January 3, 2022

How to Fix Microphone not Working on Mac

How to Fix Microphone not Working on Mac

All Mac models include a built-in microphone. All the more, you may add an external microphone to any Mac model. That’s how you can use FaceTime to talk, make phone calls, record videos, and ask Siri questions on a macOS device. Built-in microphones are found on Apple MacBooks and many desktop Macs. Headsets and microphones can be connected by USB, 3.5mm audio connector, or Bluetooth. A mic, like other audio equipment, will be plug-and-play. But, what should you do if you face the issue of your microphone not working on Mac? Do not worry, we bring to you a helpful guide that will teach you how to fix this issue and how to perform microphone test playback.

How to Fix Microphone not Working on Mac

How to Fix Microphone Not Working on Mac

Setting up an external microphone on a Mac is easier than doing so on a Windows 10 PC, where the correct audio driver may need to be loaded. However, it is critical to know which microphone your PC is utilizing to successfully diagnose microphone issues.

  • Internal Microphone: Any MacBook or iMac comes with an internal microphone.
  • External USB Microphone: An external USB microphone is self-powered and connects straight to a USB port.
  • External 3.5mm microphone: It is connected to the microphone input on your PC or to a separate audio interface, which may require more power.
  • AirPods or any Bluetooth headset: These can be wirelessly connected to your Mac via Bluetooth.

Reasons Why Mac Mic is Not Working

Some of the reasons which caused your mic to stop working are:

  • Your microphone might be misconfigured.
  • It might be because of PRAM issues.
  • Third-party apps might be conflicting.
  • Certain games or apps might be causing this problem.

Pro Tip: Perform Microphone Test Playback Online

You can test Mac microphone sound by running a mic test from your web browser.

  • Close any other apps that may be utilizing your microphone, such as Skype, Zoom, Facetime etc., if the microphone fails the equipment test or if you can’t hear yourself.
  • Also, make sure you produce noise while the equipment is being tested. 

Follow the steps mentioned below to perform microphone test playback:

1. Visit this Microphone test app on your web browser.

2. To begin, click on the Play button, as shown.

click on the Play button. How to Fix Microphone not Working on Mac

3. Your browser will prompt you for permission to use the microphone. Click on Allow to grant it.

Click on Allow to give permission to your mic.

4. Speak into the mic after the browser has gained access to it.

5. The sound input will be shown by a small Window underneath the test area, with the line changing to reflect the loudness of the sound.

The sound input

Method 1: Basic Troubleshooting

The microphone on your Mac is not always obviously visible and might be difficult to locate, especially if you don’t know where to look! PC internal built-in microphones are nearly imperceptible since they are so tiny. Examine the technical specs and schematics for your MacBook, iMac, or Mac desktop model to find your Mac microphone.

  • On Macs, microphones are generally small pinholes on the sides of your MacBook, under the speaker grill near the keyboard.
  • They could also be found next to the FaceTime or iSight camera on your iMac.
  • Once you’ve found it, clean it with a microfiber or lint-free cloth to remove any dirt that could be obstructing it.
  • You may also gently blow out any lint or dust that is interfering with the microphone’s ability to pick up sound with compressed air.
  • Some readers suggest brushing away any lint, grime, or dust using a very soft toothbrush.

Also Read: Fix AirPods Only Playing in One Ear

Method 2: Reset PRAM

The PRAM, or Parameter Random Access Memory, as the name suggests, holds a variety of small parameters in your MacBook such as brightness, loudness, startup-disk, and several microphone settings. All of these settings will be reset when you reset the PRAM on your MacBook, perhaps addressing your MacBook microphone troubles. Follow the given steps to fix your microphone not working on Mac issue by resetting PRAM:

1. Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner

2. Select Shut Down… to turn Off your PC, as shown. Wait for the MacBook to completely shut down before proceeding.

select the Shut Down... option in MacBook. How to Fix Microphone not Working on Mac

3. Hold the power button and press Command + Alt + P + R keys simultaneously.

Note: Hold the buttons down for 20 seconds or until you hear chime sounds.

4. Wait for your MacBook to restart normally when you release the buttons.

Method 3: Troubleshoot Sound Input Settings

The system native mic volume settings can be found in System Preferences to perform microphone test playback. To check your microphone settings & rectify them to fix microphone not working on Mac, follow these steps:

1. Launch the System Preferences application after clicking Apple icon, as depicted.

click on System Preferences in the MacBook. How to Fix Microphone Not Working on Mac

2. Go to Sound preferences.

3. Here, switch to the Input tab, as shown.

4. Choose the input device viz microphone under Select a device for sound input.

5. Adjust the Input volume using the given slider.

go to Input tab in Sound System Preferences on MacBook. How to Fix Microphone Not Working on Mac

6. Talk into your microphone and see if there is any changes in the Input level: field.

Note: The bars will light up to show which inputs have been detected. If they aren’t lit up, your microphone isn’t picking up any input.

