Fix: Microphone not working in Windows 10, 8.1, 7

By: Ivan Jenic
5 minute read

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You’re probably using Skype on your computer almost on a daily basis, or at least one other application that requires a microphone. Many users are complaining that their microphone isn’t working on Windows 10, so if you’re one of those unfortunate users, we might have a solution for you.

What to do if microphone stops working in Windows 10, 8.1, 7

Table of contents:

  1. Check if your microphone isn’t disabled
  2. Check if your microphone isn’t muted
  3. Boost the sensitivity of your microphone
  4. Uninstall and reinstall the default driver
  5. Run Hardware troubleshooter
  6. Change the default format of your microphone
  7. Run the SFC scan

Fix: Microphone not recording in Windows 10, 8.1, 7

Solution 1 – Check if your microphone isn’t disabled

Sometimes these issues occur if your microphone isn’t set as default or if it’s disabled, and here’s a way how can you quickly enable your microphone and set it as default.

  1. Make sure your microphone is connected to your computer.
  2. Right click the volume icon in the bottom right of the screen and select Recording devices.
  3. Click on empty space in the window and then click on Show disconnected devices and Show disabled devices.
  4. To check if your microphone is enabled select Microphone and click on Properties, and you’ll be able to see if it’s enabled or not. If it’s not enabled, enable it.
  5. From there you can also check if your microphone is set as default audio input device.

Solution 2 – Check if your microphone isn’t muted

Right click on the Sound icon in the bottom right of your screen and choose Volume Mixer from the menu.
When Volume Mixer opens, find Microphone slider and raise it up to 100%. Also, make sure that nothing is muted.
Close Volume Mixer and click on Sound icon again and choose Recording devices and test your microphone.

If there’s no activity in the volume level indicator, you might need to boost the sensitivity of your microphone.

Solution 3 – Boost the sensitivity of your microphone

  1. Right-click the Sound icon in the bottom right of your screen and choose Recording.
  2. Double click on the Microphone.
  3. Microphone Properties window should open, and you’ll need to go to the Levels tab and move the microphone slider to 100%. Also, check if your microphone isn’t muted while you’re there.
  4. Slowly move Microphone Boost slider to the right and test the microphone by gently tapping on it.
  5. Click OK and test your microphone.
  6. If your microphone still isn’t working open Microphone Properties and click on Enhancements tab.
  7. Check the Disable all sound effect.
  8. Press Apply and then OK and test your microphone again.

Solution 4 – Uninstall and reinstall the default driver

  1. Open the Device manager. You can do this by clicking Start and typing devmgmt.msc in the search field.
  2. In Device manager find Sound, video and game controllers, and double-click the entry of your sound card.
  3. Click the Driver tab and then click Uninstall.
  4. Restart your computer and your Windows should load with default drivers.
  5. If the problem persists, download the latest drivers for your sound card/motherboard.

Update drivers automatically

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of updating your microhpone drivers manually, there’s a tool that will do the job for you.

Tweakbit’s Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus) will help you update drivers automatically and prevent PC damage caused by installing the wrong driver versions. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution.

Here is a quick guide on how to use it:

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
  2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
    scanning proccess of Tweakbit driver updater
  3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
    Automatically Update complete


    For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

    This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

    1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
    2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
    3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

    Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Solution 5 – Run Hardware troubleshooter

If you’re still having problems with your microphone, let’s try the hardware troubleshooter that’s built-in inside Windows 10. Here’s how to run it:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Updates & Security Troubleshoot. 
  3. Select Hardware & Devices, and go to Run the Troubleshooter. 
  4. Follow further on-screen instructions and let the process finish.
  5. Restart your computer.

Solution 6 – Change the default format of your microphone

  1. To do this right click the Sound icon in the bottom right of your screen.
  2. Then select Recording.
  3. Double click the Microphone to open Microphone Properties.
  4. In Microphone Properties window go to Advanced.
  5. Under the Default Format choose any of the 16-bit options.
  6. Click Apply, then OK.

Solution 7 – Run the SFC scan

And finally, if none of the previous solutions resolved the microphone issue, let’s put your computer through a (not so) quick SFC scan. This tool will can your computer for potential problems and interferences, and solve them if possible.

Here’s how to run the SFC scan:

  1. Go to Search, type cmd, and open the Command Prompt as Administrator.
  2. Type in the following command, and press Enter: sfc/scannow
  3. Wait for the process to finish.
  4. Restart your computer.

If your microphone isn’t working on Windows 10 we hope that at least one of these solutions was helpful to you. As you can see, most of the issues can be fixed by playing with Recording settings. If the problem is caused by the sound driver then the best solution is to use the default Windows driver, or to wait for the manufacturer to release specific Windows 10 driver for your audio device.

If you have any other Windows 10-related issues you can check for the solution in our Windows 10 Fix section.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

RELATED STORIES YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT:

For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

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