Windows 7 Microphone Not Working – A Guide
Here are some scenarios. Please click on the one similar to your case and you will be sent to the appropriate location in the guide.
If you can’t decide, just follow the guide and at some point, your problem will be solved.
Case 1: You just want check if your microphone is correctly configured in Windows 7.
Step 1: Click on the Windows logo button in the bottom-left corner of the screen in order to open the start menu, and then click on "Control Panel".
Step 2: Click on “Hardware and Sound”.
Step 3: Under the “Sound” section, click on “Manage audio devices”.
Step 4: Click on the “Recording” tab in order to view your recording devices list.
Step 5: Now you will see a list of your recording devices. Try speaking into your microphone and look for green bars rising while you talk.
Step 6: If you saw green bars rising when you spoke, that means your microphone is properly configured.
Case 2: You see green bars rising in the microphone settings window, yet your computer doesn’t seem to detect your voice.
If your microphone does show green bars but you still can't capture your voice, make sure it's already your default device or do it yourself by right-clicking on it and then click "set as Default Device".
Case 3: Your microphone is in the list in the settings, but there are no green bars rising when you speak.
Step 1: 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.
Step 2: Click on the relevant device to highlight it, and then click on “Set Default”
Step 3: Double-click on the device and in the window that opens up click on the “Levels” tab.
Step 4: Drag the "Microphone" slider all the way to the right, until the number ‘100’ is displayed beside it. Drag the "Microphone Boost" slider in order to make it above average.
Step 5: Now click on the "Advanced" tab and uncheck the option "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device". This will guarantee that no application is taking control over your microphone and muting it on purpose. Afterwards, click "Apply" then "Ok".
Step 6: Now check again to see if the green bars are rising when you talk into the microphone: if they are, your mic is now properly configured. If your microphone isn’t working in some program, then you now know that Windows is configured correctly and can “hear” your microphone, but the program you’re using can’t. (to verify that, check your microphone with our mic test tool – and you’ll see that the browser is detecting the input from the microphone). Normally The program you’re working with might be listening to the wrong microphone. Try to explore its audio settings and try to change its default recording device. If you are still stuck, you should contact its support team to guide you through the configuration.
Case 4: Your microphone isn’t listed in the settings.
In this case, the problem is either your microphone isn't listed, or there is a problem with your audio driver.
Let's start with listing all your recording devices, even the disabled ones, by right-clicking in an empty area in the recording devices list and enabling both "Show Disabled Devices" and "Show Disconnected devices".
If a new microphone shows up, give it a try by setting it as default and increasing its level and boost as explained before. The second possibility is a problem with your audio driver. We can begin by troubleshooting the audio settings and if this doesn't work, we can then reinstall the driver. Here is how to use the troubleshooter in order to solve the problem:
Step 1: Open Control Panel from the start menu.
Step 2: Type troubleshoot in the search part and then click on "Troubleshooting"
Step 3: Now click on "Troubleshoot audio recording".
Step 4: In the windows that will pop up, click "Next" in order to start the troubleshooting procedure.
Step 5: Give it some time, it's relative to the number of recording devices you have.
Step 6: Now select the device you're having trouble with and then click "Next". The screenshot is just representing my case, you need to choose your own device with the problem.
Step 7: Keep following the steps until the problem is fixed and the troubleshooter comes to an end and then check again your microphone.
If the troubleshooter didn't make any difference, then it's time to manually install standard audio drivers for Windows:
Step 1: Open Control Panel from the start menu.
Step 2: Search for device manager and then click on "Device Manager"
Step 3: Once Device Manager pops up, expand "Sound, video and game controllers", right-click on "High Definition Audio device" and click "Update Driver Software …"
Step 4: Now choose to "Browse my computer for driver software".
Step 5: Down below, you will find the option: "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer".
Step 6: Make sure to check "Show compatible hardware", then select "High Definition Audio Device" and finally click "Next".
Step 7: If you get this warning, just click "Yes". You have nothing to worry about, really, since your microphone hasn’t been working anyway!
Step 8: That's it, the driver is successfully installed. You can now click "Close".
Step 9: It's highly recommended that you restart your computer after any driver changes: some changes will not take place until you do.
Some final tips
- Make sure to use the right microphone/headset that’s compatible with your device:
- 2×1 3.5 mm jack (Audio + microphone) is compatible with computers that have only one headset port.
- 2 separate 3.5 mm jacks (one for audio and one for microphone) are compatible with computer having two separate ports: one for audio and one for the microphone.
- Make sure you didn’t mute your microphone by mistake, some microphones have physical volume sliders or mute button.
- If you think the problem is with your sound card, or if you tried all the steps and nothing worked, you can always buy an external sound card which can be connected to your computer via USB and you can then plug your microphone to it.