How to Fix Zoom Microphone Issues

Zoom featured

Ever wondered why you’re talking on Zoom but no-one can hear you? You might have a mic problem. Learn how to fix Zoom microphone problems in this guide.

Zoom is one of the most popular videoconferencing apps available today. It’s replaced Skype at the top of the pack, becoming a verb in its own right.

Zoom is a great communication tool when it’s working properly, but it’s frustrating when it isn’t. We’ve all experienced that moment when we can hear everyone else on the call, but they can’t hear us.

Sometimes the solution is just the click of a button away, but the problem may be more complicated to fix. If this happens to you, here are some tips on how to fix Zoom microphone problems.

Check Your Microphone is Connected

If you’re using an external microphone (rather than a built-in microphone on your laptop or PC), then it may not be properly connected.

For wired microphones, make sure that it is securely plugged into your computer. If it is, try using a different port to see if this makes any difference. For wireless microphones, ensure that your microphone has sufficient charge.

You can try setting up and testing a microphone on Windows or fixing audio problems on Mac to see if this helps to fix Zoom microphone troubles. If you’re using a Bluetooth microphone, make sure that the Bluetooth radio is enabled on your PC or Mac.

Join a Zoom Call with Audio

When you first start the Zoom app, a pop-up will invite you to join with audio. If you dismiss this message, you won’t be able to use your microphone during your Zoom call until you join it with audio.

To join a Zoom call with audio:

  1. Move your mouse anywhere on the Zoom screen.
  2. In the menu at the bottom of the screen, click Join Audio.
    zoom join audio
  3. If you want to automatically join with audio every time you use Zoom, check Automatically Join Audio by Computer When Joining a Meeting.
    zoom automatically join audio
  4. Click Join with Computer Audio.
    zoom join computer audio

Turn Off Mute in a Zoom Call

One of the most common issues with Zoom calls is a muted microphone. There’s a Zoom setting that automatically starts each call with the microphone muted.

This helps you to avoid accidentally saying something you shouldn’t when Zoom is starting up and you aren’t aware that others can hear you. Once you’re ready to speak, you can unmute your microphone.

To unmute your microphone in Zoom:

  1. Move your mouse anywhere within the Zoom screen.
  2. In the bottom menu, click Unmute.
    zoom microphone unmute
  3. Other participants should now be able to hear your voice.

Check That You’ve Not Been Muted by the Host

If you’re the host of a Zoom meeting, you have additional powers beyond those of the other participants. This includes the ability to mute anyone on the call, which allows you to turn off any unwanted background noise or distractions.

If you can’t be heard on Zoom, it may be that the host of the meeting has muted you. You can send them an instant message in Zoom to ask if that is the case.

To send an instant message in Zoom:

  1. Move your mouse anywhere on the Zoom screen.
  2. Click Chat in the bottom menu.
    zoom chat
  3. You can send the message to everyone or click the drop-down to select the meeting host.
    zoom select chat
  4. Type your message at the bottom of the chat window and press Enter to send it.
    zoom chat message

Select the Correct Microphone in Zoom

If you have multiple audio devices set up with your computer, Zoom may be using the wrong microphone. You can quickly select which microphone you want Zoom to use from within the Zoom menu.

To select your microphone in Zoom:

  1. Move your mouse within the Zoom window to bring up the menu.
  2. Click the arrow next to the Mute icon.
    zoom audio arrow
  3. Choose your microphone under Select a Microphone.
    zoom select mic

Check Your Zoom Audio Settings

Zoom has some advanced audio settings that may be causing problems with your Zoom microphone. You can tweak these settings in the app to see if it will fix Zoom microphone problems.

To change the Zoom audio settings:

  1. Launch the Zoom app.
  2. Click the Settings icon in the top-right corner of the window.
    zoom settings
  3. Select Audio from the left-hand menu.
    zoom audio settings
  4. Choose the microphone you want to use by default.
    zoom select microphone
  5. You can click Test Mic to ensure this is working as expected.
    zoom test mic
  6. At the bottom of the screen, you can change some key settings. These include automatically joining with audio, starting each meeting on mute, and only being heard when you are holding down the Spacebar.
    zoom mic settings
  7. Click Advanced.
    zoom advanced audio settings
  8. By default, these advanced settings are set to Auto. If they’re on a different setting, try setting them to Auto to see if this fixes your Zoom microphone issues.
    zoom default audio settings
  9. If not, try tweaking these settings to see if it makes any difference.

