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10 Common Computer Screen Issues and How to Fix Them
Monitor issues can range from the merely annoying to the completely debilitating. Either way, it’s important to be able to diagnose and fix the issue so you can get back to work without further ado. This guide will help you address a range of different computer screen issues.
Dead or Bright Pixel
Have you noticed something that looks like a black or unusually bright speck on your screen? If it isn’t grime or dust, it’s probably a broken pixel. Unfortunately, this is usually a physical defect in the monitor and cannot be fixed without replacing the monitor.
Blurry Text and Other Resolution Problems
Issues with resolution usually result in your screen displaying in a weird way, usually by showing blurry text or putting windows and toolbars in the wrong proportion so they either overflow the screen or don’t fill it entirely. This is a resolution issue that you can fix by going into your computer settings and switching to your computer’s default or native resolution.
A screen that’s completely blank without displaying any of the images you expect it to can be particularly disruptive. You can usually fix black screen issues by checking connections. Make sure the video cable is plugged in all the way and that power cords are functional. You can also try to adjust brightness via the monitor or your computer.
If your monitor is randomly shutting itself off, one of two resolvable issues could be at play. One is a simple matter of overheating. The other could be an issue with the monitor’s power source, which could be malfunctioning. If neither of these things seem to be to blame, the monitor itself may be defective.
If your screen is flickering noticeably, it could be an issue with your video cable. Try tightening the cable or, if it’s particularly old, go ahead and replace it. This issue could also relate to your screen’s refresh rate, though if you haven’t been messing with your settings and this problem came up out of the blue, that probably isn’t the issue.
Cracks and Scratches
Cracking or scratching a monitor’s surface can result in dead or discolored patches on the screen, making it hard to see a clear picture on your computer. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to fix this issue — you’ll need to replace the screen entirely.
Glare from overhead lights or the sun can make it hard to see your monitor clearly. You can do a few things about this, ranging from increasing your brightness to using a physical glare filter or even getting a special barrier to block your screen from overhead light.
Smudges and Dust
A clean monitor is a clear monitor, and the smudges and dirt that often accumulate on a computer screen can be easily confused for another issue, like a dead pixel. Never use a cleaning solution to clean a screen — you can use a soft cloth to buff away smudges, and if you’re dealing with a lot of stuck-on grime, a special monitor wipe can work.
Is your monitor buzzing noticeably? Computer monitors are often backlit with fluorescent lightbulbs that can start to whine or buzz when they get old. Fixing this may be a simple matter of replacing that bulb.
Lines on the Screen
If your monitor has a permanent, thin vertical line, either in black or another basic color like red, that’s another unfixable issue. Like a dead pixel, this issue typically means that something’s gone wrong in the screen’s hardware, and it needs to be replaced entirely.
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Fix microphone problems
If you are having trouble with your microphone features, the following information can help you troubleshoot and resolve issues.
Make sure apps have access to the microphone
If your microphone isn't detected after updating Windows 11, you may need to give your apps permission to use it. Here's how:
Select Start > Settings > Privacy & security > Microphone and make sure Microphone access is turned on.
Make sure Let apps access your microphone is turned on, then choose which apps have access. Desktop apps won't appear in this list.
If you want to give access to desktop apps, make sure that Let desktop apps access your microphone is turned on. You can't turn off microphone access for individual apps.
Others can't hear me
Try the following solutions:
If your headset has a Mute button, make sure it isn't active.
Make sure that your microphone or headset is connected correctly to your computer.
Make sure that your microphone or headset is the system default recording device. Here's how to do this in Windows 11:
Select Start > Settings > System > Sound .
In Input , go to Choose a device for speaking or recording , and select the device you want.
To test your microphone, speak into it. In Volume , make sure the blue bar moves to make sure Windows hears you.
The microphone volume is too low or does not appear to be working at all
Make sure that the microphone or headset is connected correctly to your computer.
Make sure that the microphone is positioned correctly.
Increase the volume of your microphone. Here's how to do this in Windows 11:
In Input , select a microphone to see its properties.
In Input volume , make sure the blue bar adjusts as you speak into the microphone.
If it doesn't, go to Test your microphone and Start test . This will help you troubleshoot any issues with your microphone.
If your microphone isn't detected after updating Windows 10, you may need to give your apps permission to use it.
To let apps access the microphone, select Start ,then select Settings > Privacy > Microphone . Select Change , then turn on Allow apps to access your microphone .
After allowing access to the microphone, you can choose which Microsoft Store apps can access these features under Choose which Microsoft Store apps can access your microphone , and give access to non-Microsoft-Store desktop apps by ensuring that the switch beneath Allow desktop apps to access your microphone is set to On .
