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Microphone not working on Android? Here’s how you can try to fix it

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Needless to say, a malfunctioning microphone is a major problem on any kind of Android phone. While a lot of people confine their conversations to messaging apps these days, you’re almost inevitably going to be taking an honest-to-goodness voice call at some point. If your mic isn’t hearing you, there are a few things you can try to get it working again short of taking your phone to a repair shop.

How to fix a microphone not working on an Android phone

android 12 beta 2 privacy microphone camera access available quick settings

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Some of these answers are going to seem obvious written down, but it’s worth mentioning them so that you don’t forget to try everything during the troubleshooting process. Without further ado:

  • Check that system-wide mic access is enabled, and that you’re not muted. It’s possible that you’ve disabled mic permissions, in which case apps that require the hardware just aren’t going to work. On most Android devices, you can fix this by going to Settings > Security and privacy > Privacy > Privacy controls and switching on Microphone access. Some voice-based apps may also have specific mute toggles, so check for those when you’re using them.
  • Clean out your mic grille and make sure it’s unblocked by your case. Phones tend to accumulate dust, lint, and other debris in their crevices, so you may just need to locate your phone’s mic grille (on the bottom) and inspect it. If there’s anything visible, try gently blowing on it and/or using a toothpick, paperclip, or SIM tool. Don’t use compressed air, and be especially careful not to puncture the grille. While we’re at it, check that your case hasn’t shifted in a way that it’s blocking input.
  • Verify mic permissions on a per-app basis. If only some apps are giving you grief, that probably means mic permissions are disabled for them. Navigate to Settings > Apps, select the app(s) you’re interested in, then tap Permissions. For your mic, choose Allow, and specifically Allow only while using the app. Any other options are going to be too restrictive.
  • Close any apps that might be sharing mic input. While this is unlikely to be a problem, it’s not inconceivable that two apps could be using the mic simultaneously and creating software conflicts. Simply force-close any apps you’re not using.
  • Check for Android and/or app updates. Software glitches happen, so if it’s been a while, update your version of Android and check for app and component updates at the Google Play Store. If your phone has proprietary software, say from Samsung, update that as well.
  • Restart your phone. If there are any temporary Android or app bugs interfering, this can potentially clear them up.

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