Also Read: How To Fix Mac Camera Not Working

Method 4: Allow Microphone Access

Because a microphone is an input device, access to it is granted by the user. When you perform microphone test playback and find that your Mac can detect mic input through the System Preferences app, but an app can’t, it might be a permissions issue or a problem with the program itself. So, follow these steps to give microphone access to a particular app to fix microphone not working on Mac issue:

1. Go to System Preferences, as shown.

click on System Preferences in the MacBook

2. Select Security and Privacy.

3. Click on Privacy and select Microphone from the sidebar.

4. Here, you will see a list of apps. Check the box besides the particular apps to Allow the apps below to access your microphone

Note: Similarly, you can grant permission for Camera app to desired apps, as illustrated below.

Click on Security and Privacy and select Camera. How to Fix Microphone Not Working on Mac

Method 5: Reset Permissions

We’ve noticed a one-of-a-kind bug in the beta versions of macOS Mojave and Catalina. Except in a few programs, the microphone on the MacBook performs admirably. Users that utilize the microphone with game applications have reported this issue of microphone not working on Mac. Here’s how to reset permissions to and force the apps to request mic permissions all over again:

1. Open the Terminal application from the Utility folder, as shown.

open Terminal from Utilities MacBook

2. Type the following command and hit Enter key.

rm -rf ~/Library/Application Support/com.apple.TCC 

3. When asked, enter your credentials.

4. Finally, restart your MacBook.

Note: If the preceding terminal command did not work for you, try it again with the word sudo in front of it.

Also Read: How to Use Utilities Folder on Mac

Method 6: Turn On Dictation

Turning on Dictation will not only allow you to dictate to your MacBook and have it type for you, but also download necessary drivers, which may help you repair any microphone difficulties. Here are the steps to fix microphone not working on Mac issue by turning On Dictation feature on your MacBook or MacBook Pro:

1. Open System Preferences, as earlier.

2. Select Keyboard option, as shown.

click on Keyboard in the System Preferences MacBook

3. Click on the Dictation tab on the right corner.

4. In the Dictation: field, select the On option. Your Mac will automatically look for necessary language packs and drivers to download.

5. When the downloads are finished, a whirling box appears beneath the Dictation option. Try using your microphone again to determine whether the problem with the microphone is resolved or not.

Method 7: Create New Account

MacBook microphone might cease to operate due to malfunction of your Mac account. It’s simple to test this notion by making a new account and checking if the microphone functions there.

1. Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups.

2. To make modifications, click the padlock and enter your Administrator password.

open users and groups. How to Fix Microphone not Working on Mac

3. To create a new user account, click the + symbol in the bottom left corner and fill out the form.

4. Once the new account has been established, log out of your current account.

5. Click on the Apple symbol in the top left corner to log out.

Note: You must log out rather than switch users for this to function.

6. Open the new account and log in to perform microphone test playback once more.

7A. If your new account microphone works, you have two viable options:

  • Either move all data to the new account and delete the old one.
  • Or, restore your Macbook to factory settings and retrieve your data from a backup.

7B. If the Mac microphone test playback fails, try the subsequent solutions instead.

Also Read: Fix MacBook Charger Not Working Issue

Method 8: Reinstall Malfunctioning App

If the microphone on your MacBook is working but it isn’t functioning for only one specific program, this issue is most likely due to bugs in the app. You should uninstall and reinstall the software.

1. Go to Applications folder in Finder.

2. Drag the troubling app icon e.g. Skype to the Trash.

Inside the application folder, look for a Skype icon and drag it into the trash.How to Fix Microphone Not Working on Mac

3. Click on Trash and click Empty Bin, as illustrated below.

go to the trash icon, right-click on it and select empty trash option.

4. Restart your MacBook to ensure that all of the app data has been wiped.

5. Reinstall the app from Mac App Store.

Method 9: Contact Apple Support

If none of the techniques above have worked, it’s possible that your MacBook microphone has been physically destroyed. For more extensive troubleshooting information or to schedule an appointment with an Authorized Service Provider or, contact Apple support.

Also Read: Fix AirPods Not Charging Issue

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Why isn’t my Mac picking up my microphone?

Ans. Mismatched sound input is a typical source of microphone issues. Select Input from the Input tab in System Preferences > Sound. You should see a list of sound-producing devices, including hopefully, the microphone you want to use. Your Mac will not detect any sound if the slider is set too low.

Q2. Is it possible to attach a condenser microphone to my MAC?

Ans. Nearly all PCs include a mic port, which is now commonly paired with a headphone port. Provided you have the suitable jack for the socket, you should be able to attach a dynamic mic directly. Also, a condenser microphone cannot be connected directly to a PC mic port; it will not function.

Q3. How can I utilize my Mac internal microphone with headphones?

Ans. If you search for a headphone splitter, you’ll discover dozens of options for less than $5. Double click internal mic to select it in the Sound Input Preference tab and then plug in your headset. You should be able to skip the headset mic and use the Mac internal mic.


We hope that this information was useful in fixing your microphone not working on Mac issue. Let us know which of the strategies you found to be the most effective. Also, if you have any queries/suggestions regarding this article, then feel free to drop them in the comments section below.