Make sure that your microphone or headset is the system default recording device. Here's how to do this in Windows 10:
Select Start , then select Settings > System > Sound .
In Input , ensure your microphone is selected in Choose your input device .
Increase the volume of your microphone. Here's how to do this in Windows 10:
Select Start , then select Settings > System > Sound .
In Input , ensure your microphone is selected under Choose your input device , then select Device Properties .
On the Levels tab of the Microphone Properties window, adjust the Microphone and Microphone Boost sliders as needed, then select OK .
Speak into your microphone while checking under Test your microphone to make sure your settings work. If you see the line moving from left to right, your microphone is working. If you see no change, the microphone is not picking up sound.
Others cannot hear me in Skype calls
Make sure that your microphone or headset is the Skype default recording device. Here's how:
If Skype is not open, select Start , then Skype to open it.
In the upper right corner of the Contacts List in Skype, select More , then Settings .
In Audio & Video , under Microphone , make sure your microphone or headset is selected.
Under Speakers , make sure your preferred speaker or headset is selected.
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Win 10 Mic Not Working?
Windows 10 is well-known for having microphone issues. if you’ve stumbled into one of these issues, no worries: we created this guide to get you out of trouble..
You'll be presented with several different solutions. We recommend following the solutions one by one and checking your microphone after each one to check if the problem is gone. If you think you know what the problem is, though, you can jump directly to the corresponding solution. Solutions 1-3 are basic checks and configurations everyone should make sure they’ve done. If you’re planning to get new wired headphones/headset or if you think you might be having a hardware issue, solution 4 would walk you through the hardware basics that you need in order to avoid common compatibility issues. If you’re using a Bluetooth recording device then all the solutions will be helpful, but pay extra attention to solution 5 . Solutions 6-9 will help you fix your audio drivers and give you some other general tips that could tip the scales in favor of your microphone actually doing its job.
Solution 1: Set correct microphone access permissions
Solution 2: set default recording device, solution 3: disable app-exclusive control, solution 4: make sure your hardware is compatible with the mic, solution 5: connect your bluetooth headset manually, solution 6: install the right audio driver for your computer, solution 7: uninstall the microphone if it exists in the devices and printers section, solution 8: uninstall suspicious voip apps, solution 9: perform windows update.
As a Windows 10 user the first thing to check when you have a microphone problem is the Microphone Privacy Settings page:
Open Windows' Settings from the start menu.
Click the Privacy icon.
Now from the left pane, select Microphone and then check these three settings:
- If you see “Microphone access for this device is off”, then click the Change button and then turn on “Microsoft access for this device”.
- If your “Allow apps to access your microphone” is Off , please toggle it to On .
- Check the apps list and make sure to enable access for the ones that you’re trying to use.
Press the Windows logo key + R in order to launch Run.
Type Control Panel and then press Enter or click Ok .
Click Hardware and Sound .
Now click on Sound .
You can see the list of your recording devices in the “Recording” tab, right-click in an empty area in the list and check both Show Disabled Devices and Show Disconnected Devices .
Right-click on each of your recording devices and make sure they are all Enabled (if a device is already enabled, you will see the Disable option in the menu).
Now speak into your microphone. Make sure that you’re away from any other microphones in order to avoid any confusions in the next step.
While speaking into the microphone see if you can notice any green bars rising on the screen. If you do see the green bars rising next to a certain device then that is the one you’re looking for. Select it and click the Set Default button. Note that this button will be greyed out if you have only one device in the list, or if the device is already set as the default one.
In the previous step, if you could identify your microphone by noticing the green bars rising when speaking to it, kindly apply the following steps to that recording device. If you still can’t recognize the microphone in question, please apply the steps to all the recording devices in the list:
Select the microphone from your recording devices list and then click Properties .
In the Advanced tab, uncheck both options: “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device” and “Give exclusive mode applications priority”.
There are 4 main types of microphones:
- A headset with 2 separate 3.5mm jacks: one for the microphone, one for the audio.
- A headset or earphones with only one jack: 2 in 1 (microphone and audio in the same 3.5mm jack)
- A USB headset/headphones with a microphone.
- A Bluetooth headset/headphones with a microphone.
If your headset/headphones has two separate 3.5mm jacks then your computer/laptop should also have two separate 3.5mm ports (usually one green and one red): one for audio and the other for the microphone. One jack will not suffice. If you only have one jack on the computer you will need to either get a one-jack headset or a converter that changes from double 3.5mm jacks to a single 3.5mm jack.
If your headset/headphones has only one 3.5mm jack for both audio and microphone, your laptop should also have one 3.5mm headset port in order to capture both audio and sound from the microphone. A popular example for that is the headphones that come with the old iPhones.
