Imagine attending a virtual meeting/conference, you are about to speak, but your microphone keeps muting automatically. That’s probably not a situation you want to be in.
The issue is most likely due to misconfigured settings of the microphone, which can be reset, as an immediate fix. Some applications may take control over the microphone and mute it if you have given them permissions. Or malwares in the form of
svchost.exe process can also do so without requiring any permission.
Loosely connected mic jacks and physical damages might also be potential causes. Not to mention faulty drivers, which can hinder communication between the system and hardware. Regardless, performing simple fixes such as running audio troubleshooter, managing application permissions or, on rare occasions performing driver cleanups should solve the issue at hand.
How to Fix Constantly Muting Mic?
Before you begin, check the connection between your mic and the computer. Secure the microphone jack to avoid loose connection. You should also check if any physical damage in the cable is causing the problem.
Run Input Audio Troubleshooter
Now that we have ensured a proper connection, Windows troubleshooter will prompt the OS to scan for configuration related problems. It will also automatically fix mic detection issues and reset any problematic settings.
- Press Windows + I to open Settings.
- Go to System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters
- Scroll and then hit the Run button within Recording Audio.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to complete.
Windows allows managing permissions necessary to handle the input devices. Microphone being one, can be enabled or disabled for individual applications. You can perform a quick check from the settings and enable the mic permissions for the applications you are using.
- Open Settings.
- Go to Privacy & security.
- Scroll and click on Microphone under the App permissions section.
- Click and turn on the Toggle button if it’s off.
Revoke Exclusive Controls
Some applications can take-over the microphone access if they have exclusive control over it. You can disable apps from exclusively using and subsequently muting the microphone.
- Right-Click on the Audio icon on the taskbar.
- Click on the More sound settings link.
- Go to the Recording tab.
- Right-click on your current mic device and choose Properties.
- Go to the Levels tab and click on the volume icon if it has a red disabled sign to remove it.
- Now you should be unmuted, but to prevent that from happening constantly, go to the Advanced tab.
- Untick the checkboxes within the Exclusive Mode section to revoke mic controls from applications.
The microphone driver-related issues too can cause the constant muting problem, especially when the driver isn’t updated properly or is incompatible with the current version of the OS. To fix the issue, you need to update your mic drivers.
- Open Run with Windows + R keys.
devmgmt.mscand hit Enter to open Device Manager.
- Double-click to expand Audio inputs and outputs.
- Right-click on the Microphone driver and choose Update driver.
- Pick Search automatically for drivers.
If there was no update available or if updating didn’t work, try to reinstall your drivers to fix the microphone muting issues caused by corrupted drivers.
- Open Device Manager and expand the Audio inputs and outputs category as above
- Right-click on the Microphone driver and select Uninstall device.
- Select the Uninstall button on the confirmation prompt.
End Malicious Process
Malware and viruses can also take control of the microphone settings and modify them causing the discussed issue. Muting problems, as seen in many users, have been noticed because of malware existing as svchost process. You will have to end the process to fix the problem.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the Task Manager.
- Go to the Details tab.
- Check out the
svchost.exeprocess and its corresponding Username. If it’s different from System, Local System or your computer’s name, it might be potential malware.
- To end the process note, its corresponding PID.
- Now, open Run, and type cmd for Command Prompt.
- Hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter and click on Yes to open it with admin privileges.
- Now run the command:
taskkill /f <PID>
There may be other malware than the svchost on your system that can hijack and mute microphone. For other malware and viruses, you can run Windows defender and check for them:
- Press Windows + I to open Settings.
- Go to Privacy & Security and then to Windows Security.
- Click on Virus & threat protection.
- Then, click Scan options.
- Select Full scan and hit the Scan now button.
- Wait till it completes and continue with the onscreen instructions afterwards.