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  • Home >> Hardware >> Stereo Mix Missing – Enable Playback Audio Recording in Windows XP, Vista

    Stereo Mix Missing – Enable Playback Audio Recording in Windows XP, Vista

    This is the most common problem that users face. Most of the laptops and desktops will not find Stereo Mix under recording option . This problem doesn’t allow users to Record Playback Audio. I know most of you reached this web page are looking for a solution to a problem of Missing Stereo Mix under recording option in Windows Operating System.

    What is Stereo Mix ?

    Stereo Mix is playback audio. You can see Stereo Mix under Playback devices in Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. But can’t see Stereo Mix under Recording devices in most of the laptops and desktops as stated earlier.

    After reading the rest of the post which is especially helpful if you are using either Windows XP or Vista.

    Please check below posts if you are using Windows 7 and Windows 8 OS (links can be found below), you can Resolve Missing Stereo Mix and start Playback Audio Recording!!!

    Click here to Enable Stereo Mix on Windows 7 | Enable Stereo Mix on Windows 8

    How I resolved Missing Stereo Mix under Recording option ?

    There is a history behind it. It takes me back to April and May 2008. I was using Toshiba Satellite A-105 S8424 Notebook in the year 2006 also faced the same problem (Infact I am still using the same laptop in year 2014). I couldn’t find Stereo Mix under Recording option.

    When I was trying to record a song and was surprised to see that there was No “Stereo Mix” option under recording in Volume Controls.

    Firstly, I uninstalled and re-installed latest RealTek HD Audio Drivers to get Stereo Mix from Toshiba site. But without luck, I then uninstalled the audio drivers and installed Latest drivers from RealTek Site with no luck. I then tried to install Windows XP Compatible Audio Drivers. It didn’t work either.

    I started looking for solutions to get Stereo Mix option on Google search, Bing Search and Yahoo search. I ended up reading lot of pages found in search results and then checked out forums, blogs and websites but failed to find Missing Stereo Mix solution for Toshiba Laptop.

    – Read the Differences Between Windows 7 and Windows 8

    Uninstall and Install Audio Drivers (for only Vista users) :

    1. For Windows Vista users (may work or may not work)
      – Go to Sound in the Control Panel’s classic view
      – Select the Recording tab and right-click any of the devices listed.
      – Check “Show Disabled Devices” and “Show Disconnected Devices”.
      – Stereo Mix should show up. Set it as default.

    If you have Sigmatel Audio Card, then there are couple of solutions :

    1. Dell laptop with Sigmatel Audio Card (Strangely LG Drivers work on Dell Laptop with Sigmatel Audio Card Instructions):Follow this link: http://us.lgservice.com/
      Click on: Product Support
      Go to: Device Driver
      In product, select “Notebook”
      Search for “Sigmatel”
      The download the result

      Download the big 95Mb driver and you get the Stereo Mix option in recording

    2. Download this driver and install in windows xp sp2
      Also check the this link for more details.

    If you have SoundMax Audio Card, Here is the solution to get Stereo Mix back :

    1. Lenova with SoundMax driver

    Read this and also check the link mentioned in that page. Hope it helps.

    If you have RealTek Audio card, Here are the solutions :

    1. For Windows Vista users (may work or may not work)
      – Go to Sound in the Control Panel’s classic view
      – Select the Recording tab and right-click any of the devices listed.
      – Check “Show Disabled Devices” and “Show Disconnected Devices”.
      – Stereo Mix should show up. Set it as default.If Stereo Mix doesn’t come up after you do the above. May be Stereo mix is disabled at hardware level.check for more info @ Video Help
    2. Get Audio Splitter (one audio jack on one end and two audio jack inputs at the other end). Check the below image.

    Try Audio Splitter and 3.5 Inch Double male wire to Enable No Stereo Mix Audio Recording

    Try Audio Splitter and 3.5 Inch Double male wire to resolve Stereo Mix Audio Recording problem

    The last way which will work 100% for sure is to try Audio Splitter. Get a double ended audio jack cable ( 3.5mm 2 male pin audio stereo plug). Check the below image.

