Last Updated on May 21, 2019

In this guide, we will talk about one of the biggest issues in Windows 10: the microphone issue.

In general, Windows 10 doesn’t work easily with many recording devices, even if they’re built in to the computer. What we’ve found through our experience is that if a mic connected to a computer isn’t working it’s usually a settings problem, and not a problem with the microphone itself.

If you don’t have any problems just yet – you just have a new microphone and you are unsure how to install it – check out our microphone installation guide.

How To Fix Microphone On Windows 10

Fastest solution if after April 2018 update

First of all, if the problem started after April 2018 (a major Windows 10 update), then the fastest solution may be this:

Many computers had a kind of privacy settings reset after Microsoft’s April major update. This reset made your apps and programs not able to access your webcam and microphone. Therefore, we should give them their access / permission back… Follow me:

  1. Open Settings from your start menu.
  2. open settingsClick on Privacy in order to access all your privacy settings.privacy setting
  3. Select Microphone from the left pane and then click the Change button.

    Microphone

  4. Now, turn on microphone for this device.allow access to mic
  5. Turn on Allow apps to access your microphone.allow access to mic
  6. Finally in the app list, make sure to turn on microphone access for every app you want to give permission to access your microphone.
    give permission
  7. Repeat the same exact steps but for your webcam this time.webcam

Your mic still isn’t working?

Make sure it’s not a hardware issue

Let’s check that your mic isn’t damaged or faulty first and get that out of the way. The best way to check that is to connect your microphone to another computer running any operating system other than Windows 10.

If the microphone doesn’t work on the other computer too, that means it could be faulty. If it does work on the other computer that means you probably have a software problem on your Windows 10 computer.

On both PCs, if you’re using a desktop computer (not a laptop), make sure you’re connecting your microphone or headset to the back panel of the PC. The front audio ports aren’t always well connected to the motherboard.

Now that we know that it is a software problem, let’s get it fixed.

If you know your recording device is called “VIA HD audio” please click here

If you know your recording device is called “IDT High Definition Audio Codec” please click here

If the problem concerns your gaming headset, or other microphone + headphones combo, check this out

If you have installed any video/audio recording software on your computer – check this

And finally if you’re having problems with a Bluetooth headset / pair of headphones /  microphone, then check that your Bluetooth is correctly configured first, with this article.

If none of these links above are relevant to you, keep reading.

Method I: Let’s fix some recording device settings

  1. Right-click on the speaker icon in the bottom-right part of the screen and choose Sounds.choose sounds
  2. Click on the Recording tab in order to see your recording devices list.recording
  3. A list of recording devices will appear. Try speaking into your microphone, and see if there any green bars rising next to one of them while you talk (as in screenshot).green bars rising
  4. If you don’t see any green bars skip to step 5If you do see green bars when you talk into the microphone, but it still doesn’t work in some program, then that means that the mic is correctly configured in Windows, but the program is listening to the wrong recording device. Try changing that program’s settings.
  5. Check if you can recognize which one of the devices in the list is your microphone. If you found it, click on it to highlight it, and then click Set Default.set default
  1. Check again if you see green bars rising when you talk into the microphone. If you do your mic is now correctly setup. If not, continue to next step.
  2. Double-click on the device that represents your microphone. The Microphone Properties window will appear. Click the Levels tab.levels tab
  3. In the “Levels” tab make sure that “Microphone” and “Microphone Boost” are set to the maximum, you can do that by sliding them to the right until the first one shows 100 and the boost is set to +30.0 dB. Then click OK.microphone properties
  4. In the “Enhancements” tab (if found), make sure to uncheck the “Disable all sound effects” checkbox.enhancements on sound effect
  5. Now visit the “Advanced” tab too and make sure to uncheck the “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device” checkbox and click “OK“. (Also uncheck the “Enable audio enhancements” check box if found).advance boxes to check off
  6. In the main recording devices panel, go to the “Communications” tab and select the “Do nothing” radio button and then click OK.sound communications
  7. Restart your computer and recheck your recording devices panel. If you see green bars rising when you talk into the microphone – your mic is now properly configured!
  8. If you still don’t see any bars and you’re not 100% sure which one of the devices is the relevant one, try following steps 4-11 for every device on the list.

