How to Set Default Speakers in Windows 11

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This post shows students and new users how to choose or set the default speakers or headset in Windows 11 so that Windows always uses it.

The just released preview of Windows 11 comes many new features and enhancements that may confuse some students and new users. These changes include, a redesigned user desktop, centered Start menu and taskbar, rounded corners windows, themes and colors and many more.

If you’re used to using multiple speakers of headphones in Windows, you may often have to switch between these different output devices for sounds. While it’s easy to set the default speakers for every apps across the system, some apps allows you to choose your preferred speakers which overrides the systems’ default.

The steps below show you how to set Windows default speakers and headphones so that sounds always come out from the correct device.

Also, for students and new users who want to learn how to use Windows, the easiest place to start is Windows 11. Windows 11 is a major release of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft. Windows 11 is the successor to Windows 10 and it’s expected to be released later this year.

To get started with setting Windows default speakers, follow the steps below:

How select default speakers in Windows 11

There are multiple ways to select Windows 11 default speakers. Using Windows systems settings, one can quickly select the system-wide speakers for all apps.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from its System Settings pane.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

windows 11 start settings

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click System, select Sound on the right pane of your screen shown in the image below.

windows 11 select default sound

On the Sound settings pane, under Output where you see “Choose your output device,” choose the output device you want to make the default to play sound.

In the highlighted image below, you can either select Speakers or Headset as your output device and Windows will also use the selected device to play sound.

windows 11 sound output device

The changes you make above will apply for all apps. However, certain app may be customize to override this setting and choose a different output device.

How to switch output devices in Windows 11

Another way to quickly switch Windows output devices is via the taskbar. If you want to quickly choose between sound devices, click on the speakers icon in the taskbar.

windows 11 speaker icon on taskbar

Then click on the right arrow as highlighted in the image below to show all sound devices.

windows 11 manage speakers from taskbar

From there you can select the device you want to use for sound. To quickly switch back to Windows default sound device, reverse the steps above and select that.

windows 11 select default output device

If you don’t see the connected playback device on the list, it maybe that the device is not recognized in Windows.


This post showed you how to choose Windows default sound output device for apps. If you find any error above, please use the comment form below to report.

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