10 Fixes for Windows Audio Error: ‘This Device Is Being Used by Another Application’

Are you tired of seeing the error message ‘This Device Is Being Used by Another Application' on your Windows screen? Don't worry, we've got you covered! In this article, we will provide you with 10 fixes to help you resolve this issue and enjoy uninterrupted audio on your Windows 10/11 device.

1. Disconnect A/V Accessories

Before diving deep into the troubleshooting steps, let's start with some basic fixes. Disconnect all audio and video accessories such as HDMI cables, external monitors, Bluetooth speakers, or wired headphones. Reboot your computer and then reconnect the accessories one at a time, starting with the monitor or HDMI cable. This simple step might just do the trick!

2. Pair Sound Input/Output Device Manually

If you're facing issues with Bluetooth devices, try pairing them manually. Right-click on the speaker icon in the Taskbar and select ‘Add device'. Follow the on-screen instructions to connect your Bluetooth device. This should help resolve any pairing issues and ensure a stable connection.

windows sound settings from taskbar

3. Set as Default Device

Windows assigns a default audio device, but you can change it. Go to Windows Settings > System > Sound and click on ‘More sound settings'. Right-click on the sound device you want to set as the default and select ‘Set as Default Device'. This simple adjustment might solve the issue in no time.

more sound settings in windows settings

4. Run Audio Troubleshooter

Windows provides a built-in audio troubleshooter to help you fix common audio-related issues. Open Settings, search for ‘Find and fix problems with playing sound', and click to open it. Follow the on-screen instructions to diagnose and resolve the audio problem you're facing.

5. Find App Using the Sound Device

If you're still experiencing the error message, it's possible that another application is using the sound device. Open the Volume Mixer by pressing Win + R, typing ‘sndvol', and hitting Enter. Check the list of apps using the sound device and close any unrecognized or unwanted apps. If needed, force quit the app using the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc).

6. Disable Allow Apps to Take Control Setting

Some apps have permissions to take control over sound settings, which can cause conflicts. To disable this setting, go to Windows Settings > System > Sound. Right-click on the Speakers that are currently selected as the output device and select ‘Properties'. Under the Advanced tab, uncheck the ‘Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device' option.

7. Device Properties

In the Sound settings, click on the device that is not working for you. Check if the audio is allowed for that device. If it says ‘Don't allow', click on ‘Allow' to enable audio. Note that the steps may vary slightly between Windows 10 and 11.

8. Restart Audio Service

Restarting the Windows Audio service can help resolve audio-related issues. Open the Services app by searching for it in Windows Search. Find ‘Windows Audio', right-click on it, and select ‘Restart'. Make sure the ‘Startup type' is set to ‘Automatic' to prevent future issues.

9. Update or Roll Back Audio Drivers

Outdated or buggy audio drivers can cause various audio issues. Open the Device Manager and expand ‘Audio inputs and outputs'. Right-click on the problematic device and select ‘Update driver' to install the latest drivers. If that doesn't work, you can try rolling back the driver or uninstalling and reinstalling it.

10. Run SFC Scan

The System File Checker (SFC) command-line tool can check for and repair any corrupted system files. Open Command Prompt as an administrator and run the command ‘sfc /scannow'. Wait for the scan to complete, and if any issues are found, they will be repaired automatically.

By following these 10 fixes, you should be able to resolve the ‘This Device Is Being Used by Another Application' error on your Windows device. Enjoy uninterrupted audio and video playback without any hassles.