An external microphone is a great tool to add to your computer, but it is not without issues.  First and foremost, it can be annoying to have to keep switching devices between your internal and external microphones every time you switch an app or reboot your computer.  While some apps remember your preferences, others do not.  The best way to fix the issue where your Windows 10 microphone isn’t working when you launch your meeting is to set your default microphone in Windows 10 to your external microphone.  Let’s take a look and get you back up and running now!

Windows 10 Microphone not working? Let’s fix!

Instead of messing around with all of the apps that use your microphone (Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Zoom, Skype…the list goes on and on) the quickest and easiest way to make sure you’re always using your external microphone is to set it as the default microphone right in Windows 10.

Believe it or not, there are a couple of different ways to achieve this outcome and we outline them below as option 1 and option 2.  Let’s get started!

Option 1: Set the Default Microphone in Windows 10 to External Microphone

The first way is to just set your default microphone to your external microphone.  In my case, I am using a Rhode Podcaster, but any external microphone you are using would apply here.  By setting the default Microphone in Windows it will usually carry through to even meeting you join regardless of the platform in my experience, but a system update could revert this back to the internal microphone so keep that mind.  That being said I do find that this option works quite well.

You can set this by navigating to Star -> Settings -> System -> Sound.

You will first Output in the Sound menu.  Scroll down a bit to Input, and simply select your external microphone from the drop down menu.set default microphone windows 10

That’s it!

There are a couple of other things you can also do from the Sound menu.

Testing your Microphone

You can also test your microphone in Windows 10 from the same menu.

Start talking into your microphone.  If that grey bar turns blue as you speak, you are good to go.  If not, you can always use the Troubleshoot button below it.

Troubleshoot your Microphone

The troubleshoot button will bring you through an easy to use Wizard.

The wizard will ask you to identify the device you are having problems with, and will tell you if it can find any obvious issues with your external microphone setup in Windows 10.

If not, it is always a good idea to unplug you external microphone and plug it it back in.

If that does not work, unplug the microphone, then reboot your computer.  Try plugging it back in once windows has started.

Option 2) Disable Internal Microphone in Windows 10

Besides setting your external microphone in the Sound menu in Windows 10, you can also disable your internal microphone through device manager.  This way your external audio device will always be the default and the internal microphone cannot interfere with your meetings.

Click on the search bar, and start typing “Device Manager”, and you will see it in the search after you type a few letters.

disable internal microphone windows 10

The microphone options are under Audio inputs and outputs.  Right click on your internal microphone, and select disable.  If you aren’t sure which microphone is the internal microphone, you may need to try a few options, but it should be obvious if you know the name of your external microphone.

Now your audio is working for that next big meeting!

These are a couple of ways to get the same desired outcome, your external microphone will be the one used by the many various apps that use it!  No more switching inputs on your app when you start it up.

Which way you prefer is really up to you.



Interested in our other topics? Having trouble with your airpods on your Microsoft Surface?  Learn how to fix here!