Windows XP 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 set the microphone settings in Windows XP:

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

  1. Click on Control Panel in the Windows start menu.
  2. Control Panel in Windows XP

  3. Click on “Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices”.
  4. Audio Settings in Windows XP

  5. Click on Sounds and Audio Devices.
  6. Audio Settings in Windows XP Inner Screen

  7. Click on the ‘Audio’ tab.
  8. Audio Tab in Audio Settings Windows XP

  9. Under Sound recording click on ‘Volume’.
  10. Sound Recording Volume Control in Windows XP

  11. Make sure that under ‘Microphone’ ’the checkbox ‘Select’ is checked. (What to do if you don’t see the word ‘Microphone’ in this window).
  12. Selecting the Microphone in Windows XP

  13. In the same screen, check that the microphone volume is turned up (doesn’t have to be all the way, though it wouldn’t hurt).
  14. Making Sure the Volume is High in Windows XP

  15. And to finish: check if your microphone is working using our microphone test or the Windows sound recorder.
  16. If your mic still isn’t working, do not despair, click here for more things you can check.

What to do If you don’t see the word ‘Microphone’ in the Volume menu:

  1. Click on Options and from the menu that drops down choose Properties.
  2. Recording Control Properties in Windows XP

  3. Make sure that the ‘Recording’ option is the one that’s marked.
  4. Mark 'Recording' in the Recording Control Properties in Windows XP

  5. Check (mark) ‘Microphone’.
  6. Mark 'Microphone' to Make the Microphone Controls Appear in Windows XP

  7. Click OK and then you will be brought back to the Volume options, where the Microphone options will now be visible.
  8. Take me back to the step I was in.

What to do if your problem still isn’t solved:

  1. Go back to the ‘Sounds and Audio Devices’ window, and to the ‘Audio’ tab in that window. (Repeat steps 1 to 4 in the first explanation to get there).
  2. Under the words ‘Default device:’ choose a different option from the menu that drops down (your options will likely be different from the screenshot here).
  3. Changing the default recording device in Windows XP

  4. Click ‘Apply’.
  5. Check your microphone again using our microphone test or the Windows sound recorder.
  6. If the microphone still isn’t working, repeat this explanation until all the different ‘Default device’ options are exhausted.

What to do if your problem STILL isn’t solved!!

If the problem still isn’t solved :

  • Check that your microphone isn’t muted (sometimes there’s a mute button on the microphone itself or on its cord),
  • check that the mic is connected to the socket, and try disconnecting it and connecting it again.
  • Check that you can hear other sounds! Maybe it was the sound playback made you think that the mic isn’t working!
    You can try our sound test page for that.

If all of that doesn’t work then I’m afraid that your Windows XP microphone settings aren’t the problem,
and your microphone is probably faulty (broken).

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