Last Updated on April 24, 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.

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. Click on Privacy in order to access all your privacy settings.
  3. Select Microphone from the left pane and then click the Change button.

  4. Now, turn on microphone for this device.
  5. Turn on Allow apps to access your microphone.
  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.
  7. Repeat the same exact steps but for your webcam this time.

Done with that and 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.
  2. Click on the Recording tab in order to see your recording devices list.
  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.
  4. In the “Enhancements” tab (if found), make sure to uncheck the “Disable all sound effects” checkbox.
  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).
  6. In the main recording devices panel, go to the “Communications” tab and select the “Do nothing” radio button and then click OK.
  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
  2. Open ‘Audio Inputs and Outputs’audio inputs and outputs
  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.

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.

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.

If the problem concerns your gaming headset or microphone + headphone combo, check this section

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.

If you are using any recording software check this

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.

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.

Fix Microphone Settings
4.3 (86.67%) 24 vote[s]

Still stuck? Ask your question in our forum!

About Author

Avatar

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.

267 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Thank you very much for this post. Finally! After days of research trying to figure out why my mic wasn’t working and finding a solution for it without success, I came across this post and long and behold it now works after following the instructions provided. THANK YOU!!!

  2. Avatar

    I just wanted to say that after trying for 2 days to fix my mic, I just followed your first suggestion with the privacy and BAM it worked. I tried everything I knew and everything from searching for solutions on the internet and nothing helped. Thank you for the guide, it was the only one that actually fixed the problem.

  3. Avatar

    Grateful thanks for your excellent information. I was able to easily follow each step and solve the microphone problem I had on my Acer Aspire E1-771 laptop running on Windows 10 software.
    I still have a major problem that I hope you can kindly help me with please.
    I have an Acer Aspire E11 that I use only when I travel on holiday when I need to send emails and use Skype voice mail. Every 10 to 15 minutes I get an error message WHEA UNCORRECTABLE ERROR and it stops and reloads again. I have searched for solutions without any success. Do you have any ideas how I can solve this problem please? Many thanks for your help with this.

    • Avatar

      Hello Peter,
      I searched for a solution for your problem and I would recommend that you watch this video and follow the steps and check after each step if it fixes your problem… I don’t think you wold need CCleaner but if everything else doesn’t solve it so maybe you’ll have to use it.. Just follow the video and tell me if you need some further help.

    • Avatar

      Hey Sam. Do you know the name of your mic? Try downloading the latest drivers for it from the manufacturer’s site, and then check if it shows up in the device manager. Let us know here, or even better – in the forum, if it doesn’t. Cheers

  4. Avatar
    Chris Sanderson on

    Hey, great tips! My problem is windows does not detect my mic. It was working just a few days ago for the past few months, but now windows has no drivers for it and it isn’t detected. Help!

    • Avatar

      Hello Chris, seems like your computer had a recent update that messed with you drivers, you should then download and install the drivers manually from your computer manufacturer’s website. Also check if there are any restore points available so that you can recover it to a previous point when everything was alright.
      If you have a problem looking for your audio drivers, please reply with your computer model number and I’ll redirect you. Will be waiting for your reply!

  5. Avatar

    Thank you, Mina! I was able to get back to work in a moment after reading your first recommendation (change settings to allow apps to access microphone). I spent a ridiculous number of hours trying to sort out why I suddenly couldn’t be heard in my online workplace. I appreciate your genius and your generosity in sharing it!

  6. Avatar

    I’m Brazilian, I’m using google translator, I just wanted to thank them immensely for this site, my god, I was with this problem for more than a month and could not wait to find the reason, this site was the only one that gave me the answer, that was that the windows had blocked the microphone for other programs … thank you SO much for all this, it saved my life practically, ty ty ty ty

    • Avatar

      Hey Lucas, your words really meant a lot to me, I’m so happy I could help you. Good luck in your life 😀

  7. Avatar
    Alastair Dinning on

    Sorted! Thank you, much appreciate that you took the time to post this. I would never have looked here!

  8. Avatar

    you can’t imagine how long I was troubleshooting about this issue, thanks so much, the privacy settings solved the problem for me.

  9. Avatar

    Thank you so much! I didn’t even think of this, and I ended up deleting all drivers and restoring my system and it was a huge mess, but everything’s good now.

    • Avatar

      Hello Maksymilian, try to set your microphone as the default recording device, disable all other recording devices and also check the settings of every app you use in order to make sure it works.

  10. Avatar

    Dude thank you so much! My paranoid @$$ had the mic turned off under the privacy settings. Good catch on that one guys. win10faq.com has officially been bookmarked.

  11. Avatar

    Windows 10 laptop, USB Plantronics BT300M Headset Microphone plugged into slot on side of PC, trying to record screen demos in Adobe Captivate 2017.

    There is also a Microphone Array (Realtek High Definition Audio) listed in Audio inputs and outputs.

    I have tried multiple headsets, stand-alone microphone. Absolutely no voice recording.

    Device Manager says the driver is up-to-date.

    Privacy settings allow all apps that are in the list. Should I be able to add apps to this list?

    I see that some people have resolved issues but I can’t tell from the threads what is the fix.

    I have spent many hours trying to find a solution.

    Please advise next steps.

    • Avatar

      Hello Kath, don’t listen to your Device manager, just go to your laptop manufacturer’s website and check for the latest audio driver compatible with your laptop. Download it, install it and then give your laptop a few restarts and see if it works. Try this come back, I’ll be there to help you further.

  12. Avatar

    Thank you so much. The windows update had in fact changed my settings to prevent me from using the microphone even though it was available. So absolutely tired of windows as a service. “IF” anyone would make a decent gaming OS I would ditch microsoft forever. I guess destroying their phone market wasn’t enough for them, now they feel the need to ruin the pc experience as well.

    • Avatar

      Hello Daniel, you’re always welcome! I understand your disappointment, I hope they take some serious steps to insure better experience for all of us.

Leave A Reply