Unable to Initialize Audio in Snagit


I experience one or more of the following errors when I record audio with Snagit:

  • Unable to start system audio error
  • Unable to initialize audio error


Please try all of the troubleshooting steps below.

Option 1: Check Audio Drivers

Outdated device drivers on your computer can cause errors. We recommend visiting your computer manufacturer's support site to download and install the latest updates for the audio driver.

Windows Update searches for driver updates automatically. You can often find more recent ones manually.

Here are some popular manufacturer's support sites:

Option 2: Rule Out Third-Party Conflicts

Some machines come with third party audio utilities pre-installed on the computer. Below is a list of known third party utilities that will cause problems with Snagit. We recommend uninstalling these components from the computer.

  • Nahimic Audio
  • Replay Capture Suite
  • ASUS Sonic Suite (ASUS machines)
  • ASUS Sonic Studio (ASUS machines)
  • ASUS Sonic Radar (ASUS machines)
  • Alienware Soundcenter (Dell machines)
  • Alienware Command Center (Dell machines)

Also check for the Nahimic service below, and follow the steps to disable it.

  1. Press Windows+R on your keyboard to open the Run window.
  2. Type the following and click OK: services.msc
  3. Locate Nahimic service and double-click it.
  4. For the Startup type dropdown, choose Disabled.
  5. Click Apply.
  6. Reboot the computer and try Snagit again.

Option 3: Rule Out External Hardware

We recommend using a direct USB microphone for the best quality when recording ambient sounds or voices. Snagit does not currently support using external audio interface devices. However, if you are using an external device to connect a microphone, confirm that the interface is using a sample rate of 44.1 kHz and 16-bit.

If you receive an error when using an external interface device, disconnect that device, plug your microphone directly into the computer, then restart Snagit and try to record again. This action helps determine if the problem is related to that device or not.

We do not recommend using Bluetooth devices for playback or recording in Snagit.

Option 4: Check Windows Recording and Playback Settings

Windows 10

Some Windows 10 devices enable audio enhancements. This can cause audio issues in your recording.

  1. In the Control Panel, select Sound > Recording tab.
  2. Select your recording device and click Properties.
  3. On the Advanced tab, deselect Enable audio enhancements and click Apply.

Try a new recording in Snagit to confirm that the audio issues are resolved.

Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7

Snagit works best when the audio devices on the computer are configured to a 16-bit, 44.1 kHz sample rate. Check the sample rate on your computer and change it if necessary.

  1. In the Control Panel, select Sound > Recording (for microphone audio) or Playback (for system audio).
  2. Select the recording/playback device and click Properties.
  3. On the Advanced tab, set the Default Format to 16 bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality).
  4. Click Apply.

Try a new recording in Snagit to confirm that the audio issues are resolved.

Option 5: Adjust Cortana Settings

If you receive an error about not being able to initialize the audio on a Surface Book or Surface Pro 4, please try these steps. First, check that the internal microphone is enabled in your Control Panel > Sound > Recording. Restart Snagit and start a new video recording to verify you still receive the error. If the problem continues, try disabling the following Cortana feature:

  1. Click Search in the taskbar.
  2. Click the gear icon on the left.
  3. Toggle off Hey Cortana.

Try a new recording in Snagit to confirm that the audio issues are resolved.

Option 6: Change Snagit Recording Method (Snagit 2018 and Later Only)

Beginning with Snagit 2018, Snagit will attempt to use Media Foundation for recording and encoding audio. If there is a problem with Media Foundation (Media Foundation is a part of Windows), this may result in problems with Snagit. Try reverting to using the old WAV API in Snagit.

  1. Exit Snagit and the Snagit Editor. Confirm that they are not running in Task Manager.
  2. Press Windows+R on your keyboard to open the Run window.
  3. Type the following and click OK: regedit
  4. Browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\TechSmith\Features\snagit.
  5. Click the snagit folder.
  6. Right-click the AllowMfAudioCapture item on the right and select Modify.
  7. Change the Value data field from 1 to 0, and press OK.
  8. Close the Registry Editor, and open Snagit, and try a new recording.