Microphone Not Working: Ultimate Guide

Wondering why your microphone is not working? You’re not the only one!

With this comprehensive guide you can fix pretty much any microphone problem you might have.

Let’s get started

I’ll start from the very basics. Make sure your mic is not muted. It can be muted either physically (some switch on the wire of the microphone / headset or on the microphone itself ) or it can be muted by software. First check if there are any physical switches. If not, then let’s check if it’s muted by software. Most common audio manager is called “Realtek HD Audio Manager”. Click on the magnifying glass icon in the lower-left corner of the screen to start search. Now search for “audio manager”. You might have “Realtek HD Audio Manager” or some other audio manager installed. Click on it and new window opens. Now go to the microphone settings and make sure your volume setting is all the way up and that the mic is not muted.

If your mic doesn’t work with some specific program or game, find out if your program or game has it’s own sound options or settings menu and make sure that microphone is not muted there and volume is up.

Next you could try Windows 10 Audio Troubleshooter
1. Click search icon in the lower-left corner of your screen and open search. Type in: Troubleshooting and click the troubleshooting icon or press enter.
2. In the new window, click View all from the left and then select Recording Audio.
3. Click Next and follow the instructions.

Now let’s check if the microphone is correctly configured in your Windows. Screenshots are taken from Windows 10 but the process is almost similar in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

If your recording device is called IDT High Definition Audio Codec -> Click Here and Follow these Instructions.
If your recording device is called VIA HD Audio -> Click Here and Follow these Instructions.

Otherwise or if you are not sure what your recording device is called, continue below.

1) Right click on the speaker icon in the lower-right corner of the screen.

Speaker Icon Windows 10

2) Click on the Recording Devices.

Recording devices Windows 10

3) Now you should have a list of recording devices. Speak to your microphone and see if any green bars rises next to one of the recording devices. If you see bright green bars when speaking to the microphone, it means that your microphone is correctly configured in Windows but the program you are using doesn’t recognize it, is listening to the wrong device or there is some other problem. In that case, Jump to the part troubleshooting why microphone is not working even when it’s correctly configured in Windows.

If you didn’t see any green bars, go to step 4.

Green Bars in Recording devices Windows 10

4) So you didn’t see any green bars. First thing you could try is to disable your mic and then enable it again. Right click on your recording device in the window you opened in step 3 and click Disable and after that right click on your device again and choose Enable. Note. If you don’t see your device after disabling it, right click inside the Recording tab and make sure you have “Show Disabled Devices” activated. (Take a look at Step 7 in this article for detailed instructions.)

If that didn’t help, try to recognize which device on the list is the microphone you would like to use and click on it to highlight it and then click Set Default. Try speaking (or yelling) again to your microphone and see if any green bars appear.

Note. If you are not sure which one on the list is your correct microphone, you can do steps 4-6 for each device on the list.

If you saw green bars, your mic is now correctly setup. If not, lets keep troubleshooting.

Microphone Set Default in Windows 10

5) Double-click your microphone device and Microphone Properties window appears. Click on the Levels tab. Now slide the first slider under “Microphone” to adjust the speaker volume. Slide it all the way to right to 100.

Some users also might have a Microphone Boost slider. Slide it also to the right and click OK. These settings will make your microphone more sensitive so hopefully it can “hear” you.

Microphone Level Setting in Windows 10

6) Scream, yell and shout again to your microphone and hopefully some green bars rises indicating that your mic is properly configured.

7) If still no luck, right click inside the Recording tab and make sure you have Show Disabled Devices activated (There’s a tick next to it). If there’s no tick, click on the Show Disabled Devices and tick will appear. If this adds new devices to the list, do steps 4-6 on those new recording devices and hopefully you’ll see green bars.

Show Disabled Recording Devices in Windows 10

8) If problems persist, lets uninstall the drivers and then let Windows automatically reinstall them. Open Device Manager. Click the little magnifying glass icon (1) in the lower-left corner of the screen. This will open search. Now type in “Device Manager” (2) and click the “Device Manager” link (3).

Device Manager in Windows 10

9) Click open Audio inputs and outputs (1), right-click on your recording device (microphone) (2), in the menu that opens, choose Uninstall (3).

Device Manager Audio in Windows 10

10) Physically disconnect your microphone from your computer and then restart your computer. After Windows has booted, reconnect your mic and let Windows automatically re-install the drivers.

11) Go to the website of the manufactured of your microphone / headset and see if they have some specific driver for your device. Download and install those drivers.

12) Final thing to consider: It just might be that your microphone is broken. If possible, try a different mic on your computer and/or try your mic on a different computer.

Green Bars but Microphone Is Still Not Working

So green bars are jumping up and down but microphone is still not working in your program. There’s a few things you can try.

1) First, make sure that your app(s) has the right to use microphone.

1. Go to Settings. You can do this by pressing Windows Key + I, or write Settings in the Windows search bar.
2. Click Privacy and then click Microphone from the left.
3. Make sure that Microphone is enabled for all the apps that you would like to use it with.

2) Check the settings in your program / game
Your program or game might have own settings menu with microphone settings. Take a look and make sure that microphone is activated, not muted and volume is up.

For example in Skype. Click Call in the top menu and then Audio Settings. See if you see any movement when you speak into the mic. If not, take a closer look at all the settings there.

IDT High Definition Audio Codec Is Not Working

1. First open Device Manager. You can do this by clicking the little magnifying glass icon in the lower-left corner of your screen and typing “Device Manager” in the search box and pressing enter.
2. Click open Audio Inputs and Outputs and double click on High Definition Audio CODEC. If you can’t find “High Definition Audio CODEC” under “Audio Inputs and Outputs” then look under “Sound, video and game controllers”.
3. After you’ve opened the “High Definition Audio CODEC” window, go to the Driver tab and click Update driver… button.
4. Now it’s very important that you first click the Browse my computer for driver software link and then Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer..
5. Select High Definition Audio Device, and not “IDT High Def”, and click Next.
6. Warning message pops up -> Click Yes.
7. Hopefully it works now.
8. If it still doesn’t work, you can try this: instead of clicking Update driver… in the step 3, click Uninstall. Restart your computer, download drivers from the manufacturer’s website and install them.

VIA HD Audio Is Not Working

If you’re having problems with VIA HD Audio in Windows 10, you might want to try VIA HD Audio Windows 10 Driver made by Daniel_K.

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