How to Fix Microphone not Working on Mac OS

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The MacBook has a built-in microphone on the top of middle screen, That’s how you’re able to do all those great things like chat over FaceTime, take phone calls, record videos, or ask Siri questions on a Mac. It supports external USB microphones as well. So what do you do if microphone not working?

In this article, we will cover how to fix microphone not working on Mac OS. Make sure that you follow the solutions starting with the first one and work your way down accordingly.

Step 1: Configure the Mac Microphone

To start by going into your settings to ensure your MacBook microphone is recognized and selected. Open up System Preferences and click the Sound

Configure the Mac Microphone
Configure the Mac Microphone
  1. Now select Input the tab bar
  2. Select Internal Microphone.
  3. Now slide the input volume towards the right side to increase. Now when you speak, you will see the Input Level Save changes and exit.

Now test whether the issue is resolved or not. You can gradually increase the slider to let more voice into your computer.

Note: If you have any additional microphones connected to your computer and are having issues in getting a sound through them, you can select them and then adjust their input levels as well.

Step 2: Disabling Ambient Noise Reduction

Mac computers have an option which reduces unwanted ambient sounds and active noise. The option of ambient noise reduction is enabled by default in Mac OS. This feature might seem useful but we got several user reports which stated that it was conflicting with their microphone’s normal noise input sometimes the voice refused to be transmitted at all.

Disabling Ambient Noise Reduction
Disabling Ambient Noise Reduction
  1. Open up System Preferences as we did in the earlier solution and then navigate to the Sound
  2. Now select Input from the top bar and then select Internal Microphone.
  3. Now Uncheck the option of Use ambient noise reduction. You can also select other microphones connected and disable the noise reduction from there as well.
  4. Save changes and exit. Now check whether your microphone is working as expected.

Step 3: Turning on Dictation

Mac computers have a nifty feature of dictation where your spoken words get converted into text whenever you need them to be. This is very useful for writers and is used a lot in corporate environments. Even though this feature is not related to the microphone not working, we found out that enabling Dictation caused Mac computers to download specific audio drivers. These audio drivers seem to fix the microphone not working condition. When you enable dictation, the drivers are automatically queued, downloaded, and installed.

Turning on Dictation
Turning on Dictation
  1. Open System Preferences like we did in the earlier solutions and click the category of Keyboard.
  2. Once Keyboard settings are opened up, click on the Dictation option present at the top. Now turn the feature to On and check the option Use Enhanced Dictation.
  3. Save changes. Now, your Mac will automatically start installing the related drivers. You will see the progress present at the bottom-left side of the screen. After the drivers are downloaded and installed, save changes and exit.

Now restart your machine and see if the issue is resolved.

Step 4: Resetting PRAM or NVRAM

NVRAM (also known as Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory) is a small block of memory which is used by your Mac computer to store specific settings so it can access them later on. PRAM (Parameter RAM) is basically the same thing and both memories can be reset using the same method. All your configurations are stored here and if there is any issue in them (they are corrupt or incomplete), we can try resetting so all everything is set to default.

Resetting PRAM or NVRAM
Resetting PRAM or NVRAM
  1. Shut down your Mac computer. Now when you turn it back on, you need to press the following keys at once together
  2. Wait for around 20-30 seconds before releasing all the keys. During this time, your Mac will appear to start. Now there are two scenarios where you have to release the keys:
  3. After the computer starts up, you can navigate to your settings and see if it was of any good.

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About the Author: Maya

A writer with experience in online technology. Worked as freelancer and love to share for problem-solving in computer technology