Microphone not working on Mac

If the built-in microphone or the external microphone connected to your Mac isn’t working, you should be able to resolve the issue with the troubleshooting steps provided below.

Microphone not working on Mac

If you are wondering where is the microphone located on your MacBook? This depends on the model of your MacBook.

The newer MacBook Pro (2021) models come with 3 microphones in the left corner of the Mac, while the MacBook Pro (2017) versions had a single microphone near the ESC key.

When the microphone isn’t working on your MacBook, the problem can be due to various reasons, from temporary software glitches to microphone not set up properly and other reasons.

Usually, when you try to use an external microphone on your MacBook or Mac Mini, the problem is that the microphone is not recognized by your computer.

1. Configure the microphone settings

A common reason for the microphone not working on MacBook, Mac Mini or iMac is that the microphone is not set up properly or the input volume is kept at a low level.

Click on Apple logo in the top menu bar and select system settings in the drop down menu.

Open System Preferences on Mac

On the System Settings screen, click sound Tab.

Sound preference option on Mac

Switch to on the next screen Entry tab > select yours microphone from the list and make sure that the input volume set to maximum level.

Select Microphone on Mac

After that, speak into the microphone and you should be able to see the level bars fill the entire selection.

2. Make sure the external microphone is listed as a sound input device

If you’re using an external microphone for Skype, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams calls, make sure your Mac recognizes the external microphone.

Go to system settings > sound > Make sure that External microphone is available in the “Choose a device for sound input” section.

External microphone on the sound settings screen

If it’s not recognized, you may need one TRS to TRRS adapter to make the external microphone work on your Mac.

3. Reboot Mac

Sometimes the problem is due to a stuck program, process, or minor software bug that is preventing the microphone from working properly.

Click on Apple logo in the top menu bar and select Start anew option in the drop down menu.

Reboot Mac

After the Mac restarts, verify that the Photo Stream album now appears on your device, showing the most recently uploaded photos.

4. Allow apps to access the microphone

If the microphone on your Mac isn’t working while you’re using third-party apps (Skype, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom), the problem is usually because the app isn’t allowed to access the microphone on your computer.

Go to system settings > security > select microphone in the left pane. In the right pane, make sure that the Third Party App can access the microphone.

Allow apps to access the microphone

After that, you should be able to use the microphone on your Mac.

5. Switch on dictation

Turning on dictation mode on the Mac (even if you don’t use it) should launch the necessary launch agents to enable the microphone.

Open system settings > click keyboard > On the keyboard screen, switch to dictation tab and select it ON option next to dictation.

Enable Dictation Mode on Mac

This should download the relevant files needed for the microphone to function properly on your Mac.

6. Make sure the microphone is working

Open the built-in QuickTime player on your Mac > click the File tab in the top menu bar and select New audio recording option in the drop down menu.

Start a new audio recording on Mac

Turn up the volume in QuickTime Player and try to record something with your voice.

Increase the volume of Quick Time Player

If you can’t record your voice, the microphone is obviously not working.

7. Reset PRAM

Disconnect all external devices from your Mac and follow the reset steps below

Click on that apple icon in the top menu bar and select shut down option in the drop down menu. Wait for the computer to shut down completely.

shut down mac

Press the power switch to start your Mac and immediately press and hold command + possibility + P + R buttons pressed simultaneously for about 20 seconds.

Hold down the 4 buttons while hearing the first startup sound and release all of them key immediately as soon as you hear the second startup sound on your Mac.

This will reset NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac and hopefully this should fix the issues on your Mac.


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