Other types of converters include:
- A single 3.5mm to a double 3.5mm convertor (this one is for single jack headsets in order to connect them to a laptop with dual audio ports)
- A single 3.5mm to USB convertor
- A double 3.5mm to USB convertor
Normally when both your computer’s Bluetooth and your Bluetooth headset is on, they get connected to each other automatically. Sometimes they do not. Sometimes they are connected but you still cannot receive audio and send audio through its microphone. If your headset is connected but no audio comes out of the headset, you have three options:
You can click on the speaker icon , then the little arrow to switch back to the computer/laptop speaker, then switch back again to the Bluetooth headset. Make sure you select the (hands-free or headset) option and not the (Stereo) in order to make the microphone work properly.
You can go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound where you can find the headset listed in the recording devices tab. Right-click on it and choose to Disconnect and then right-click again and choose Connect . This should reset the connection and fix possible mis-connections.
You can always disable Bluetooth and then re-enable it and see if that takes care of the problem.
If the Bluetooth headset isn’t already connected, you may want to uninstall the device, put the headset into pairing mode and re-pair it. In order to uninstall the device temporarily, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices and then select the headset and choose Remove Device.
Also, make sure to check the option at the bottom of the same page in order to download the necessary Bluetooth drivers even when you have metered connections. No need to worry about it, it’s usually a small-sized download.
Normally, your laptop or motherboard’s manufacturer should have the audio driver suitable for your hardware on its official website. It’s recommended that you browse there, download and install the suitable official driver (compatible with your hardware and operating system), and then reboot your computer. That should do the job. If for any reason it’s hard to get the official driver and the one you have installed isn’t working correctly, please follow these steps in order to adjust the default driver:
First, disconnect any other connected device as much as you can and leave only your microphone or headset connected.
Right-click on your Start button or press Windows logo key + X and select Device Manager.
Expand Sound, video and game controllers , right-click on High Definition Audio Device and select Update driver .
Select the second option: Browse my computer for driver software .
Click this option at the bottom: Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer .
Select High definition Audio Device and then click Next .
A warning will pop-up confirming that you are making a change to this driver, please click Yes .
Now reboot your computer and check if the microphone works.
Some microphones and headsets - Bluetooth and USB ones - appear in the Devices and Printers list in your control panel. If that’s the case, you can always remove the device, unplug or disconnect it and then reconnect it - which would reinstall it and sometimes solve the problem.
Type Control Panel and then press Enter .
Click View devices and printers in order to see your devices’ list.
Right-click on the headset, microphone or USB dongle attached to your microphone and click Remove device .
Click Yes in order to uninstall the device.
Now you can disconnect your device and connect it back and see if it works.
VOIP stands for Voice Over IP, which basically means audio chat or video chat. Sometimes even if you prevent exclusive control of apps (see solution 3), some VOIP programs like Skype, Zoom, Viber, TeamSpeak, etc. can play with your microphone settings on their own accord and prevent it from working properly. That’s why it’s recommended that you review your installed voice applications and uninstall the ones that may cause such a problem, including the pre-installed Skype if you don’t really use it.
Windows 10 is known to have constant updates; you'd usually want to have the latest update for security and for mic compatibility fixes. This might fix your problem.
Click the Update & Security icon.
Click the Check for updates button. If there is an update, make sure it is downloaded and installed.
After the update is complete, check your microphone again.
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How to Fix It When a Windows 10 Microphone is Not Working
Pc mic muted driver need an update or is it something else, in this article.
Jump to a Section
- Causes of Mic Not Working
- How to Fix Mic Not Working
- Frequently Asked Questions
There are a number of fixes you can try when your Windows 10 microphone is not working. The first step is to figure out whether the issue lies with your computer or the mic itself.
Instructions in this article apply to internal and external microphones for Windows 10 PCs. Steps are the same regardless of your device's manufacturer. The steps for fixing mic issues in Windows 11 are a little different.
Causes of a Computer Mic Not Working on Windows 10
If your PC mic isn't working, it could be due to several causes, including:
- Faulty hardware
- Poor physical connections
- Missing device drivers
- Interference from other Bluetooth devices
- Conflicts between an external mic and the internal mic
- Audio input is muted on your computer.
- Audio input is muted on your headset.
Before you begin, it helps to test your Windows 10 microphone to try and narrow down the cause. You'll likely uncover the solution as soon as you identify the reason for your problem.
Many steps for troubleshooting a microphone are the same as troubleshooting headphones that won't work .
