How To Test a Dell Laptop Microphone? (4 Easy Steps)

Almost everybody has owned a Dell at some point in their computing history. They’ve become a household name and their laptops have well and truly earnt their place inside our homes, but did you know that Dell laptops have built-in microphones?

Well, if you want to know how to test your Dell microphone you’re in the right place!

Can You Test Your Dell Laptop Microphone?

You can test a Dell laptop microphone in a simple way by going to your audio settings. However, you will need to check that the mic isn’t set to mute and that the application is actually set to receive and play sound from the microphone.

Users may find that, despite testing their Dell laptop microphone, the microphone is not working when they come to use it.

Therefore, the testing of a microphone is the first step when it comes to troubleshooting any microphone problems that users may experience.  

Use these Easy Steps to Test your Dell Laptop Microphone

So before you begin using your microphone on your Dell laptop you’re going to want to confirm that the device is in working order.

The best way to test your microphone on your Dell laptop is to follow the steps listed here and in a matter of moments, you’ll be sure that your microphone is ready for action.

  1. Find the Sound icon
      • The Sound icon is found in the bottom right corner of your screen (usually where your clock is located). Just move your cursor over to it and give it the sound icon a right-click.
  2. Utilize your audio settings
      • Right-clicking the Sound icon will give you the choice to ‘Open Sound Settings‘, by doing this you will gain access to the audio settings on your laptop.
  3. Test your Microphone
      • Scrolling down in the settings menu you’ve just opened will reveal the option to ‘Test Microphone’.
      • Choose the option to ‘Test Microphone’ and you will witness a live test of your device.
  4. Ensure your microphone is performing correctly
      • You should now have tested your microphone and have had it confirmed that it is in working order. However, it is essential that your applications have access to use your microphone.

Remember, being able to test your microphone can give you the certainty that your Dell laptop microphone is operational, but if you’re having issues using it when you need it, then there may be a problem you’ve yet to fix.

Luckily, you can take a look at some common problems and how to solve them.

Just read on and you’ll be happily chatting away on your microphone in no time!

6 Reasons Your Dell’s Laptop Microphone isn’t Working

First, make sure your laptop does in fact have a microphone built-in.

Does Your Dell Laptop Need a Reboot?

Sometimes, when our tech devices are acting up, they simply just need to be given a bit of a helping hand.

Even though we do like to joke about it, the age-old method of turning it off and then on again can solve many issues and takes no time at all.

The problem you are having with your microphone may be that you just need to reboot your Dell laptop. 

Restarting your Dell laptop not only helps it run efficiently but also stops tasks that could be clogging up your system’s RAM by clearing the memory.

It is recommended you restart your Dell laptop once a week to keep it running at its best.

Your Privacy Settings Are Blocking Access to Your Microphone

Applications such as Skype or Microsoft Teams need to be granted access to the Microphone on your Dell lomputer before they can use it.

Not granting these programs access to your microphone means that your voice will not be heard on video calls.

This is a common and yet easily resolved issue. Just follow these simple steps to allow access to your microphone:

  1. Locate and click the ‘Start‘ button on the left-hand side of your taskbar or click the Windows logo on your keyboard.
  2. Select ‘Settings‘.
  3. Next, go to ‘Privacy‘ and scroll down on the left-hand side to select ‘Microphone‘ under the app permissions section.
  4. Click ‘Change‘, or ‘allow applications access to the microphone‘, depending on what version of Windows you are running.
  5. From here you will have a list of applications. Make sure the application you are trying to use in conjunction with your microphone has been granted full access.

Volume Settings Are Too Low

Always check the volume settings if you are having issues with your microphone.

If your microphone is not working it can be simply due to the fact your volume is set too low. 

There are two ways to configure your microphone volume settings on your Dell laptop – through the Control Panel or through Settings.

  1. Open up the ‘Control Panel‘ and then select ‘Hardware and Sound‘.
  2. Next click on ‘Sound‘.
  3. On the pop-up screen go along the tabs and choose the ‘Recording‘ tab.
  4. Right-click on the microphone that you want to configure the volume of and select ‘Properties‘.
  5. From here you will see an adjustable slider, either increase this or type a number higher than the one presented in the text box adjacent.
  6. Click OK to close the pop-up screen and save the volume adjustments.

