How to Fix It When Your iPhone Microphone Is Not Working

Quickly troubleshoot and fix annoying microphone issues

There's nothing more frustrating than trying to have a conversation when the microphone is not working properly on an iPhone. 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 Is Not Working

There are many reasons the iPhone microphone may not be working. The problem may be Bluetooth or app-related, iOS is out-of-date, or something is blocking or interfering with the microphone and preventing it from performing normally.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 Is Not Working

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

  1. Restart the iPhone. Restarting an iPhone can help 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 apps like WhatsApp and Skype, close the app and open it again.

  7. Give apps microphone access. If you use an app like WhatsApp, FaceTime, or Skype, make sure the app has permission to access the microphone. To do this, go to the iPhone Settings, select the respective app to view its settings, then make sure Microphone is switched 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 as 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, this indicates the primary microphone is working.
    • Front microphone: Open the Camera app from the iPhone home screen. Choose the Video option and toggle to selfie view, then tap the record icon to record your voice. Stop the recording. Go to the Photos app to play the video. If you can hear your voice, this indicates 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, this indicates the back microphone is working.

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

  10. Update iOS. Sometimes an out-of-date iOS can interfere with the microphone working properly, 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 can cause hardware issues with a phone. If the microphone stopped working after an update, call Apple 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 has failed, reach out to Apple for iPhone support. If your iPhone is under warranty, Apple can help troubleshoot the issue or replace the phone. Alternatively, take the iPhone in for service, either at no-cost or a fee, depending on your warranty.