How to re-enable a microphone in Windows 7

In the last few months, I have twice had a situation whilst using web conferencing, where the computer has got confused with the internal microphone and the headset microphone – and the only way for me to solve it was to disable the internal microphone. The only problem with this, was once disabled, I couldn’t then find the option to re-enable it afterwards.

After much detailed and systematic searching (discovered by accident after randomly pressing and clicking) I found the solution.

Which I will share here in case anyone else has the same problem.

  1. Go to the control panel
  2. In the search box, type ‘Audio’
  3. Under the heading ‘Troubleshooting’ there should be an option to ‘find and fix audio recording problems’ which should then re-enable the disabled microphone.
Control panel, search for Audio, go to Troubleshooting

How to re-enable the internal microphone in Windows 7

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53 Responses

  1. Thank you! I had the same issue where I disabled the internal mic for a web conference and needed to re-enable it. Great step-by-step instructions.. worked perfectly!

  2. Thanks. You solved the problem for me too. What were they thinking? Boy oh boy is it lame not to be able to re-enable a device in the same dialog bos where I disabled it, or in the Device Manager.

  3. thanks alot……

  4. In the ‘Sound’ dialog, on the ‘Recording’ tab (where you most likely disabled the device), right click in the list and there should be a toggle-able option “Show Disabled Devices” that is probably disabled. Why it wouldn’t be enabled by default, only Microsoft knows.

  5. This solution worked after other ones I’d tried did not. Thanks!

  6. works for win8 two

  7. thank you for the article.. i really needed that help.

  8. This didn’t work for me. I am trying to use Skype and no one can hear me. I did the right click thing under Recording, and checked “show disabled devices” and it still did not show an internal Microphone, only an Ext. Mike a Stereo Mix and Integrated Microphone Array.

    • Not sure I can help your exact problem, but with Skype you need to have 2 sets of permissions set up. There are the settings on the computer which this post refers to, then there are the settings within Skype. You need to get both right.

      • Thanks for the quick response. I think I am OK with the Skype setup. My son looked on his Windows 7 system and under Control Panel – Sound – Recording, he has an “Internal Microphone” listed, I do not! and can’t see where it is disabled. I am sure I should have one. I have an HP Pavilion dv6-2150us

  9. This is exactly what solved my problem. Thanks!

    • Forgot to add these (1) Thank Google as well for finding your blog!
      (2) Anon’s solution (Oct 29, 2012) works as well in my cae; it is even easier. (3) I agree on other comments on Microsoft’s inscrutable view on user thoughts

  10. Thank you, my problem is fixed.This is exactly what i need.

  11. I’m having the same problem as dan up there, i accidently disabled my webcam’s built in mic, i right-clicked in the recording devices window and checked the “show disabled devices” option however my mic still does not show up among the devices :(

    • I am not a technical person myself, just someone that uses technology a lot in my work, so I am afraid I cannot offer any other advice here.

      I hope you find the solution or someone else comments on this to help you out.

  12. Jarrod….Dan here….Even though the “mic” wasn’t listed on disabled devices, that procedure did fix my problem although I can’t tell exactly what I did. I did choose ” Integrated microphone array” under recording and made sure that was enabled. Maybe that did it. Hope that helps.

  13. thank you ever so much. i did work great. well done

  14. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!1

  15. Worked for me – many thanks

  16. Thanks a lot!! This helped me toooo.. :-)

  17. Mine still isn’t working. :c

  18. Perfect. Thanks, man.

  19. Thanks, Dave! This worked for me. Also, I have found an easier and quicker way: in the Recording tab of the sound settings, simply right-click on any white space under your list of microphones. A menu will appear that will allow you select “Show disabled devices”. Once this is checked, your microphone will never disappear again after it has been disabled.

  20. Thanks Dave, spot on. I think I turned it off for for a webinar or something. Bit of an MS oversight though. To the average user it looks like the mic disappears.

  21. Great job

  22. thanks dave, it worked .

  23. Flawless instructions! Great job and thank you so much for posting this!!!

  24. Thanks for the tip!! Just solved my problem :D.

  25. Thanks a lot. This is very helpfulll

  26. thanks for the tip

  27. […] How to re-enable a microphone in Windows 7 – January 2012 […]

  28. The process you described worked for me. Thanks.

  29. Thanks Dave, I see you’ve been thanked a lot already but I’ll thank you again. I used your instructions to find and enable my mic after I lost it.

    • I am glad this was useful – it is really encouraging when I do get lots of thanks – not just from an ego point of view, but it lets me know that this was a useful post.

  30. Thanks Dave,
    MS proved to be unable to distinguish between disable and deinstall.
    If not mandated by my company I would never use such OS any longer.

  31. thanks..
    it helps a lot..
    my internal mic is now enable.. thank you so much

  32. lot of thanks

  33. gracias…

  34. Dave, Thank you for the information. It really worked and now I am able to use the microphone

  35. Thank you! This worked perfectly.

  36. Thank you Dave! This helped a lot!

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