Fix: iPhone Microphone not Working

The microphone of your iPhone may not work if the OS of your phone is outdated. Moreover, the wrong configuration of your phone’s settings (network setting, noise cancellation, Siri, Call Audio Routing, etc.) may also cause the error under discussion.

The user encounters the issue when he tries to use the microphone of his phone (either for making a regular phone call or in another application like Skype, etc) but no audio is transmitted/recorded. The issue is reported on nearly all the models of the iPhone and usually after an OS update.

Microphone Not Working

Before moving on with the solutions to fix the microphone of your iPhone, power off your iPhone and wait for 3 minutes, then power on the phone to check if the issue resulted from a temporary glitch. Moreover, make sure the volume of your microphone is not set to zero. If you cannot change the volume of the phone, then plug the headphone jack and then try to set volume. Additionally, make sure the problematic application has access rights to the microphone in the privacy settings of your phone.

Solution 1: Clean Your iPhone of Debris and Dust

The microphone of your phone may not work if it is covered with plastic, sticker, debris, dust, lint, etc. Also, some users forgot to remove the protecting plastic/sticker on the phone that caused the issue at hand. In this case, cleaning your iPhone may solve the problem.

  1. Locate the problematic microphone (your iPhone has more than one microphone) and make sure it is not covered with any plastic, sticker, etc. The microphone can be located near the charging port, earpiece, or camera.
    Location of Microphone on an iPhone
  2. Now make sure the problematic mic is not covered with any plastic, sticker, etc.
  3. Then use an object like Q Tip, toothpick, or needle (move it in circles in the hole of the microphone) to clean out any debris/lint/dust from the mic. You can also blow compress air into the microphone to clear it out.
  4. Then check if the microphone issue is resolved.

Note: Make sure that you don’t poke any of the materials inside the microphone hole. It will break the module instead.

Solution 2: Update the OS of Your Phone to the Latest Build

iOS is continuously updated to add new features and patch known bugs. The microphone issue may arise if you are using an outdated version of iOS and the previous OS isn’t working properly with the hardware module. In this context, updating the iOS of your phone to the latest build may solve the problem.

  1. Backup the essential information/data of your iPhone and put your phone on charging (do not proceed until charged up to 90%).
  2. Now, connect to a Wi-Fi network. You can use the mobile data option but do not forget to check the size of the download.
  3. Then launch the Settings of your iPhone and open General.
  4. Now, select Software Update, and if an update is shown, download and install it.
    Software update – iPhone
  5. Then restart your phone and upon restart, check if the mic of your iPhone is working fine.

Solution 3: Disable Bluetooth of Your Phone

Different users use different Bluetooth devices with their phones due to many reasons. The microphone of your phone might not work if your phone “thinks” that it is connected to a Bluetooth device and tries to router audio through it. In this case, disabling the Bluetooth of your phone may clear the glitch and thus solve the microphone problem.

  1. Launch the Settings of your phone and then select Bluetooth.
  2. Now, disable Bluetooth by toggling its switch to the off positions.
    Disable Bluetooth of iPhone
  3. Then check if the microphone of your phone is working fine.

Solution 4: Disable Microphone Access for the Conflicting Applications or Uninstall Them

In an iOS environment, applications co-exist and share system resources (including the microphone). You may fail to use a microphone if any of 3rd party applications are interfering in the operation of your microphone or forcing to use another microphone of your phone. In this case, disabling access to the microphone for the conflicting application or uninstalling those applications may solve the problem. Snapchat is one of the applications to create the issue.

  1. Open Settings of your iPhone and then select Privacy.
    Open Microphone in the Privacy Settings of Your iPhone
  2. Now, select Microphone and then disable access of all the applications (except the one where you have to use the microphone) to the microphone.
    Disable Microphone Access for Every Application in iPhone
  3. Then check if the issue is resolved. If so, then enable the microphone access for applications one by one till you find the problematic one. And once found, either update the problematic application or allow its microphone access only when required.
  4. If the issue persists, then try to uninstall the problematic applications which require microphone access to rule out any compatibility issues.

Solution 5: Disable Screen Time of Your Phone

Apple Screen Time is a handy feature that can be used to limit your daily or weekly mobile phone usage (single application or entire category like social media). But it can cause the error at hand if it is interfering in the operation of the microphone (or the application in which you are trying to use the microphone). In this scenario, disabling Screen Time may solve the problem.

  1. Open the Settings of your phone and select Screen Time.
    Open Screen Time in the iPhone’s Settings
  2. Now tap on “Turn Off Screen Time” to disable Screen Time.
    Turn off Screen Time of iPhone
  3. Then check if the microphone of your phone is working fine.

