the Startup type and set it to Automatic. After doing this, click on the Apply button followed by the OK option. 

Method 6 – Reinstall the Audio Driver 

A corrupted or damaged audio driver can cause this Audacity error message to show. So, you should uninstall the audio driver and install it again. To reinstall the drivers, follow the directions cited below:

  1. Go to the Search Panel, type Device Manager and then hit the Enter key.
  2. From the Device Manager window, find the audio driver, right-click on it and then select the Uninstall device button to remove it.
  3. Once it is uninstalled, you need to install it again. 
  4. So, you need to again open the Device Manager.
  5. In the Device Manager window, click on the Scan for a hardware device icon to find the driver. 

After finding, it will automatically get installed on your PC. Once you are done, reboot the system and then check if the error message still appears or not. 

Method 7 – Use the Built-in Voice Recorder and Switch to Audacity

After performing the previous methods, if the error message still shows, then you need to use this method to solve this issue on Audacity. The following steps will help you:

  1. Press the Win + X buttons together to launch the WinX menu list and then select the Command Prompt(Admin).
  2. In the Command Prompt window, type explorer.exe shell:appsFolder\Microsoft.WindowsSoundRecorder_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App and then hit the Enter key to launch the Voice Recorder window.
  3. When the Voice Recorder window opens, select the Microphone button to start the recording. 

Then close the Voice Recorder window and open Audacity to check if the issue still shows up or not. 


These are the methods to solve the “error opening sound device” message on Audacity. 

The methods presented here are very easy and effective, so you can use them on your PC to fix the problem in no time. However, if you need any technical help, you can consult with a professional for better assistance. 

Nathaniel Villa
Nathaniel Villa