Windows 7 Microphone Settings

Case 1: You just want check if your microphone is correctly configured

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".

Finding the control panel

Step 2: Click on “Hardware and Sound”.

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

Step 3: Under the “Sound” section, click on “Manage audio devices”.

Under Sound, the Manage Audio Devices option

Step 4: Click on the “Recording” tab in order to view your recording devices list.

The recording tab in the sound menu

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.

Checking if the green bars are rising

Step 6: If you have seen 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”

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

Step 3: Double-click on the device and in the window that opens up click on the “Levels” tab.

Under Sound, the Manage Audio Devices option

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.

The recording tab in the sound menu

Step 5: Now click on the "Advanced" tab and uncheck this 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".

Checking if the green bars are rising

Step 6: 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 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 your 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".

Finding the control panel

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. How to use the troubleshooter in order to solve the problem:

Step 1: Open Control Panel from the start menu.

Finding the control panel

Step 2: Type troubleshoot in the search part and then click on "Troubleshooting"

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

Step 3: Now click on "Troubleshoot audio recording".

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

Step 4: In the windows that will pop up, click "Next" in order to start the troubleshooting procedure.

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

Step 5: Give it some time, it's relative to the number of recording devices you have.

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

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.

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

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.

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

Step 2: Search for device manager and then click on "Device Manager"

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

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 …"

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

Step 4: Now choose to "Browse my computer for driver software".

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

Step 5: Down below, you will find and option: "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer".

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

Step 6: Make sure to check "Show compatible hardware", then select "High Definition Audio Device" and finally click "Next".

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

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!

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

Step 8: That's it, the driver is successfully installed. You can now click "Close".

Hardware and Sound option in the control panel

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.
Hardware and Sound option in the control panel