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How To Set the Default Microphone on Windows 10

Microsoft Windows Apps

Windows 10 PC users can plug in several sound inputs via an audio jack, USB port, or Bluetooth. No matter the number of input devices connected to a Windows 10 PC, only one input device can be used as the default microphone.

If you connect multiple microphones to your Windows 10 PC, it’s imperative to know how to change the default microphone in Windows 10.

Quick Answer

There are two primary ways of setting the default microphone in Windows 10: the Control Panel and the Settings app.

1) To change the default microphone through the Control Panel, go to Hardware and Sound > Manage Audio Devices > Recording. Under the “Recording” tab, choose the microphone you want to use and click “OK“.

2) To change the default microphone through the Settings app, select System > Sound > Input. Under “Input”, expand the dropdown arrow and choose your preferred input device.

This article will take you through the two methods of setting the default microphone in your Windows 10 PC. We have also included ways to fix Windows 10 microphone issues.

Method #1: Choose the Default Microphone Using the Control Panel

Follow the steps below to change the default microphone from the Control Panel.

  1. Navigate the Start menu to search and launch the Control Panel.
  2. Select “Hardware and Sound“.
  3. Check the “Sound” sub-menu and click on “Manage Audio Devices“.
  4. Select “Recording“, then choose your preferred microphone from the list. 
  5. Click the “Set Default” button and select “Set as Default Device“.
  6. Click “Apply“> “OK” to save the changes.

Method #2: Choose the Default Microphone Using the Settings App

Here is the procedure to set your default microphone from the Settings app.

  1. Launch the Start menu.
  2. Go to “All Apps” and select Settings.
  3. Click on “System“.
  4. Select “Sound“.
  5. Under “Sound”, go to the Input section and expand the dropdown arrow.
  6. Choose your preferred input device, and it will automatically be your default microphone.

How to Fix Persistent Windows 10 Microphone Issues

What can you do if you’ve done everything, but your Windows 10 microphone is still not working? No worries; you can try fixing the issue in several ways. Check out the methods below.

Use Bluetooth Headset Microphone As Windows 10 Microphone

If you’ve set your wired headset as the default microphone and it’s still not working, you might be having a hardware problem. You can opt for a Bluetooth headset and see if the problem resolves.

Follow the steps below to connect your Bluetooth headset manually.

  1. Launch the Start menu.
  2. Open your Settings.
  3. Go to “Bluetooth & Devices“.
  4. Click “Add Device“.
  5. Select “Bluetooth” and pair it with your headset.

After connecting your Bluetooth headset to your PC, follow the steps below to use the Bluetooth headset as Windows 10’s mic.

  1. Click on the Start menu.
  2. Search for “Control Panel” and launch it.
  3. Select “Sounds“.
  4. Click on “Recording“.
  5. From the list of devices that appear, select your Bluetooth headset.

Change Microphone Privacy Settings

As a Windows 10 user, whenever you experience microphone issues, you should check whether you’ve set the correct microphone access permissions. To do this, follow the procedure below.

  1. From the Start menu, open your Settings.
  2. Click on “Privacy.”
  3. Select “Microphone“.
  4. If you see “Microphone access for this device is off“, click on the “Change” button, then turn it On.
  5. Enable microphone access for the app you’re using (e.g., Zoom).

If that does not solve your microphone issues, try the solution below.

Download and Install the Right Audio Driver for Your PC

Your PC should have already installed the correct audio driver for your hardware. However, if the audio driver isn’t working correctly, you can install or update the driver manually.

Before updating a driver manually, ensure you look for the correct official driver for your hardware on the internet and download it.

 To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Disconnect all peripheral devices and leave only your wired or Bluetooth headset connected.
  2. Go to the Start menu and launch Device Manager.
  3. Under Device Manager, click “Sound, Video, and Game Controllers“.
  4. Right-click “High Definition Audio Device” and choose “Update Driver“.
  5. Select “Browse My Computer for Driver Software“.
  6. Choose “Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer“.
  7. Click on “High Definition Audio Device” (the audio driver you downloaded) and select “Next“.
  8. If an “Update Driver Warning” pops up, click “Yes“.
  9. After that, reboot your computer and check if your microphone is working correctly.


As we’ve learned, it’s easy to set a new microphone as your system default with the steps outlined above. However, if you face any issues, follow the solutions we’ve provided and see if that fixes your problem.

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