In Windows 10, we use microphones for a wide range of purposes including speech recognition, immersive gaming, recording sound and communicating with other users over applications such as Skype. Most of the modern PCs have built-in mics, but you can still connect external microphones using USB, 3.5mm Jack or Bluetooth connection. When your mic is not working in Windows 10, there are several possible reasons including OS issues, faulty device drivers and hardware problems, among others.
In this post, we will take you through the steps of troubleshooting and resolving microphone problems in Windows 10.
Microphone Basic Troubleshooting
Some microphone issues are simple and can be resolved with the following quick fixes. If your mic was previously working but suddenly stopped, restart your machine and check if this fixes the issue. A reboot can fix several temporary issues including mic problems.
When using an external microphone, ensure that the device is connected to the PC. For USB devices, you may try a different port on your PC to rule out the USB port issues. You may also try to test the mic on another computer, preferably with another OS version.
Try Running the Windows 10 Troubleshooter
Windows 10 has a troubleshooting feature, which can quickly identify and automatically fix several issues. This is a good starting point when you encounter problems with your mic.
- Open the Windows 10 settings app by pressing “Win + I” keys on your keyboard and choose the “Update & Security” settings.
- Click “Troubleshoot” on the left panel and then scroll down to the “Find and fix other problems” section.
- Select “Recording Audio” and click the button to run the troubleshooter.
- Windows will automatically scan the audio services to identify any problems and prompt you to select the device you want to troubleshoot.
- Choose your microphone and click the “Next” button to continue. Wait for Windows to suggest fixes depending on the issues detected and follow the screen instructions to resolve.
If you still can’t get any sound from the mic, follow the same steps to run the “Speech” troubleshooter.
Check to Ensure that Your Microphone is Enabled
Your microphone could be disabled, thus not working. To check and enable the microphone:
- Open the Windows settings app and go to the “Privacy” settings.
- Click “Microphone” under “App permissions” on the left pane.
- Click the “Change” button to enable/disable mic access on your device and click the button on the floating pop-up to enable microphone access.
Allowing Apps to Access Your Mic
- Ensure that the options to allow apps to access your microphone is turned on.
- If you are using a particular Microsoft store app, you can confirm that the app is allowed to access the device and toggle on the switch if off.
- For other desktop apps, scroll down and after the list of Microsoft store apps switch on the option to allow desktop apps access to your microphone.
Configuring the Sound Settings to Fix Microphone Problems
Select Your Default Device
If you have more than one mic, you should set the mic that you want to use as the default input device.
- Open the Settings app and go to the “System” settings. Click the “Sound” option on the left pane to open the sound settings.
- Under the “Input” section, click the arrow to pick your default sound input device from the available options.
- If you cannot find your mic on the options, you can click the “Manage sound devices” link and then look for the device and click the “Enable” button if the device is disabled.
Adjusting the Microphone Volume
Your microphone may fail to work correctly, if the mic volume is on mute or too low.
- Once you have set your default input device, click the “Device properties” link to access more device settings.
- If the device is muted or the volume set to the minimum, drag the volume slider to the right to increase the volume.
- You can click the “Test” button to hear whether the mic is working.
Additional Microphone Settings
- At the bottom of the device properties page, click the link under the “Related Settings” heading to open more device properties.
- Go to the “Listen” tab, tick the “Listen to this device” box and select your preferred playback device.
- Click “Apply” and then “Ok” to apply the changes.
- You can also adjust the mic volume and boost under the “Levels” tab.
Fixings Default Microphone Drivers
- Press the “Win + X” keys and select “Device Manager” from the resulting Windows context menu.
- Expand the “Audio inputs and outputs” and then right-click the microphone device.
- Click the “Update driver” option to check for and install driver updates.
- You can also click “Uninstall device” and then go actions and scan for hardware changes to reinstall the driver.
- Further, scroll down and expand the “Sound” devices to check for the device with faulty drivers.
- Right-click on the faulty device and update or uninstall then reinstall the device to resolve the issue.
Without the mic, you may not be able to use certain services such as video calls, recording voice and other speech recognition features in Windows 10. Though many things could cause microphone problems, most of them can be resolved with the above solutions.