    3.5mm 2 male pin audio stereo plug

    You plug this into one of the audio input jacks from the splitter then plug the other end into your mic input (usually pink). Then plug some headphones into the other input jack from the splitter.

    Right now, for my Toshiba Satellite A-105 S8424 Notebook this is the solution to get stereo mix working 🙂

    If you don’t find solution after reading all the solutions, then check this out Use Virtual Audio Cable (VAC) to solve missing stereo-mix problem

    Hope this post helps you…

    If you have more tips or found a way to get Stereo Mix for Toshiba laptop with RealtekHD audio. Leave a comment…

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    1. kate says:

      thanks for doing the research! that was so helpful.

    2. Nihar says:


      Let me know what was your problem and how did it help you so that i can edit this post if needed.

    3. Tuan says:

      Thanks for this advice. It also works for me (HP 6510b under Vista).


    4. Joshua says:

      Thanks alot man! I’m recording with Fraps with a good, crisp sound. Had to restart my computer before I recorded though.

    5. Nihar says:

      @Tuan, @Joshua

      I am happy that it helped you. But I have not yet solved on my laptop because, i didn’t find a solution for Toshiba Laptop 🙁

    6. Ka says:

      Hello, you can probably imagine how I found your article, unfortunately none of the options you listed worked for my Compaq Presario with a Conexant High Definition Smart Audio 221 sound card, the good news is that there’s a program {http://www.applian.com/replay-av/index.php} that did allow me to record without having to download, buy or install anything else.
      The trial version only allows recordings of 5MB or 5 minutes but I only record short clips (both online tv and radio) so it’s not an issue. It also works with Vista, so, there’s that option out there too.
      I’ll be e-mailing HP anyway because there’s no real reason to disable certain options, hopefully they’ll update the drivers or something.

    7. Nihar says:


      Now a days all the laptop companies are requesting the sound card guys to remove that option from the driver itself 🙁

      So, we need to find different workarounds.

    8. Sid Software says:

      Thnx for help.
      Was unable to fix divers on my own.

    9. Tutan says:

      Now a days all the laptop companies are requesting the sound card guys to remove that option from the driver itself

      But why the hell they are doing so

    10. Nihar says:


      Not sure why the laptop firms are disabling the option from driver.

    11. Missylove says:

      I almost pulled out all my hair trying to figure this out..

      Oh this is the best! thank you thank you thank you..
      and oh did I say thank you!!! Worked for me with
      windows Vista!

      I am telling you I just can’t thank you enough for postng this! You made
      my day
      THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    12. Nihar says:

      @Missylove, Thanks for the comment. I am happy that this post helped you resolve the problem.

    13. KA says:

      Hey I left a comment here before (forgot what mail I used, nevermind) and I finally found a real solucion for those of us with no hope.


      It’s free, small and it worked!

      I thought I would leave it here in case some other person could benefit from it.

    14. Nihar says:

      @KA, Thanks very much for leaving a comment here. properly i will check the app and can also update the post…

    15. dungbeetle says:

      Ahhhh, you’re the man, I spent the last couple of days trying to figure this out til I stumbled across this. Thanks!!

    16. Nihar says:

      @dungbeetle, Thanks man. I am happy that you found this post helpful…

    17. Clarice says:

      Thanks so much for posting this – especially with photos of the hardware needed. I made a trip to Radio Shack spent $10 and problem solved!!

    18. Nihar says:


      You are welcome. I am glad that it solved the problem.

    19. JSD says:

      I had the exact same problem on my XP system with onboard ALC883 Realtek audio using driver v.2.08 it simply wouldnt record sound with fraps, so i tried the newest version of fraps 2.9.6 Build 7637 and problem solved, works perfectly 🙂
      If you

    20. Nihar says:

      @JSD, I hope this post helped you resolving the issue.

    21. Amit says:

      Hi nihar its the same problem with me i m using compaq c770tu but the vac didnt help me all i m using conexant hd audio i usually stream on justin.tv and ustream.tv but i never get sound on my streams the same thing continues after i added vc i m using xp service pack 2

    22. Connor says:

      I had it under recording options hidden but now its gone help!

