Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

How to Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

The HDMI device (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) helps you connect different multimedia devices and interfaces like monitors, High Definition TVs, Ultra High Definition TVs, cameras, projectors, computers and a lot more. If you want your media content to be displayed on a big screen, HDMI cables will help you a lot. Yet, you may face this device is being used by another application sound error when you use HDMI interfaces. This problem not only occurs on Windows 10 PC but also on Windows 8 or 7 PCs as well. If you face the same error, this guide will help you fix the device is being used by another application Windows 10 with effective troubleshooting methods. So, continue reading!

Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

How to Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error in Windows 10

If you continue with the audio device used by another application problem in Windows 10, you will see the following error message:

Device In Use – The device is being used by another application. Please close any devices that are playing audio to this device and try again

Although HDMI interfaces help you stream data on the big screen, facing device being used by another application error is an annoying issue. Here are some reasons that cause the same error in your computer.

  • Some other program on your computer is taking exclusive control of your audio device.
  • Required audio drivers are outdated or incompatible.
  • The audio services are not running on your PC.
  • Other background applications are interfering with the audio device.
  • Damaged cables, plugs, and speakers.
  • Presence of corrupt files on PC.

Now, move ahead to the next section to fix the device is being used by another application Windows 10 issue. We have briefly explained what causes the device is being used by another application Windows 10 issue. In this section, you will come through some effective hacks that help you fix the same.

Method 1: Troubleshoot Audio Devices

As a first step, restart your PC and check if you have fixed the issue. Else, check if there are any external damage to your audio devices like speakers, microphone, connecting cords etc.

1. Check cables for loose connections and whether all other cables are plugged in or not.

2. Make sure all other cables and cords are plugged into the correct jack. If you are not sure of the correct jacks, contact the hardware manufacturer.

3. Check the volume levels and whether the power is turned on.

4. If you have also plugged in headphones, unplug them and check if it helps.

Fix Headphones not working in Windows 10

Method 2: Select Correct Playback Device

When you are using more than one audio output device, you have to confirm when the device is used up as an output device. To check the audio output in your Windows 10 PC, follow the below-mentioned steps.

1. Click on the Speakers icon at the bottom right corner of the screen.

Click on the Speakers icon. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

2. Now, click on the arrow icon to expand the list of audio devices connected to the computer.

expand the list of audio devices

3. Then, select the audio device (you prefer) and make sure the audio is playing through the selected device.

select playback device. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

If this method doesn’t help you, move ahead to the next one.

Also Read: What is NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device Wave Extensible?

Method 3: Enable Sound Devices

In this method, you have to check if the sound settings are correct and compatible with the audio device you are using. This helps you to fix this device is being used by another application sound error as you follow the steps instructed below.

1. Right-click on the Speakers icon at the bottom right corner of the screen and click on Open Volume mixer.

open volume mixer

2. Now, a set of volume controls will be opened up. Make sure all volume levels are not muted. If you find any red circle with a line, unmute the volume level.

volume mixer. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

3. Now, press and hold Windows + I keys together to open Windows Settings.

4. Now, click on System setting.

System setting. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

5. Then, click on Sound from the left pane and click on Device properties under the Output menu as shown.

sound output device properties

6. Make sure Disable box is not checked.

Make sure Disable box is not checked. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

7. Repeat Steps 5-6 for input devices as depicted.

sound input device properties

Now, check if you have fixed the device is being used by another application audio error.

Method 4: Run Audio Troubleshooter

Windows PC contains an inbuilt troubleshooting tool to fix any issues and errors arising automatically. The audio devices plugged into your computer and the inbuilt audio devices will be scanned and altogether the problems associated with the process will be sorted out. Follow the steps listed below to fix all the audio-related hardware issues in your PC.

1. Launch the Windows Settings.

2. Click on the Update & Security setting.

Update and Security

3. Select the Troubleshoot menu from the left pane.

4. Then, select Playing audio and click on the Run the troubleshooter button.

run playing audio troubleshooter. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

5. Wait for the troubleshooter to detect problems and follow the on-screen instructions to apply the fix.

windows troubleshooter detecting problems

Also Read: Fix No Audio Output Device Is Installed Error

Method 5: End Background Processes

When the audio utility is used by other programs on your Windows 10 PC, then you may face device being used by another application error. To resolve the problem, you are advised to close all other programs or applications running in the background one by one or force them to shut down by using Task Manager. To do so, follow our guide on How to End Task in Windows 10.

