The Selective Sound Conundrum: Audio Jack Issues on Windows 10


“Why does the audio jack connected to the motherboard of my Windows 10 PC only function with certain applications? It operates correctly when using YouTube and general web browsing, but fails to work with Steam games and doesn’t transmit audio during Discord calls, although it does for notifications such as joining or leaving calls. What could be causing this selective audio issue?”


When it comes to PC audio problems, selective audio functionality—where the audio jack works for some applications but not others—can be particularly perplexing. This issue often leads users to wonder why their motherboard’s audio jack would discriminate between applications like YouTube and web browsers, which work fine, and others like Steam games and Discord calls, which do not.

The motherboard audio jack is directly connected to the system’s sound card or integrated audio processor. It’s designed to transmit sound from the PC to external speakers or headphones. When it works selectively, it suggests that the issue is not with the hardware but rather with software settings or configurations.

Potential Causes


Application Settings

: Some applications have their own audio settings, which can override system settings. If these are not configured correctly, they might not send audio to the correct output device.


Default Sound Device

: Windows allows you to set default devices for different types of sounds. If the default device is set incorrectly, some applications may not be able to use the audio jack.


Audio Drivers

: Outdated or corrupted audio drivers can cause issues with sound output. Ensuring that the latest drivers are installed is crucial for the proper functioning of audio devices.


Windows Sound Settings

: Within the sound settings, there are options to manage devices and their properties. Incorrect configurations here can lead to selective audio issues.


Hardware Conflicts

: If there are multiple audio output devices connected, such as HDMI monitors with speakers, Windows might be confused about where to send the audio.



Check Application Audio Settings

: Ensure that each application is set to use the correct output device within its settings.


Set Default Device

: Go to ‘Sound Settings’ in Windows, and under ‘Output’, make sure the motherboard audio jack is set as the default device.


Update Audio Drivers

: Visit the motherboard manufacturer’s website to download and install the latest audio drivers.


Configure Sound Settings

: In the ‘Sound Control Panel’, check the properties of the playback devices to ensure they are configured correctly.


Disable Conflicting Outputs

: If there are multiple output devices, try disabling all but the primary one you wish to use.


Run Audio Troubleshooter

: Windows includes a built-in troubleshooter that can automatically detect and fix common audio problems.


Restore Original Settings

: If the issue began after changing settings, restoring to the original configuration might resolve the problem.


Examine Connection Settings

: Ensure that the physical connections are secure and that the audio jack is not damaged.

By systematically checking each potential cause and applying the corresponding solution, you can resolve selective audio issues and enjoy consistent sound across all applications on your Windows 10 PC. Remember, if all else fails, seeking assistance from a professional or the motherboard manufacturer may be necessary.

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