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My iPhone Microphone Is Not Working – 12 Fixes

My iPhone Microphone Is Not Working

The iPhone’s microphone is essential to your calling device, recording audio clips for social media apps like WhatsApp & FaceTime, instructing Siri, and more. If it’s not working correctly, many of your phone’s functionalities will become useless. So, you would want an immediate fix when ‘My iPhone microphone is not working.’ Find the solutions in this guide.

What are the Causes of the Microphone Not Working on an iPhone?

  • Dust or phone cover is blocking the microphone
  • The app doesn’t have microphone access permission
  • A device is connected through Bluetooth
  • Another app uses the microphone
  • Phone Noise Cancellation is on
  • iOS needs updating

How To Fix My iPhone Microphone Not Working?

  1. Restart Your iPhone
  2. Clean the Microphones
  3. Test the Microphones
  4. Check If the App You’re Using Has the Permission to Use the Microphone
  5. Disable Bluetooth on Your iPhone
  6. Update Your Apps and iOS
  7. Check the Microphone After Removing Your iPhone’s Case
  8. Is Another App Using the Microphone?
  9. Disable Phone Noise Cancellation
  10. Don’t Use the Speaker Phone Mode
  11. Reset Settings to Default
  12. Contact Apple Support

1. Restart Your iPhone

Many minor glitches and issues are temporary and can be fixed by restarting your device. If your microphone is not working and the person on the other end of the call can’t hear you, or you can’t send voice messages, try restarting your iPhone.

  • Press and hold the power button (side button) and the volume down button together.
  • Release when you see the slider slide to power off.
  • Swipe the slider to the right to turn off your iPhone.
  • After a few seconds, press and hold the power button to start your phone.

A force restart is done if your phone is frozen on a screen. But it’s also useful if you want to fix any issue such as the microphone not working. Use these steps to force restart your iPhone:

  • Quickly press and release the volume up button.
  • Then, quickly press and release the volume down button.
  • Press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

2. Clean the Microphones

As we use our phones everywhere, they also collect dust and dirt. In some cases, the small holes for microphones may be blocked with dust particles. So, if your microphone is not working, you should clean the microphone.

The recent iPhone models come with 3 different microphones.

  • The main microphone is for phone calls and audio recordings. It’s located at the bottom of the phone. If you hold your phone with the screen facing you, the microphone at the bottom would be at the immediate left side of the lighting connector.
  • The rear camera module also has a microphone. Look for a small hole in that area.
  • Another camera is present on the earpiece, the part of the phone you usually use for listening to a call.

Use a soft-bristled and clean toothbrush or a microfiber cloth to clean the mentioned areas gently. After cleaning, check the microphones if they work or not.

3. Test the Microphones

You can test the microphones after cleaning or to know which microphone is not working.

3.1 Testing the Primary Microphone

  • Use the voice memo app to test the main microphone at the bottom of the phone.
  • Record a clip.
  • Play it and confirm if this microphone is working.

3.2 Testing the Rear and front Microphones

Use the camera app to test the microphones at the rear and front of the phone. Record videos with the back camera and then the front camera. After that, play the videos and find out which one is not working.

4. Check If the App You’re Using Has Permission to Use the Microphone

Your iPhone’s iOS only lets apps use a microphone if you allow them. So, if an app doesn’t have microphone usage permission, you won’t be able to record audio or call with it.

Usually, this is the case when mics are working fine with other apps, and the microphone issue is with one specific app or a few apps. But this can also be when your microphone is not working with any app.

Use these steps to make sure that your selected apps have microphone access permission:

  • Go to your iPhone Settings app.
  • Navigate to Privacy > Microphone.
Privacy settings menu on iPhone
  • You’ll find a list of apps you can disable or enable microphone access. If a specific app can’t use your iPhone microphone, ensure microphone access is enabled for that app.

If you can’t change the microphone settings, it may be blocked from Screen Time. Allow it from Screen Time by following these steps:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Choose ‘Screen Time.
Settings menu on iPhone
  • Swipe down and pick ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions.’
image 1023
  • Scroll down again, find ‘Microphone,’ and tap it.
microphone don't allow
  • On the next screen, select ‘Allow Changes.’

After making these changes, go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone again and allow apps access to the microphone.

5. Disable Bluetooth on Your iPhone

If your iPhone is connected to nearby Bluetooth devices, especially headphones and AirPods, they disable the built-in microphone of your iPhone and use the microphones on them.

