Windows 10 audio issues

After the latest Windows 10 updates, a number of issues have arisen, specifically for version 20H2, or the October 2020 Update. Microsoft recently confirmed that it’s aware of issues with game performance and it has already deployed a server-side fix for affected PCs.

Now reports have come through from users experiencing audio issues after the update and it appears that the Redmond giant is aware of the root cause. After the May 2021 Patch Tuesday update, particularly Windows 10 KB5003173, which was released on May 11 for version 20H2 and version 2004.

The problems seem to occur randomly, and it doesn’t affect system sounds. Users have experienced audio issues in games too, such as Apex Legends and PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds. The problem may include volume much lower than usual, audio shuttering despite using the default system’s volume setting.

“I had also audio problems after this update. Also, it messed up group policies too. So I rolled back with system restore,” a user wrote in a Reddit thread.

The good news is that Microsoft has acknowledged the problem in a new update to the support document. According to the company, 5.1 Dolby Digital audio may play containing a high-pitched noise on some devices using KB5000842 or earlier. In addition to Dolby issues, users can also experience squeak in certain apps when using certain audio devices.

Here’s the list of affected Windows 10 updates and versions:

  • Windows 10 version 20H2 and version 2004: KB5000842 (released in March), KB5001330 (released in April), KB5001391 (released in April),  and KB5003173 (released in May).

To address audio issues, you can either uninstall the cumulative update manually or follow these steps:

  • Streat the video or audio in your web browser instead of the app affected by the problems.
  • Right-click on the volume icon pinned to the taskbar and enable “Spatial” sound.

Hopefully, Microsoft will address the audio issues in Windows 10 and offer a proper fix via the next month’s cumulative update, which is scheduled to arrive in the second week of June.

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