The microphone is an essential part of the computer for those who spend a lot of time recording media files or using communication apps and platforms. Certainly, a recording or communication experience is incomplete without the freedom to adjust your microphone volume. Usually, this isn’t even something to consult online guides about. The input controls on any platform or app are generally easy to find and use. The user just needs to click the right icon or press the correct key on the keyboard to adjust the mic volume to their liking.

Imagine, therefore, the annoyance caused by the system mic muting itself without user input. Some Windows 10 users report experiencing the issue in question. Moreover, this issue affects internal and external mics equally.

Some issues are specific to a certain version of Windows, but the auto-muting mic issue isn’t one of them. The microphone can randomly start muting itself on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, as well as on Windows 10.

Suppose your PC’s mic suddenly starts muting itself – what do you do? This guide was created to answer this question for you. If you’re looking for a way to resolve this malfunction on your PC, the tips we provided here will help you.

What If a Microphone Keeps Muting Itself in Windows 10?

If a microphone keeps going to zero volume levels in Windows 10, it can be incredibly frustrating. Imagine having to stop enjoying that fantastic and immersive conversation because you suddenly went silent.

Naturally, when something like this happens, knowledge of the immediate cause would help. If the microphone keeps resetting itself to zero volume despite your best efforts to fix it at a certain sound level, these are the likely reasons:

  • The system sound settings are incorrect.
  • The sound drivers are outdated.
  • Malware infection has corrupted the sound files.

Let’s explain each reason a bit.

The system sound settings are incorrect

Most of us don’t need to configure any special settings for sound on Windows 10. We simply use the volume controls to increase or decrease audio per our requirements at any point during the viewing, gaming, streaming, chatting, or recording experience.

If sound keeps being muted, perhaps your system volume has been set to Mute unknowingly. More likely, either the internal microphone or the external one has been disabled — which would prevent sound from coming through that device.

Other improper sound settings can have a similar effect.

The sound drivers are outdated

If you’re getting this sound malfunction on a PC that has seen better days, perhaps the sound drivers haven’t been updated for a long time. If you have recently upgraded or updated the OS, the current sound drivers might have become incompatible with the firmware. Only compatible device drivers can be used by PC hardware, such as your video, sound and network cards.

Incompatible PC drivers may not work at all. When they do, they usually work incorrectly, leading to all manner of bugs, such as the auto-muting mic issue.

Malware infection has corrupted the sound files

There are many system files that play a role in delivering audio input. If these files get targeted by malware, the result will be myriad sound issues, including the mic randomly muting itself.

Now that we’ve explained the potential causes of the random microphone muting issue on Windows 10, let’s go ahead and check out the possible solutions.

How to Fix an Auto-Muting Microphone on Windows 10

If your mic starts behaving erratically and mutes itself at random intervals, you won’t have a pleasant experience on Skype until the behavior returns to normal. The following fixes have worked for a majority of Windows 10 users with the same issue, and there’s no reason yours won’t be resolved after applying them.

Here are the three methods you can apply to fix the self-muting mic issue on Windows 10:

  • Temporarily disable your antivirus
  • Change your microphone settings
  • Reinstall or update the sound drivers
  • Use another format for the microphone

Let’s dive into each method.

Temporarily disable your antivirus

Some antivirus tools, such as Norton, have been known to cause unintended side effects. They are very aggressive with their anti-malware measures and sometimes end up affecting system functioning.

If your mic keeps going to zero volume at inopportune times and without your manual input, try turning off your antivirus for a time and see what happens.

Whether you’re using Norton, Windows Defender or another popular security software tool, turning off real-time protection is pretty easy. Once you’ve done that, use your mic for up to an hour and see if the problem happens again.

If it does, consider updating the antivirus software for better performance and fewer bugs. If no update is available, your best bet might be switching to a highly recommended security tool like Auslogics Anti-Malware.

Anti-Malware image

Protect PC from Threats with Anti-Malware

Check your PC for malware your antivirus may miss and get threats safely removed with Auslogics Anti-Malware

Microsoft Partner logo
Auslogics Anti-Malware is a product of Auslogics, certified Microsoft® Silver Application Developer

This tool has been approved by Microsoft for use as a primary or secondary antivirus on Windows 10 systems. It scrutinizes all parts of your system for potential threats that might be lurking in obscure locations and quarantines or removes them.

Run Auslogics Anti-Malware to detect malicious threats on your PC.

Change your microphone settings

From the evidence of the users who have reported this issue in public Windows forums,  incorrect sound settings are the prime culprit that causes device mics to self-mute at random intervals.

In that case, you might reasonably expect that introducing the correct sound settings will restore normal audio functioning. This is indeed the case.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. There is a speaker icon in the right corner of your taskbar. Right-click it and select Recording Devices. Note: On the latest version of Windows 10, the Recording Devices option no longer exists. You must select Sounds instead when you right-click the speaker icon.

Right-click your sound icon and select Sounds.

  1. The Sound Control window will open.

The Sound Control window will show up.

  1. Select the Communications tab.

Click the Communications tab.

  1. Under “When Windows detects communications activity”, select “Do nothing”.

Select "Do nothing".

  1. Click Apply and then OK.

Click Apply and OK.

  1. Test your microphone for a few minutes. Has the random muting stopped? If the bug still occurs, repeat Step 1.
  2. Switch to the Recording tab.

