Realtek Audio Driver Install Loop

Issue: Attempting to install Realtek Audio Drivers for Windows 10 leads to an endless uninstall/install loop. This happens with Realtek audio drivers from manufacturers like Lenovo, Dell, HP, Asus or directly from Realtek. The install loop happens due to the new Windows 10 Driver Updates from Microsoft.

I would be fine with the generic Windows driver for audio, if they worked! In my case the Windows Drivers generated terrible sound quality & the only option to correct or adjust was via the Audio Enhancements feature – which was broken and had no affect. Bad sound and no way to fix it. No matter how many times I re-installed the Windows drivers, tried to adjust audio settings or enhancements the result was the same – terrible sound quality. And that, is not why I have these Mackie CR3 speakers!

So I tried updating my audio drivers to provide the expected quality of sound and control. I used Realtek audio drivers supplied by Asus for my motherboard, and I tried drivers directly from RealTek. And that… is why we are here!

How it happens:

  1. The Realtek installer removes the existing generic drivers installed by Windows Update and requests a reboot so it can replace in use files.
  2. After rebooting, Windows identifies the missing driver and re-installs the generic driver from the local Driver Store before the Realtek install process launches and… you can probably see where this is going.
  3. Once the Realtek process initiates after reboot it detects the generic Driver that was re-installed by Windows and says, whoa hey dude we have to uninstall this existing driver in order to move forward. Hey guess what, it’s time to reboot again! Now you really know where this is going (queue song: Round and Round…).
  4. You can do the dance above all day long or hit the solution below.


  1. Right-click the Windows Start button and choose Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Sound, video and game controllers node in Device Manager.
  3. Right-click Realtek High Definition Audio, and click Uninstall.
  4. On the Confirm Device Removal dialog box:
    1. Click the Delete the driver software for this device option to delete the generic Windows driver.
    2. Click OK to start the uninstall process
    3. Do not reboot!
  5. Run your Realtrk Audio installer and now reboot.
  6. Sound, sound, oh so glorious sound!!
  7. Optional step – send kisses to Microsoft

Drivers: Download the latest Realtek Audio driver – here  or get the latest drivers from your computer/motherboard manufacturer’s website.

If you still have Sound Problems

  • Try the Microsoft Audio troubleshooter via download or manually
  • Manually: select the Start button, type Troubleshooting, and then select Troubleshooting from the list of results. Under Hardware and Sound, select Troubleshoot audio playback.

Issue and Solution Screens


60 thoughts on “Realtek Audio Driver Install Loop

  1. This has helped me so much! I mean my problems went deeper than this, but doing this to fix the install loop fixed my issues… except it caused another issue entirely. Now my mic isn’t recognized… at all, as even being hooked up to my computer when it is. WTF?

  2. Thank you so much for your great description. However, I had to reset the PC to a restore point first – otherwise I couldn’t stop the loop (even with your instructions). But if you first completely uninstall the driver and software – then do NOT reboot (!) and install the new Realtek driver immediately … it works right away!!! Ingenious, thank you very much!

  3. The bad news: this problem is still present in Win 11. The good news: this brilliant, easy solution works perfectly. Thanks for the posting.

  4. You cannot be serious that this is four years old and neither Realtek nor Microsoft solved this…

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH though for your guide though!

  5. Came here to say, THANK YOU! I was distraught in the fact that my PC kept on restarting trying to install the damn driver.

  6. This is what the internet is for… not the toxic social media cesspool… Good solid valuable info…

    Thanks for the info…solved my issue.. You genius… :)

    Have great day everyone…

  7. your advice may be useful.. Blaming windows audio driver is also appropriate.. But before blaming something or somebody look at yourself first.. Take look at your fukin dull text on this webpage.. They’re hardly visible.. For god/devil sake.. Make it darker..

  8. Your posting proved extremely helpful in getting the v6.0.9042.1 driver installed on my PC. Yes, this problem still happens THREE YEARS later!

  9. Thank you so much man, ive been in the endless process of starting and rebooting for hours just to hear audio from my pc!

  10. THANKS! The Realtek driver is a real pain in the ass. An endless loop, and your post cured this. Well done sir, well done!

  11. I send you kisses. xoxoxo

    Thank you for this fix, it actually damned worked. Was driving me absolutely nuts.

  12. Thank you so much for providing this guidance. I was on the 5th reboot and getting really anoyed.
    After following your advice, it worked perfectly well.

  13. already tried it, before i came here…it doesn’t work still stuck in loop, i’m using the generic drivers without control panel f.king windows 10 man…and stupid f.king drivers

    1. Restart The Computer ten keep tapping F-11 it will being UP ADVANNCES Setting’s with 10 or Windows 11 Pro I’m using ,,,,then chose trouble shooting to restart to Bring Options to restart bring’s the Menu up Hot #4 DISSABLE DRIVER AUTOMATIC DRIVER SIGNING ….

  14. This is awesome. Thanks.
    For those who cant see the Realtek driver in the device manager, after the reboot, cancel the installer when it kicks off. If you have let it run through, it’ll do the uninstall incorrectly.

    So just cancel, the confirm, and the realtek device will be in the Device Manager as described above.

  15. Thanks dude. Although it didn’t fix my underlying issue at least i could reinstall the drivers without any problem!

  16. Thank you man, you saved me of a couple hours of looping!
    I tried several options, but your solution really makes sense.

  17. Thank you so much! I obviously didn’t search correctly the first couple of times trying to find out how to do this, but once I’d read your post, it made perfect sense!

  18. My speakers are crackling, means cracking sounds are coming from the speaker, So how to solve this issue?

    I just bought a new pc and wasnt sure what was happening with this loop situation!


  20. i just have something called Realtek(R) Audio should i uninstall that since i dont have the Realtek High Definition Audio?

  21. For me, as soon as I uninstall Realtek driver, Windows immediately installs a new one (even before I reboot). I disabled the auto-update, but this did not seem to help.

  22. thanks. hadn’t done a build in years. thought this was gonna be a three hour forum search but luckily I found this first

  23. Thank you very much for this useful information. It helped me to solve my problem regarding Win10 audio.

  24. Realtek High Definition Audio is not listed in Device Manager so I cannot follow your instructions.

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