How to enable microphone access in Windows 11

by Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Managing Editor
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was... read more
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  • To enable microphone access in Windows 11, you need to make few changes in Privacy Settings.
  • Another way to perform this is to adjust your Sound input device Settings accordingly.
  • If the microphone is not working, be sure to check if it’s enabled in Device Manager.
windows 11 enable microphone

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To make audio or video calls on a PC, you need to have a microphone. There are some privacy concerns when using one, and this is why Windows can sometimes restrict access to audio recording devices.

When this happens, it won’t be possible to make audio calls at all, or the other party won’t be able to hear you properly.

This isn’t a major issue, and it can be fixed without too much effort, simply by adjusting a couple of settings.

In today’s guide we’re going to show you how to enable a microphone in Windows 11, so be sure to keep reading until the end.

Why is my microphone disabled?

There are numerous reasons for this, but the most likely cause is related to settings. It’s possible that someone changed them by accident, thus disabling your audio recording device.

If you purchased a new microphone, maybe it’s not set as the default device, and that’s the reason why it’s disabled.

How can I set a default microphone?

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open Settings.
  2. Now go to the Sound section.
  3. In the Input section, select the microphone that you want to use as the default.

After doing that, your default input device will be changed. If you’re having problems while using Settings, be sure to check our Settings app crash guide for Windows 11.

How can I enable the microphone in Windows 11?

1. Change Privacy Settings

  1. Click the Start button and select Settings from the menu.
  2. Select Privacy & security from the left pane. In the right pane select Microphone.
  3. Make sure that Microphone access is enabled.

2. Change Sound Settings

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Select Settings from the list of apps.
  3. In the left pane, make sure that the System is selected. In the right pane, select Sound.
  4. Select your microphone from the Input section.
  5. Now click the Allow button in the Audio section to enable your microphone.

Keep in mind that if you disable your microphone from this section, this is the only way to enable it properly once again.

Microphone and headphone issues go together sometimes, so if you’re having problems, be sure to check our guide on what to do if headphones are not working.

3. Use Device Manager

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Device Manager from the list.
  2. Expand the Audio inputs and outputs section. Locate your disabled microphone, right-click it and choose Enable device from the menu.

Using the Device Manager is one of the simplest ways to enable your microphone in Windows 11, but depending on your settings, it doesn’t always work.

While you’re in Device Manager, we advise you to update your drivers. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your hardware is working properly. If you want to quickly do so for all your drivers, we suggest using specialized software such as DriverFix.

How can I enable the microphone only for specific apps?

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open Settings.
  2. Now go to the Privacy & security and select Microphone.
  3. Make sure that the Let apps access your microphone option is enabled.
  4. Select which apps you want to have access to your microphone.

Can I restrict desktop apps from having access to my microphone?

Although Windows 11 lets you choose which Universal app can access the microphone, this feature isn’t available for Win32 applications.

It’s possible to restrict microphone access to all desktop applications and see which software can access the microphone, but you can’t block a specific application from using it.

In order to restrict all regular applications from using the microphone, just disable the Let desktop apps access your microphone feature from the Privacy Settings.

To deal with microphone issues, the first thing that you should do is to check if your microphone is detected by the PC using some advanced microphone test tools.

In case it’s not, be sure to follow the steps from this guide to see how to enable the microphone in Windows 11 properly.

Are you having any issues with your input device? Let us know in the comments section below.

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