How to Turn on Microphone on Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to the world of Mac, where everything is seemingly perfect and easy to use. However, sometimes even the most seasoned Mac users can run into obstacles that they never knew existed. One of those obstacles is figuring out how to turn on the microphone on your Mac. Whether you need it for recording a podcast, participating in a Zoom call, or just talking to Siri, having a working microphone is essential. In this article, we’ll take you through the steps to turn on your Mac microphone.


Step 1: Check Your Connections

Before doing anything else, it’s essential to make sure your microphone hardware is properly connected to your Mac. If you’re using an external microphone, ensure that it’s properly plugged into the audio jack or USB port on your Mac. If you’re using the built-in microphone, check that your Mac has not muted it.

Step 2: Open Sound Preferences

To turn on your microphone, you’ll need to open the Sound preferences on your Mac. You can access your Sound preferences by clicking on the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen and selecting “System Preferences” from the menu. Click on the “Sound” icon, and you should be taken to the Sound preferences.

Step 3: Choose Input Tab

On the top of the Sound preferences, you will see several tabs. Click on the “Input” tab to access your Mac’s microphone settings.

Step 4: Select Your Microphone

If your microphone is properly connected, it should show up in the list of available input devices. Select your microphone from the list and adjust the input volume according to your needs.

Step 5: Test Your Microphone

Before using your microphone for any purpose, it’s always a good idea to test it to ensure that it’s working correctly. You can do this by speaking or making noise into the microphone and checking the input level on the Sound preferences. If the input level is not responding, you may need to adjust your microphone or try restarting your Mac.

Step 6: Use Microphone with Apps

Once your microphone is working correctly, you can start using it with your favorite apps. Whether you’re recording a podcast, participating in a Zoom call, or talking to Siri, your microphone should be working seamlessly.

Step 7: Troubleshoot Issues

If you’re having trouble with your microphone or experiencing issues such as low volume or poor quality, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem. Some useful steps include restarting your Mac, checking your microphone settings, and ensuring you have the latest software updates installed.

Step 8: Consider External Microphones

If you’re still having issues with your built-in microphone, consider investing in an external microphone. External microphones are designed to provide better sound quality and can be a great option for recording podcasts or participating in video calls.

Step 9: Explore Your Mac Settings

Your Mac has several settings related to sound and audio that can help you get the most out of your microphone. Take some time to explore the settings and see if there are any adjustments you can make to improve your overall sound experience.

Step 10: Keep Your Mac Updated

Mac OS updates often include performance improvements and bug fixes that can help with microphone issues. Be sure to keep your Mac updated with the latest software to get the most out of your microphone and other audio features.

Step 11: Protect Your Microphone

Finally, it’s important to protect your microphone hardware from damage. Avoid exposing your microphone to extreme temperatures, moisture, or physical shock. Store it in a safe place when not in use to prevent accidental damage.

Step 12: Practice Good Hygiene

If you’re using a built-in microphone on your Mac, it’s important to practice good hygiene. Regularly clean your Mac’s microphone and surrounding area to prevent dirt, dust, and bacteria buildup that can affect sound quality.


Now that you know the steps to turn on your Mac microphone let’s dive deeper into why these steps are crucial and how they can affect your sound quality. The first step is to ensure your microphone is securely connected. Loose connections can cause sound interference, static, or a complete loss of sound.

Once you’ve established a connection, it’s essential to check that your microphone is selected as the input device in your computer’s sound preferences. By selecting your microphone, you’re telling your computer where to receive sound, and adjusting the input volume will affect how much sound your computer will capture.

The next step is to test your microphone to verify that it’s properly working and set to the correct volume. Testing your microphone is also an opportunity to check for any issues or feedback.

When using your microphone with various applications, it’s essential to check their individual sound preferences. Some applications may need adjusting to properly capture sound.

