How to test your microphone on a Windows 10 computer, and make sure your PC is using the right input

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How to test your microphone on a Windows 10 computer, and make sure your PC is using the right input

Category : entrepreneur

  • You can test a microphone on a Windows 10 computer to ensure it’s plugged in correctly and working.
  • To test your microphone, you’ll need to open Windows’ Sound Settings menu.
  • When you test your microphone, Windows will check your current audio input and make sure you have the right microphone plugged in.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

You’re in a Skype call, and you get told you can’t be heard — or if you are coming through, it sounds like you’re using a tin can on a string. It’s something that happens to even professional streamers. 

It could be that you’ve got a good quality headset plugged in, but for some reason your Windows laptop’s trying to record using its awful built-in microphone. Or it could be something a bit trickier to deal with.

Here’s how you figure it out.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Windows 10 (From $139.99 at Best Buy)

Microsoft Surface Pro X (From $999 at Best Buy)

How to test your microphone in Windows 10

1. At the bottom-right of the screen, in your taskbar, find the tiny icon that looks like a speaker. You might need to click on the icon that looks like an up arrow, which will show you icons that have been hidden from your taskbar.


Press the up arrow at the bottom of the screen to show hidden icons.
Ross James/Business Insider

2. Right-click the speaker icon and select “Open Sound Settings.”


Right-click the speaker icon to get your audio options.
Ross James/Business Insider

3. Scroll down to “Input.” Windows will show you which microphone is currently your default — in other words, which one it’s using right now — and a blue bar showing your volume levels. Try talking into your microphone. If the blue bar jumps around as you raise and lower your voice, that means it’s working correctly.


My laptop is currently using the correct microphone, and the microphone is working.
Ross James/Business Insider

4. If your computer is using the wrong microphone, you can change it by clicking on the drop-down menu and selecting a new option — make sure the right microphone is plugged in correctly, or it won’t appear.


Select the microphone from the list to set it as your active preference.
Ross James/Business Insider

However, this method will only let you know if Windows is detecting your microphone — it won’t tell you how you actually sound.

If you want to know exactly how your microphone sounds, Audacity is a free audio recording program that will allow you to hear yourself. All you need to do is download it, select your microphone in the menu at the top of the program, and hit record.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

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  • How to change the icon size of your files, folders, or applications on a Windows 10 computer

  • How to password protect a folder in Windows 10, to keep your files safe from prying eyes

  • How to find your stored Wi-Fi passwords on a Windows 10 computer, and use them to connect another device

  • How to turn off Airplane Mode on your Windows 10 device in 2 different ways


About Author

Sammy Singh

Global VC, Founder, and entrepreneur extraordinaire as featured in Inc. Magazine, Bloomberg, and Forbes. Sammy Singh is a graduate of UCLA and Wharton School of Business as well as a former student of Loyola University of Chicago. Sammy is best known as a renowned financial technology global entrepreneur and has founded over 26 different firms across industry and all over the world. He is a venture capitalist,a TV/ Film actor, tax specialist, and marketing solutions strategist. Connect with Sammy Singh on social media below!

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