There Are No Active Mixer Devices Available

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 27, 2008
Updated • Sep 24, 2015
Windows, Windows tips

The error message "There Are No Active Mixer Devices Available" appeared after clicking on the Volume icon in the Windows System Tray the other day.

Audio worked fine before shutting the computer down yesterday and clicking on the icon was one of the first actions of the new day.

MP3 playback was still working but games would not launch anymore stating that no audio devices could be found. A check of the sound hardware in the Control Panel was positive as audio devices were listed there and reported as working properly.

The easiest way to check that is to use Windows-Pause to open the System Control Panel. There you find a link to the Device Manager which you can use to check hardware connected to the computer.

The next troubleshooting step was to check whether the Windows Audio service was up and running. This is done by using Windows-R to bring up the run box, typing services.msc and hitting enter.

You may need to confirm the UAC message before the Services manager appears.

The Windows Audio service was set to automatic but was not started. That was strange but was solved easily by right-clicking the entry and selecting the [Start] entry from the context menu.

When I opened the Sound properties they stated that "no audio device" was available on the system as you can see on the screenshot above.

The message "There Are No Active Mixer Devices Available" disappeared after starting the Windows Audio service.

Update: Some Windows users have noted that the workaround or fix described above did not work when they tried to resolve the "there are no active mixer devices available" error message.

Another option to troubleshoot the issue is to go into the Device Manager (Start->Control panel -> system -> Hardware -> Device Manager ) and see if one or several of the PC's audio devices have exclamation marks next to them. If that is the cause you could visit the manufacturer's website and download the latest sound driver for the device. Install the new sound driver and restart the computer afterwards to see if it resolves the no active mixer error message.

Check out the comments below for additional tips on resolving the issue.

There Are No Active Mixer Devices Available
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There Are No Active Mixer Devices Available
Find out how to fix the error message "there are no active mixer devices available in Windows.

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  1. Anonymous said on February 12, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I’m having the same problem and I was getting extremely skeptical of any more solutions but I think I may have found the solution. I think the problem revolves around sp3(at least that seems to be a constant in all the searching i’ve done) Stay with my logic on this but during my pc search to fix a few off things, I found my xp sp3 install had selected an alternative driver for my dell monitor 2005FPW,.. a radeon 9600 or whatever not really important but I wanted the dell driver from their site that always worked with prior installs. I sort of stumbled on the idea that it was sp3 related when I was searching through the updates on microsofts site for sp3 and noticed that the (2) Hardware, Optional updates they had listed were for a dell 2005FPW monitor and a Realtek hardware update were for the 2 problems I had. I’d tell you the outcome but it’s in the middle of installing 73 updates and will ask me to restart before I can confirm… something to give a try anyway. Hope it helps/works!

  2. ayaz said on January 12, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    thanks for solution of “no mixer devices available” problem

  3. suresh said on December 4, 2009 at 9:12 am

    to the moderator of this site…..
    sir…u can check my site….the solution to the problem of
    (“No Active Mixer…..” / ” Sound and Audio option grayed out in Control panel” ) being faced by many….my suggested solution DOES WORK….

    i am not trying to promote my site….i did post the soultion here earlier but the same has been deleted….guess it was too long…

  4. Chandler said on October 24, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    IF this didn’t work for you, which it didnt to me, this might help.

    Start->Control panel->system->Hardware->Device Manager and scan the list for any that might have a pretty big yellow ? on them, i had 2, after installing new drivers for these it allowed me to play with the mixers and set it to my c-wave media device, and now i have sound =)

    hope this helps.

  5. Penny said on October 12, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Mine are not working under device manager. It also has a problem with ethernet. I definitely have a hardware problem. Do those bluetooth stereo speakers work if your audio is messed up? I think that might be one solution.

    It doesn’t look as if the authors add much to the forum anymore, huh?

  6. John said on October 12, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Solved my problem, thanks for the solution!

  7. Mits said on October 3, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Hi I followed the steps from DA and reached a deadlock at the have disk stage. I got a browse option with *inf in the file area. Please advise how to proceed next.

    My Audio Services are running and enable Automatic but still not sound everything is greyed out.

    Pls help !!!

  8. khaled said on September 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Check device mgr – if all are sound devices are working properly – go to start>control panel>admin tools>services – scroll down to Windows audio. Make sure it is set to Automatic and all dependant programs are enabled.

    Under the recovery tab select “restart service” for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd failures.

    Worked for me….

  9. Penny said on September 13, 2009 at 2:40 am

    I’ve been checking all the solutions and think I might have a hardware problem. I went into the bios and looked to see if it was a plug n play or on the motherboard. I have the sigmatel 9750. Are these physically replaceable or can you try downloading something to see if it just needs a missing software component?

  10. Todd said on September 6, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Thanks Jan. 25 @ 5:03am anonymous!!! It worked.

  11. Caroline said on August 29, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Anonymous- Jan 25th
    Thank you! I tried every fix available, this finally solved the audio problem!

  12. DA said on August 22, 2009 at 2:20 am

    Same problem here. Audio service is on. I don’t even get to the mizer – just the error. I’ve tried to reinstall the chipset and audio drives. SigmaTel/Dell. Tried everything.
    This finally worked:

    OK we got it fixed. The plug and play software emulator had was missing.
    Fixed by searching for machine.inf then copy to temp directory. remove
    at about line 20 ” ExcludeFromSelect=* ”

    goto control panel, add new hardware, next (let it seach), yes hardware
    is connected, next, scroll to bottom, add new hardware device, next,
    install from list, next, select system devices, next, select have disk,
    point to amended copy of machine.inf in temp directory, scroll to “plug
    and play software device emulator” in right hand column, next and
    complete install.

