How to Safely Update RealTek Drivers

If your RealTek speakers or sound card have stopped working, or if you have purchased them secondhand and cannot get them to work, you may need to download and install a RealTek driver.

A driver is a small piece of software that allows your RealTek device to communicate with the other hardware and software on your computer.  Without it, your hardware will function poorly if it functions at all. 

From time to time, you may need to update this software--especially if you install new hardware or software, or upgrade your operating system (Windows XP to Windows Vista, for example).

How to Check Your RealTek Device with the Windows Device Manager

You can check all your hardware using the Windows Device Manager.  In some versions of Windows, you can find this in the Control Panel.  If you don't find it there, try these steps:

Click Start.

Click on Control Panel.

Click on "System".

Select the tab labeled Hardware.

Open Device Manager.

If you see a question mark, exclamation point, or yellow triangle next to your device, you probably have a driver problem.

Sound, video and game controllers

How to Find and Download a Driver or Update from RealTek

You can find all the drivers you need on RealTek's website (www.realtek.com).  You don't need to go to any "free software download" sites for this.  They are often unreliable and may contain malicious software!
Once you are on the website, click the "Downloads" link in the menu bar, as shown below:

Click Downloads

Once you are on the Downloads page, hover your mouse over "Computer Peripheral ICs" on the left side of the page.  From here, you will need to hover over "PC Audio Codecs".  Then, click on "Software".

Computer Peripheral ICs

You may be prompted to accept a licensing agreement.  If so, click on the box to continue.

Accept Terms

On the next page, find your operating system, (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X, etc.)  You will then be shown a list of "codecs" that fit your operating system.  Click the "GO" link next to the appropriate link (you can find your device make and model in the Device Manager, usually.  If not, check the product packaging or the device itself).  Clicking "GO" will take you to the download page.

Select OS

From there, you can save the file.  If given the choice, save it on the desktop or some other easy-to-remember place.

Save File

How to Install Your New RealTek Driver

Now you can double-click on the file (most likely a ".zip" file or folder).  If it will not open, you can download a free program called 7Zip to open it for you.  Once you have opened the folder, find and double-click on "Setup".
When the installer appears, follow the instructions (usually this just means clicking the "Next" button).  You will need to restart your computer to activate your new RealTek driver.

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