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Monday, May 27, 2024

7 ways to fix Windows not detecting a microphone error

Windows gets a lot of updates. However, things can still go wrong. For example, your computer may not detect the microphone even if it is plugged in.

Some of the more obvious reasons for this include a malfunctioning port or microphone. Errors can also occur due to driver problems or Windows interfering with the microphone’s driver. Here are some quick fixes to help you reconnect with your friends if you’re having the same problem.

1. Check the microphone and computer ports.

To rule out the possibility of a hardware problem with the microphone, you should have the hardware checked first. If your microphone is fine, your computer’s audio ports may have worn down over time and no longer function properly.

To find out if the cause is hardware related:

  • Check the microphone cord for any damage, especially at the ends where it connects to the PC.
  • Plug the microphone into any other device (if any) to check if it works.
  • Check the connector that can be bent or burnt.
  • Check if any other devices (if any) work on the same computer port.

If the microphone cable is in good condition but does not connect to another device, it means there may be a problem with the microphone. This should be checked by a technician.

If there is no damage to the microphone jack and cord, and the microphone works properly with other systems, and your computer does not respond to other devices connected to the same port, then there is a problem with the computer port.

If no hardware problems have taken place and the microphone is still not being detected by the computer, you may want to disconnect all other devices that are simultaneously connected to the PC.

2. Disconnect all other devices

Disconnecting other devices can eliminate any interference with the microphone’s connection. Try plugging in the microphone again after disconnecting all other devices to see if your PC recognizes the microphone this time. If not, the problem lies elsewhere.

3. Change the default audio device

Sometimes, your PC will have a default audio input device in its settings. If this happens, your PC will use that device to record audio instead of the microphone. This means that Windows will only listen to the device set as default, even if the microphone is plugged in.

Follow these steps to change the default audio device:

  • Go to the Windows Settings app.
  • Navigate to System settings from the list of options.
  • Click Sound in the menu on the left sidebar.
  • Open the Input devices drop-down menu and select the microphone.
Change sound settings in the Windows Settings app
Change sound settings in the Windows Settings app

Note: These steps apply to Windows 10. Other versions of Windows may display slightly differently.

4. Microphone activation has been disabled

If setting the default audio device to microphone doesn’t help your device, it’s likely that you’ve disabled it in the past. If you disable the microphone, Windows will not allow you to use the microphone when you plug in the device.

To check if this is the case, follow the steps below to enable the microphone:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Navigate to System settings and click Sound on the left.
  • Next, click Manage sound devices under the Troubleshoot button in Input devices settings.
  • Scroll down, find your device in the “Disabled” section, and enable the microphone by clicking Enable.
Enable microphone from Disabled section in Windows Settings
Enable microphone from Disabled section in Windows Settings

Note: You can do the same thing through the Control Panel if using an older version of Windows.

5. Update the microphone driver

If you have a brand new microphone with outdated drivers or no drivers, that can mess up the way the microphone works. This can happen if you disable automatic driver downloading from Windows, which means your microphone won’t receive the latest updates.

In addition, your older OS version is no longer supported, resulting in no microphones being detected. Therefore, it is also necessary to exclude this possibility. To make sure your microphone driver is up to date, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Windows desktop and right-click This PC.
  • TIn the menu, select Manage.
  • In the Computer Management window, click Device Manager on the left sidebar.
  • Expand the Audio inputs and outputs category.
  • Find your microphone from the device list.
  • Right click on your microphone and select Update driver.
Update driver in Computer Management settings
Update driver in Computer Management settings

Click Search automatically for drivers in the new pop-up window. It will automatically search for any available updated micro-drivers and install them for you.

Consider that you get the drivers from the manufacturer’s website. If so, you can manually install them by selecting Browse my computer for drivers from the pop-up window’s second option.

6. Check App Permissions

Sometimes your microphone doesn’t work because it doesn’t have the right permissions. Maybe you intentionally removed permissions for your microphone and forgot to turn it back on, or a program might have changed your app permissions without your knowledge.

If that’s the case, giving the microphone permission to work will immediately fix the problem. You can change your microphone access by following these steps:

  • Click the Windows icon in the lower left corner of the taskbar and click Settings.
  • Navigate to Privacy settings.
  • In “App Permissions,”  locate “Microphone” in the left sidebar.
  • Check if the microphone access for this device is On or Off.
  • Toggle the switch to the right to turn it back on if it’s already off.
Check App Permissions
Check App Permissions

If changing permissions doesn’t solve the problem, you can run the Speech Troubleshooter as a last resort to fix the microphone.

7. Run the Speech Troubleshooter

Using the Speech Troubleshooter will allow your operating system to diagnose the connection between the computer and the microphone. Automated diagnostic testing often detects hidden connection problems that traditional methods cannot solve.

To find and run the debugger, follow these steps:

  • Click the Windows icon in the lower left corner of the taskbar and click Settings.
  • Locate Time & Language and open settings.
  • Select Speech from the menu in the left sidebar.
  • Under Microphone, click the Get started button.
Click the Get started button
Click the Get started button

This action will open a new window with some troubleshooting options. Select Cortana can’t hear me, then select the device (microphone) that you want to troubleshoot. Click Next after selecting the device.

Click Next after selecting the device
Click Next after selecting the device

After that, the troubleshooter will then proceed to detect problems and, when they are identified, select and implement the recommended action. Even if nothing else works, hopefully this step will help you get your microphone working again.

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