How to Fix a Windows 10 Microphone Not Working
Try these solutions in order until your computer mic is working properly:
Run the Windows 10 troubleshooter . Windows 10 has a number of built-in troubleshooting tools. If you're having mic issues, right-click the Speakers icon in the taskbar and choose Troubleshoot sound problems to have Windows search for potential solutions.
Look for a Mute button. External mics may have physical volume buttons, so make sure your device isn't muted or turned down too low.
Check the device manager. To make sure your PC can detect your microphone, open the Windows Device Manager and expand the Audio inputs and outputs section, then select your mic and look under the Device Status section.
If you don't see your mic listed, unplug it, and then plug it back in again. If it still doesn't appear, then the problem lies with the connection.
Check your connections. If possible, use a different audio connector cable and try plugging the mic into a different USB port on the same device. If it still doesn't work, try using it with a different computer.
If your mic works with other devices, then the problem could be the ports on your Windows PC. However, if it won't connect to other computers, then you probably need a new mic.
Check individual app settings. Certain apps, such as Skype , have their own audio input options. If you're having audio problems in a specific app, look for a settings menu where you can choose the audio input.
Change your Windows sound settings . Look under Input in the Windows 10 sound settings to make sure the mic you want to use is selected and enabled.
Increase the mic volume. In the sound settings, select Device properties under your mic selection to make sure the volume on your mic is turned on.
Disable other Bluetooth devices. When using a wireless microphone, other Bluetooth connections can interfere with the signal. If your Bluetooth isn't working on Windows , turn off Bluetooth on any other connected devices one-by-one to see if that helps.
Update the hardware drivers . If you can see your microphone in the Device Manager, yet it's still not detecting sound, check to see if drivers are up-to-date. Most external PC microphones don't require any drivers, but you may want to check the instruction manual to see if there's any additional software you have to install. You can also do a Google search for drivers or use a free driver updater tool .
Check your app permissions. Windows updates can sometimes reset app settings. If you're having mic problems with a certain app, go to the Windows 10 app permissions settings and make sure the app has permission to access your microphone.
To test your microphone in Windows 10 , right-click the Speaker icon in the task bar and select Sounds > Recording . If your microphone appears in the list as Disabled, right-click the microphone and select Enable . Speak into the microphone while checking the on-screen sound meter—if the meter moves, the microphone is working.
Select Start > Control Panel > Hardware & Sound > Sound > Recording . Select the microphone you want to use, then select Set default .
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9 Fixes When Windows Can't Detect a Microphone
Is your microphone plugged in, but Windows refuses to acknowledge it? Here are some ways to fix that.
Windows gets lots of updates and has years of fixes under its belt... and yet, things can still go wrong. For example, your computer may fail to detect your microphone even if it is plugged in.
Some of the more obvious reasons for this cause include a malfunctioning port or microphone. It could also happen due to driver issues or Windows interfering with the microphone's driver. Here are some quick fixes to help you reconnect with your friends if you are experiencing the same issue.
1. Inspect the Microphone and Your Computer's Ports
To rule out the possibility of a hardware issue with your microphone, you should first inspect the hardware. If your microphone is okay, the computer's audio port might have worn out over time and no longer works properly.
To figure out if it's your hardware that's to blame:
- Check your microphone's wire for any damage, especially at the ends where it connects to your PC.
- Plug the microphone into any other device (if available) to test if it works.
- Check the connecting jack for any bending or burning.
- Check whether any other device (if it is available) works on the same port on your computer.
If the microphone cable is in good condition, but it fails to connect to a different device, that means it's likely a problem with the microphone. This needs to be inspected by the technician.
If there is no damage to the microphone's jacks and wires, the microphone works properly with other systems, and your computer does not respond to other devices connected to the same port, there is a problem with your computer port. If that’s the case, follow the instructions in our guide for fixing the USB port . Otherwise, continue to use the other USB port.
If none of the above issues are present and the microphone is still not being picked up by your computer, you might want to disconnect all other devices you are simultaneously connecting to your PC.
2. Disconnect All Other Devices
Disconnecting other devices may eliminate any interference with the microphone's connectivity. Try plugging back in the microphone after disconnecting all other devices to see if your PC recognizes it this time. If not, the problem lies elsewhere.
3. Close Other Apps That Use the Microphone
If a specific app isn't detecting the microphone, ensure that any other app isn't using it simultaneously. Close video conferencing clients, streaming software, or other similar apps if they are currently running on your device. Closing these apps should make the microphone reachable, and the app you're having trouble with will be able to detect it.
4. Changing the Default Audio Device
Sometimes, your PC will have a default audio input device set in its settings. If this happens, your PC will use that device to record audio instead of your microphone. This means Windows will only listen to the set device, even though your microphone is plugged in.
