If your microphone is not working on Windows 10, then you need to follow these troubleshooting steps to fix it. Your microphone isn’t picking up your voice for a variety of reasons, and this guide will walk you through every potential issue step by step.
Hopefully by the time you are done with our tutorial, your microphone will be working normally. Also be sure to read the article on how to turn on your microphone in Windows.
Before we start, it’s important to find the original documentation for the microphone, or at least locate the microphone model and brand name to investigate possible fixes if necessary.
Check hardware connections
The first step is to check if your microphone has a faulty hardware connection. This is quite easy to do. Unplug the microphone first and then plug it back in. You should hear a beep indicating that Windows has recognized new hardware.
No audio prompts? Open the Start menu and search for Device Manager. Click on the first option that appears.
Then click to expand the Audio Inputs and Outputs section in Device Manager. When your microphone is plugged in, it should appear here.
If you don’t see your microphone here, unplug and plug it back in.
Still not showing up? Unplug it and then plug it into a different USB port. If it still doesn’t appear in Device Manager, try a different cable if possible. Also, try connecting it to another Windows computer in case something is damaged on your current computer.
If this is not possible or a different cable does not work, the problem may be with your microphone and you will have to send the microphone back for repair, refund, or buy a new one.
Check if drivers are necessary
If you see your microphone here, right-click it and select Properties. Then click the Driver tab. From here click on Update Driver. Then click on “Search automatically for updated driver software”.
If nothing is found, search for your microphone on Google. Search to see if the microphone manufacturer has drivers on their website.
Most microphones are now Plug and Play and driver installation on Windows 10 is largely a thing of the past, but on rare occasions an official driver download may be required.
After completing these steps, visit the app where you tried to use the microphone again and check if it works now. Still no luck? Proceed to the next step below.
Check Windows Sound Preferences
Windows has its own default audio devices that you may need to configure before you can use your microphone. To customize sound settings in Windows, open the Start menu and type Audio. After that click on “Manage Audio Devices”.
In the Audio Devices window, click the Recording tab. Find the microphone you want to use here and right click on it. First, make sure Disable is listed as an option. If not, click to enable.
If you don’t see your microphone here, you can also click Show Disabled Devices to make sure it’s not hidden from view. Once again, you must right-click the microphone and select enable if it appears as an enabled device.
If you have the option, you should also click “Set as default device” after right-clicking on the microphone. If it is already installed by default, you will see a green check mark and the line “Default device”.
Is your microphone still not working? Proceed to the next step below.
Disable hands-free on bluetooth devices
If you are using a Bluetooth device but want to use a standalone microphone, make sure the speakerphone is off. You can do this by following these steps.
- Open the Start menu.
- Search Audio Device Control
Then, on the Playback and Recording tabs, right-click any Bluetooth speakerphone and select the Disable option.
After completing these steps, try using the microphone in any application of your choice. If it still doesn’t work, try two more steps.
Check the audio settings in audio communication apps
We suggest that you check the sound settings in the application you are using. Sometimes standalone applications have their own controls for selecting default audio devices.
You can usually find these options by opening the settings menu and selecting the audio tab. The location will be different for each app, and some apps have no settings at all.
If you can’t find any sound settings page, a quick Google search for “How to change the microphone in the x app” will yield useful results.
After making the changes, restart the app and check if your microphone is working.
Check app permissions
In Windows 10, you can now deny or allow apps to access certain permissions. One of these permissions determines whether the application can access your microphone.
If you do not allow an app to use the microphone resolution, it will not be able to use your microphone even if you set it as your default recording device.
To access application permissions, follow these steps:
- Open the Start menu.
- Enter your microphone privacy settings.
Once in the microphone privacy window, scroll through the apps and find the app you are using. Press the On toggle button. / Off to display as “On”. Also make sure that Allow apps to access your microphone is also set to On.
Please note that only Microsoft apps will be displayed here. If you are using apps like Microsoft Teams or Skype, this step might fix your microphone.
This concludes our troubleshooting guide for fixing a broken microphone in Windows 10. Do you have questions about our guide or still can’t find a solution? Email me about your specific problem and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!