    23. Jin says:

      The Sigmatel Link thing doesnt work… i think they changed the site.

    24. Jamie says:

      For the Sigmatel LG link this site works I believe http://uk.lge.com/support/download_soft.jsp
      however I am unsure which result to download as searching under the specified criteria yields 4 results.

    25. Nihar says:

      @Dee , @Vikas, @Dennis, @Sono, I have sent the crack. Do check your email. If you don’t see. try checking spam folder.

    26. Bondang says:

      I’m really thank you so so so much. Now my Dell has stereo mix in Sigmatel already. Lucky me, I found this your solution.
      Anyway THANKS SO MUCH again.

    27. Nihar says:

      @Bondang, I am glad that this post helped you.

    28. Ashiesh says:

      Hi Nihar,

      I have Dell Optiplex 740 and I want to record (video + audio) the games that i play on my system. And i don’t get the audio as there is no STEREO MIX OPTION IN THE SOFTWARE DRIVER PROVIDED.

      It has SigmaTel Audio Driver. I am working on XP Professional OS.

      I tried my best but could not find any solution. I tried LG driver from the web site you mentioned but it didn’t work as it showed some errors and the driver could be installed may be because the drivers were for laptop and might be having some incompatibility problem with that. I tried VAC also. It was quite successful with small audio capturing but when I tried to capture some programme for 45 minutes it resulted in audio flickers and misses at a lot of place.
      Kindly help.

      I did go through one youtube tutorial. I did exactly the same as mentioned there.

      Created new binary entries as being told, Modified the MasterControlsIndependentMixerInputs and changed the binary values 0000 01 to 0000 00 (as mentioned in the tutorial. The last step mentioned in the tutorial was to modify the EnableInputMonitor and changing the binary values 0000 00 to 0000 01. When I right clicked this entry and chose Modify, the window opened already had the value 0000 01 (as per the tutorial it should have been 0000 00). Now I had two options only, one was to leave it as it is and second one was to change it 0000 00, I tried both and when I restarted the system the sound icon was missing in the task bar. I went ot control panel and right clicked on sound, it was uninitialised (just as it is not recognising the driver). Before attempting this i had made an restore point so i was able to restore the windows.

      I tried all this with no luck kindly help


    29. Sean Kent says:

      Ok, I followed the first steps (for windows vista users) and it worked smoothly. I enabled the Stereo Mix option, and set it as default device. I then restarted my comp.

      After restaring, I checked to see if the changes were still made and they were. The problem is, I still can’t record. Any idea why?

    30. Stupifyiny says:

      I don’t know much about computers so forgive me, but where is Device Driver located?

    31. Inta says:

      WOO HOO I HAVE FOUND A FIX!!I’ve been searching for literally months for a stereo mix/what u hear fix, I tried ‘show all devices’ etc and nothing. I even tried downloading other drivers but still nothing…So I searched the net some more and found a fix. I went out today and purchased USB Soundblaster X-Fi Go for 29.99 pounds from PC world, it took over half an hour to load though but wey hey I now have ‘what u hear’ and other things I am yet to play with. I can now finally pump music into Pal whilst talking on the Mic and can record anything I want…Here’s what creative have to say as only some of their products give the ‘what u hear’ function…


    32. sw says:

      I tapped off the speakers and back into the mic years ago glad to see other also have done this

      and I have VAC too – so simple and DELL is so STUPID to think they can control this ARSEHOLES the lot of them ;)P

    33. Ed Jervis says:

      The native Windows 7 drivers are minimalistic and will not support the stereo mix option. Download the latest drivers for your sound card and all should be well. In my case, Realtek, I had to go to the mother board site, Gigabyte, and download their motherboard audio drivers. Now everything works fine.

    34. Jan says:

      thanx a lot man! it helped loads, my problem was the first one, with the disabled stereo mix (!) under recording devices…

    35. Shenkai Bai says:

      Thanks a lot

      I have tried to re-install my sound card driver again and again….It made me crazy.