Click on End Task. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

Method 6: Restart Windows Explorer Process

Many users have reported that restarting Windows Explorer processes will help to resolve the device is being used by another application audio issue. Follow the below-listed instructions to do the same.

1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys simultaneously to open Task Manager.

2. In the Processes tab, click on Windows Explorer and select the Restart button.

restart windows explorer

3. Now, Windows Explorer restarts and Windows 10 audio issue will be fixed now.

Also Read: How to Fix Audio Stuttering in Windows 10

Method 7: Allow Audio Access

There is a list of applications and programs on your computer that will have access for using audio devices. If your audio application or program is not on the list, you cannot hear any audio content contributing to the device is being used by another application Windows 10 error. Therefore, ensure the audio settings are enabled for your game on your PC by following the below-mentioned steps.

1. Open Windows Settings by pressing the Windows + I keys together.

2. Now, click on Privacy setting.

Privacy setting. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

3. Here, scroll down the left pane and click the Microphone option. Ensure Allow apps to access your microphone option are enabled as shown.

Ensure Allow apps to access your microphone option are enabled

Note: Launch Sound Settings from the search menu and select the correct input device (e.g. Microphone (2-High Definition Audio Device)) as default.

Launch Sound Settings from the search menu and select the correct input device

Then, check if you have fixed this device is being used by another application sound error.

Method 8: Set Default Audio Device

If you are using an audio device like headphones or speakers, you must ensure whether it is set as a default device or not. You are advised to set your audio device as the default device as instructed below to fix audio device being used by another application error.

1. Right-click on the Speakers icon on the Taskbar and select the Sounds option.

sounds. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

2. Then, switch to the Playback tab and right-click on the audio device you would like to set as the default one.

3. Now, select the Set as Default Device option as highlighted and click on Apply>OK to save the changes.

set as Default Device. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

Also Read: Fix Multimedia Audio Controller Driver Issue

Method 9: Re-enable Sound Driver

You can easily resolve the device is being used by another application audio issue by restarting the sound card as instructed below.

1. Hit the Windows key and type Device Manager, then click on Open.

open Device Manager

2. Double-click on Sound, video and game controllers to expand the drivers.

sound video and game controllers

3. Then, right-click on your sound card and select the Disable device option.

disable device. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

4. Now, confirm the prompt by clicking on Yes and reboot your computer. Then, repeat Steps 1-2.

confirm the prompt by clicking on Yes

5. Next, right-click on your sound card and select the Enable device option.

Enable device. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

Now, try playing any sound in your audio application and check if the device being used by another application issue is resolved or not.

Method 10: Disable Exclusive Access

Still, if you are struggling with this device is being used by another application sound issue, then you have to ensure no other program is taking the exclusive control of your audio device. You can disable the discussed feature by following the below-mentioned steps.

1. Launch the Sounds menu as shown in Method 9.

Sounds option

2. Then, select your audio device and click on the Properties button as shown.

Speakers Properties. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

3. In the General tab, make sure the Device usage option is set to Use this device (enable) as shown. Click on Apply>OK if you have made any changes.

use this device enable

4. Now, switch to the Advanced tab and under the Exclusive Mode menu, make sure the following options are unchecked.

  • Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device.
  • Give exclusive mode applications priority.

Note: As soon as you uncheck Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device option, Give exclusive mode applications priority option will be automatically unchecked.

Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device option

5. Finally, click on Apply>OK to save the changes. Now, you would have fixed laptop volume too low Windows 10 issue.

Also Read: Fix Windows 10 No Audio Devices are Installed

Method 11: Disable Audio Enhancements

If you find your audio working well for other multimedia resources, but the sound seems to be of low quality or noisy, you are advised to change the sample rate. A low-frequency sample rate will cause the device is being used by another application Windows 10 issue yet you can select a higher frequency sample rate by following the below-mentioned steps.

1. Go to the Sounds menu.

2. Then, switch to the Playback tab and select the audio device followed by the Properties button as shown.

speakers Properties. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

3. Then, switch to the Advanced tab and from the drop-down menu under Default Format, make sure you select the highest frequency range (24 bit, 48000 Hz).

