Audiosrv cannot be stopped (Windows Audio Service)

So, I just came across an interesting issue with one of the users at the company I work for, and googling didn’t seem to help. Therefore, someone needs to put the information out there, because technet is just…*ugh* sometimes.

The problem-
Windows audio service stops and cannot be restarted/stopped/or started
The Solution/workaround-
Ideally, we’d like to reset Windows 10 and just start fresh. In an enterprise environment, especially in the realm of executives/VP’s, this isn’t always feasible in the moment, so as a workaround we can perform the following procedure:
-Press Win+R to bring up a run box, type ‘services.msc’ (without quotes) and press the Enter key

Run prompt with services.msc highlighted
Run Prompt

-Scroll down to Windows Audio Service, right-click and select “Properties”.

Services Window with Windows Audio Service selected; right-click menu showing.
Services Window

CAVEAT: if you can successfully stop, then start the service, you don’t need to read on. This is for those experiencing the issue of being unable to start or stop audiosrv.

Now that we have the properties pulled up, change the startup type to: disabled. This setting will disallow any processes from starting the service and leaving it in a hung state during Windows startup.

Windows Audio Services properties window
Windows Audio Service Properties window

Now, after a quick reboot – you can re-open services.msc, scroll all the way down to Windows Audio Service and set the Startup type back to Automatic. Click apply then click start and the service should be up and running, and now you’re free to track down which of the 19 audio device’s drivers screwed everything up in the first place πŸ™‚ Or, at the very least will fix the sound again for a short while!

Command line option

So if you prefer the command line, or say you’re in an environment where it’s not exactly ideal for you to interact with the GUI, you can alternately use the command prompt to accomplish the same thing. Run command prompt as an administrator, and enter the following:

sc config audiosrv start=disabled

This sets the startup type to disabled, then you need to restart:

shutdown -r -t 0

Note, do not run the shutdown command if you have unsaved documents open or there is another user logged on. Once the OS comes back up, we need to set the startup type back to automatic and then start the service (this can apply to any service – see list of services by service name):

sc config audiosrv start=auto
net start audiosrv

After that, you’re done πŸ™‚

Further reading:
Windows Commands: sc / service control (Microsoft)
Net Start / Stop / Pause / Continue (SS64)