Go to the Recording tab.

  1. Right-click your sound device and select Properties.

In the Recording tab, right-click your microphone and select Properties.

  1. The Microphone Properties window will open.

Navigate the Microphone Properties window.

  1. Switch to the Advanced tab.

Go to the Advanced tab of the Microphone Properties window.

  1. In the Exclusive Mode group, deselect the “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device” option.

Uncheck the "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device" option.

  1. Click Apply to save your changes and then click OK to return to the Sound dialog.

Click Appy and OK to save the changes.

On Windows 11

  1. Right-click the speaker icon on the taskbar and select “Sound settings”.

Right-click the speaker icon on the taskbar and select “Sound settings

  1. Scroll down the sound window in the settings app and click the “More sound settings” link.

Click the “More sound settings” link on Windows 11

  1. The rest of the steps are the same as above.

Did this solution work for you? You can try the next method as well.

Reinstall or update the sound drivers

The correct sound drivers are required for the best audio experience on a Windows 10 PC. If the sound driver is corrupted by malware, damaged by manual modification, or has been rendered obsolete after an upgrade, you should update it to restore stable sound functionality.

Otherwise, be prepared to deal with annoying sound bugs, such as the microphone muting itself at random.

If the sound driver is old, an update is required. If the driver is already up to date but is buggy, reinstalling it can fix the issue. You can update your sound card driver or reinstall it using Device Manager. Let’s show you how:

To reinstall the sound card driver, do the following:

  1. Press the Windows logo key and X combination to bring up the Quick Access menu on Windows 10 or Windows 11.

Open the Quick Access menu by pressing Win + X.

  1. Select Device Manager.

Click Device Manager in the Quick Access menu.

  1. In Device Manager, locate “Sound, video and game controllers” and click it to expand its contents.

Expand the "Sound, video and game controllers" section.

  1. Double-click your sound device to open its Properties dialog. It should appear as Realtek ® Audio or something similar.

Select your sound device and open its Properties dialog.

  1. Switch to the Driver tab.

Navigate to the Driver tab.

  1. Click the Uninstall Device button.

Click Uninstall Device.

  1. When you get the warning prompt that you’re about to uninstall your sound device driver from your system, click Uninstall to confirm your action.

Click Uninstall to remove the device.

  1. Reboot your computer, and the sound driver will be automatically reinstalled.

If the sound card driver is old and requires an update, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Windows icon on the taskbar and select Device Manager.

Select Device Manager from the Power User menu.

  1. The Device Manager app will open.

Navigate the Device Manager app.

  1. Locate the “Sound, video and game controllers” option and expand it.

Expand "Sound, video and game controllers".

  1. Right-click your sound device and select “Update driver”.

Right-click your audio device and select "Update driver".

  1. In the “How do you want to search for drivers?” window, choose the “Search automatically for updated driver software” option. On the latest Windows 10 and Windows 11 versions, this option is named “Search automatically for drivers”.

Click "Search automatically for drivers".

  1. Windows will attempt to locate and download the latest driver for the device. If it can’t find any, it will inform you that the best drivers for your device are already installed.

The best drivers are already installed.

You can simplify the process of updating your sound drivers by using a reputable driver updater like Auslogics Driver Updater. This tool will scan your PC and present a comprehensive list of devices with obsolete drivers.

Check your PC for driver issues with Auslogics Driver Updater.

You can update an individual driver by clicking the Update button or, if you have a premium license, bring all your device drivers up to date with a single click.

Driver Updater image

Resolve PC Issues with Driver Updater

Unstable PC performance is often caused by outdated or corrupt drivers. Auslogics Driver Updater diagnoses driver issues and lets you update old drivers all at once or one at a time to get your PC running smoother

Microsoft Partner logo
Auslogics Driver Updater is a product of Auslogics, certified Microsoft® Silver Application Developer

Use another format for the microphone

It is possible that the microphone malfunctions because the wrong audio format is in use. You can try other sound formats and stick with the one that stops further self-muting.

If you don’t know how to change the sound format, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the speaker icon and select Recording Devices. On the latest versions of Windows 10 OS, right-click the icon and select Sounds. On Windows 11, right-click the icon and select “Sound settings” then scroll down the Sound window and click the “More sound settings” link.

Right-click the sound icon and select Sounds.

  1. The Sound dialog will open.

Navigate the Sound menu.

  1. Make sure you’re on the Recording tab.

Navigate to the Recording tab.

  1. Double-click your current sound device to open its Properties dialog.

Open the Properties dialog of your sound device.

  1. Switch to the Advanced tab.

Switch to the Advanced tab of the Microphone Properties window.

  1. Click the drop-down arrow under “Default format” and choose an option different from the one currently in use. The option you choose should be a 16-bit option.

Select a 16-bit option from the "Default format" menu.

  1. Click Apply to save your changes and then OK to close the dialog.

Click Apply and OK to save your mic changes.

Your PC’s mic should be working fine now.

Wrapping Up

When a PC microphone keeps muting itself, it isn’t funny to the affected user. This type of bug interrupts conversations over VoIP software, like Skype, and should be nipped in the bud.

This article presents a few methods to stop the self-muting issue from happening again. It explains how to fix a microphone that keeps turning itself down using the correct steps.

Hopefully, this article has helped you to regain full control of your internal or connected microphone. We’d like to hear about your experience. Hit us up in the comments.