6 Ways to Fix Microphone Not Working in Windows 11

Turn off mic

Microphone not working on your Windows 11 PC? Here’s how you fix all possible issues and get your mic back up and running.

Windows 11 is the latest iteration from Microsoft, and it hits the bull’s eye in most aspects. The interface is refreshing, user-friendly, and easy to understand and work on. However, you may still encounter issues with peripherals.

One of the common yet crucial peripherals is the microphone which many users have encountered errors with. It could either be the internal microphone or one you connected externally. Whatever be the case, it’s easy to fix issues that prevent the microphone from working.

In the following sections, we have listed the most effective fixes about the Microphone on Windows 11. Execute the fixes in the sequence they are mentioned for quick and effective troubleshooting.

1. Check for Loose Connections

If you are using an external microphone and cannot access it on any app, it could be due to loose connections, damaged wire, or a faulty microphone itself. First, reconnect the microphone and check if it works. If it doesn’t, connect the microphone to another device and check. If the microphone still doesn’t work, it’s probably faulty, and you need to either repair or replace it.

There’s also a possibility that the jack where you plug in the microphone is faulty. To verify that, try connecting a Bluetooth-enabled microphone and check if it works. In case it does, it could be the faulty jack that’s leading to the issue.

However, if both fixes don’t work, execute the others listed below.

2. Check Microphone Privacy Settings

The microphone is often disabled from the privacy settings, thus preventing the apps from accessing it. This is one of the common issues and can be quickly fixed.

To check microphone privacy settings, right-click on the ‘Start’ icon in the Taskbar to launch the Quick Access Menu, and then select ‘Settings’ from the list.

You will now find various tabs listed on the left, select ‘Privacy & security’.

In the ‘Privacy & security’ settings, scroll down to ‘App permissions’ and select the ‘Microphone’ option under it.

Now, make sure that the toggle next to ‘Let apps access your microphone’ is turned on. You will also find multiple apps listed here. Check if the app you are having issues with has access to the microphone. However, you will only find the newer apps listed here and not all those installed on the system. Therefore, we recommend you enable microphone access for all to prevent any issues.

Now, check if you can use the microphone on Windows 11. If not, move to the next fix.

3. Check if Microphone is Disabled

The microphone can either be disabled from the privacy settings, BIOS settings, or the Device Manager. Since you have already checked the privacy settings, it’s time we check the BIOS settings and the Device Manager.

The option to disable the internal microphone in the BIOS settings is available only on certain laptops. We recommend you check and enable it if it’s disabled. You can either look up the manual that came along with the laptop or search the web to find out how to enable/disable the microphone from the BIOS settings.

If you couldn’t find the option in BIOS settings or it’s already enabled, check the Device Manager next. Search for it in the ‘Start Menu’ and click on the relevant search result to launch the app.

In the ‘Device Manager’, double-click on ‘Audio input and outputs’ to view the devices under it. Now, right-click on ‘Microphone’ and select ‘Enable device’ from the context menu.

If it’s already enabled, you will find ‘Disable device’ listed instead of ‘Enable device’. In that case, move to the next fix.

4. Run Audio Troubleshooter

Windows has built-in troubleshooters that help fix most of the issues. For users who are not tech-savvy, running a troubleshooter would be the ideal choice.

To run the audio troubleshooter, search for ‘Troubleshoot settings’ in the ‘Start Menu’ and click on the relevant search result to launch the app.

In the ‘Troubleshoot’ settings, click on ‘Other troubleshooter’.

Next, scroll down and locate the ‘Recording Audio’ troubleshooter and click on the ‘Run’ option next to it.

The troubleshooter will now run and scan for any issue that’s preventing the microphone from functioning effectively. If any issues are found, follow the on-screen instructions to resolve them and close the troubleshooter. Now, check if the microphone runs fine on Windows 11.

5. Verify Microphone Selection

If you have connected multiple microphones to your computer, or one in addition to the internal microphone, Windows may have selected the wrong microphone. For instance, you have selected one microphone in the concerned while Windows has selected another, it could lead to issues. To fix this, make sure that the same microphone has been selected both in Windows settings and the app or the app is configured to use the default system microphone.

To set a default microphone, search for ‘Change system sounds’ in the ‘Start Menu’ and click on the relevant search result.

Now, navigate to the ‘Recording’ tab from the top, right-click on the desired microphone and select ‘Set as Default Device’ from the context menu. Finally, click on ‘OK’ at the bottom to save the changes and close the window.

Next, navigate to the app you are having microphone issues on, and navigate to the app settings.

Note: We have described the process for Skype. In case you are using another app, check the steps on the web. However, the concept remains the same.

Next, navigate to the ‘Audio & Video’ tab from the left, scroll to the ‘Audio’ section, click on the selected microphone name and choose the microphone you earlier set as default.

Now, save the app settings and check if the microphone issue is fixed.

6. Update Drivers

If the above fixes haven’t worked, outdated drivers could be the culprit behind your microphone not working on Windows 11. Although Windows generally look for driver updates and install them automatically, you would have to update them manually in some cases.

To update the microphone driver, search for ‘Device Manager’ in the ‘Start Menu’, and launch the app by clicking on the relevant search result.

Next, double-click on ‘Audio inputs and outputs’ to view the various microphone devices available. Now, right-click on the malfunctioning microphone and select ‘Update driver’ from the context menu.

In the ‘Update drivers’ window, you will find two options, either to let Windows lookup for an update or manually install a driver on the system. It’s recommended that you select the first option and allow Windows to search for the best driver.

If Windows cannot find a driver update, it’s still likely that an update exists on the manufacturer’s website. Unfortunately, many manufacturers don’t submit driver updates to Microsoft for approval. Rather they upload them on their official website. This is why Windows couldn’t find one.

In this case, please search for the driver updates on the manufacturers’ website and download them to the system. After downloading, double-click on the file to run the installer and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the app. After updating the driver, restart the computer and check if the microphone issue is fixed.

The above fixes would certainly resolve the microphone issue on your Windows 11 device and allow you to access it. However, if none of them work, it could be a hardware issue with the system. In this case, it’s recommended that you get your system checked by an engineer.