Method II: Uninstall and reinstall your microphone drivers

  1. Open device manager, fastest way is through the search bar:device manager search bar
  2. Open ‘Audio Inputs and Outputs’audio inputs and outputs setting
  3. Left-click on your recording device.
  4. In the menu that opens up Click ‘Uninstall’.
  5. Physically disconnect your microphone from the computer.
  6. Restart the computer.
  7. Reconnect microphone and let Windows re-install the drivers.
  8. If your Windows 10 updating gets stuck, this may prevent you from getting the latest drivers automatically. Check this guide to fix it.
  9. If it didn’t work, I would suggest that you install the latest driver found on your computer manufacturer’s website manually, because sometimes the latest driver isn’t the one compatible with your computer. So you should search for your computer model number on the manufacturer’s website, download the latest driver that is compatible with your model number and Windows 10 and check if it works.
  10. If you found your computer model on the website but can’t see a version for Windows 10 there, this means there aren’t compatible drivers for it yet and you may have to wait until they release some new drivers.
  11. Next up are solutions only to specific devices, so if you read up to here and nothing worked, please head to our forum and we’ll try to help.

Method III: Specific solution for users with IDT High Definition Audio Codec device

  1. Open device manager, fastest way is through the search bar:device manager search
  2. Open ‘Audio Inputs and Outputs’audio inputs and outputs
  3. Double click on your recording device ‘High Definition Audio Codec’.
  4. Move to the ‘Driver’ tab.driver tab
  5. Click ‘Update Driver’.
  6. Click ‘Browse my computer for driver software’.browse computer for drivers
  7. Click ‘Let me pickup a list of device drivers on my computer’.let me pick driver from list
  8. Select ‘High Definition Audio Device’, and not ‘IDT High Def’, and click Next.
  9. You will get a warning. Click “Yes”.
  10. Check if it works.

Method IV: Specific solution for users with VIA HD Audio device

Many VIA users are experiencing problems with recording and/or playback since they moved to Windows 10. If you’re one of these people try to download and install Daniel_K’s modified drivers.

Method V: If the problem concerns your gaming headset or microphone + headphone combo:

First of all, make sure the connection type between your headset and your computer is the same. If your headset has 2 independent jacks, one for the audio and the other for the microphone, your computer must have independent ports as well. If it’s a 2 in 1 (one jack for both microphone and audio) then you computer must have one single port with a headset icon on it.

  1. iPhone earphones and other headsets’ microphones with one single jack won’t work in case your computer has two ports, splitted. So you’ll need to buy one of these splitters:Maeline 3.5mm Female to 2 Male Gold Plated Headphone Mic Audio Y Splitter Flat Cable
  2.  If your headset has two independent jacks and you want to connect both of them to the one headset port in your computer you will need one of these splitters:UGREEN 3.5mm Audio Stereo Y Splitter Cable 3.5mm Male to 2 Port 3.5mm Female for Earphone, Headset Splitter Adapter, Compatible for iPhone, Samsung, LG, Tablets, MP3 players, Metal Black
  3. If your connection is the same on the headset and in the computer, but the microphone still doesn’t work, you may try to convert to USB connection, use one of these converters:
    1. For 2 x 3.5mm jacks headsets
    2. For 1 x 3.5mm jack headsets
  4. Uninstall any VoIP programs and applications, like Skype, Teamspeak or any other voice calling programs, then restart your computer and if your microphone works again now you can reinstall them.

Method VI: If you are using recording software

People who use recording software (Audio recording / screen recording)  have to check that your software is up-to-date, some people reported that an old version of flashback express screen recorder was muting their microphones.

Hopefully, using these methods helped you fix the microphone settings on your Windows 10. If not, keep reading!

 

Please note:

If you still have problems after reading this article and going through the steps, please ask your question in our forum, where we have an expert on the subject that will try his best to help you. As we learn more information through the forum we update this article with advice that is tailored to specific devices.

How to Fix Microphone Settings in Windows 10: Why Isn’t My Mic Working?
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Still stuck? Ask your question in our forum!

About Author

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Mina studies communications and electronics engineering and works as a technical support. He keeps himself up to date with the latest developments and news in technology. He loves helping people with their daily tech issues, so he's always ready to go the extra mile.