      Finally,I found the solution in you blog 🙂

    36. Rob says:

      what site did you get the cable from, and could i get a name or link? thanks

    37. homer says:

      al darle clic en grabacion para q aparezcan los dispositivos o para activarlos no sale nada. no tiene mezcla de stereo.

    38. HAMMMMS says:

      I.am probloooooooom

      pleez gev my card stero mix toshiba u400-150

    39. Replay says:

      I have no the “Stereo Mix” option, but I finally found a solution for my audio recording problem. I use Replay Capture Suite http://www.applian.com/avscs/

      It includes a couple of programs (Replay Music and Replay AV) that can record from sound card even if you don’t have one!!! I don’t have to experiment with unknown drivers that can damage my hardware or make my Windows unstable.

      Hope this helps

    40. JRajashekar says:

      Hey there NIhar…its good that you came forward to share your troubleshooting solutions with us…Thanks….!

    41. iCE says:

      This sound recorder for Windows 7/Vista work perfect without using Stereo Mix http://www.abyssmedia.com/isound7/
      .-= iCE´s last blog ..VISCOM DVD Author ActiveX OCX SDK =-.

    42. Rioko says:

      Thank you so much! This actually got it to work! <3 u!

    43. Kal says:

      Hi Nihar, I just found that my new laptop (Toshiba Satellite) has this problem, so I went out and got a double-ended audio jack cable. When I try to record audio, it sounds choppy and jumpy. I’ve been using Adobe Audition, but I’ve also tried the basic Sound Recorder, which isn’t choppy but it’s still nowhere near the quality coming from my speakers. I’m probably just going to use VAC or something, but do you know of anything that would make the direct connection sound better? Thanks!

    44. Ed Jervis says:

      If you have a Realtek Audio driver, the problem is most likely the driver. Do NOT get the latest drivers. Realtek drivers have somehow degraded to the point where they don’t support Stereo MIx. Get driver Vista_Win7_R237.

      Your problem should be solved. You might still have to show hidden devices, etc, but most likely it will just show up.

      Thanks to Epic_Geek for this answer.

    45. Thanks dude for your research and support…..and it is really helpful

      great work

      Thanks in Advance

    46. Aussie Aussie says:

      Thanks heaps.
      I used your 2nd suggestion i.e –
      Download this driver and install in windows xp sp2
      Also check the this link for more details.

      It worked!!!

    47. k0sa says:

      IT WORKS!!


      I run on WINDOWS 7 Ultimate and I believe it works on VISTA as well. It works on my sony VGN-SZ3XWP/C

      1. Dowload the driver:


      2. Extract and right click on setup.exe, Properties, find Compatibility

      3. In compatibility mode: Run this program in compatibility of: choose Windows Vista (service pack 2). It should work on Windows 7 as well.

      4. Install the driver.

      5. Restart

      6. Go to control panel / hardware and sound / Sound

      7. Click: Recording and you should have the Stereo Mix, then click unable

      It works for me and I think it should work for you guys too!

      Enjoy, please leave a comment so we all know whether it works on your machines or not.

      Double kisses x x

    48. LpSamuelm says:

      The first solution for vist works for 7 users, too! Thank you!

    49. I simply use an audio splitter with 2 seperate 2.1 systems
      works like magic..

    50. Jose says:

      Option 2 for Sigmatel Audio Card, simple and accurate

      Many Thanks.

    51. shameem says:

      my toshiba C650-129 laptop stereo mix not working, i make format again, but not yet finish problem. recording device, i can see here 2 microphones only. there is no stereomix option.also i try to install realtek audio driver,but not working. please help me, thank you.

    52. audio driver says:

      thank the solutions, i know how to fix my audio problem.

    53. Rachel says:

      I got everthing in step 2 and i plugged them in. Now what?

    54. Der MN-Blog says:

      Stereomix per Kabel nachrüsten…

      Da meine Soundkarte kein Stereomix beherrscht, habe ich im Internet recherchiert und mit dieser Seite eine Lösung gefunden. Leider ist dieser Eintrag dort nur auf englisch und auch falsch, da er so bei mir nicht funktionierte. Daher habe ich daraus fol…

    55. ab says:

      thanks, I have Dell and option 2 works for me.

