KB5015878 update broke audio in Windows but Microsoft has a fix... of sorts

Windows 10 logo on a beach

One of the most recent updates released by Microsoft that has had something of an unwanted payload is the KB5015878 update for Windows 10. Many people installing the update found that it broke audio on their systems.

Microsoft has not only acknowledged the problem, it has also issued a fix. The company is using a once-rare-but-becoming-increasingly-common Known Issue Rollback (KIR) to recall the update. Sadly, it will be of no use to people who are experiencing audio problems!

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In the known issues for the update, Microsoft now lists the audio issue. The company says: "After installing this update, some Windows devices might have issues with audio not working. Some affected Windows devices might have no audio, but other affected Windows devices might only have issues on certain ports, certain audio devices or only within certain applications. Most affected audio devices drivers have the "audio enhancements" setting disabled before installing this update or the sound device driver has issues with the "audio enhancements" feature".

It may sound a little strange that the KIR has no effect on systems that are actually affected by the audio problems, but this is something that Microsoft confirms, saying:

This issue is addressed using a Known Issue Rollback (KIR). This KIR will prevent the issue on Windows devices that have not installed KB5015878, but will have no effect on devices already affected by this known issue. Please note that it might take up to 24 hours for the KIR to propagate automatically to consumer devices and non-managed business devices. Restarting your Windows device might help the KIR apply to your device faster.

Over on its release health pages, Microsoft has advice for people who have already installed the KB5015878 update:

If you have already installed the update and are experiencing issues with audio on all apps, you can try the following to mitigate the issue:

- The Windows audio or sound troubleshooter might be able to resolve the issue for you. You can launch the troubleshooter from Fix sound or audio problems in Windows by selecting the Open Get Help button in the article. The Get Help dialog window should open, and you will need to select yes to open the troubleshooter.

- If your device's audio is still not working as expected, follow the instructions in Disable Audio Enhancements. Note: The article uses the microphone as an example, but you will need to do the steps for any affected audio device.

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