288 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I’ve read
    stuff from. Thanks for posting when you hav the opportunity,
    Guess I will just bookmark this page.

    • Avatar
      Mina Magued Mounir on

      Hey Eve, thank you so much, I’m so glad you liked the article. I do post regularly so make sure to take a look every now and then and if you have any problem that’s not listed, you can tell us bout it in the forums and we will help you immediately and maybe create an article to help other people with the same issue. Have a great day!

  2. Avatar

    If you only knew how much grief you saved me this weekend! I spent well over 3 hours combined between Micro Center TS, ASUS TS and Microsoft TS about my microphone issue for Windows 10 OS…. Not a single person in 4 asked about the privacy settings. I would hug you if I could, so here is a virtual one instead. Seriously, this is a 5 month old PC and in that time, I have had the optane with windows problems, blue screen of death causing hard drive failure and now the mic.

    Thank you very much for taking time to research and put this all in one place.
    CB

    • Avatar
      Mina Magued Mounir on

      Wow I’m really speechless Charles. Thank you so much for this amazing comments, it really helps me keep the good work. I’m so sorry you had to suffer with inexperienced TS. Please don’t hesitate to tell us if you need any help, you can always create a thread on our forums and I’ll make sure to reply as fast as possible:
      https://win10faq.com/forums/
      Have a great day!

  3. Avatar

    I have a pair of Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones. Sound will sporadically work through output and the microphone does not work at all. I tried all of the steps shown here. Any ideas, Mina? Thank you!

    • Avatar
      Mina Magued Mounir on

      Hello Alison, I want you to check your Recording devices and make sure you see the Headset device for your Beats headphones. If it’s there, make sure it’s enabled and set it as default. If you can’t find it at all, then you should unpair the headphones and pair it again. Please keep me updated and I’ll do my best to help you with it. Good luck!

  4. Avatar

    May Lord bless you peace in your life and provide you the best in your life, you just solved my issue! I’m really happy from your help 😊

  5. Avatar

    It is incredible, that a windows update disabled access to camera and mic, with no warning. I missed numerous meetings, bought new devices, couldn’t talk to my colleagues, couldn’t do video editing…. a real pain, until I discovered that MS had changed the meaning of apps from “store apps”, to “all applications”. It’s completely irresponsible of them to do this!

    Thanks for your article!

    • Avatar
      Mina Magued Mounir on

      Hey Dave, I’m so sorry to hear these troubles you got. Bright side, you got it solved so fresh comeback 😀 You’re always welcome!

  6. Avatar

    My microphone doesn’t pop up when it needs to and it isn’t damage, because i haven’t had it for so long it just stopped working after the 1803 update for Windows

    • Avatar
      Mina Magued Mounir on

      Hello Cecilie, I’m sorry for the issue. Please keep updating your computer, maybe on of the latest updates may fix this. Also once you got the latest version, retry all the steps and tips we introduced and then you may be able to make it work again. Good luck and keep me updated!

      • Avatar
        thibaut coppens on

        I’ve put my Vonyx mic in to my laptop with a single jack. My laptop only has one input, but i doens’t registrate the mic, my mic is new so no idea what’s wrong.. Any ideas?

        • Avatar
          Mina Magued Mounir on

          Hello! If you laptop has a single input, then you must connect a full headset so that a microphone can work. Headphones without microphone can work but single microphones can’t. That’s why I recommend that you buy a 3.5 mm microphone to USB dongle or converter so it can be connected on your computer and it will work if everything else is alright.

  7. Avatar
    matthew lukins on

    none of these solutions worked for me sadly, my computer used to run fine with any headset but a while ago my headset started to cut out periodically and now it doesnt work at all, ive tried many different headphones and none of them work. permissions are on and ive updated all my sound drivers.

    • Avatar
      Mina Magued Mounir on

      Hello Matthew, I’m sorry to hear that. Please make sure you didn’t update the Audio drivers using Windows update or so, just do it manually by downloading the latest drivers found on your laptop/computer manufacturer’s official website. These are the only ones I can rely on. Also, if nothing works, maybe you should try resetting your Windows without removing any files. It’s an option and it may make things work again.

  8. Avatar
    matthew lukins on

    i have all my audio drivers updated to the most recent ones and ive also tried restoring to previous versions of windows, im starting to think it might be an wiring problem.

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