    56. JR says:

      do I get the stereo mix options after getting the audio jack and wire then plugging them?

      I won’t actually use my stereo mix for recording purposes so I really need to activate stereo mix on my pc.
      Using realtek here

    57. lazylion says:

      – Check “Show Disabled Devices” and “Show Disconnected Devices”.

      awesome! thanks!!!

    58. jackanderton says:

      I need to use my microphone too- in this case it requires two splitters! But the problem is, when I link the minijack cable to the two splitters, attach the mic to the splitter in the mic port, and the headphones to the splitter in the headphones port, it doesn’t work. why not? please help.

    59. nylon says:

      The disabled mixer is a tribute to RIAA anti-piracy mania, and the spineless IT companies who bow to them.

      To record from line in, I suggest http://www.abyssmedia.com/isound7/

      Works beautifully.

    60. vikas says:

      realtek option worked for me.

    61. bribe says:

      hi folks,
      i also have the same problem with my ThinkPad T510i, “conexant 20585 smartaudio hd” soundcard. after days of ineffective google and youtube searches i found this post and hope that you can also help me.
      which driver could i use for my system to get the stereo mix enabled in the recording device section?

      just to go sure: yes, i made sure that disabled devices are shown in this section and yes, i do have the latest manufacturer’s driver installed.

      if you don’t know about a suitable driver: i heard that there’s a way to solve this which involves changes in the registry. any knowledge abou that?

      thank you so very much in advance, you are my last hope!
      PS: i’m a musician and desperately need the option to get the stereo mix signal into audio editing programs.

      • Nihar says:

        @bribe, Did you check my other post Use VAC (Virtual Audio Cable). Why don’t you try that.

        • bribe says:

          yes, I did and it seemed to work as promissed. however, the free version plays this annoying “trial” sound every few seconds and I hate the idea, that I would have to pay for such a basic function even though I already spent so much money on a Thinkpad, believing that the high price would keep such troubles away from me 🙁 apparently, that was naive… so, no driver-based solution? anyone?
          thank you so far and merry christmas 😉

    62. Jake says:

      Cheers mate! You’re a lifesaver!

    63. Keith Aroo says:

      For my Toshiba Satellite, I bought a copy of i-Sound found at http://www.abyssmedia.com/isound7/

      Solved the problem! Works GREAT!!!

    64. Solo says:

      Hi Nihar,

      I’ve dropped an email about the VAC. I’m also interested in the VAC too. Appreciate if you can share it with me as well. Thanks.

    65. Mark says:

      i run Windows 7 on a Vaio computer that no matter how hard i try i can’t seem to get Stereo Mix to record my computers sound. I was wondering if theres just something different about Windows 7 on Vaio computers that i’m not understanding. Please help

    66. Mic says:

      Thanks for your work! You are saving our time 🙂

    67. Shaddar says:

      Thank You Man!

    68. Sriraj says:

      I am unable to get stereo mix and echo software….as i need it wen ising ..please help me

    69. Ashton says:

      thanks for the solutions you’ve provided here.
      I have realtek audio. it is easier to fix than what I thought.

    70. Snerky says:

      Thankyou! Great tutorial, very helpful. Now I can go about starting this podcast! Seriously, thankyou very much!

    71. Morteh says:

      what about High Definition Audio Devices?

    72. Mr Nix says:

      I have a Sony Vaio (NW11SS), however the best work around is to install Linux – you are now master of your hardware and all is good. Realtek cripple their drivers at Sony’s behest but the hardware function is still there. Sony do this shit with ATI drivers so you cannot install the generic video drivers but there are some nice folks on the internet that publish hacked drivers to remove the blacklisting, it would be nice if they could have a look at the Realtek drivers and remove the blacklisting check there.

      Dear Sony,

      I will never buy another of your shit products again as you try to shaft the consumer and break their applications all because you want to sell crap teeny bop records at inflated prices.

    73. Jack says:


      You don’t have to use any third party software!!!

