7 Fixes for Application Audio Output Capture Not Showing

Streaming and recording digital content have become integral in today’s digital age, and OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) stands out as an invaluable tool in this realm. 

Whether you’re a seasoned gamer, an online educator, or just diving into the world of live broadcasting, OBS offers a plethora of functionalities to suit varied needs. However, like any robust software, users occasionally encounter hurdles. 

A common yet perplexing issue many face is the inexplicable absence of application audio output in their OBS captures. 

If your application audio output isn’t showing in OBS, quickly check the ‘Audio’ settings in OBS and ensure ‘Desktop Audio’ is set to the primary output. If unresolved, add an ‘Audio Output Capture’ source, selecting the correct device. Ensure both OBS and the app are updated.

This article delves into this specific challenge, offering actionable solutions to ensure your audience receives both visual and auditory content seamlessly. 

Let’s dive in and tune up your OBS audio capture!

Common Causes of Audio Output Capture Not Showing 

Despite the comprehensive utility of OBS for gamers and other content creators, users may occasionally confront the issue of Application Audio Output not Appearing as expected. Navigating this concern effectively requires a foundational understanding of the possible causes behind it.

Below is the list of some cause for the application audio output capture not showing issue:

  • Outdated OBS software or audio drivers.
  • Misconfigured audio settings within OBS.
  • The source application is muted or on low volume.
  • Apps taking exclusive control of the audio device.
  • Mismatched audio sample rates.
  • Conflicts from multiple audio devices.
  • OBS not run with administrative privileges.
  • Interference from third-party software.
  • Disabled or malfunctioning audio services.
  • Overlapping OBS capture sources causing conflicts.
  • Incompatible audio codecs with OBS.

7 Useful Fixes for Application Audio Output Capture Not Showing

Following is a useful guide that offers swift solutions to get your audio back on track. So, let’s get started: 

#1- Preliminary Checks

Before diving deep into intricate solutions, it’s crucial to cover some preliminary checks.

  • Keeping OBS Updated

OBS, like any software, undergoes regular updates to address bugs, improve performance, and introduce new features. Keeping your software updated ensures that you’re equipped with the latest patches and solutions for known problems. 

  • Verifying Application Sound Output

Before jumping to conclusions about OBS being the issue, it’s critical to ascertain the sound output from the source application itself. There might be instances where the application’s audio is muted, its volume is turned down low, or there’s an internal audio setting hindering the output. Running a sound test or checking the application’s audio settings can help identify if the problem starts here.

  • Restarting for Immediate Relief

Temporal glitches, minor software clashes, or transient issues often get resolved with a simple restart. By rebooting both OBS and the problematic application, you’re essentially clearing any temporary bottlenecks or conflicts, offering a clean slate for both programs to operate. This step, though elementary, can prove to be a swift remedy for many common audio capture problems.

#2- Diving into OBS Audio Settings

  • Navigating the ‘Audio’ Settings in OBS
  1. Upon launching OBS, one of the first places you’ll want to familiarize yourself with is the ‘Audio’ settings. 
  2. Start by clicking on ‘Settings’ in the bottom right corner of the OBS interface. This opens up a new window where various configuration options reside. 
  3. On the left pane, you’ll find a list of settings categories; select ‘Audio’ to access all audio-related configurations.
  4. Set the “Channels to Stereo” setting.
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  1. For the “Desktop Audio Device” option, select your preferred device. Similarly, choose your desired device for “Microphone/Auxiliary Audio Device.”
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  1. After applying the settings, restart your application. 
  • Configuring the ‘Desktop Audio’ Output

Within the ‘Audio’ settings, ‘Desktop Audio’ is a critical component. This controls which device OBS captures sound from, typically capturing everything that your computer plays out loud. 

By default, it may be set to ‘Default’, which uses the system’s primary playback device. However, you might need to specify which one to use if you have multiple audio outputs, such as speakers and headphones. 

To do this, simply click on the dropdown next to ‘Desktop Audio’ and select the appropriate output device. Ensure that this matches the device through which your application is playing sound.

  • The Integral Role of the Audio Mixer

Adjacent to your scenes and sources in the main OBS interface, you’ll find the audio mixer. This is more than just a series of volume sliders. The mixer provides you with tools to adjust audio levels, mute specific sources, and even apply filters. Utilizing the mixer effectively is pivotal for achieving balanced and clear audio in your recordings or streams. 

By closely monitoring it, you can immediately pinpoint if a source is silent, too loud, or riddled with interference and take corrective measures on the fly.

#3- Check Audio Output Capture in OBS

  1. To add a new ‘Audio Output Capture’ source in OBS, navigate to the ‘Sources’ panel at the bottom of the main interface and click on the ‘+’ button. 
  2. From the list that pops up, select “Audio Output Capture” and assign it a distinctive name for future reference. 
  3. Once added, a properties window will emerge, prompting you to specify the audio device from which you intend to capture sound. It’s essential to pick the device corresponding to the application or hardware of interest.

While the above steps might seem straightforward, be wary of potential challenges. Always ascertain that the chosen device isn’t muted or set too low in volume. Be vigilant about applications that might seize exclusive control of audio devices, preventing simultaneous access by OBS. 