Close Apps That Are Using Your Microphone

If another app is making use of your microphone, this could stop Zoom from being able to use it.

The first thing to do is to try closing any apps that may be using your audio devices. Apps such as Apple Music, Skype, or Microsoft Teams may all make use of your microphone. Closing these apps completely might fix your Zoom microphone issues.

If this doesn’t work, try using the Mac Activity Monitor or Windows Task Manager to close any processes that could be using your audio devices.

Ensure Zoom Has Permission to Use Your Microphone

Apps need permission to use hardware devices such as webcams and microphones. If Zoom hasn’t been granted the correct permissions, it may not be allowed to access your microphone. You can change these permission settings with just a few clicks.

To allow Zoom to access your microphone on Windows:

  1. Click the Start icon.
    windows start icon
  2. In the Pinned apps, click Settings.
    windows settings
  3. From the left-hand menu, select Privacy & Security.
    windows privacy security settings
  4. Scroll down and click Microphone under App Permissions.
    windows microphone settings
  5. Ensure that both Microphone Access and Let Apps Access Your Microphone are set to the On position.
    windows microphone access
  6. Scroll down and ensure that Zoom is also set to On.
    windows zoom mic access

To allow Zoom to access your microphone on Mac:

  1. Launch System Preferences.
    mac system preferences
  2. Select Security & Privacy.
    mac security and privacy
  3. Click the Privacy tab.
    mac privacy tab
  4. Select Microphone from the left-hand menu and ensure that Zoom is checked.
    mac microphone access

Update Your Device Drivers

If you’re having issues with your microphone in Windows, you may need to check that your device drivers are up-to-date. Updating these drivers can often fix audio issues on Windows PCs.

To update audio drivers in Windows:

  1. Open the Start menu.
    windows start icon
  2. In the search bar, type Device Manager and select the Device Manager app.
    windows device manager
  3. In Device Manager, open the Audio Inputs and Outputs category.
    windows device audio inputs
  4. Right-click your webcam and select Update Driver.
    windows update driver
  5. Select Search Automatically for Drivers.
    windows search automatically
  6. If there is an update available, follow the instructions to install it. You may need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Restart Your Computer

It may be a cliché, but for a good reason: if you’re having trouble with your computer, try turning it off and on again.

Restarting your computer may help to clear any problems that are stopping your microphone from working with Zoom. It may also shut down any processes that are hogging your audio devices and not playing nicely with Zoom.

Reinstall Zoom

If none of the fixes above work, you may want to consider uninstalling Zoom and reinstalling it. This may fix any problems with your current installation.

To uninstall Zoom on Windows:

  1. Open the Start menu.
    windows start icon
  2. Select Settings.
    windows settings
  3. From the left-hand menu, select Apps.
    windows apps menu
  4. Click Apps & Features.
    windows apps features
  5. Scroll down to Zoom and click the three dots icon.
    windows zoom menu
  6. Select Uninstall.
    windows uninstall zoom
  7. Once the process is complete, install the Zoom app again.

To uninstall the Zoom app on Mac:

  1. Launch Zoom.
  2. Click in the menu bar.
    mac zoom menu
  3. Click Uninstall Zoom.
    mac uninstall zoom
  4. Confirm you want to uninstall the app.
    confirm uninstall zoom mac
  5. Zoom will uninstall. Once completed, reinstall the Zoom app.

Get More From Zoom

Learning how to fix Zoom microphone problems ensures that you’ll never have people yelling ‘you’re on mute!’ at you ever again. You can decide exactly when people can hear you and when they can’t.

If you’re having trouble with video calls, knowing how to fix Zoom camera problems should be next on your to-do list. Once you have video and audio up and running, you can learn how to get started with Zoom properly.

When you’re feeling confident, you can even try out some custom Zoom backgrounds to really impress your friends or colleagues.

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