Or alternatively, try these steps instead:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Click on ‘Settings‘.
  3. From here select ‘Sound‘.
  4. Next, make sure your microphone is selected in the drop-down menu.
  5. Under ‘Device Properties‘ you will see an adjustable slider bar for the volume of the microphone. Increase this slider.
  6. Then test your microphone by hitting the ‘Start Test‘ button and speaking.
  7. You will be able to see the volume level your Dell computer is recognizing the microphone at and then adjust accordingly.

Microphone Not Set as Default

If the microphone on your Dell laptop isn’t picking up your voice you will need to check that it is set as the default microphone. To do this follow these simple steps:

  1. Right-click the sound icon on the far right of the taskbar.
  2. Next select ‘Sounds‘.
  3. From the ‘Recording‘ tab click on the desired microphone. If it has not shown up on the list then select ‘Show Disabled Devices‘.
  4. Once you have selected your microphone click ‘Select Default‘.

What Are the Chances Your Drivers Need an Update?

Outdated drivers. It’s an issue that crops up time and time again with many pieces of hardware. If your Dell microphone drivers are out of date then it stands to reason that your microphone might be giving you trouble.

Don’t worry. Updating your driver doesn’t need to be a chore. Here’s the low-down on your Dell laptop’s microphone and its drivers:

  1. Click the Windows icon on the lower left-hand side of your screen.
  2. With the start menu open begin typing ‘Device Manager’. Click it once it appears on the screen.
  3. Expand the ‘Sound, Video and Gaming’ option.
  4. Find and right-click on the ‘Realtek High Definition Audio’ and then choose ‘Update Driver Software’.
  5. You will be asked how you want to search for your driver. From here you need to select ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’.
  6. Remember, once the driver has been updated you should reboot your laptop.

If you receive a message informing you that your driver is already up to date then this tells you that any issue you are having with your microphone is a result of something other than the driver. 

Has Your Dell Laptop Microphone got Stuck on Mute?

Are you yelling at the screen and yet no one seems to hear a word that’s coming out of your mouth?

It could be that your microphone is on mute.

The best way to ensure that your microphone is unmuted is to check out these simple steps below:

  1. Click the Windows icon from the lower left-hand side of your screen.
  2. Type ‘Control Panel‘ and open it up.
  3. Next, find ‘Sound‘, and in the next menu click on the ‘Recording‘ tab.
  4. Find your microphone in the list and then double-click it.
  5. Select the ‘Levels‘ tab.
  6. Find the microphone icon and check whether it is shown as muted. If it is muted then ensure you click it to unmute and then choose ‘Apply‘, followed by ‘OK‘.

It’s worth noting that apps themselves have the ability to mute the microphone.

If you’re using an app such as Skype, Zoom, Teams etc, then check for the microphone icon and ensure that it is not set to mute. 

A muted microphone is usually indicated by a line running through the microphone icon.

Can You Use External Microphones with Dell Laptops?

It may well be the case that you have an external microphone that you’d really prefer to use on your laptop. If that’s the case then you may be wondering if your Dell laptop will play ball.

Let’s take a look at how to get your external microphone connected to your Dell laptop:

Using the Audio Input Port

  • If you’ve got a wired headset and you want to plug it into Dell then find the ‘line-in‘ port on the side of your laptop.
  • Once you plug in your headset you should see a pop-up box confirming that your headset has been identified.
  • Your microphone should be up and running on your Dell laptop.

Using a USB Microphone

  • USB microphones are easy to use on a Dell laptop.
  • Simply plug your USB microphone directly into the USB slot on your Dell laptop.
  • It is also possible to get a USB adaptor that would allow you to plug-in a standard mic using the USB port.

Using a Bluetooth microphone

  • A Bluetooth headset could offer you a great microphone alternative on your Dell laptop.
  • Put your Bluetooth headset in pairing mode.
  • Open your Bluetooth settings on your laptop and choose to pair the headset.
  • Now you have a Bluetooth microphone at your disposal!

Please also read our article about headphones not working on Dell PC – with solutions!


Where is the microphone on a dell laptop? [A Detailed Guide]

Dell Audio Driver Download & Update Easily

How Do I Turn My Microphone On My Dell Laptop


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