Working with Microphones in Windows 10

Troubleshooting Microphone Issues on Windows 10.  

  • On a laptop, you will almost certainly have a webcam and microphone built into the system and you will see at least one playback device and one recording device listen in the control panel. 

  • For Desktops, you will need to have a webcam/mic plugged in for any devices to show.  

If you think your microphone is not working properly, please check the following.  

Right click the speaker icon on your taskbar. 


Then select ‘Open Sound Settings’. 


This will take you to the Windows 10 sound control window.  


  1. Check to see if the ‘test your microphone’ section has levels. i.e. When you speak, you should see a coloured moving line (colour depends on what Windows theme is selected)  

  1. If you see no levels, click on the ‘Sound Control Panel’. 
    *Note, you can access the classic sound control panel directly by typing ‘mmsys.cpl’ into the search field (bottom left taskbar) then press enter. 






Classic Control Panel. 


This is the classic Sound Control Panel. In here you can see ‘Playback’ and ‘Recording’ tabs.  

In the recording Tab, we will see all the microphones attached to your system. *Most will have only one 


Any ‘live’ microphone attached to the system will have ‘levels’ indicated by these green bars.  

Speak into your microphone to see if you see the green bars.  

If you have no levels, please check to see if the mic is connected properly.  


If you have a microphone connected to your system, but the list is empty, right click and select ‘Show Disabled Devices’ and ‘Show Disconnected Devices’ 



If you see a Black Down Arrow beside the microphone, this microphone is ‘disabled’. 


Right click the microphone and select ‘enable’. 

If you see the Red Down Arrow beside the microphone, the microphone is ‘disconnected’. This could be a physical issue with the socket (either USB or regular headphone socket), check it and try again.  

If the microphone is a usb type, please try another usb socket. 



If, after you have tried these steps. You still do not have a working microphone, it is possible that the issue will be either hardware or driver related. At this stage, assistance from a technician may be necessary. 


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Article ID: 434
Wed 4/15/20 10:52 AM
Thu 10/15/20 10:25 AM