      How to enable stereo mix with Conexant HD SmartAudio… you need to edit the registry for this

      This is what worked for me on my Sony Vaio VPCEJ2B1E with a Conexant HD SmartAudio Sound Card, it looks like it works on other laptops with Conexant sound chips too… Conexant removed the stereo mix icon in sound properties to avoid copyright issues.

      Run regedit (Click “Start” type “regedit” in the search box)

      Go to:

      In Epattributes, create a new key named EpSettings (note that for every key and value you create, the names are case sensitive) If you already have EpSettings there that’s OK use it and click on it.

      Open up EpSettings and create a key named StereoMixEnable (by right clicking on EpSettings and selecting “New” & then “Key”)

      Click the StereoMixEnable key and create a binary value named Enable. Change the value to 1 (or 01 if you can’t just put in 1)

      Create a binary value named MixAssocSeq. Change the value to E0 E0 (it may look like e0 e0 when done but this still works)

      Create a binary value named MuteGainSettings. Change the value to 00 00

      Reboot and enable stereo mix from the recording devices dialog box. Enjoy!

    74. kucai says:

      I have a toshiba L640
      Conexant HD audio driver
      why my mic stereo not appear
      I’ve installed realteak
      still no stereo mic

    75. Daniel says:

      Thank You, Thank You, Thank you….
      The solution with the audio splitter worked for me…

    76. Shiny Black says:

      I know that I am posting ages after your blog post, but if you are still answering questions, I have two of them for you. I simply want to make sure I fully understand what I should expect before I spend money (no matter how little it may be) on parts.

      1) When you cover the audio splitter, you say: “You plug this into one of the audio input jacks from the splitter then plug the other end into your mic input (usually pink). Then plug some headphones into the other input jack from the splitter.”

      I’m a complete n00b about this kind of thing, so my question is, is the headphones part necessary? Do I need a splitter at all (as opposed to just a M/M 3.5mm cord) if I have nothing else that has to go into the microphone or input jack at the back of my CPU? Is it possible for me to forego the splitter, use the M/M cable in the back, and then plug my microphone into the front panel of my CPU?

      2) Also, will this workaround make recording programs like HyperCam/Audacity/etc. recognize stereo mix as an option depsite the fact that Realtek has disabled/removed stereo mix capabilities on my sound card out of the box?

      I’ve heard a couple of people very briefly mention the whole input cable method, but no one has ever really elaborated on if recording software (like video capture and audio capture) software *actually recognize* stereo mix as being present or not.

      I have been wanting to record some of my video gameplay for personal use, and this whole stereo mix mess is preventing me from recording in-game sound short of placing a microphone right next to my speakers. I saw your post about VAC, but I don’t want to spend that kind of money on something when I’m not entirely certain that my ancient computer will be able to run everything at once smoothly and properly.

    77. Prerna says:

      I am setting up a home studio just like this and i am experiencing difficulties. Actually i am using the laptop T410 Lenovo Thinkpad. There is only one port for headphones/mic. I am using the same splitter as shown above in your description. It devides the port into two parts, one part is used for headphones and in the other part i am using the same cable as you shown in the description. now other end of this cable wire is connected to amplifier and the input of mic is given to amplifier.
      The problem with my laptop is it uses internal microphone to record. If i disable internal microphone from sounds->Recording, then the recording can’t be done. I want to disable my internal microphone and want to record from my external mic.
      Please help me regarding the same. I shall be very thankful to you.
      My sound driver is Conexant 20585 SmartAudioHD.

    78. Emilio Pastrana says:

      Thanks for the tip, it helped me a lot. I’m using a RealTek Audio card for my Toshiba laptop (Satellite A-135-S46456) and your suggestion solved the problem. I had to restart my laptop, though but it worked!!

    79. k; says:

      Thanks bro…..jugaadu 😛

    80. ASHISH says:

      i have lenvo g-50-80 laptop with conexant smart audio hd driver. my sound card does not suport stereo mis recording. also there is only one combo audio jack in which we can connect headphone. i want to record some video programs with sound . hence i want to enable stereo mix recording. i have
      1. audio splitter
      2. 3.5 mm male audio jack at both ends

      how to do connections to enable stereo mix?

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