Solution 6: Reset Network Settings of Your Phone to the Defaults

Network settings of your phone are used to control network-related connections of your phone (i.e., Wi-Fi and cellular network). Misconfiguration of the network settings of your phone may lead to the error under discussion. In this context, resetting network settings to the defaults may solve the problem. Keep in mind that you will lose all saved Wi-Fi passwords/networks, cellular/APC settings, and VPN settings.

  1. Open Settings of your iPhone and select General.
    Open General Settings of iPhone
  2. Then select Reset and tap on Reset Network Settings.
    reset
    Tap on Reset Networking Settings
  3. Now confirm to reset the network settings and then check if your iPhone is clear of the microphone error.

Solution 7: Disable / Enable Siri and Set Call Audio Routing to Speakerphone

Siri is one of the essential features of your iPhone that enables a user to use different voice commands to perform various actions. Still, if it malfunctions, then it may lead (when enabled) to the issue under discussion. In this context, disabling/enabling Siri may clear the glitch and thus solve the microphone problem.

  1. Open the Settings of your iPhone and select Siri & Search.
    siri search
    Select Siri & Search
  2. Now toggle off the switch of all the options there (usually, the under-mentioned options) and when asked, confirm to disable Siri:
    Listen for “Hey Siri”
    
    Press Side Button for Siri
    
    Allow Siri When Locked
    Disable All the Siri Options in Siri & Search Settings
  3. Then check if the issue is solved. If the said option is already disabled, then enable it and restart your system.
  4. Upon restart, check if the microphone of your system is working fine.
  5. If not, then disable Siri and check if the issue is resolved.
  6. If the issue persists, launch Settings of your phone and select General.
  7. Now, open Accessibility and then disable Phone Noise Cancellation (as discussed in solution 9).
    Open Call Audio Routing in the iPhone’s Settings
  8. Then, in Accessibility, tap on Call Audio Routing and then select Headset.
    Select Headset in the Call Audio Routing Settings
  9. Now, check if the microphone is working fine.
  10. If not, repeat step 8, but this time select Speaker and then check if your iPhone is clear of the error.

Solution 8: Reset All Settings of Your Phone to the Defaults

The microphone of your iPhone may not work if the settings of your phone are not configured correctly. It will be quite difficult to single out the problematic settings. In this case, resetting all the settings of your phone to the defaults may solve the problem. Keep in mind that you will lose all the customization of your phone (including cards in the wallet/Apple Pay, the Home Screen layout, the keyboard dictionary, privacy settings, location settings, etc.).

  1. Backup the essential information and data of your iPhone (if you want to restore it to the current settings after resetting all settings).
  2. Launch Settings of your iPhone and open General.
  3. Then select Reset and tap on Reset All Settings.
    Reset All Settings on Your iPhone
  4. Now enter the passcode of your phone (if prompted) and then confirm to Reset All Settings.
  5. Now check if the microphone issue is resolved.

Solution 9: Disable Noise Cancellation in Your Phone’s Settings

Noise cancellation is a handy feature to improve the microphone output, but if it starts to malfunction, then it can cause the error under discussion. In this context, disabling the noise cancellation of your phone may solve the problem.

  1. Locate the Noise cancellation microphone of your iPhone (located to the left of your camera lens). Then make sure that the microphone is clear of debris or dust/rust collection and check if the issue is resolved.
    Noise Cancellation Mic of iPhone
  2. If not, launch the Settings of your iPhone and select General.
  3. Then tap on Accessibility.
  4. Now, disable the option of “Phone Noise Cancellation” by toggling its switch to the off position and restart your phone.
    Disable Phone Noise Cancellation of iPhone
  5. Upon restart, check if the microphone issue is resolved. If the said option is unavailable in your phone’s Settings, try to Reset All Settings of your phone (as discussed in solution 8).

Solution 10: Reset Your iPhone to the Factory Defaults

If none of the solutions successfully solved your issues, then the issue could be caused by the corrupt firmware of your iPhone. In this case, resetting your iPhone to the factory defaults may solve the problem.

  1. Backup the essential information/data of your phone and put it on charge (do not proceed till the charging reaches 90%).
  2. Then open the Settings of your iPhone and select General.
  3. Now select Reset and then tap on Erase All Content and Settings.
    Erase All Content and Settings
  4. Then follow the prompts on your screen to reset your iPhone to the factory defaults. If the phone is stuck during the reset process, then completely drain out the battery of your phone and then try to proceed further.
  5. After resetting your iPhone, set it up as new and check if the issue is resolved. If so, reset your iPhone to the factory defaults and then restore it using one of your backups (iTunes or iCloud backup), and hopefully, the issue is resolved.

If the issue is still there, then the problem could be a hardware issue (most probably an audio IC or charging port issue). You should visit Apple or Genius bar (you may get a free replacement if your phone is under warranty). You can use your phone with Air pods/Bluetooth device or speaker mode of your iPhone till the issue is resolved.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: iPhone Microphone not Working

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