Resolve Windows Vista’s “audio cannot be played back because it’s being used by another device” error with this simple trick.
Once in a while I keep getting an error on my Windows Vista desktop that says something like Windows Vista was not able to playback the audio as the device is already being used by another program. Even after quitting all the programs it still gives the same error. Turned out that Vista grants exclusive usage of the audio device to those programs by default. It could be a bug that even after the program gets closed it still locks the audio device.
Follow these simple steps to fix the audio exclusive use issue in Windows Vista,
Step-1: Launch Control Panel
Click on the Start button and then on Control Panel.
Step-2: Hardware and Sound
Click on the Hardware and Sound link.
Step-3: Manage Audio Devices
Click on the Manage Audio Devices link.
Step-4: Windows Vista Sound dialog
When Windows Vista’s Sound dialog pops-up choose the appropriate audio device, in this case Speakers/Headphones. Then click on the Properties button.
Step-5: Uncheck to not allow audio exclusive use
Windows Vista will pop-up the Properties dialog for Speakers/Headphones. Click on the Advanced tab and make sure to uncheck the “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device” option. Click on the OK buttons to close all dialogs.
This trick would be particularly applicable if you have external speakers connected to your Windows Vista computer. I hope this helps you have some peaceful experience with Windows Vista when it comes to audio issues. If you have any questions/comments please let us know in comments.