Troubleshooting Guide - Why is the Motherboard Speaker Not Working?

Troubleshooting Guide - Why is the Motherboard Speaker Not Working?
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Motherboard Speaker not Working: Why?

The motherboard speaker is used to make basic non-stereo sounds, to alert the user to some system event or a system fault. In general, the motherboard speaker is the one through which critical audio alerts are sent. Therefore, not having the motherboard speaker functioning can be a handicap to many users.

The motherboard speaker may also be called the PC speaker, internal speaker or system speaker. Internal computer speakers are not the same as the regular external or peripheral speakers. The motherboard speaker is located inside the system case of desktop computers. However, in laptops the PC speaker may be the same as the regular audio speakers that plays music and other audio files.

There are several reasons why a motherboard’s speaker may not be working. You can troubleshoot and resolve this problem by using the following steps:

The PC Speaker may be Disabled or Turned Down

How to Fix –

  1. Open the computer’s volume controller and make sure that the system speaker is not disabled. This audio volume controller can usually be accessed from the system tray (which is usually located just beside the clock on the bottom right of most computer desktops).
  2. Double click the speaker icon; it should bring up the volume controller. Depending on the operating system that is being used, the location of the volume controller may differ. In essence, you are looking for something that refers to the ‘PC’ or ‘system speaker.’
  3. Ensure that it is not disabled and that it is turned up sufficiently.

The Internal Speaker is not Properly Connected to the Motherboard.

How to Fix – This fix also requires that the computer case be opened. Be careful to use an antistatic wristband to avoid electrostatic damage to the computer’s components. Some boards have markings to show where the speaker should be plugged, but you may need the motherboard’s manual to determine exactly where the speaker should be connected.

Polarity doesn’t matter in this case, once the correct connector is identified connect the speaker cable and ensure that it is seated properly.

The Motherboard Speaker may be Broken.

How to Fix – If you have tried all the options listed above and have verified that the motherboard speaker is broken, you will need to replace it. Use the steps outlined above to open the chassis and replace the speaker. PC speakers usually last far beyond the life of the computer they came with, so if it fails, expect other components to fail in short order as well.


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The motherboard speaker provides critical audio promptings to let computer users know when some action needs to be taken, or when a system fault has occurred. If the motherboard speaker stops working, the problem can usually be resolved by ensuring that the PC speaker is not disabled in the operating system, or by replacing or reattaching the speaker to the motherboard.