How to Fix It When a Windows 11 Microphone Is Not Working

Check if the mic is muted, drivers need an update, and more

A microphone is among the most essential peripherals found on a Windows 11 PC. Here's how to fix it when a Windows 11 microphone is not working.

Why Is My Windows 11 Microphone Not Working?

Your Windows 11 microphone may not work a variety of reasons. The most common include:

  • Microphone is not connected or loosely connected.
  • Microphone is turned off.
  • Audio input is muted on your Windows 11 PC.
  • Audio input is muted on your headset or microphone.
  • The incorrect microphone is selected in Windows.
  • Missing device drivers.
  • Faulty microphone hardware.

How to Fix It When a Windows 11 Microphone Is Not Working

Follow these steps to troubleshoot your microphone.

  1. Check that your microphone or headset is not muted by a button or setting physically on the device.

    Microphones will often have a mute button on the microphone itself (if it's an external microphone) or on your PC's keyboard (if it's an integrated microphone).

    Headsets may have a button. Some may automatically mute when the built-in microphone is folded or retracted.

  2. Right-click the speaker icon on the Windows taskbar and then select Sound settings. You can also access this through the Windows 11 Settings app.

    A window will open. Look for the Input section and examine the list of input microphones available. Check that the microphone you want to use is selected. If not, select it.

    Windows 11 sound settings menu with Input and a microphone selected
  3. If the microphone still is not working, select it in the Sound settings menu opened in the prior step. This will open additional options.

    Under General, check to see if the microphone is allowed. If it says Don't Allow, then it is turned on.

    Also, check that the Input volume is turned up.

    Windows 11 sound settings menu General, Don't Allow, and Input Volume selected
  4. Check the permissions setting for the app you'd like to use with the microphone.

  5. If the problem persist, again right click the speaker icon on the Windows taskbar. Then tap Troubleshoot sound problems. This start the automated sound troubleshooter. Follow the troubleshooter's instructions.

  6. Check that Windows update is active and all current updates are installed. Install any pending updates.

  7. Open Device Manager and expand Audio inputs and outputs. The microphone input you intend to use should be listed. If it is, try these solutions. Check if the microphone is working after each solution.

    • Right-click the input device you want to use and select Update driver. Follow the on-screen instructions.
    • Right-click the input device and select Disable device. Then right-click the input device and select Enable device.
    • Right-click the input device and select Uninstall device. Then tap Action in the Device Manager menu and select Scan for hardware changes. This will reinstall the device.
    Device Manager window open with Audio inputs and outputs selected.
  8. Connect and use a different microphone.

These troubleshooting steps should resolve the problem in most situations.

If it persists even after connecting a different microphone, however, the problem is most likely a fault deep in Windows or a fault with the audio hardware in your PC.

You can reset Windows in a final attempt to fix the problem, but, as always, you should back up Windows before you proceed.

Why Does My Headset Work but Not My Mic?

This is likely because the microphone is not selected in Windows. Troubleshooting steps two through four, listed in the section above, will help you find and select the microphone.

If the microphone does not appear as an option it likely isn't connected to your Windows 11 PC, the connection is faulty, or the microphone is faulty.

How Do I Fix My Realtek Mic Not Working?

Realtek is a company that makes audio hardware found in many Windows PCs. A computer with a Realtek audio solution will have a Realtek audio input listed in Windows. This controls the PC's 3.5mm audio input.

If the Realtek audio input does not appear in Windows, or it does not work even with a microphone securely connected to the 3.5mm audio input port, a driver issue is the most likely problem. Run Windows Update to check for updated audio drivers.

Still have problems? Check our article on Realtek's latest audio driver update.

  • Why is my mic not working in Windows 10?

    If your mic isn't working in Windows 10, it could be due to faulty hardware, missing device drivers, audio input being muted, and more. Some fixes for when your microphone isn't working in Windows 10 include running the Windows 10 troubleshooter, checking your mic's mute button, checking Device Manager to make sure your PC can detect your mic, disabling other Bluetooth devices, and more.

  • Why is my mic not working on Discord?

    If your mic isn't working on Discord, there can be issues with settings and connections. To troubleshoot the problem, try restarting your PC; when Discord starts back up, go to User Settings > Voice & Video and click Reset Voice Settings. If this doesn't solve the problem, go to Voice Settings and change the input device from Default to your specific microphone. Also, try switching your Discord voice settings Input Mode from Voice Activity to Push to Talk.

  • Why is my mic not working on Xbox?

    If your mic isn't working on Xbox, there could be a software glitch or physical damage to the microphone. To fix a mic that's not working on Xbox, try disconnecting and reconnecting the Xbox mic. Also, make sure the mic isn't muted or that team members haven't muted you. Try increasing the mic volume, testing the mic with other devices, and updating the Xbox One's controller firmware.

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