How To Fix a Microphone Not Working in Windows 11

If you’re having trouble with your microphone on Windows 11, don’t worry – you’re not alone. This has been a common problem for many users.

How To Fix a Microphone Not Working in Windows 11

In this guide, we’ll show you how to fix the microphone on Windows 11 so you can get back to chatting and recording audio as usual. Let’s get started!

Troubleshooting the Microphone

To get your mic working again, you need to try several troubleshooting steps that have been found effective by the Windows community. Let’s look at each method in detail.

Check Your Microphone Cable and Jack

Before troubleshooting software-related issues, you might want to check the physical connection of your microphone. However, this only applies if you’re using an external microphone.

First, ensure that your microphone cable has no physical damage and is plugged in correctly. Second, inspect your jack and ensure it’s not clogged with dirt or other unwanted elements. If your machine has more than one microphone outlet, you should try plugging the microphone into a different jack to determine if the mic itself is the problem.

You may also want to plug the microphone into a second machine and see whether it works. If it does, there’s a good chance the first machine has hardware or software issues.

If everything appears just fine on the connections front, it’s time to move on to more complex troubleshooting methods, as outlined below.

Check Whether the Microphone Has Access to Your Computer

By default, Windows 11 gives microphone access to some apps while blocking others. If you’re trying to use your microphone on an application whose access has been blocked, the microphone won’t work.

Here’s how to check whether the application has the necessary permissions:

  1. Open your Windows settings by pressing Win + I.
  2. On the left pane, select “Privacy & Security” and then click on “Microphone” on the right pane. This should open a list of all the apps that need microphone access on your system. There’s a toggle button next to each item on the list that shows the permission status.
  3. If none of the applications have access to the microphone, switch on the toggle button next to “Let apps access your microphone.”
  4. If some applications appear to have access to the microphone but the targeted application has been blocked, toggle the button next to it to provide access instantly.

Check Whether the Correct Microphone Has Been Selected in Settings

If you ever find yourself in a situation where it seems like your microphone isn’t working, there’s a chance that you just have the wrong microphone set up as your default source. This is a common issue with notebooks and laptops.

To fix it, you can go into your sound settings and verify that the correct recording device is selected as the default:

  1. Right-click on the speaker icon in the bottom right corner of your taskbar and select “Sound settings” from the context menu.
  2. Under “Input,” select the microphone you’re using as the default sound input device.

Another possibility is that your microphone is muted or the volume is turned down too low. You can check these settings in the same place. If the volume that has been set is too low, move the slider to the right to increase it.

Check the Status of Your Microphone Drivers

Upgrading to Windows 11 can be notoriously bad for audio drivers. Sometimes the drivers installed are generic and partially incompatible with your software and hardware. If this is the source of your issue, you should use Device Manager to ensure you’re using the latest compatible driver for your recording device.

To do this:

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Find your recording device, right-click and select “Update Driver.”

If there’s no updated driver available, try uninstalling and reinstalling the device. You may also need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Run the Recording Audio Troubleshooter

Microsoft has developed a set of troubleshooters to help users resolve their issues. These troubleshooters are included with the latest versions of Windows and cover a wide range of problems, from network issues to the keyboard not working to Windows not installing the latest updates automatically.

Here’s how to run the recording audio troubleshooter and give Windows a chance to self-diagnose and fix the issue:

  1. Press the Windows key on your machine and type in “Troubleshoot.”
  2. Click on the “Open” button next to “Troubleshoot Settings.”
  3. Select “Other Troubleshooters”
  4. From the sidebar on the left-hand side of the window, select “Recording Audio” and then click on the “Run the troubleshooter” button.

After the scan is complete, Windows will inform you of the problems found and whether it was able to fix them automatically. If the problems have been fixed, you should restart your machine and check whether the microphone works.

Restart the Windows Audio Service

If you’re experiencing audio issues on your computer, one potential fix is to restart the Windows Audio Service. This can be done by opening the Services management console and finding the Windows Audio Service:

  1. Open the Start menu and type “Services” into the search box.
  2. Open the “Services” app.
  3. In the Services window, scroll down to “Windows Audio.” Right-click on “Windows Audio” and select “Restart.” If the service is not running, you can also start it by selecting “Start.”

After the service has been restarted, check to see if your audio issues have been resolved. If they have not, you may need to try another troubleshooting method.

Repair Corrupted System Files

If you’re having trouble with your microphone, it could be due to a system-wide issue with corrupted files. This is less common, but it can happen. You can use the System File Checker tool (sfc /scannow) to establish whether there’s been critical system corruption.

This tool will scan your system files and replace any that are corrupted. Once you’ve run the tool, restart your computer and see if the microphone is working properly. If not, there could be another issue at play.

Get Your Microphone Working Again

If you’re having trouble with your microphone on Windows 11, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try.

We suggest you start with the basics, like restarting your computer and checking your audio settings. If those solutions don’t work, there are a few more advanced steps you can try that involve updating your drivers or repairing corrupted files in your system.

Have you tried any of these troubleshooting tips on your Windows 11 computer? Let us know in the comments below.

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