How to Fix Failed to Play Test Tone Error in Windows – TechWhoop

The error ‘failed to play test tone’ indicates that there is a problem between the sound device connected and Windows. This error message is displayed when you try to play a test sound after encountering a problem with the sound device. Though it is normally classified as a hardware error, it is a software error and can be rectified easily.

Failed to Play Test Tone
Failed to Play Test Tone

Here are a few methods to fix this error:

7 Ways to Fix Failed to Play Test Tone Error

Restart Windows Audio

This is the most common solution and is one of the easiest methods. However, few users reported it to be a temporary solution.

  • Press ‘Windows’ and ‘R’ keys on your keyboard simultaneously. This will open the ‘Run’ window.
  • In the ‘Open’ box, you should type ‘services.msc.’ Click on ‘OK’
  • In the ‘Services’ window, scroll and find ‘Windows Audio’ service.
  • Then click on ‘Restart’ on the top toolbar.
  • After this, the sound device should start working again.

Disable all enhancements

This error can be fixed if it is caused due to specific enhancement settings. Here is how you can do it:

  • Open ‘Control Panel’ from the ‘Start’ menu.
  • Search for ‘Sound’ option and open it.
  • Select your ‘Speakers’ and then click on ‘Properties’ option near the bottom.
  • Locate the ‘Enhancements’ tab and then click on ’Disable all enhancements and sound effects.’
  • Click on ‘Apply’ and then click on ‘OK.’

Repair corrupted windows files

This will rectify the error if there are some corrupted windows files which are causing the mistake of playing sounds. This is how you can fix it:

SFC Scannow
SFC Scannow
  • Click on ‘Windows’ button and ‘R’ key simultaneously. A run dialogue box will appear.
  • Type ‘cmd’ in the run box and click on ‘OK.’
  • The ‘command prompt’ window will open up. Type ‘sfc/scannow’ and press Enter.
  • Wait for the process to complete.

Note: for this to work you need to run this as administrator. In case you are not running as an administrator, follow the below steps:

1. For Windows 7/Vista/ XP

  • Click on ‘start’ menu.
  • Type ‘cmd’ and then press ‘Ctrl’+’Shift’+’Enter.’
  • Then click on ‘Yes.’

2. For Windows 8/8.1/10

  • Press ‘Windows’ and ‘X’ buttons simultaneously.
  • Click on ‘Command Prompt (Admin).
  • Finally, click on ‘Yes.’

Delete the Windows 7 update

Many Windows 7 users have reported that after updating their computers (specifically the KB974571 update) there was a problem in their sound and after deleting it manually it was fixed. Here’s how you can remove your KB974571 update:

Windows Update Settings
Windows Update Settings
  • Open ‘Control Panel’ through the ‘Start’ menu.
  • Find the option ‘Programs and Features’ and click on it.
  • In the ‘Programs and Features’ window, you can see a ‘View installed updates’ option. Click on this.
  • Find the ‘KB874571’ option and click on it.
  • Select the ‘Uninstall’ option.
  • The computer will have to reinstall to finish the process.

Installing HD Audio Device driver

Sometimes the audio device driver installed on your computer maybe be outdated and may not be compatible with the audio file. To install HD Audio Device driver, follow the given steps:

  • Open ‘Start’ menu and search for ‘Device Manager’ in the search bar.
  • Select the ‘Sound, Video and Game Controllers’ options and expand it.
  • Select your current audio driver.
  • Under the ‘Action’ tab, select ‘Update Driver Software.’
  • Select ‘Browse my computer for driver software’ and then click on ‘Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.’
  • Find the option ‘High Definition Audio Device’ in the list and click next. ( In case there is a prompt for user permission, click on ‘Yes’)

Note: If the required driver is not available, go to the manufacturer’s site and download the suitable driver.

Reinstalling Audio Drivers

Sometimes the audio device driver installed may have become corrupted. In this case, you will have to reinstall the audio device driver to rectify the problem. Here’s how you can do so:

Device Manager
Device Manager
  • Open ‘Start’ menu and search for ‘Device Manager’ in the search bar.
  • Select the ‘Sound, Video and Game Controllers’ options and expand it.
  • Select your current audio driver and right click on it. Then click on ‘Uninstall.’
  • After this, restart your computer. On starting, Windows will install the default driver and sound will work.

Changing the Sample Rate

Another solution to the error can be changing the sample rate. Here is how you can change your sample rate:

  • Right click on the sound icon in the bottom hand right corner of your screen.
  • Select ‘Playback Devices’ which will open the ‘Playback’ tab.
  • Select your device and click on ‘Properties.’
  • Click on the ‘Advanced’ tab, and you will see default sets it as “16 Bit, 44100 MHz”. You can select any other option and choose ‘Apply.’
  • If the default option is not set on opening the ‘Advanced’ tab, you can click on ‘Restore Defaults’ and then select ‘Apply.’

As mentioned above, fixing the sound error on your computer is quite simple, and you will not require any professional for it. Depending on the cause of your problem, one of the above methods should help in fixing the error as it has been proved very useful by many users

See also: – How to solve ‘No Audio Output Device is Installed’ Error – TechWhoop

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You can always find me playing the piano or playing FIFA when I'm not binge-watching TV Series with pizzas. Fountainhead of TechWhoop. Life motto: The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.


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