Windows 7 Microphone Settings

Learn how to check if your microphone is correctly configured, fix the settings if it isn’t.

If your microphone doesn’t seem to be working, or if you tried our microphone test and the line wasn’t moving, something might be wrong with your microphone settings.

Here’s how to check what went bad:

(the actual visuals that you’ll see on your computer may differ slightly from the screenshots)

  1. Click on the Windows symbol in the bottom-left of the screen (square number 1 in the image below), and then click on control panel (square number 2 in the image below).
  2. Changing the default recording device in Windows XP

  3. Click on “Hardware and Sound”.
  4. Hardware and Sound in Windows 7

  5. Under “Sound” click on “Manage Audio Devices”.
  6. Enter Manage Audio Devices Screen in Windows 7

  7. Click on the “Recording” tab.
  8. Recording Tab in Audio Devices Screen in Windows 7

  9. Now you will see a list of recording devices. Try speaking into your microphone, and look for green bars rising while you talk (see screenshot).
  10. Indication by Green Bars Moving Windows 7

  11. If you have seen green bars rising while you spoke that means your microphone is properly configured (what to do if my microphone still isn’t working, even though you say it’s properly configured?)
  12. If you didn’t see any green bars while you spoke into the mic, keep following the instructions.
  13. See if you can recognize which one of the devices in the list is your microphone. Perform the next instructions for that one. If that doesn’t work or you’re not sure which device is your microphone, perform the instructions for all the devices one by one.
  14. Click on the relevant device to highlight it, and then click on “Set Default”.
  15. Set Default Recording Device in Windows 7

  16. Double-click on the device and in the window that opens up click on the “Levels” tab.
  17. Enter Microphone Levels Tab in Windows 7

  18. Drag the slider all the way to the right, until the number ‘100’ is displayed beside it.
  19. Volume / Levels slider in Windows 7

  20. Click “OK”.
  21. Now check again if you see green bars rising when you talk into the microphone: if you do, your mic is now properly configured. If you tried following this procedure for all the devices but still don’t see any green bars, click here
  22. Indication by Green Bars Moving Windows 7

What To Do If You Did See Green Bars Moving But Your Microphone Still Isn’t Working In Some Program

Well, sorry, we can’t help here. If that’s the case then the problem is with the program, probably in the program’s settings. The program might be listening to the wrong microphone.

The good news are, you’ve now verified that the problem is not with your microphone settings.

What To Do If You Don’t See The Green Bars Rising On Any Of The Devices?

Try Clicking the right mouse button inside the “Recording” tab (Follow steps 1-4 if you forgot how to get there) and checking if the words “Show Disabled Devices” have a V next to them.
If they don’t, click on them to make that V appear.

How to Show Disabled Recording Devices in Windows 7

This might add extra devices to the list. Perform steps 5-13 on those devices too, until you see the green bars when talking into the mic.

The guide ends here.

If you’re now sure that your actual microphone is the problem, check out our recommendations page to buy a new one.