Fix Sound and More

Windows 10 sound off? Want updated scores? Tired of templates? We can fix that!


Fix sound problems on Windows 10

Every so often I encounter a weird “no sound on my computer” problem in Windows 10. Most of the time it’s easy to fix.

On a desktop computer with external speakers, make sure they are turned on and connected to the computer in the correct jack. Usually this is the green jack on the back of the case, but not always.

Next, check that the volume is not at zero or muted. On your speakers, that’s probably a knob you have to turn. On the computer, click on the speaker icon to check this.

On a laptop, disconnect any external speakers, then click on the speaker icon and make sure the volume isn’t at zero or muted. (Once you’ve solved the problem with the built-in speakers, you can try the external ones again.)

To adjust the volume if you don’t see the speaker icon in your taskbar:

  • Right-click on the Start button
  • Click on Control Panel | Sound
  • Select your speakers
  • Click on Properties | Levels
  • In the next window, move the slider to the right to increase the volume
  • When you’re happy, click OK

At this point, I generally reboot the compute. Sometimes we get lucky and the problem is fixed!

If that didn’t do it, try the Windows 10 sound Troubleshooter:

  • Right-click on the Start button
  • Click on Control Panel
  • Make sure you are in Large Icons view
  • Click on Troubleshooting
  • Click on Troubleshoot audio playback
  • Click on Next
  • Follow the prompts

If that fixed the problem and you want the volume control to show up in your taskbar all the time:

  • Start | Settings (looks like a little gear) | Personalization | Taskbar
  • Scroll down till you see Notification Area and click on Select which icons appear in the Taskbar
  • Find Volume, and move the slider to the right (“On”)

If you have an earlier version of Windows 10, the path is:

  • Start | Settings | System | Notification & actions | Turn System icons on and off
  • The rest of the instructions are the same as above

That won’t solve every problem, but it will solve lots of them.


Refresh a page in your browser

Sometimes you need to refresh a page in your browser. Why? Maybe you’re tracking the curling results, or waiting for the bridge scores to be posted, or maybe you want the most up-to-date information on a stock.

One way to do this is close and reopen your browser. But there are two much easier ways.

Easiest: Press the F5 key. This will refresh/reload your page.

Almost as easy: Click on the curved line with an arrowhead. This is the Reload button. It looks a little different in every browser, but it’s always present near the browser’s address bar, and it does the same thing as F5.

Go directly to a new document in Office 2016

You can skip the Word screen that offers you every conceivable template and go straight to a new Word document or Excel spreadsheet, just like we did in previous versions of Office. It’s easy, and it works in Office 2013, too.

  • Start by opening a Word document, either an existing one or a new one; it doesn’t matter.
  • Click on File | Options
  • Click on the General tab if you’re not there already
  • Near the bottom of that tab, clear the check mark next to Show the Start screen when this application starts
  • Click on OK

That’s it! Repeat the process for Excel if you like. If ever you need the templates again, click on File | New and you’ll be right back there at the start screen.


Do you need help with your computer? I’m here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to

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This coulumn also appeared on February 27, 2017