A number of users have been complaining about microphone issues on Windows 10, 8 devices, and since my own device had the same problem and resolving it was pretty easy, I figured that sharing this information would benefit others in this position.
These problem are pretty often, and the solution can fix both built-in microphones as well as headsets which have a microphone. If your Windows 10, 8 device presents this problem, then this guide will help you fix your microphone. There a few steps which you must go through, but rest assured, they are easy and effective.
How to fix built-in microphone issues
- Microphone is not selected as default
- Use the Audio Troubleshooter
- Update Audio Drivers
- Enable app access to microphone
- Disable audio enhancements
- Reset Windows Audio Service
As I have mentioned, I’ve dealt with the problem on my own Windows 10, 8 laptop. There are a number of solutions for this problem, and with some luck, with just a few clicks, your microphone will work like new. Here are a few methods for you to try, but before you start, if you have more than one audio port, try plugging your microphone in a different one and try it (this would mean that there is a hardware problem with that particular port):
1. Microphone is not selected as default
In order to check if your microphone is set to the default value, you must check it from the “Recording” tab. To access this option, follow these steps:
- Right click on the volume icon and select “Recording Devices“
- In the window that opens, select the device which has the status “Ready“
- Click on the “Set Default” from the bottom of the window
- If you’ve done this correctly you should see the green mark on the correct microphone and audio level reacting to sound
In most cases, this quick fix is all you need and your microphone should work properly now.
- READ ALSO: Fix: Microphone Keeps Resetting to 0 Volume
2. Use the Audio Troubleshooter
If the first method did not fix your problem, then you should use the Windows audio troubleshooter, which might be of help in some cases. To do this, go through the following steps:
- Open the Search charm (Shortcut: Windows key + W)
- Type “Troubleshooting” in the search box and select the utility from the results
- The Troubleshooting window will now open. From the left menu, select “View All“
- From the list that opens, select “Recording Audio” and a new window will open
- Follow the steps of the troubleshooter and apply the fixes that are given
Windows 10 offers a series of dedicated troubleshooters that you can use to fix microphone issues. To run these troubleshooters, go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > select and run the following troubleshooters: Playing Audio, Recording Audio and Speech.
If the issue also affects your headset, you can also run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.
Granted that this isn’t as quick as the first method, the troubleshooting utility might just provide the solution if your microphone isn’t working on your Windows 10, 8 device.
3. Update Audio Drivers
Third time’s a charm, right? If both of the methods above have failed, then you might want to update your audio drivers, which might help if there was a problem with the installed drivers. There are two methods of doing this, and I would suggest you try them both. Here’s how you do it:
- Right click on the “This PC” icon on the desktop and select “Manage“
- In the window which opens, select from the left menu “Device Manager“
- Locate your audio device in the list, right click it an select “Properties“
- In the window that opens, select the “Driver” tab and click on “Update Driver“
- Instruct the wizard to search on the Internet for a suitable driver and let it install the updates it finds (if any)
We also recommend this third-party tool (100% safe and tested by us) to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC.
If the default driver update utility does not find an update, visit the website of your sound card’s manufacturer and download from there the latest driver. Install the driver and that should fix your problem. Additionally, if none of the solutions are working, try the microphone (is you have a headset with a microphone) on a different computer. If it works, then your problem might be caused by the hardware of your computer.
4. Enable app access to microphone
If you’re running the Windows 10 April Update and you noticed the built-in microphone is not working with particular apps and programs, make sure that the respective software can access your microphone. The OS automatically blocks app access to your microphone due to privacy concerns. For more information on how to fix this minor issue, check out this step-by-step guide.
5. Disable audio enhancements
Audio enhancement software can help you improve the overall sound quality on your Windows 10 computer, but sometimes these programs can cause more harm than good. If your built-in laptop microphone stopped working after you installed or updated an audio enhancement software, try disabling it to see if this solves the problem.
6. Reset Windows Audio Service
If nothing worked, and you still can’t use your built-in computer microphone, try resetting the Windows Audio Service. Here are the steps to follow:
- Go to Search > type Services page.
- Locate the Windows Audio service.
- Right-click on it > select Start if the service is not enabled. If it’s enabled, then select Restart.
- Wait for a few seconds and restart your computer.
WindowsReport has published many microphone troubleshooting guides, so if the problem persists, you may want to check out the following posts as well:
- Fix: Conexant HD Audio Microphone Driver not Working on Windows 10
- Re-enable microphone in Windows 10: Here are the steps to follow
- Fix: Microphone Not Working in Windows 10
- Fix: Built-in Microphone Has Disappeared From Device List
- Full Fix: Volume icon missing on Windows 10, 8.1, 7
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2014 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.Editor's Note: This article was originally published in February 2014 and was revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.