How To: Fix and Restore Missing Stereo Mix

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Your laptop or desktop computer can record audio from its own speakers. For example, if you need to record the sound of a Skype call, you can do so, but your sound card must support this option. If you do not have the Stereo Mix or Wave Out option in your Sounds window, it may be due to a driver problem or a sound card that does not support it. If this is the first case, you can fix the missing stereo mix or wave-out option by repairing your drivers. If the latter is the case, you have other options.

For many, Stereo Mix is a tool they often use to record the audio output from their computer. On the other hand, there are cases where this program may not work properly. Even if you have enabled all options, the program will not record sound. If stereo mixing does not work with headphones or speakers, you may not be doing any important work.

What is the Stereo Mix?

With Stereo Mix, you can record exactly what is being transmitted to your speakers without having to perform an analog-to-digital conversion. This function is very useful when recording audio from a website.

How to Install VB Audio Cable

The VB audio cable essentially generates a single output and a single input. The sound at the output is routed to the input. Any audio program can record this virtual “input”.

The installation is very simple. Here is how to proceed…

  1. Download the VB audio cable from the website.
  2. Unzip the downloaded file.
  3. Run VBCable_Setup.exe or VBCable_Setup_64.exe.
  4. Go through the wizard
  5. Optional: Restart as soon as you are finished.

Once installed, go to Control Panel > Sound and check if your new audio input and output has been created.

To make recording easier, set the input and output as the default devices.

The VB audio cable is also supplied with a control panel. No installation is necessary… Simply open VBCable_ControlPanel.exe from the Downloaded ZIP folder. Here you can select sampling frequencies up to 96 kHz. You can also monitor the audio levels.

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Setting Stereo Mix as the default recording device

In most cases, a stereo mix that does not work with headphones or speakers may have something to do with the settings. It is possible that the program is not activated at all. Therefore, restoring this setting should be the first solution you should try. To ensure that there are no obstacles to running the program, you must also set it as the default recording device. So here are the steps to follow to repair a stereo mix that doesn’t work:

  1. Go to the lower right corner of the toolbar.
  2. Right-click on the sound icon.
  3. A menu appears. Select Recording devices. The Sound window opens.
  4. Go to the Registration tab, then right-click on an empty area of the window.
  5. Make sure that the options Show disabled devices and Show disabled devices are selected.
  6. You should be able to see the stereo mix from the available devices. Right-click and select Activate.
  7. The next step is to set Stereo Mix as the default recording device. Right-click on the device above and select Set as default device.
  8. Right-click Stereo Mix again and select Set as Default Communication Device. You should be able to see a green tick next to the device.
  9. To save the changes, click Apply, then click OK.

Show disabled devices

It is quite possible that Windows 10 has automatically disabled the stereo mixing function as a virtual sound device. It can be considered useless or disabled by a third party application. This is a big Microsoft bug because hiding the device among the recording devices was definitely useless. Be sure to check if this is the cause of your problem!

  1. Right-click on the Volume icon at the bottom right of your screen and select Sounds. Alternatively, open the Control Panel on your PC and set the option Display by option option to Large icons. Then, search and click on the Sounds option to open the same window.
  2. Navigate to the Recording tab of the Sound window that has just opened.
  3. Right-click anywhere in the center of the window and check the boxes next to Show disabled devices and Show disconnected devices. A stereo mix should appear. Right-click and select Enable from the
  4. pop-up menu that appears.
  5. Don’t forget to try it to see if it works!


In some cases, the drivers of your audio chipset will not help you. It’s probably because they’re outdated. In other cases, however, this is because the latest Windows drivers for your chipset do not support this feature. This was the case on my Asus Eee PC (a 1000U), but I was able to get around the problem by downloading and installing the old Windows XP/Vista drivers for my audio chipset. As always, before changing your drivers, make sure you create a system recovery point if things don’t go as planned.

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