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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

99 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.

    • I love you! (no homo XD). I disabled it once, and couldnt find where to enable again, Thnx thnx thnx!! 2K16 XD

  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!

  37. Any idea why a usb recording device would become disabled in the first place. It’s windows 7.

  38. thank you for your help, really worked

  39. Superb thank you. Although I’m quite computer savvy, I doubt very much if I’d have thought to go down the path you’ve described to resolve the issue. Can’t thank you enough. Like someone else has already commented, it is absolutely ridiculous that when a user deliberately or accidently disable the Internal Mic Array that the option to re-enable is not in the same place.

  40. Thank you very much for this solution. I couldn’t re-enable my mike from the Sound / Recording window even by right-clicking the white space, but when I followed the solution in your post and opened the ‘find and fix’ window, both icons miraculously showed up together in the Sound / Recording window and I can now choose the default. In the past, plugging in the jack mike and headphone set would temporarily change the default. It seems that Windows 7 has dropped this possibility.
    Thanks again for your help.

  41. Hi, this post helped me a bunch. 🙂

    You should add a webcam microphones tag too because that’s how i phrased my question and i had to go through a bunch of sites that were no help until i came across this one. Thanks again!

  42. Many many thanks for this, helped me solve my problem in minutes, much appreciated thank you for sharing

  43. Thank you so much – I’ve been trying to solve this problem for weeks!

  44. Thank you for posting this, it solved the problem after I disabled the mic.

  45. thanks bro

  46. […] How to re-enable a microphone in Windows 7 | Dave … – Jan 20, 2012 · 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 …… […]

  47. This is great. I did this on a Windows 8 computer and was struggling to get it fixed again. Really helped!

  48. Thanks a lot Sir, it worked like a charm. And thanks for google to display your blog right at top 🙂

  49. THANK YOU SO MUCH …. I had same problem & this blog helped me …….. However later on I found another way to approach this … The window where it lists all connected microphone … in that tab do a right click & check “show disabled devices” … it will show up your disabled microphone. .. Simply enable it.

  50. Thank you, thank you!!!

  51. Is the internal mike the one that says The connector for this device is located in the ATAPI connecrtor?

  52. simple yet powerful. thanks 🙂

  53. Oww god thanks you are here 🙂 i was searching for this for month on the internet.. i thought i disabled it on the msconfig.. but wow… you helped me, because of this problem i was unable to skype or to use speak in gaming thanks again ^^

  54. Can anyone help me I’m trying to fix the microphone problem I can disable it and see it but can’t use it it says it’s unplugged I’m trying to fix this

  55. ur the boss thanks

  56. it did not work for me it says no issues detected

  57. Worked perfectly for me in Win7. Be sure to pick the correct option “Find and fix audio recording problems”. Thanks!!

  58. Great…it worked ……thank u so much…after trying so much I found ur post and it worked me ….

  59. Thanks for the info 🙂
    Been using windows 7 for a long time & never ran into this before.
    kind of odd I can’t fix it in device manager, had to do it your way.

  60. Thanks Dave,
    I was trying to get the front Mic Jack to Work and Disabled the Rear one, but then got nothing in the Control – You helped me very quick and easy!!

    But I’m still trying to figure out how to enable the front jack? can’t find out how … Only one option… Which was the rear jack.

    Thanks for your Very Easy And Fast Fix 🙂

  61. Finally, someone who could help me with my microphone issue! Thank you so much. I tried everything and finally found your post and it worked!!!

  62. Hey – thanks a bunch – exact problem on my computer solved in 60 seconds! So I signed up for your newsletter – yo da man! LOL! :).

  63. thank you it helps me a lot 😀

  64. You saved me! I was struggling with this disabled mic. Was sooooooooo frustrated. Thanks for sharing your solution.

  65. Thank you! Thank you! I had the same problem and could not for the life of me figure it out. It worked great in Win. 7.

  66. Thanks! The Logitech webcam software crashed with disabled mic, and I could not find another option to re-enable!

  67. Thank you very much Dave. I had disabled the microphone on my Lifecam and then windows kept saying there was no camera. Yours was the fix I needed. Excellent

  68. This article fixed my problem. Many thanks for posting it!

  69. WOW!!!!!! Do u know that hp trouble shooter couldnt tell me the correct thing to do! It suggested I go out and buy a headset with a mic (which I did for 3 bucks yesterday ) in hopes it would help fix this problem! Well it did not fix it! Your sweet advice fixed it right away! Somehow I had dissabled the internal mic AND it wasnt set as default anymore! Thanks sooooo much!

  70. Thank you Dave — this really helped!

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