Multiple audio drivers and managers are available for Windows users to tweak the audio settings. However, the Realtek HD audio manager and driver combo is the hot pick among all. It is completely free and easy to use. And guess what? It automatically detects devices such as speakers, headphones, or microphones and setup as well.
However, the recent changes in Windows 10 have resulted in the disappearance of the Realtek icon for many users. If you sail in the same boat, We have come up with a solution.
What is Realtek HD audio manager?
The Realtek HD audio manager is an advanced Windows application that comes bundled with the audio driver. Its main function is to let you tweak sound settings on your Windows. Due to its vast popularity, Realtek also offers a standalone Realtek HD audio manager if your existing driver lacks the manager.
Out of its several features (discussed in the next section), you can create your sound profiles or use the existing ones to enhance the audio output through equalizers and mixers.
In a nutshell, your PC should have the Realtek HD audio manager if you are an audiophile.
Important tip: Even if there are no audio-related issues in your Windows, I recommend having an audio driver installed.
Some salient features of the Realtek HD audio manager
Following are some salient features of the Realtek HD audio manager.
- A wide range of sound tools/instruments such as volume control, sound manager, media player, and likes
- Sound recorder
- Bass management
- Room correction to adjust the sound on each speaker
- Acoustic Echo Cancellation
- Noise suppression
- Multi-streaming playback to stream audio on multiple devices
The above features prove why an audio manager is a must for every PC. If you do not have one, read on as I discuss how to download and reinstall the Realtek HD audio manager on Windows.
How to download and reinstall Realtek HD audio manager Windows 10/11?
Although Windows is assumed to have the Realtek HD audio driver & manager installed, slight possibilities are there of your Windows lacking one!
Do not worry!
Here are the step-by-step guides to download and reinstall the Realtek HD audio manager on Windows 10/11. So, let us get started.
Uninstall the current audio driver(s)
As your first step, you should uninstall the duplicate Realtek audio driver (if any) from your system before downloading the new one. This helps avoid conflicts among the drivers. Follow these steps to uninstall the current audio driver.
- Launch Device Manager on your device. You can do so through the Control Panel, start button, or Settings menu.
- Once open, scroll down to the Audio, inputs and outputs option and click to expand it. You will find the Realtek High Definition Audio driver there. Right-click on it.
- Select Uninstall device from the drop-down menu that appears.
- The Uninstall device pop-up will appear. Click on Uninstall.
- Click on the Views tab and select Show hidden devices.
- You will get a list of all duplicate drivers. Follow the above steps and uninstall each of them.
Congratulations, you have uninstalled all duplicate drivers from your system. You can now proceed to download and reinstall the Realtek HD audio manager on your Windows.
- Download and reinstall the Realtek HD audio manager on Windows
Though there are several ways to download and reinstall the Realtek HD audio manager on Windows, I recommend doing everything manually from scratch to avoid missing any important step.
Hence, follow these steps carefully.
- Go to the official Realtek downloads page.
- You will see three options right at the top – File Type, Keyword, and Product Line. Click on the down arrow just below the Product Line to open its drop-down menu. Select Computer Peripheral ICs.
- On the next screen that opens, select PC Audio Codecs as the sub-category.
- Again, open the drop-down menu and select High Definition Audio Codecs.
- This will open the list of available Realtek software for Windows. Click on the Software option next to ALC888S-VD to land on the audio drivers’ page.
Here, you will see various Realtek audio drivers for both types of operating systems, i.e., Linux and Windows (7, 8, 8.1, and 10).
Search for the most appropriate Realtek HD audio driver from the list and click on the Download icon next to the driver. Refer to the following image.
As the next step, agree to the terms, input your email (you can enter any random email though), and finally, click on Download this file.
If you have downloaded the executable file, you will need to locate the downloaded file and click on it to execute it. If you have downloaded the zip file, unzip it at an easy-to-access location. Make sure to follow all the on-screen instructions for a proper installation.
These were the steps to download and reinstall the Realtek HD audio manager on your Windows.
Another way to install the Realtek HD audio manager on Windows
Another way to install the Realtek HD audio driver and manager, apart from Realtek’s official website, is through your motherboard manufacturer’s website.
To do so, you should know your motherboard manufacturer and the system model. You can get this information from your system through the following steps.
- Open the Run box using Windows + R.
- Execute the msinfo32 command.
- You will be taken to the system information page as shown below.
- Scroll down to the Baseboard manufacturer option for the manufacturer brand and the Baseboard product option for the model name.
Once you get both this information, go to the manufacturer’s official website and download the Realtek HD audio manager from there.
If you want to use a third-party app for the above task, I recommend CPU-Z. It is a free application for Windows and Android devices.
Follow these steps to use CPU-Z to obtain your system information.
- Install the application from the official website.
- Right-click on the CPU-Z icon to load the program.
- From the navigation bar, click on the Mainboard option.
- You will find all your motherboard information.
Troubleshooting Realtek HD Audio Driver on Windows 10/11
Have you ever experienced the above situation of the audio manager icon missing on your PC? If so, the primary cause is the ever-changing features of Windows 10.
Read on to learn some troubleshooting steps to solve this problem.
- Launch the Windows Explorer or File Explorer program on your PC. You can do so by searching for file explorer in the search box and hitting the Enter key.
- Follow the file path – Program Files > Realtek > Audio > HDA and you will find the RtkNGUI64.exe file.
- That is the Realtek HD audio manager.
Now, you would not like to follow the above steps every time to use the manager, right?
Hence, right-click on RtkNGUI64.exe, hover over Send to, and click on Desktop (create shortcut).
Update the Realtek HD audio driver to the latest version
After you have downloaded and installed the audio driver, you should keep the device updated to the latest version. It is necessary to avoid facing common manager-related issues in the future.
Follow these steps to update your Realtek HD audio driver to the latest version.
- Open the Device Manager. You can do so through the Search bar, Power User menu, or Control Panel.
- Scroll down to the Audio inputs and outputs. Click to expand it.
- Find the Realtek HD audio driver from the list and right-click on it.
- Select Update device from the drop-down menu.
- From the Update Drivers window, choose either of the two options – Search automatically for the updated driver software or Browse my computer for driver software. Click on the former for automatic update and later to do it manually.
- In either case, follow the on-screen steps to update your audio manager and driver to the latest version.
So, here you go. This article covered everything. From a brief introduction of the Realtek HD audio manager to the step-by-step guides to install and update it. Not to forget the various features of the audio driver that necessitates it for your Windows.
All in all, the Realtek HD audio driver is the key to an outstanding audio experience on your system.