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.

291 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Thank you so much. This was such a headache for me, and we knew it was windows 10 something, but MAN, we could not find it. You are a star.

  2. Avatar

    I’ve tried everything but my computer mic still doesnt work. I installed the software from my motherboard supplier. Aorus B360 and it still doesn’t work. I’ve played will all the settings and still my mic doesnt pick up anything.

    • Avatar

      Hello Neil, did you try another microphone or try the microphone on other devices to make sure the problem doesn’t lay out elsewhere? Also I think the last solution you will have is to give it a shot and use an adapter to convert 3.5mm jack to USB or Vice-Versa.

  3. Avatar

    First option worked for me.. Huge thanks, after a while and being convinced that mic is damaged or something.

    Thank you, really!

  4. Avatar

    I closed Skype for business and my mic started working. Seems Skype was grabbing my mic exclusively

    RIGHT CLICK on speaker icon on taskbar
    Choose SOUNDS
    Go to RECORDING tab
    RIGHT CLICK on your mic
    CLICK on PROPERTIES
    Choose the ADVANCED tab
    UNCHECK ALLOW APPLICATIONS TO TAKE EXCKUSIVE CONTROL OF THIS DEVICE

  5. Avatar

    YES!! thank you so much bro youre more helpful than the windows site itself. i cant believe you came up with tons of different solutions as well as screenshots. thanks man!!

  6. Avatar

    THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCH FOR THIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU SAVED ME BROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA XD

  7. Avatar

    Hey just wanted to say thanks for this article! I was lost and it pointed me in teh right direction and solved the problem – I was almost ready to throw out my mic!

  8. Avatar

    Great works!!! very good and excellent document!! thank you I though I already have a bad hardware, microphone works fine now in my Viber and Skype.

  9. Avatar

    Thanks so much for this. Step 1 fixed it, but the stupid Windows privacy settings weren’t mentioned anywhere else (Windows sites included). I didn’t have voice chat for one night of the LAN party, but I will for the second night; thanks.

  10. Avatar

    If anyone is still having this issue, I just went through it all and nothing worked – I tried updating all the drivers, restarting, tried all the troubleshooters, tried different USB ports (this was on a Blue Snowball ICE USB mic plugged into an ASUS mobo running Windows 10 and Realtek drivers) – nothing was working and my PC could see the mic, listen to the mic and picked up the sound but it wouldn’t record to any software – Audacity, Premiere Pro, Windows sound recorder – nothing would pick up the input. I was about to go buy a sound card or just take the mic back and give up BUT…..check this out….buried somewhere on a forum I found the answer;

    In Windows 10, hit the windows key or start, and type in “Privacy” – open privacy settings and on the left, glance down to the heading “App Permissions” and you’ll see about 4th or 5th one down is “MIcrophone” Go to “Allow apps to access your microphone” and flick the button to “On” – now go back and try to record and it should work.

    If it doesn’t and you’ve tried everything else you may have a different problem but this worked for me after 3 days of trying everything else. GOOD LUCK!

    • Avatar

      Hello AlasdairGDM, we mentioned the privacy solution as our first method but we never met that “MIcrophone” in the app list. We will check that and add it once confirmed, thank your for your comment.

  11. Avatar

    OMG … this post has really rescued me. I spent hours fiddling with bloody drivers and wondering why on earth the same hardware works perfectly on one Win10 and not on mine. Unbelievable, it was just a matter of allowing permissions which I never denied. Thanks so much!!!

  12. Avatar

    I was about to buy 3rd mic, this time USB because I thought my mic jacks are dead. Thank you for 1st step, now both mic and web-cam works 🙂

  13. Avatar

    this was so simple to use!!!!!!!
    Im over 50 I followed all the prompts and stuck with the microphone fixing suggestions till the end..and now it works!!
    God Bless

  14. Avatar
    Nicolai Bisgaard on

    About a month ago when i formatted my PC, my mic stopped working in the PC.
    I’ve tried built-in and external mics (through jack) and none works. Tested on other PC where it works.
    I’ve searching through every post on google and done everything i could think of and nothing seems to work.

    * When i configure the microphone the green bars move very slightly. If i scream full power the bar moves about halfway through. When i test the microphone no one hears anything, even if i speak loudly or yell.
    * I checked for default, checked sound levels in recording, checked Volume Mixer
    * uninstalled device in device manager and restarted.
    * Checked for drivers on Realtek website and automatically.
    * Checked privacy settings and everything is enabled

    It could be the jack that’s broken/not working (PC is from 2014) but it does recognize when i plug in my headset.
    Any help greatly appreciated

    • Avatar
      Mina Magued Mounir on

      Hello Nicloai, yeah maybe it’s a hardware issue (broken cable, dust in port or maybe rust). It doesn’t have to work perfectly base on the fact it recognizes the headset when plugged in. But anyway, recheck the microphone boost level, maybe if you maximize the boost you will get some signal.

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