Follow these steps to change the default audio device:
- Go to Windows Settings app.
- Navigate to System settings from the list of options .
- Click on Sound in the menu on the left sidebar.
These steps apply to Windows 10. Other versions of Windows may show different visuals. If you are encountering this problem on Windows 11, check out our guide on how to fix the microphone on Windows 11 .
5. Enable a Disabled Microphone
If setting your default audio device to a microphone doesn't make your device up and running, then there's a chance you disabled it in the past. If you disable a microphone, Windows won't let you use it when you plug it in.
To check if this is the case, follow the below steps to enable the microphone:
- Open the Settings app .
- Navigate to the System setting and click on Sound in the left sidebar.
- Next, click on Manage sound devices under the Troubleshoot button in the Input devices settings.
You can enable the microphone via the Control Panel if you use an older version of Windows.
6. Update Your Microphone's Drivers
If you have a brand-new microphone with outdated or no drivers, it can mess with how the microphone works. This can happen if you disable automatic driver downloads from Windows, which means your microphone won't get the latest updates.
Alternatively, the older version of your OS isn't supported any longer, resulting in no microphone being detected at all. Thus, it is also imperative to rule out this possibility. To make sure your microphone drivers are up-to-date, follow these steps:
- Go to your Windows desktop and right-click on This PC.
- In the menu, select Manage .
- In Computer Management windows, click on Device Manager on the left sidebar.
- Expand the Audio inputs and outputs category.
- Locate your microphone from the list of devices.
Click Search automatically for drivers in the new popup window. It will automatically look for any updated microphone drivers available and install them for you.
If you have downloaded the drivers from the manufacturer's website, you can manually install them by clicking on the second option in the popup window that says, Browse my computer for drivers .
7. Check Your App Permissions
Sometimes your microphone won't work because it doesn't have permission to operate. You may have removed your microphone's permissions on purpose and forgotten to turn them back on, or a program may have changed your app permissions without you knowing.
If this is the case, giving the microphone permission to operate will immediately fix the issue. You can change your microphone's access by following these steps:
- Click on the Windows icon in the lower left-hand corner of the taskbar and click on Settings .
- Navigate to Privacy settings.
- Select the Microphone option in the left sidebar under App permissions.
- Check if the microphone access for this device is On or Off.
If changing the permission hasn't solved the problem, you can run the speech troubleshooter as a last resort to fix the microphone.
8. Run the Speech Troubleshooter
Using the speech troubleshooter will allow your OS to diagnose the connection between the computer and the microphone. The auto-diagnostic test often detects hidden connectivity issues that traditional methods can't resolve.
To find and run the troubleshooter, follow these steps:
- Click on the Windows icon in the lower-left corner of the taskbar and click on Settings .
- Locate Time & Language and open the settings.
- Select Speech from the menu on the left sidebar.
This will open up a new window with several troubleshooting options. Choose Cortana can't hear me . Select the device (your microphone) that you want to troubleshoot. Tap Next after selecting the device.
The troubleshooter will then proceed to detect problems and, once they are identified, select and implement the recommended action. Even if nothing else has worked, hopefully, this step will help you get your microphone back on track.
9. Ensure Windows Audio Service Is Running
The Windows Audio service manages audio for apps and programs running on the operating system. Windows won't detect the microphone when this service isn't running. To check whether it is active, follow these steps:
- Type "Services" in Windows Search and open the Services app.
- Find the Windows Audio service.
- If the status for this service shows "Running," it is already operational. In that case, there is no need to take any action.
Get Your Microphone Up and Running Again
Seeing your microphone not being detected by your Windows computer can be frustrating. We hope the fixes above will help you fix the issue and let you use your microphone again on your computer. If the problem turns out to be hardware-related, have it inspected by a technician.
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If your microphone doesn't work, the sound is too low, or other microphone audio issues occur, troubleshoot until the issue is resolved.
Check the microphone hardware function
Make sure the microphone has power, is turned up, and correctly connected to the computer.
If the microphone operates on battery power, make sure the batteries are correctly seated and functional. If the microphone operates on external power, make sure all power connections are secure and the power cord is connected to a power source.
If the microphone has a volume control, make sure it is turned up half way.
Disconnect the microphone from the computer.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for disconnecting USB devices from the computer. Some USB devices must be turned off and/or ejected before they are disconnected from the computer. Other USB devices support the Windows Safely Remove Hardware feature.
Make sure the microphone connector is compatible with your computer.
USB connectors support microphones, headphones, and combined headsets with a microphone.
Jack connectors with four pins support microphones, headphones, and combined headsets with a microphone. Jack connectors with three pins are for microphones only.
