How to Repair a Non-Working Laptop Microphone

There are a variety of laptop microphone issues that may be resolved without the need of any specific tools or training. Other difficulties are more sophisticated and will need expert assistance.

Follow these instructions in order to repair your laptop microphone:

Step 1: Check to see whether your microphone is muted. If your laptop has a physical microphone mute button that was mistakenly pressed, pressing that button or flicking that switch will resolve the issue.

A screenshot of a muted microphone in Windows.

In your sound settings, your microphone may also be silenced. To double-check, go to:

  1. Go to the Control Panel and click on it.
  2. Click on the Hardware and Sound tab.
  3. Make a sound with your mouse.
  4. Press the Record button.
  5. Right-click your microphone and select Properties from the drop-down menu.
  6. Then select Levels.
  7. To unmute, click the microphone icon if it has a crossed out red circle next to it.

Tip: If the microphone level and boost in this menu are set low, increase them to full and see if that helps.

Step 2: Ascertain that the proper microphone is set as the default. If you’ve used different microphones or had a headset attached in the past, Windows may have selected the wrong microphone as the default.

A screenshot showing the default microphone in Windows.

To verify and change your default microphone, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Control Panel and click on it.
  2. Click on the Hardware and Sound tab.
  3. Select Sound 
  4. Press the Record button.
  5. Choose a microphone.
  6. Select Default from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Make sure your app has microphone access. You may restrict access to the microphone to only particular apps for privacy concerns. It will appear that the microphone isn’t working if your chat or conference software doesn’t have authorization.

Tip: In Windows 10 and Windows 8, this feature operates identically, however there is no equivalent setting in Windows 7. If you’re running Windows 7, you may skip this step.

To investigate and resolve this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Type microphone into the Windows search bar.
  2. Click Microphone privacy settings.
    • In Windows 10, make sure Allow apps to access your microphone is set to On.
    • In Windows 8 and 8.1, make sure Let apps use my microphone is set to On.
  3. Scroll down and make sure your specific app has permission as well.

Step 4: Unplug and re-plug your external microphone if you’re using one. When you plug in your laptop, it will automatically switch between the built-in microphone and external hardware.

If you’re attempting to use an external microphone, try disconnecting and plugging it back in, or plugging an external microphone in and unplugging it if you’re trying to use the internal hardware. As a result, the program may eventually switch to the proper microphone.

Step 5: Make sure your microphone isn’t turned off. You’ll want to use the device manager to double-check that your microphone is turned on. If it isn’t, you may try turning it on. There might be a hardware or driver problem if it remains disabled. In either scenario, you may be able to enable your microphone by running the troubleshooter or upgrading the device driver.

Step 6: Run the sound troubleshooter to see if there are any issues. This automatic troubleshooter tests and repairs a variety of sound playback and recording difficulties, so it might be able to help you with your microphone issue. Allow it to complete its cycle before checking to verify if your microphone is working.

Open Control Panel > Troubleshooting > Hardware and Sound > Recording, then click Next and follow the on-screen steps to run this troubleshooter.

Step 7: Make sure your audio driver is up to date. Your microphone will not operate properly if your microphone driver is corrupted or out of date. After installing or changing a driver, make sure to restart your computer because it won’t have full effect until you do.

Step 8: Look for any physical issues. If your microphone is still not working, there might be a physical issue with it. You may wish to open your laptop to inspect the microphone at this point, depending on your degree of competence and the design of your unique laptop.

To get around the difficulty, you might either take the laptop in for expert repairs or buy an extra microphone or headset.

Here’s what you’ll need to do if you want to examine your microphone physically:

  1. Open your laptop case with care. Some computers are incredibly difficult to open, so remove all of the essential screws and watch a YouTube video if the technique isn’t apparent. If you don’t have the proper equipment to open the laptop yourself, you may need to take it to a specialist.
  2. Take a look at the microphone. If you can see any physical damage to the microphone, such as if it has been dislodged or is physically damaged, it may be necessary to replace it. However, there are several ways for a microphone to fail that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
  3. Take a look at the microphone wiring. Follow the cables from the microphone to the motherboard, taking particular attention to where they pass through the hinge. If the cables are damaged or have come disconnected from the motherboard, they may usually be repaired or put back in to make your microphone work again.


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