Windows Services list

Display NameShortName
ActiveX Installer (AxInstSV)AxInstSV
Adaptive BrightnessSensrSvc
Application ExperienceAeLookupSvc
Application Host Helper ServiceAppHostSvc
Application IdentityAppIDSvc
Application InformationAppinfo
Application Layer Gateway ServiceALG
Application ManagementAppMgmt
ASP.NET State Serviceaspnet_state
Background Intelligent Transfer ServiceBITS
Base Filtering EngineBFE
BitLocker Drive Encryption ServiceBDESVC
Block Level Backup Engine Servicewbengine
Bluetooth Support Servicebthserv
BranchCachePeerDistSvc
Certificate PropagationCertPropSvc
Client for NFSNfsClnt
CNG Key IsolationKeyIso
COM+ Event SystemEventSystem
COM+ System ApplicationCOMSysApp
Computer BrowserBrowser
Credential ManagerVaultSvc
Cryptographic ServicesCryptSvc
DCOM Server Process LauncherDcomLaunch
Desktop Window Manager Session ManagerUxSms
DHCP ClientDhcp
Diagnostic Policy ServiceDPS
Diagnostic Service HostWdiServiceHost
Diagnostic System HostWdiSystemHost
Disk Defragmenterdefragsvc
Distributed Link Tracking ClientTrkWks
Distributed Transaction CoordinatorMSDTC
DNS ClientDnscache
Encrypting File System (EFS)EFS
Extensible Authentication ProtocolEapHost
FaxFax
Function Discovery Provider HostfdPHost
Function Discovery Resource PublicationFDResPub
Group Policy Clientgpsvc
Health Key and Certificate Managementhkmsvc
HomeGroup ListenerHomeGroupListener
HomeGroup ProviderHomeGroupProvider
Human Interface Device Accesshidserv
IIS Admin ServiceIISADMIN
IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying ModulesIKEEXT
Indexing ServiceCISVC
Interactive Services DetectionUI0Detect
Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)SharedAccess
IP Helperiphlpsvc
IPsec Policy AgentPolicyAgent
KtmRm for Distributed Transaction CoordinatorKtmRm
Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapperlltdsvc
LPD ServiceLPDSVC
Media Center Extender ServiceMcx2Svc
Message QueuingMSMQ
Message Queuing TriggersMSMQTriggers
Microsoft .NET Framework NGEN v2.0.50727clr_optimization_v2.0.50727
Microsoft FTP Serviceftpsvc
Microsoft iSCSI Initiator ServiceMSiSCSI
Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Providerswprv
Multimedia Class SchedulerMMCSS
Net.Msmq Listener AdapterNetMsmqActivator
Net.Pipe Listener AdapterNetPipeActivator
Net.Tcp Listener AdapterNetTcpActivator
Net.Tcp Port Sharing ServiceNetTcpPortSharing
NetlogonNetlogon
Network Access Protection Agentnapagent
Network ConnectionsNetman
Network List Servicenetprofm
Network Location AwarenessNlaSvc
Network Store Interface Servicensi
Offline FilesCscService
Parental ControlsWPCSvc
Peer Name Resolution ProtocolPNRPsvc
Peer Networking Groupingp2psvc
Peer Networking Identity Managerp2pimsvc
Performance Logs & Alertspla
Plug and PlayPlugPlay
PnP-X IP Bus EnumeratorIPBusEnum
PNRP Machine Name Publication ServicePNRPAutoReg
Portable Device Enumerator ServiceWPDBusEnum
PowerPower
Print SpoolerSpooler
Problem Reports and Solutions Control Panel Supportwercplsupport
Program Compatibility Assistant ServicePcaSvc
Protected StorageProtectedStorage
Quality Windows Audio Video ExperienceQWAVE
Remote Access Auto Connection ManagerRasAuto
Remote Access Connection ManagerRasMan
Remote Desktop ConfigurationSessionEnv
Remote Desktop ServicesTermService
Remote Desktop Services UserMode Port RedirectorUmRdpService
Remote Procedure Call (RPC)RpcSs
Remote Procedure Call (RPC) LocatorRpcLocator
Remote RegistryRemoteRegistry
RIP Listeneriprip
Routing and Remote AccessRemoteAccess
RPC Endpoint MapperRpcEptMapper
SeaPortSeaPort
Secondary Logonseclogon
Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol ServiceSstpSvc
Security Accounts ManagerSamSs
Security Centerwscsvc
ServerLanmanServer
Shell Hardware DetectionShellHWDetection
Simple TCP/IP Servicessimptcp
Smart CardSCardSvr
Smart Card Removal PolicySCPolicySvc
SNMP ServiceSNMP
SNMP TrapSNMPTRAP
Software Protectionsppsvc
SPP Notification Servicesppuinotify
SSDP DiscoverySSDPSRV
Storage ServiceStorSvc
SuperfetchSysMain
System Event Notification ServiceSENS
Tablet PC Input ServiceTabletInputService
Task SchedulerSchedule
TCP/IP NetBIOS Helperlmhosts
TelephonyTapiSrv
TelnetTlntSvr
ThemesThemes
Thread Ordering ServerTHREADORDER
TPM Base ServicesTBS
UPnP Device Hostupnphost
User Profile ServiceProfSvc
Virtual Diskvds
Volume Shadow CopyVSS
Web Management ServiceWMSVC
WebClientWebClient
Windows AudioAudioSrv
Windows Audio Endpoint BuilderAudioEndpointBuilder
Windows BackupSDRSVC
Windows Biometric ServiceWbioSrvc
Windows CardSpaceidsvc
Windows Color SystemWcsPlugInService
Windows Connect Now – Config Registrarwcncsvc
Windows DefenderWinDefend
Windows Driver Foundation – User-mode Driver Frameworkwudfsvc
Windows Error Reporting ServiceWerSvc
Windows Event CollectorWecsvc
Windows Event LogEventLog
Windows FirewallMpsSvc
Windows Font Cache ServiceFontCache
Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)StiSvc
Windows Installermsiserver
Windows Live Family Safetyfsssvc
Windows Management InstrumentationWinmgmt
Windows Media Center Receiver ServiceehRecvr
Windows Media Center Scheduler ServiceehSched
Windows Media Player Network Sharing ServiceWMPNetworkSvc
Windows Modules InstallerTrustedInstaller
Windows Presentation Foundation Font Cache 3.0.0.0FontCache3.0.0.0
Windows Process Activation ServiceWAS
Windows Remote Management (WS-Management)WinRM
Windows SearchWSearch
Windows TimeW32Time
Windows Updatewuauserv
WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery ServiceWinHttpAutoProxySvc
Wired AutoConfigdot3svc
WLAN AutoConfigWlansvc
WMI Performance AdapterwmiApSrv
WorkstationLanmanWorkstation
World Wide Web Publishing ServiceW3SVC
WWAN AutoConfigWwanSvc

For more reading and reference, check out the following:
Microsoft Windows components-Services (Wikipedia)
Windows Commands: sc / service control (Microsoft)
Net Start / Stop / Pause / Continue (SS64)