If you’re still experiencing issues, it’s crucial to troubleshoot your system by restarting your Mac and checking your settings. Investing in an external microphone can also improve sound quality and give more options for capturing sound.

Hygiene and Protection are crucial when using a built-in microphone. Dust, dirt, and bacteria can build-up on your Mac’s microphone, causing sound interference, and wear and tear from careless handling can impact the quality of sound.

Tips and Tricks

1. Adjust the gain levels on your microphone to ensure you’re capturing the best sound possible.

2. Use a windscreen or pop filter to reduce potential mouth noises and improve sound clarity.

3. Use a shock mount to reduce handling noise and vibrations from your microphone.

4. Take care of your microphone and store it properly to prevent damage and extend its lifespan.

5. Use headphones during recording to prevent feedback loops and other sound issues.

6. Use an audio interface to manage multiple microphones or record high-quality audio.

7. Invest in a quality microphone stand or boom arm to improve microphone placement and reduce noise.

8. Keep your Mac up to date by installing software updates to ensure your system runs smoothly.

9. Use noise-reduction software to reduce unwanted background noise and improve sound quality.

10. Find a comfortable and quiet location for your recording to reduce background noise and improve sound clarity.

In conclusion, turning on your microphone may seem like a small task, but it’s essential for getting the most out of your Mac and producing high-quality sound. Follow the steps outlined in this article, and you’ll be well on your way to capturing crystal-clear sound in no time. With our tips and tricks, you’ll be able to take your sound quality to the next level and keep your microphone working optimally for years to come.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Turning on Microphone on Mac


1. Better audio quality: With a functioning microphone, you will get clear and crisp audio quality during video calls, voice memos, and voice recordings.

2. Convenient communication: Turning on the microphone on Mac enables you to communicate easily with colleagues, friends, and family members through various channels like Skype, Zoom, FaceTime or other social media platforms.

3. Efficient work: A microphone is a necessary tool if you are working remotely as it allows efficient communication and collaboration with co-workers during online meetings, presentations and conference calls.

4. Enhanced teaching and learning: Teachers and students can now have more interactive and engaging online classes with a functioning microphone on Mac to ask and answer questions.

5. Versatile usage: A Mac microphone can be used in various fields like podcasting, vlogging, music production, and for recording audio-books and interviews.

6. Hands-free usage: Turning on the microphone on Mac allows you to use voice commands to control your computer like setting reminders, sending emails, opening applications, and searching the web without using your mouse or keyboard.

7. Ease of access: A built-in Mac microphone provides an easy-to-access solution for audio recording, video calls, or voice memos without requiring additional equipment.

8. Automating tasks: You can now automate repetitive tasks by using voice commands on your Mac with the help of a microphone. It makes your work much easier and efficient.

9. Accessibility support: Turning on microphone on Mac enables people with disabilities to perform several functions such as typing, reading, and browsing the web through voice commands.

10. Fun and Entertainment: You can use a functioning microphone to record your own voice, sing in karaoke apps, make voice memos, and chat with friends during multi-player games.


1. Privacy concerns: A functioning microphone can be risky if the device gets hacked or is used for illegal activities. Hackers may use the microphone to eavesdrop, record conversations without the user’s knowledge, and jeopardize confidential data.

2. Background noise: The microphone on Mac can also pick up background noises that may interfere with the audio quality of your recordings or calls.

3. Technical Issues: The microphone may encounter connectivity and hardware issues which may lead to malfunctioning, inability to record or low-quality audio output.

4. Dependency on external factors: Using the external microphone to resolve technical issues may require additional costs, more time to set up and may be less reliable than the built-in Mac microphone.

5. Distractions: A functioning microphone can cause distractions if you are working in a noisy environment or with others nearby, as they may hear your conversations or recordings.

6. Monitoring: Some employers or institutions may monitor microphone usage, which may infringe on the users’ privacy.

7. Wasting Time: Unnecessary usage of the microphone on Mac can become a waste of time and lead to less productivity or output.

