How to Fix It When Your iPhone Microphone Isn't Working

Quickly troubleshoot and fix annoying microphone issues

Trying to have a conversation when the microphone on your iPhone isn't working correctly is frustrating. Whether the other party can't hear you, calls are fuzzy, or Siri can't understand commands, here's how to troubleshoot an iPhone microphone and get it working again.

These fixes apply to all models and versions of the iPhone and iOS.

Reasons Why Your iPhone Microphone Isn't Working

There are many reasons the iPhone microphone may not be working. The problem may be Bluetooth or app-related, the iOS is out-of-date, or something is blocking or interfering with the microphone and preventing it from performing normally. Usually, the exact problem only reveals itself through its corresponding fix.

How to Fix an iPhone Microphone That Isn't Working

Follow these troubleshooting tips in the order listed to diagnose the problem and get your iPhone working again.

  1. Restart the iPhone. Restarting an iPhone can resolve many issues, including microphone glitches.

  2. Check for blocked openings. All iPhones have at least three microphones. Check the bottom, front, and back microphone openings to ensure these openings aren't covered, blocked, or obstructed in any way.

    iPhone microphone locations
  3. Remove the screen protector or case. Even if your screen protector or case isn't blocking any microphone openings, it may still interfere with the microphone. Remove the case and see if this resolves the issue.

  4. Unplug any accessories. Unplug all accessories (such as Bluetooth headsets, earbuds, and headphones) connected to the phone and use the microphone again to see if it works.

  5. Try a new headset. Faulty or cheap headsets are often the culprit when a microphone isn't working. Use a fresh headset or pair of earbuds and see if it resolves the issue.

  6. Restart communication apps. If the microphone doesn't work with specific apps such as WhatsApp and Skype, close the app and open it again.

  7. Give apps microphone access. If you use an app such as WhatsApp or Skype, make sure the app has permission to access the microphone. To do this, go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone to view all the apps that have requested access to the microphone. Confirm that the app you're having problems with has microphone access turned on.

  8. Clean the microphone openings. Check to see if the microphone openings are clogged with lint or dust. If so, use a dry, clean toothbrush to brush out the opening gently.

    Don't shoot compressed air into a microphone opening at close range; this can damage the microphone.

  9. Test the microphones. Testing microphones individually helps locate or rule out problems with any specific microphone.

    • Primary microphone: Open the Voice Memos app from the iPhone home screen. Tap the Record icon to record your voice. Stop the recording and play it back. If you can hear your voice, the primary microphone is working.
    • Front microphone: Open the Camera app from the iPhone home screen. Choose the Video option and tap the selfie view icon (camera). Tap the record icon to record your voice. Stop the recording and go to the Photos app to play the video. If you can hear your voice, the front microphone is working.
    • Back microphone: Open the Camera app from the iPhone home screen. Go to the Video option and tap the record icon to record your voice. (It should be in regular view.) Stop the recording. Go to the Photos app to play the video. If you can hear your voice, the back microphone is working.

    If you find that a microphone isn't working, continue to the next steps.

  10. Update the iOS. Sometimes an out-of-date iOS can interfere with the microphone working correctly, and updating the iPhone iOS can clear the problem. To check if iOS is up-to-date, go to Settings > General > Software Update to check for the latest updates and install them.

    Sometimes iOS updates have bugs that cause hardware issues. If the microphone on your iPhone stopped working correctly after an update, call Apple iPhone support or learn how to downgrade iOS without losing data.

  11. Restore the default settings. Unexpected changes to the settings can cause a microphone to stop working. You may be able to resolve this issue by resetting the iPhone to its default settings. Doing a reset doesn't erase any data (except Wi-Fi passwords), but you should back up your iPhone before performing a reset, just in case you want to revert to your old settings.

    Don't choose Erase All Content and Settings, as this removes all personal content from the phone, including contacts, apps, photos, music, credit or debit cards, and more.

  12. Contact Apple support. If all else fails, reach out to Apple to make an appointment. If your iPhone is under warranty, Apple can troubleshoot the issue or replace the phone. Alternatively, take the iPhone in for service, either at no cost or for a fee, depending on your warranty.

  • How do I reset my iPhone?

    To reset your iPhone to factory settings, start by creating a backup of your data. Then go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Enter your passcode and choose Erase.

  • How do I connect AirPods to an iPhone?

    To connect your AirPods to an iPhone, first make sure Bluetooth is activated on your iPhone. Hold your AirPods close to the phone in their charging case, ensuring the lid is open. Tap Connect and follow the on-screen instructions.

  • How do I set up voicemail on the iPhone 13?

    To set up voicemail on iPhone 13, open the Phone app, tap Voicemail > Set Up Now. Create a password and record a greeting.

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