Using an adapter for jacks not compatible with HP computers might affect audio quality. This does not mean that your computer has a problem.
Locate the correct computer port for your microphone.
Desktop computers : Use a port on the back of the computer (the ports attached directly to the motherboard).
Notebook computers : Use a port on the notebook itself (do not use a docking station).
USB ports work with 2.0 and 3.0 USB devices.
Analog jack ports on desktop computers are color coded. Common colors are pink (mic) for microphones, green (out) for headphones, and blue (in) for sound producing devices such as DVD players.
Connect the microphone to the correct port on the computer and then try to use it. For USB microphones, you can also try connecting the microphone to a different USB port on the computer.
Connect the microphone to another device, such as another computer, and then try to use it.
Update the audio driver in Device Manager
An old audio driver can cause devices to function incorrectly. Check for and install audio driver updates.
Connect to the internet.
In Windows, search for and open Device Manager .
Double-click Sound, video and game controllers .
Right-click the name of the sound hardware, and then select Update driver .
Select Search automatically for updated driver software , and then wait for Windows to search.
If a software update is available, let Windows install it.
Run Windows Update
Running Windows Update installs operating system, software and driver updates that apply to your computer.
Update your Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer using Windows Update.
In Windows, search for and open Check for updates .
If there are any available updates, they begin automatically.
To download and install optional updates, use the following instructions for your operating system:
In Windows 11, select Advanced options > Optional updates , select the updates that you want to install, and then click Download & install .
In Windows 10, select View all optional updates , select the updates that you want to install, and then click Download and install .
After the updates install, restart your computer when prompted.
Run Windows Update (Windows 8, 7)
Update your Windows 8 or 7 computer using Windows Update.
In Windows, search for and open Windows Update .
Click Check for updates .
Select updates to install.
HP recommends selecting both the Important and the Recommended updates.
Important updates are important to the health of your computer. To install only important updates, click Install Updates .
Optional updates are not required but are recommended. To select from all available updates, click optional updates are available .
Use the Windows audio troubleshooting tool
The Windows audio troubleshooting tool automatically finds and fixes many computer issues.
In Windows, search for and open Control Panel .
Select Troubleshooting .
Under Hardware and Sound, select Troubleshoot audio recording .
If a window displays prompting you for an administrator password or confirmation, type the requested credentials.
The Sound troubleshooter opens. Click Next . The troubleshooter checks the audio service status.
Select the device you want to troubleshoot, and then click Next .
Follow the on-screen instructions and make any changes suggested by the troubleshooter. When done, close the troubleshooter.
Advanced microphone troubleshooting
If your microphone still doesn't work after trying the basic troubleshooting methods, try these advanced steps until the issue is resolved.
Configure the sound settings
Adjust Windows sound settings so that the computer recognizes and works with the microphone. Test the microphone after each adjustment to see if the issue resolves.
Open Windows Sound settings to troubleshoot a recording device
Open Windows Sound settings to troubleshoot a microphone or other audio device.
Disconnect all audio devices from the computer except the device you are troubleshooting.
In Windows, search for and open Control Panel , and then select Sound .
Click the Recording tab in the Sound window.
Make sure the computer recognizes the microphone
Adjust sound settings so the computer detects and works with the microphone.
On the Sound window Recording tab, right-click an empty area of the window, and then click Show Disabled Devices and Show Disconnected Devices .
If the microphone is listed as Currently unavailable or Not plugged in , disconnect it, and then reconnect it to the port.
Click OK , and then test the microphone by speaking into it.
Check the gray bars next to the device name. Green bars indicate that the device is active and an audio signal is passing through the microphone port.
Set the default audio device
When troubleshooting, set the microphone as the default audio device.
On the Sound window Recording tab, select the microphone you want to use, click Set Default , and then click OK .
Test the microphone by speaking into it.
Check the microphone volume and mute settings
Make sure the microphone volume is turned up and not muted when troubleshooting.
On the Sound window Recording tab, select the microphone you are troubleshooting, and then click Properties .
In the Properties window, click the Levels tab.
Use the slider bar to raise the microphone recording level to at least 75 , and the Microphone Boost level (if available) to +20.0dB .
Click OK to save your changes.
Disconnect and reconnect the microphone, and then test the microphone recording level.
If the microphone recording level is too low, repeat the steps to change the microphone level to 100 , and the Microphone Boost level (if available) to +10.0dB .
Disable audio enhancements
Sometimes turning off sound enhancements can resolve issues with the microphone.
Open the Enhancements tab, and then select Disable All Sound Effects .
Change the audio recording format
Using a different default audio format might resolve the microphone issue.
On the Advanced tab, select any of the 16-bit options in the list.