Note: Make sure Disable audio enhancements option is unchecked under Signal Enhancements as shown.

Make sure Enable audio enhancements

6. Click on Apply and then OK to save the changes. Check if you face this device is being used by another application sound again. If so, adjust different levels of frequency ranges by repeating these steps and confirm which range solves the problem.

Method 12: Repair System Files

For perfect audio quality services, a few essential files and programs must be functioning on your PC. But, if they are corrupt or misconfigured, you will face the device is being used by another application audio error. Fortunately, all these corrupt misconfigured files can be repaired by using the inbuilt utilities of your Windows 10 PC namely, System File Checker and Deployment Image Servicing and Management. Read our guide on How to Repair System Files on Windows 10 and follow the steps as instructed to repair all your corrupt files.

Run SFC and DISM command lines to repair system files

Wait for the commands to be executed and check if you have fixed the device being used by another application issue.

Method 13: Restart Audio Services 

Few essential Windows audio services will help you prevent audio device being used by another application. If in case, if these services are turned off, you may face several conflicts. Hence, you are advised to restart a few essential audio services as instructed below steps.

1. Press the Windows key, type Services and click on Run as administrator.

open Services as administrator

2. Now, scroll down and double-click on the Windows Audio service.

Windows Audio service. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

3. Now, in the new pop-up window, select the Startup type to Automatic, as depicted.

Note: If the Service status is Stopped, then click on the Start button. If the Service status is Running, click on Stop and Start it again.

windows audio properties startup type. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

4. Click on Apply > OK to save the changes.

5. Repeat all these steps for other Windows services like Windows Audio Endpoint Builder and Remote Procedure Call (RPC).

windows audio service service status running

Also Read: How to Fix The Audio Service is Not Running Windows 10

Method 14: Update Audio Drivers

Incompatible audio drivers will always result in this device is being used by another application sound issue. Always ensure you use an updated version of audio drivers and if your computer lacks the latest drivers, you are advised to update them as instructed in our guide How to Update Realtek HD Audio Drivers in Windows 10.

Right click on your audio device and select Update driver. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

Once you have updated your audio drivers to the latest version, check if you have fixed the device is being used by another application Windows 10 error.

Method 15: Reinstall Audio Drivers

You are advised to reinstall audio drivers only if you cannot attain any fix by updating them. Steps to reinstall drivers are very easy and you can do so by using a third-party application or by implementing the steps manually as instructed in our guide How to Uninstall and Reinstall Drivers on Windows 10

Right click on your audio device and select Uninstall device

After reinstalling audio drivers, check if you can fix the device is being used by another application audio error.

Method 16: Roll Back Driver Updates

Sometimes, the current version of audio drivers may cause any audio conflicts and in this case, you have to restore previous versions of installed drivers. This process is called rollback of drivers and you can easily roll back your computer drivers to their previous state by following our guide How to Rollback Drivers on Windows 10.

Right click on your audio device and select Roll Back Driver.

Wait until the previous versions of drivers are installed on your Windows 10 PC. Once done, check if you have fixed this device is being used by another application sound issue.

Also Read: Fix Zoom Audio Not Working Windows 10

Method 17: Update Windows

If there are any new Microsoft updates pending to be installed on your PC, a few bugs and problems cannot be resolved on your computer. As suggested by many users, updating Windows 10 computers will help you resolve device being used by another application issue. Follow our guide on How to Download and Install Windows 10 Latest Update to update your Windows 10 computer.

Update Windows. Fix This Device is Being Used by Another Application Sound Error

After updating your Windows Operating System, check whether you can access audio on your Windows 10 PC.

Method 18: Perform System Restore

If none of the methods have helped you, then the only option left is to restore your computer to its previous version. To do so, follow our guide on How to use System Restore on Windows 10 and implement the instructions as demonstrated.

Finally, confirm the restore point by clicking on the Finish button.

After restoring your Windows 10 PC, check if have fixed audio device being used by another application problem.

Recommended:

We hope that this guide was helpful and you could fix this device is being used by another application sound error in Windows 10. Feel free to reach out to us with your queries and suggestions via the comments section below.

Posted by
Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.