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What Is Microsoft Sound Mapper and How to Fix “Microsoft Sound Mapper is Missing”

Windows users often get a scare when finding application and service names they’re not familiar with. Some users run into the Microsoft Sound Mapper and upon not recognizing it at first glance, you might think it’s a harmful application or something you should turn off right away to reduce power usage.

Microsoft sound mapper

Microsoft’s Sound Mapper — also referred to as MME-WDM Microsoft Sound Mapper in various audio apps, — is usually the driver audio playback and recording defaults to after you install new audio software. It also appears after you install a new audio interface.

This means that the Sound Mapper is an entirely safe and often needed driver on your computer. Many users report having issues with the driver, such as getting an error saying “The playback device Microsoft Sound Mapper does not exist.” or “Windows Sound Mapper is missing.

How to fix Microsoft Sound Mapper errors

Getting Sound Mapper errors might even cause audio to stop working on your device, which is an extremely frustrating issue. In our article, you can find some of the most efficient hotfixes to restore the Sound Mapper and fix any audio issues related to it.

Method 1: Update your audio driver

update audio driver

Especially if Windows 10 has been updated lately, you might be running incompatible or outdated drivers on your computer. This can cause issues with the Sound Mapper, which then leads to no audio playback on your device. To fix this, use our guide below.

  1. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard and select the Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Sound, video and game controllers section.
  3. Right-click on your audio adapter and select Update Driver.
  4. Select the option to automatically search for an updated driver and wait for Windows 10 to install it.
  5. Restart your computer and check if your issue is fixed.

Method 2: Rollback your audio driver

The opposite problem from the previous method means that you’re currently on an older version of Windows 10, however, it has newer drivers. To fix this without having to update your system itself, simply roll back your driver to an earlier version.

  1. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard and select the Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Sound, video and game controllers section.
  3. Right-click on your audio adapter and select Properties.
  4. Switch to the Driver tab and check for a Rollback driver button. If it’s clickable, simply click on it and follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. Restart your computer and check if your issue is fixed.

Method 3: Set your sound card as the default device

Some applications aren’t able to use the Sound Mapper, which means they require your sound card itself to be set as the default device. You can do this by performing the steps below and setting your sound card or headphones as the default device for audio playback on your device.

  1. Right-click on the sound icon in the far right of your taskbar. If you don’t see it, try clicking on the arrow pointing upwards to show hidden tray items.
  2. Select Sounds from the context menu. A new window should appear.
  3. Select the device you want to make your default for audio playback, then click on the Set Default button.
  4. Click OK to apply your changes and test if your issue is fixed.

Method 4: Run the Windows 10 Audio Troubleshooter

audio troublshooter

Windows 10 comes with many different troubleshooters that aim to identify and fix issues for you. By running the Audio Troubleshooter, you might be able to get more insight into what causes problems with the Sound Mapper on your computer.

  1. Press the Windows + S keys on your keyboard to bring up the search feature.
  2. Type in “Troubleshooting” and click on the top result. This should take you to the classic Control Panel.
  3. Under Hardware and Sound, select Troubleshoot audio playback.
  4. If prompted, enter an administrator password or give administrator confirmation.
  5. Follow any on-screen instructions and complete the wizard.
  6. Close the troubleshooter once it finished and check if your issue is fixed.

Method 5: Use the System File Checker (SFC scan)

The System File Checker is a tool available in Windows 10 by default. It’s also called an “SFC scan,” and it’s your quickest way to automatically fix corrupted system files and other issues.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard. This is going to bring up the Run utility.
  2. Type in “cmd” and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys on your keyboard. Doing so, you’re launching the Command Prompt with administrative permissions.
  3. If prompted, click Yes to allow the Command Prompt to make changes on your device.
  4. Once in the Command Prompt, type in the following command and press Enter to execute it: SFC /scannow
    sfc scan
  5. Wait for the SFC scan to finish scanning your computer and repairing corrupt files. This may take a long time; ensure that you don’t close the Command Prompt or shut your computer down.
  6. Restart your device after the scan is complete. Check if you’re able to update Windows after the restart has finished.

We hope that our article was able to help you troubleshoot issues with the Microsoft Sound Mapper. Enjoy all the applications and services it has to offer to your heart's content.

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