Resolve microphone issues when running more than one app
Microphone problems can occur when running more than one application at a time. For example, talking on a headset while playing an online game.
Select the Advanced tab, and then clear the check box next to Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device .
Microphone stops working after a webcam or USB microphone is installed
When you install a new USB device that includes a microphone, such as a webcam, the new device might become the default audio recording device. You can change the default recording device in Windows.
Click the Recording tab on the Sound window.
Select the microphone you want to use, click Set Default , and then click OK .
Microphone does not work with Skype or other Internet software
If the microphone is not working with Skype, change the default microphone to resolve the issue.
Bang & Olufsen microphone does not record unless you are directly in front of the PC
With the Bang & Olufsen audio microphone, the microphone does not recognize or record voice unless the speaker is sitting directly in front of the computer. Change the input setting to resolve the issue.
Open the Bang & Olufsen Audio application, and then select Input .
To reduce background sounds and optimize the microphone for multiple voices, select Multiple voices .
The Multiple voices setting has a wider range than the Only my voice setting.
Troubleshoot microphone USB connections
If your computer does not detect the USB microphone, or the microphone does not work correctly, troubleshoot the USB connection and the USB ports on the computer. Test the microphone each time you make changes to see if the issue is resolved.
Before troubleshooting , disconnect all USB devices from the computer except a USB mouse and keyboard (if in use). This includes hubs, thumb drives, printers, and cameras.
Always follow the manufacturer instructions for disconnecting USB devices from the computer. Some USB devices must be turned off and/or ejected before they are disconnected from the computer. Other USB devices support the Windows Safely Remove Hardware feature.
Notebook computers : Use USB ports on the notebook itself. Do not use a USB port replicator (such as a docking station or USB hub).
Desktop computers : Use USB ports on the back of the computer (the ports attached directly to the motherboard).
Install USB device manufacturer software
If the USB device comes with software, follow the manufacturer instructions to install it.
Disconnect the USB device from the computer.
Install the software according to the manufacturer instructions.
Reconnect the USB device.
Troubleshoot the USB microphone with Device Manager
You might be able to troubleshoot the microphone problem using Device Manager. Depending on how your microphone displays in Device Manager, you might need to reinstall the driver or take some other action to resolve the issue.
In Windows, search for and open Device Manager , and then double-click Audio inputs and outputs to expand the list. Find your microphone in the list of devices to begin troubleshooting.
Your USB microphone could display in Device Manager by the name of the device , as Unknown Device , or Other Device . Also, the microphone might not display at all.
If the device name displays in Device Manager
If your USB device is listed in Device Manager by its name, the USB ports and basic plug-and-play are working correctly. There is a physical problem with the device or there is an issue with the device drivers.
Restart the computer
If your USB device is listed in Device Manager by its name, restarting the computer might resolve the issue.
Restart the computer, and then reconnect the device.
Uninstall and reinstall the USB device software
If your USB device is listed in Device Manager by its name, reinstalling the manufacturer software might resolve the issue.
Uninstall the device software.
Reinstall the software per the manufacturer instructions.
Uninstall and reinstall the USB microphone
If your USB device is listed in Device Manager by its name, uninstalling and then reinstalling the device might resolve the issue.
Connect the USB device to the computer.
In Device Manager , right-click the name of the device, and then select Uninstall .
Click Uninstall on the confirmation window that opens.
If Delete the driver software for this device displays, check the box next to it.
Restart the computer, and then reinstall the device per the manufacturer instructions.
If Unknown Device displays in Device Manager
If your USB device is listed in Device Manager as Unknown, a driver is not installed or is not set up correctly. To correct the problem, uninstall and reinstall the device driver.
In Device Manager, right-click Unknown Device , and then select Uninstall .
If Other Device displays in Device Manager
If your USB device is listed in Device Manager as Other Device, the USB ports are working but device drivers need to be installed. To correct the problem, install the USB driver.
Disconnect the USB device from the computer, and then wait 20 seconds.
Install the driver per the manufacturer instructions.
Reconnect the device to the computer.
If the USB device does not display in Device Manager
If your USB device does not display in Device Manager, Windows does not detect it. There might be a problem with the USB port or a USB root hub. To correct the problem, first try a different USB port. Then, if necessary configure or uninstall USB root hubs.
Try a different USB port
If Device Manager does not list your USB device, there might be a problem with the USB port. Connect the USB device to a different port on the computer.
Disconnect the device from the USB port on the computer.
Connect the device to a different USB port on the computer.
Wait 5 seconds, and then check Device Manager to see if the device name displays.
Check the USB root hub properties
If the USB device does not display in Device Manager, there might be a power requirement issue. Check the USB root hub properties.