8. Compatibility Issues: Not all microphones may be compatible with the Mac operating system. It may require additional technical support to troubleshoot issues.

9. Malfunctioning: A malfunctioning microphone can lead to errors, low audio quality or complete failure to record audio for tasks like voice memos or recording lectures.

10. Health issues: Long-term or frequent use of the microphone may cause health issues like headaches, ear infections, or hearing loss. Users must take necessary precautions and limit their usage of the device.


1. How to turn on microphone on Mac?

To turn on the microphone on Mac, go to System Preferences, then select the Sound icon, and click on the Input tab. From there, select the microphone you want to use and adjust the input volume accordingly.

2. How do I know if my Mac’s microphone is working?

You can test your Mac’s microphone by recording a sound or voice memo using the built-in Voice Memos app, or by making a test call using a video conferencing app such as Skype or Zoom.

3. How do I check my microphone settings on Mac?

You can check your microphone settings on Mac by going to System Preferences, then selecting the Sound icon, and clicking on the Input tab. From there, you can see the available microphones and their input levels.

4. Why is my Mac’s microphone not working?

There could be various reasons for your Mac’s microphone not working, such as hardware issues, outdated drivers, or incorrect settings. Try troubleshooting the issue by checking the connections, updating the drivers, or resetting the settings to default.

5. How do I enable my Mac’s internal microphone?

To enable your Mac’s internal microphone, follow the same steps as turning on the microphone on Mac, but select the built-in microphone option instead of an external one.

6. How do I turn off the microphone on Mac?

To turn off the microphone on Mac, you can simply mute the audio input by clicking on the microphone icon on the menu bar or in the System Preferences under Sound and Input. Alternatively, you can unplug any external microphone that you are using.

7. How do I adjust the microphone input volume on Mac?

To adjust the microphone input volume on Mac, go to the Sound icon in the System Preferences and click on the Input tab. From there, you can adjust the input volume by sliding the volume bar left or right.

8. How do I select which microphone to use on Mac?

To select which microphone to use on Mac, go to the Input tab in the Sound icon under System Preferences, and choose the microphone that you want to use from the available options listed there.

9. How do I use an external microphone on Mac?

To use an external microphone on Mac, connect it to the computer’s audio input port, then select it from the Sound icon in System Preferences. You can adjust the input level and test the microphone to make sure it is working properly.

10. How do I set up a microphone for video conferencing on Mac?

To set up a microphone for video conferencing on Mac, open the conferencing app of your choice, go to the audio settings, and select the microphone you want to use. You can then test the microphone and adjust the input level as needed.

11. How do I troubleshoot microphone problems on Mac?

To troubleshoot microphone problems on Mac, check the connections and ensure that the microphone is properly connected to the computer. Additionally, check the settings to ensure that the correct microphone is selected and the input volume is adjusted correctly. If the issue persists, try resetting the settings to default or updating the drivers.

12. How do I use a microphone for recording on Mac?

To use a microphone for recording on Mac, open the recording app of your choice, go to the audio settings, and select the microphone you want to use. You can then test the microphone and adjust the input level as needed. Once done, you can start recording.

13. How do I use a microphone with GarageBand on Mac?

To use a microphone with GarageBand on Mac, simply connect the microphone to the computer, open GarageBand, and create a new project. From there, select the audio input settings, select the microphone you want to use, and start recording.

How to Turn On Microphone on Mac

Having trouble with communicating through your microphone on your Mac device? It may be a simple fix! In this article, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to turn on your microphone on your Mac.

Conclusion and Closing

Turning on your microphone on your Mac doesn’t have to be a complicated process. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to start communicating with ease. Remember to check your settings and troubleshoot any issues if you’re still having problems. Happy chatting!

Thanks for reading! We hope this guide has been useful for you. If you have any further questions or need additional assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Mac support. Until next time, take care and have a great day!