  13. K Cannell said on August 20, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Oscar, all,
    No, I have not fixed it yet, but …
    I did have a tech support guy check it out for me – he says it is definitely software, that all the things I have done are exactly the right steps, and, the next step is to reinstall the operating system.
    I am holding off on this until I get a lull in my projects .. that way IF something goes wrong I have time to recover sanely. It should all go smoothly, I know, but I like to go into these things prepared for the worst.
    So, Clonable Type’s support guy (at the beg. of this thread) may not have been off at all.
    Will report back when I actually do this …

  14. oscar said on August 20, 2009 at 2:47 am

    K Cannell, you might have the same exact issue as i do since we both have the Sigma audio. Did you ever fix this?

  15. K Cannell said on July 26, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I have the same No active mixer device massage. BUT my Windows Audio service is ON, startup IS set to Automatic.
    Plug and Play and RPC services are ON and set to automatic startup (Windows Audios depends on those).
    Have SigmaTel High Definition Audio – properties say this is OK.
    I have already searched for updates to this – I have the latest version of this driver.
    Now what should I try?

  16. Ed said on June 28, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Still not working for me either… can’t do much with no sound.
    I did go to the places you guys said to, but like othere it already said it’s running… now what?

  17. pRAY said on April 22, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    probably some of windows OS copy viruses, this problem I had when tried to get genuine for free to my copy, but there is no crack or hack for that

    I use only win doc updates, for Windows, but automatic updates is off

    yeah, and we all know how much Windows company lose founds of the pirate copies :)

    so they, try to do something, with advertisement and viruses on your copy of WIN OS

  18. Andrei said on April 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Thanks a lot!
    It helped.
    But tell me please, what’s the reason for that problem? virus?

  19. khanzada said on March 31, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    please help me,my computer sound no start messege for no available mixer divices

  20. Cody said on February 8, 2009 at 1:57 am

    Hello, I am having a hard time with my volume too. As with yours, mine says their are no audio devices, but also when I go to turn up my volume, the graphic that shows the volume raising, shows the volume staying at mute. I cannot access volume control because it ways that their are no mixer devices available. So

    I go to download some mixer devices by going to Add Hardware and it ends up saying that it cannot find the software necessary.Also, when

    I try to go on Windows Movie maker it says that the required audio drivers are not available, I don’t know if this has any connection but it would sure be a wonderful deed if someone where to help me with this.

    Please, Please help, I have been suffering with this for 6 months now and my family doesn’t have the money to get a new computer. Anyone who can help me is a kind, kind angel. Seriously..

  21. Anonymous said on January 25, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Go to Start –> Run, and type in services.msc.

    A window will pop up with a list of services. Scroll down to Windows Audio. Right-click
    and click on Properties.

    Make sure that “Startup type” is set to automatic. Also, make sure, under “Service
    status,” start is selected.

    1. elri said on July 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      Great thanks for your advice!

    2. zosmatech said on September 9, 2009 at 7:33 pm

      you guys are the best, I got a job interview tomorrow that requires sound on my pc, and out of no where I turn it on with this problem this was the fix…

      Thanks.. from some one who never posts.. you guys are a lifesaver!

  22. Pitsi said on January 1, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Well, check this:…It should be helpful for some of you…But many times isn’t, because it may call an “Error 1054″…

  23. Adam said on December 23, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    I have the Same Problom. I dont know what to do. Maybe you should call your Manufactuer. It is Hell.

  24. Kyle A. said on December 21, 2008 at 8:24 am

    it still says its not working even after doig thi. im so confused >.<

    my soundcard is working , my speakers work like a charm..i dont know what else to do.

    also it says like you said , its workig properly but thats not the case

  25. Lucas said on December 19, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks so much, helped a bunch cheers

  26. Dee Rettig said on December 15, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    This is an answer I have not come across before and I have been ALL over the internet looking for an answer for several months now! However, I did as you said and it was marked as started. I also get the exact same window as you showed above. Another message I get when trying to play one of the Windows waves, is ” Windows cannot play the sound %SystemRoot%WindowsXP Error.Wav. Your sound card may be in use. I would truly appreciate any other suggestions or advice. Thank you ~ Dee

  27. Anupam Shriwatri said on November 27, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    I have been encountering the same problem since some days. Obviously, many users have been getting this problem. Thing is, whats the cause of this problem, and since so many people are getting it… is it because of any virus or spyware? Any answers as to the cause of the problem? I have seen in some forums too about people complaining about this problem.
    The cause matters as much as the solution.

  28. LittleTinyMonkey said on November 27, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I’m glad you took the time to post what might have seemed like such a simple or obvious solution — I’ve had this problem before but never knew to check the service. Thanks.

  29. imonsei said on November 27, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I had this problem at a customer too.
    Difference was I could’nt start the service O_o
    So I had to reinstall, which sucked.

  30. Clonable Type said on November 27, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Great I had the same problem and my brainy IT guy made be reinstall the OS.

    1. anthony said on September 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      This worked for me it was actually stopped in services
      Thankyou very much

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