MacBook Microphone is not working

One way or another, most of us rely on our ability to speak to our Mac’s and use it for calls. We need the in-built microphone working for those calls we need to make. 

In this article, we look at why a MacBook microphone might not be working, and how to fix it.

Why is a Mac mic not working? 

There could be a number of reasons this has stopped working. 

One of the simplest explanations is that it hasn’t been configured properly. Or it was configured, then something has caused it stopped working again. It is usually temporary and easily fixed. 

For example, have you recently downloaded another app that uses the internal mic? Third-party apps can hijack the settings and stop the mic from working with other apps, including those native to macOS and iOS, such as FaceTime. Music player and video apps can do this, causing a MacBook microphone to stop working. 

Other things, such as system junk and cache settings can prevent a Mac microphone from working as it should. 

How to get an internal Mac mic to start working? 

1. Configure settings 

Let’s start with checking settings and making sure it’s configured correctly. 

  1. Open System Preferences (in Applications or you can find via Siri or Spotlight Search)
  2. Click on Sound 
  3. Select Input > Internal Microphone
  4. Now if you speak near to your Mac, the audio input should register. 
  5. If this isn't happening, or the Internal Microphone isn't an option, then your Mac isn't registering the mic as an input. 


If that seems to be the case, then there are other things to explore to get it working. 

2. Switch on Dictation

Switching on Dictation — even if you aren't going to dictate anything to your Mac — should initiate launch agents that activate the microphone and get it working again. 

  1. Go to System Preferences 
  2. Click on Keyboard 
  3. Within this is Dictation
  4. Select On: Now this should download the relevant files to make the microphone work. 

With Dictation switched on, especially if you've never used it before, there are drivers and systems your Mac might not currently have. It will automatically find those, download them, and should, therefore, encourage the mic to start working again. 

If that hasn't happened, then there are still more ways to fix this.

3. Delete system junk 

  1. Download an app that is known for making Mac’s run better: CleanMyMac X (for free, here)
  2. Run a System Junk scan
  3. See what system junk it finds;
  4. Now it can delete anything your Mac doesn't need, such as old caches and files preventing your Mac mic from working. 

4. Reset your Mac PRAM

Another possible solution is to reset the PRAM (Parameter RAM). It stores a whole load of Mac settings, so with this reset your mic should start working - if nothing else has kicked it back into gear. 

  1. Click the top-left Apple icon and select Shut Down 
  2. Wait until your Mac has turned off;
  3. Now press the power button and the following keys (at the same time): cmd + alt + P + R
  4. Hold down for 20 seconds 
  5. Release the keys and it should start as normal, with a reset PRAM. 

5. Check your Launch Agents

Another solution, using CleanMyMac X, is to check what launch agents are running in the background. It often happens, that some background processes, like invisible app updaters, are conflicting with one another. And it might as well affect the microphone.

  1. Open CleanMyMac X
  2. Scan for Launch Agents using that feature
  3. See what background apps are running (if any of them are audio-related then they could be the ones preventing the mic from working)
  4. Delete any background apps that could be causing this issue 
  5. Now test the mic again and make sure it’s working.

Apple has always invested a lot in audio systems and hardware. MacBook microphones are pretty robust and reliable. But every so often, something can stop them from working, Hopefully this article has helped you fix your Mac mic. 

In this article, we looked at some top tips on how to fix microphone issues on your Mac. Many users recommend using CleanMyMac X to fix those issues, especially when they are caused by system junk. Stay tuned for more Mac tips!

CleanMyMac X
CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.