Disconnect the USB device from the computer, and then restart the computer.
Connect the device and wait 5 seconds. If the device is not recognized, disconnect it.
In Windows, search for and open Device Manager, and then double-click Universal Serial Bus Controllers to expand the list.
Double-click a USB Root Hub , click the Power tab, and then click Power Properties (if it is available). Devices that are attached to the hub display, along with the power they require.
The Power tab displays only in USB 2.0. There is no Power tab in USB 3.0.
Review the power properties of each USB root hub. If the total Power Required exceeds the Total power available for a hub, remove a device on that hub to reduce the Power Required number.
If the total Power Required is over 500 mA, remove the devices and use a powered hub.
Connect the USB device and wait 5 seconds. Check Device Manager to see if the device name displays.
Uninstall USB root hubs
Uninstalling USB root hubs causes the computer to reinstall them when you restart the computer.
Disconnect all USB devices connected to the computer except a USB mouse and keyboard (if in use). This includes hubs, thumb drives, printers, and cameras.
Double-click Universal Serial Bus Controllers to expand the list.
Right-click the first USB Root Hub in the list, then select Uninstall .
Click OK to confirm.
Continue uninstalling all USB root hubs listed.
Close Device Manager , and then restart the computer.
If the USB device came with software and it was not previously installed, install the software now, following the manufacturer instructions.
Reconnect the USB device to the computer.
USB 2.0 device does not work in USB 3.0 port
Some USB 2.0 devices do not work in USB 3.0 ports. To fix this, uninstall the USB 3.0 driver in Device Manager.
Double-click Universal Serial Bus Controllers to expand the list, and then locate the USB 3.0 root hubs.
Right-click the USB 3.0 Root Hub, and then click Uninstall .
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Home › Knowledge Base › Sound Issues
Microphone not picking up voice [Solved]
If your microphone can’t pick up your voice despite the computer recognizing that it’s plugged in, you can try using your mic on your phone to check if it’s a hardware issue. If your mic works on your phone but not on your computer, you can then try the methods below to troubleshoot the problem.
Troubleshoot mic problems
- Update your audio driver
- Set your mic as your default device
- Allow apps to access your mic (Windows 10)
- Check in-game settings
- Check for Windows updates
Method 1: Update your audio driver
A missing or outdated audio driver may stop mic from picking up voice. Make sure that the audio driver on your PC is up to date.
There are two ways to update your audio driver: manually and automatically .
Manual driver update — You can update your audio driver manually by going to the manufacturer’s website, and searching for the most recent correct driver. Be sure to choose the driver that’s compatible with your exact audio device model and your version of Windows.
Automatic driver update — If you don’t have the time, patience or computer skills to update your audio driver manually, you can, instead, do it automatically with Driver Easy .
Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to be troubled by the wrong driver you would be downloading, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing. Driver Easy handles it all.
- Download and install Driver Easy.
Then, you can use the built-in Speech Recognition tool to test your microphone:
- Is the Setup wizard complete? If your microphone works properly, congratulations! If not, you can follow Method 2 below to check your audio settings.
Method 2: Set your mic as your default device
You can take the following steps to check if your microphone is the Default Device on your computer (be sure that your audio driver is up-to-date):
- Check if your mic works as expected.
If your mic not picking up voice problem persists in the third-parity software, you can try Method 3 below.
Method 3: Allow apps to access your mic (Windows 10)
If you mic problem occurs in a specific program, you can go to Windows Settings to check if that program is allowed to access your microphone. Here’s how:
- In the section of Choose which apps can access your microphone , verify that the program where you need to use mic is turned on .
- Test your microphone in that program.
Method 4: Check in-game settings
If you have everything configured properly and your mic still doesn’t seem to work in game, you’d better check the in-game audio or voice chat settings.
Make sure the voice chat input/output device is set as default in game. And try turning off voice chat , then checking the audio settings on PC as mentioned in Method 2 above, and then turning on voice chat in game again.
Check to see if your mic can pick up voice now.
Method 5: Check for Windows updates
If the above methods don’t work for you, your mic not picking up voice problem is probably being caused by system issues. You can then check for Windows updates.
- Type update in the Windows search box, then press Enter .
- Click check for updates in the pop-up window.
- Install all identified updates to troubleshoot the issue.
You’re welcome to leave a comment below to share your results or any other suggestions.
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As a veteran computer user and an obliging technical writer, Wendy is perfectly positioned to understand your computer problems, and more than capable of helping you solve them. Her articles give you quite a few possible solutions to your computer problems, with step-by-step instructions and illustrations to show you how to navigate on your PC until your problem is solved.
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