RealTek Audio Driver install loop Windows 10

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 drivers for audio, if they worked… In my case sound was terrible and the only option to adjust was via the Audio Enhancements feature which was broken, choosing any option had no affect. No matter how many times I re-installed the Windows drivers, tried to adjust audio settings or audio enhancements the result was the same – terrible sound quality and that is not why I have these Mackie CR3 speakers. So I tried the RealTek drivers supplied by Asus for my motherboard and 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 so… 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 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!

Solution:

  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 RealTek Audio installer and now reboot.
  6. Sound, sound, oh so glorious sound!!

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

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8 thoughts on “RealTek Audio Driver install loop Windows 10

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

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

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

  4. Just chiming in as another bloke you helped with the endless loop.

    Thanks heaps mate!

  5. 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.

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