Mac microphone not working? 6 real fixes

Is your MacBook microphone not working and having trouble connecting via FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or using things like Siri, audio recording, and more? This could be due to an underlying failure or incorrect microphone setup. But don’t worry! Let me show you the tested solutions to fix the built-in microphone not working problem.

First, let’s start with a microphone test.

Press and hold Command + Space to summon Siri. You can also click its icon in the upper left corner. Now ask it something like ‘ How’s the weather? “If you see a transcript of your voice command, your microphone is working fine.

This is a good sign, as on a hardware level, it means the MacBook’s built-in microphone works and you don’t have to spend money or time in the Apple Store.

So the issue could be related to app permission, mic input levels, or temporary glitch. Let me show you how to fix this. But before that, a few words about the different microphones you can use with your Mac.

Learn about the different microphones you can use with your Mac

  1. Your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, other versions of Apple portable laptops or iMacs have at least one built-in microphone. You can use it for FaceTime, Zoom, Skype calls, audio recording, and anything else a microphone would normally do.

Note : Any other Mac, such as Mac mini, Mac Pro, etc., does not have a built-in microphone.

  1. You can use an external wired compatible microphone purchased from Amazon, Best Buy, your local computer store, etc. Depending on the model, they can connect to the MacBook 3.5mm headphone jack or USB port.
  2. Wired Apple EarPods or wired headsets from other manufacturers can also be connected to your Mac, and the microphone on them can be used for calls, sound recording, etc.
  3. Finally, in this age of wireless connectivity, you can use your AirPods or other third-party Bluetooth headphones, earbuds, etc., as well as use its microphone.

Now that you are familiar with the basics, let’s move on to the fixes.

How to Fix MacBook Microphone Not Working

1. Correct your audio input settings.

  1. Click the Apple logo in the upper left corner and select System Preferences.
  2. Click Sound.
  3. Now click the “Input” tab.
    Here you will see all the available microphones. For example, in the image below, you can see that I have two microphones – an internal microphone and microphones on my connected AirPods. From here, you can choose one.
  4. Let’s adjust the settings for the selected microphone. Say something at your normal pace.
    Do you see that the holes near the entrance level are filling up? If so, the microphone picks up your sound. If you speak louder, the holes will fill.
  5. You can then increase the input sensitivity of the microphone by sliding the Input Volume slider to the right.
    When placed on the right, the microphone can pick up and pick up even low sounds. If it is on the left, you will have to speak very loudly for the microphone to pick up your voice.

2. Grant the application permission to use the microphone.

In modern versions of macOS, you have control over whether you want to allow an app to access your Mac’s microphone or not.

For example, if the Mac microphone doesn’t work with Zoom, you probably denied the Zoom app access to the microphone when it asked you to. Follow these steps to allow the application to use the microphone.

  1. Open System Preferences → Security & Privacy.
  2. Click the Privacy tab.
  3. In the left sidebar, select Microphone.
    You will now see all applications with microphone access or denied status.
  4. To authorize the app, click the lock icon in the lower left corner and authenticate with your MacBook password.
  5. Now check the box for the app to allow it to access the microphone.
  6. Finally, exit the app and reopen it. The app can now use the microphone.

3. Restart your MacBook.

This is a great solution for fixing temporary glitches that occur on your Mac with regular use. Save your current work → click the Apple logo in the upper left corner → select Restart.

Note. If a simple restart doesn’t work, try restarting your Mac in Safe Mode . If the microphone is working in safe mode, it means that there are conflicting applications causing the problem. To fix this problem, update your Mac apps and make sure you have the latest macOS available for your computer.

4. Check the internal microphone settings in the Mac application.

Some audio recording apps, video editing apps, video calling apps have an internal microphone setting. Make sure everything is working properly there.

Most likely, the microphone settings will be in the app settings. To enter app settings, open the app and press Command +, (comma key).

5. Reset NVRAM / PRAM.

Another reliable solution to the problem of internal microphone not working on Mac is to reset NVRAM / PRAM. We have a separate tutorial showing how to do this on an Intel-based MacBook. Take a look.

Note. If you have Apple Silicon installed on your computer, you can skip this.

6. Try Dictation!

If the solutions above didn’t help, turn on dictation and see if it brings you luck.

  1. Open System Preferences and click Keyboard.
  2. Click Dictation.
  3. Turn on dictation.
  4. Then try using your microphone. It should work.

These are the ways to fix Mac microphone not working problem. Hope this was helpful. If not, use an external microphone and contact Apple Support for further assistance.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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