#4- Resolving encoding issues

When OBS Studio’s audio doesn’t seem to function as expected, misconfigured encoding settings can often be the culprit. Such discrepancies might prevent OBS from capturing sounds from both the desktop and microphone. Here’s a step-by-step guide to rectify the encoding settings:

  1. Launch OBS Studio and navigate to the ‘Settings’ button situated at the bottom right corner.
  2. Within the left sidebar, select ‘Output.’ Adjust your Bitrate to a value of 128 and input 3500 in the provided field. The ‘Rate Control’ setting is also available for customization based on your preferences.
  3. Seek out the ‘Use CBR’ option and ensure it’s deselected. After making the necessary modifications, affirm these changes by hitting the ‘OK’ button.
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  1. For the changes to take full effect, it’s advisable to close and relaunch OBS Studio. Subsequently, initiate a test recording or stream to confirm the proper working of the audio.

#5- Run OBS as Administrator

Elevated permissions, often referred to as “administrative privileges,” allow a program to interact with and modify system settings or other programs that it wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Running OBS Studio with these elevated rights can make a significant difference in its performance and compatibility with other applications.

Steps to Run OBS as Administrator:

  1. Find the OBS Studio shortcut icon on your desktop or in your start menu.
  2. Right-click on the Icon and a context menu will appear.
  3. Choose ‘Run as administrator’; this option will grant OBS the permissions it requires. When selected, you might receive a User Account Control (UAC) prompt asking for confirmation. Proceed by clicking ‘Yes.’
  4. If running as an administrator solves the audio capture issue, consider setting OBS to always run with these elevated rights. To do this, right-click on the OBS icon, select ‘Properties,’ go to the ‘Compatibility’ tab, and tick the box that says ‘Run this program as an administrator.’ This ensures that every time OBS is launched, it starts with the necessary permissions.

#6- Updating Audio Drivers

Encountering recurring audio problems in OBS might indicate that your system’s audio drivers are not up-to-date. Keeping these drivers current is essential for ensuring OBS can capture input or output audio accurately.

You can update drivers manually and automatically. Here’s a guide to both manual and automated methods of updating your drivers:

  • Updating Drivers Manually
  1. Visit the official website of your sound card manufacturer.
  2. Navigate to the drivers or downloads section and look for the newest driver tailored for your sound card model.
  3. It’s crucial to ensure that the driver you select is congruent with your operating system, be it Windows 10, 11, or any other version.
  • Automatic Driver Update Method
  1. Initiate a search on your computer for ‘Device Manager’ and access it.
  2. Within the interface, scroll down to the ‘Audio Inputs and Outputs’ section and identify the audio driver in need of an update.
  3. Upon selecting the driver, right-click and opt for the ‘Update Driver’ choice from the dropdown.
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  1. In the subsequent window, select the option to ‘Search for Drivers Automatically.’
  2. The system will then scour the internet for the latest driver iteration, downloading and installing it if a newer version is detected.

Regularly refreshing your drivers ensures smoother performance and diminishes the likelihood of encountering glitches with audio capture in OBS.

#7- Beneficial OBS Plugins for Audio Capture:

OBS is a powerful tool, but with the right plugins, its capabilities can be extended even further, especially concerning audio capture. Here are some popular plugins:

  • Spectralizer: An audio visualizer that adds aesthetic appeal to your streams.
  • Tuna: Helps in showing song information from various music players.
  • RyAudio: A plugin allowing for more advanced audio routing.

Installing these plugins usually involves a straightforward process: either run an installer or manually place files in the OBS plugins directory. Once set up, many can be found under the ‘Tools’ menu or added as a new source. 

However, before integrating any plugin, verify its compatibility with your OBS version and assess any potential performance impacts. And as with all software components, keeping them updated is crucial for optimal functionality and to benefit from the latest enhancements.


1. Why isn’t OBS capturing my application’s audio output?

OBS might not capture the audio due to outdated software, incorrect audio settings, or application-specific restrictions. Ensure OBS is updated, audio settings are correctly configured, and specific app nuances are addressed.

2. Can plugins help with OBS’s audio capture issues?

Yes, several plugins enhance OBS’s audio-capturing capabilities. Plugins like Spectralizer or Tuna can offer added functionality, but always ensure they’re compatible with your OBS version and check for any performance impacts.

3. What should I do if updating audio drivers doesn’t fix the issue?

If updating drivers doesn’t resolve the issue, check the application’s audio settings, run OBS as an administrator, and consider using virtual audio cables or third-party applications to aid in audio capture. Always ensure OBS settings align with your device outputs.


Encountering issues with application audio output in OBS can be both frustrating and disruptive. However, armed with the right knowledge and tools, these challenges can be systematically addressed. From understanding application-specific nuances to enhancing OBS with plugins, there’s always a solution waiting to be applied. As you continue your journey in content creation, remember that staying updated, being adaptable, and seeking out new solutions will ensure that your audience always hears you loud and clear. Whether you’re a seasoned streamer or just starting out, let these fixes guide you toward an uninterrupted audio experience.

Larry R. Jimenez
I'm the senior editor of I help people solve their computer problems and recommend reliable products. My area of expertise includes electronic or hardware products, Windows, Mac, and application tricks. I'm active in the various online tech communities where he provides help for new computer issues as they are released.

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