To find out if a Bluetooth device is disabling your iPhone’s microphones, turn off Bluetooth to disconnect your phone from all Bluetooth devices. Duplicate the steps below:

  • Go to your iPhone’s Control Center.
  • Tap the enabled Bluetooth icon to turn it off.
  • Try your iPhone’s microphones again.

6. Update Your Apps and iOS

Apps need frequent updates to keep working without errors. The same goes for your iPhone operating system. Updates fix bugs and issues. So, the microphone may be fine from your end, and the issue is with the app or an iOS bug. So, if your iPhone mic is not working, update all the installed apps and iOS.

6.1 Update Apps on Your iPhone

  • Open the Apple App Store app.
  • Tap your profile picture at the top right of the screen.
  • Scroll down to see app updates. It’s recommended to update all the apps you see.

6.2 Update iOS on your iPhone

  • Launch the Settings app.
  • Select ‘General.’
  • Choose ‘Software Update’ from the list.
General Settings on iPhone
  • You’ll find updates on this screen. Perform updates if available. Moreover, ensure the ‘Automatic Updates’ option is turned on.

7. Check the Microphone After Removing Your iPhone’s Case

All iPhone cases and screen protector glasses leave space for microphones, lightning connectors, speakers, sensors, and cameras. But when troubleshooting iPhone microphone problems, remove the cover, case, and screenshot protector and test the microphones again.

If the microphones still don’t work, put back the removed accessories. But if the microphones show signs of response, get a new cover, case, or protector glass, depending on which ones you removed, and test the microphones when trying them in the shop (if you get them from a physical shop).

8. Is Another App Using the Microphone?

Two ordinary apps on an iPhone can’t access the microphone simultaneously. Some privileged apps can share audio input with other apps. So, if one app is using your microphone, another app won’t be able to access the microphone because it’s already in use. 

If you suspect your microphone is already in use and that’s why your iPhone’s microphone is not working when you need to, close all the opened apps.

Moreover, when an app uses the microphone, iOS displays a notification that this app is using your microphone. See the notification and close that app.

9. Disable Phone Noise Cancellation

Phone Noise Cancellation is a common feature on every smartphone, including iPhones. It’s enabled by default, and its primary job is to reduce various noises when you’re on a call.

This ensures better voice quality and less noise from your end. Due to bugs or other reasons, this feature can be the culprit of your iPhone’s microphone not working. 

To check if this is true, disable Phone Noise Cancellation from your iPhone settings.

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Go to ‘General.’
  • Choose ‘Accessibility.’
  • Pick ‘Audio/Visual’ from the menu.
  • Toggle off ‘Phone Noise Cancellation.’
Audio/Visual Settings on iPhone

10. Don’t Use the Speaker Phone Mode

An iOS bug in the past interrupted microphones when a user put the phone on speakerphone during a call. So, update iOS to fix this bug (see Method 6).

Moreover, if you’re experiencing microphone not working issues while on a speaker phone, try using the normal mode and check if the person can hear you.

11. Reset Settings to Default

Some configurations and apps change the original settings of your phone. Sometimes, users change settings themselves. Something in the settings may be causing the issue.

As we can’t review all the settings, if you went through the above fixes and your iPhone microphone is still not working, restore your iPhone settings to default.

This process will only reset your settings and won’t erase your files and data on the phone. It will delete your Wi-Fi passwords, Bluetooth devices, location settings, and other things.

  • Launch the Settings app.
  • Go to ‘General.’
  • On the general settings menu, choose ‘Reset.’
General Settings menu on iPhone
  • Choose ‘Reset All Settings.’
Reset options on iPhone
  • Enter your passcode.
  • Your iPhone will reset your phone to default settings.

12. Contact Apple Support

Most software issues and bugs can be fixed with the fixes mentioned above. But if your microphone is not working after trying those solutions, the problem could be hardware-related.

The phone’s circuit, microphone, connectors, or something else may be faulty. In this case, you should contact Apple Support or visit authorized service centers.

When you visit the Apple Support website, you may also find an option to schedule a callback from Apple. You can also install Apple Support from the App Store for quicker solutions.

Is There a Workaround If My iPhone Microphone Is Not Working?

Yes. If your iPhone’s microphone is not working and you have either tried many fixes or don’t have enough time on your hands to try the solutions for the problem, you can use headphones, hands-free, earbuds, or AirPods.

This is helpful if you need to keep using the calling, voice recording, or video calling features without interruptions, even when your iPhone’s built-in microphone is causing problems.

Conclusion

That’s it. If you find that your iPhone’s microphone is not working, restart your phone and make sure that the necessary apps have microphone access permission. For the time being, use headphones or AirPods to keep using your iPhone for audio and video calls.