How to Set up and Test a Microphone in Windows 10

Get your microphone working in just a few steps

If you have a new microphone, the process to set up and test a microphone in Windows 10 is pretty simple. Whether you're installing a microphone with a standard microphone plug, or a USB microphone, Windows 10 comes with pre-installed, generic drivers that make every microphone a plug-and-play experience.

There may be some extra steps involved if your microphone is a bluetooth device.

How to Set up a Microphone on Windows 10

If you purchased a USB microphone that came with its own driver software, you'll want to install that first, then restart your PC.

Otherwise, just get started by plugging your microphone into the appropriate port on your computer.

  1. Once your microphone is plugged in, right click the speaker icon in the taskbar and select Sounds.

    Screenshot of selecting Sounds in Windows 10
  2. In the Sounds window, select the Recording tab to see all connected microphones. If it isn't already selected as the Default Device, right click the microphone you've connected (you can recognize it by the listed brand), and select Set as Default Device.

    Screenshot of setting a default microphone on Windows 10
  3. Select the Microphone, then select Configure. This will open the Speech Recognition window.

  4. Select Set up microphone to open the Microphone setup wizard.

    Screenshot of the Speech Recognition window
  5. Select the type of microphone you've connected to your computer and select Next to continue through the wizard. Read the instructions, then select Next again.

    Screenshot of the Microphone Setup Wizard
  6. On the next wizard screen, speak into the microphone. If the microphone is working, as you read the text on the screen you should see the lower sound bar move as you speak.

    Screenshot of testing the microphone on Windows 10
  7. Select Next again. You should see a confirmation window that your microphone is set up.

    Screenshot of microphone setup confirmation window

How to Test a Microphone in Windows 10

If your microphone has been working but stops, you can quickly test the microphone in just a few steps.

  1. Right click the Speaker icon in the taskbar, then select Sounds > Recording. You should see a list of microphones, with a vertical sound meter to the right of your enabled microphone.

    Screenshot of the Recording Sounds tab in Windows 10
  2. If the microphone is greyed out and labeled as Disabled, this may explain why the microphone isn't working. Right click the microphone and select Enable.

    Screenshot of enabling a microphone in Windows 10
  3. Now, when you speak into the microphone, you should see the sound meter to the right of the microphone display green bars, depending how loud you're speaking.

    Screenshot of microsoft sound meter in Windows 10
  4. Your microphone is now connected and tested as working properly. Select OK or Cancel to close the Sound window.

How to Set up a Bluetooth Microphone in Windows 10

If you've purchased a bluetooth microphone, or a headset that includes a bluetooth microphone, you'll need to pair that device with your Windows 10 PC.

  1. Make sure your bluetooth microphone is turned on, then right click the bluetooth icon in the Windows taskbar and select Add a Bluetooth Device.

    Screenshot of adding a bluetooth device in Windows 10
  2. In the Bluetooth & other devices window, make sure the Bluetooth toggle switch is enabled. Next, select Add Bluetooth or other device.

    Screenshot of adding a bluetooth device to Windows 10
  3. In the Add a device window, select Bluetooth as the type of device you want to add.

    Screenshot of adding a bluetooth device in Windows 10
  4. On the next window, you should see your bluetooth device in the list. If it doesn't appear, confirm your bluetooth device is turned on and ready to pair. When it's listed, select the device from the list to start the pairing process.

    Screenshot of connecting to bluetooth device in Windows 10
  5. Once the device is paired, you'll see a confirmation window that your microphone is ready to use.

    Screenshot of a connected bluetooth device in Windows 10
  6. Back in the Bluetooth & other devices window, you should now see your bluetooth microphone displayed in the list of Audio devices. If the microphone is working properly, you should at least see a "Connected voice" tag underneath the device.

    Screenshot of listed bluetooth devices in Windows 10
  7. In the Windows taskbar, right click the sound icon again and select Sounds > Recording. You should now see your bluetooth microphone listed. If it isn't already the default device, right click the microphone and select Set as Default Device.

    Screenshot of setting default audio device in Windows 10
  8. You can test your bluetooth Microphone by talking. The sound bar to the right of the microphone should display green bars, indicating it's working and ready to use.