How to Increase the Sound on a Dell Laptop

by David Lipscomb

Essential to the multimedia experience on any Dell laptop computer is high-quality sound. Increasing the sound volume and quality results in a superior sonic result when listening through the computer. While adjusting the sound, you should take this opportunity to ensure that your laptop's drivers are up to date, especially if you are having trouble optimizing the sound. Exploring both issues will help to unleash the full potential of your laptop.

Windows-Based Settings

Click the "Start" button in the lower left corner of the laptop screen. Click "Control Panel" when the Start menu opens.

Click on "Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices" to access the audio options.

Click on the "Adjust the System Volume" option. Next, click on the "Advanced" key to open the full suite of Windows audio options.

Adjust all of the individual sliders to their maximum positions. Click the "X" button at the upper right of the pane to exit out of this control screen.

Click on the "Advanced" option under the Speaker Settings header. Note the various options on the drop-down menu. Click on the speaker setup that best matches what you are using with your Dell laptop. The default setting is "Laptop Stereo Speakers." Click "OK" to exit.

Use the volume buttons on the laptop case to adjust volume as needed.

Drivers and Troubleshooting

Click on the "Start" button in the lower left corner of the laptop's screen. Click "System."

Click "Hardware" followed by "Device Manager." A list of internal devices on your Dell machine will appear.

Click on "Sound, Video and Game Controllers" to expand the list. Consult your Dell manual to ensure that the expected list of devices and drivers matches what is displayed on your screen. If not, move to the next step.

Launch your Web browser and go to the Dell support website (link in Resources). Click on the "Drivers and Downloads" icon.

Locate the service tag of your Dell laptop on the underside of the unit. Enter the tag into the "Service Tag or Express Service Code" box on the Dell support page.

Examine the list of audio drivers. Click on the "Download File" button to the right, prioritizing based on the "Critical" or "Recommended" status Dell assigns to the driver.

Click on the driver icon after the download is complete. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver. Repeat the process for each audio driver required.

Restart the laptop as directed by Windows after you install each driver.


  • New Dell laptops are shipped with a driver and setup disc. Keep this disc in a safe place so you can quickly reinstall a driver or software application if necessary without having to search for it on Dell's website.
  • Plug a set of outboard computer speakers into the laptop's "Audio Out" port to get bigger sound than the small laptop speakers are capable of producing. These systems often include subwoofers and digital processing to enhance overall sound.


  • If you hear crackling or distorted sound, reduce the volume using the buttons on the laptop case. Failure to lower the volume may result in speaker damage.

Items you will need

  • Internet access
  • Dell laptop user manual (optional)

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

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