There can be six main causes behind your iPhone microphone not working: dust buildup, software glitch, faulty accessories, phone noise cancellation, app permissions and faulty hardware.
Hi, I’m Devansh. I’ve experienced this problem with my iPhone 13. For me, the solution was just changing my case, since it was blocking the bottom microphone grill. For you, it could be another reason. In this article, I’ll show you six reasons and how to troubleshoot them.
If your iPhone microphone isn’t working and you want to fix it as soon as possible, keep reading!
- 1… 2… 3… Mic Testing
- Possible Reason #1: Dust Buildup
- Possible Reason #2: Software Glitches
- Possible Reason #3: Faulty Accessories
- Possible Reason #4: Phone Noise Cancellation
- Possible Reason #5: App Permissions
- Possible Reason #6: Faulty Hardware
1… 2… 3… Mic Testing
Before I get into the reasons and solutions for the iPhone microphone not working issue, it’d be great to know how to accurately test the microphone. Most modern iPhones have three microphones: at the bottom, back, and front. Here’s how you can test them.
Step 1: Open the Voice Memos app
Step 2: Tap the red record button, speak a few words at the bottom of your iPhone, and stop the recording.
Step 3: Play the recording.
To test the other two microphones on your iPhone, follow these steps.
Step 1: Open the Camera app
Step 2: Start recording a video, speak a few words at the top of your iPhone, and stop the recording.
Step 3: Switch the camera, and do the same again.
Step 4: Play both videos.
In both cases, the accuracy of the recording will tell you how well-functioning your microphones are. Either just one or all three of them might not be working. Now that you have a better idea of where the issue lies, let’s dive into the six possible reasons for your iPhone microphone not working.
Possible Reason #1: Dust Buildup
You carry your iPhone with you almost everywhere, don’t you? So, it’s easy for dust to gather up in the microphone grill while it is in your pocket or bag. A buildup of dust might be blocking the microphone from capturing sound.
You can use a dry and clean toothbrush to smoothly clean the microphone grill and dislodge dust. If you have a compressed air can available, you can spray it around the opening, but be gentle; blowing it straight into the microphone can damage it.
There’s also something else to keep in mind: the case or screen protector you’re using might also be blocking the microphones. So, check the case for any blocked or covered openings, especially at the bottom.
Possible Reason #2: Software Glitches
It’s also possible that there’s a software glitch behind your iPhone microphone not working. You can relaunch apps that it might not be working with, like Facebook or Viber. You can also close all tabs in your primary browser.
Beyond that, you can also just shutdown and restart your iPhone, or even perform a force restart. Plus, check if there are any updates available for iOS. If you’re using an older version, there might be a bug that is causing the microphone to not work.
Just open Settings, General, and scroll down to Software Update. Here you can check if there are any updates available and download them.
Possible Reason #3: Faulty Accessories
Do you have any accessories connected to your iPhone? If yes, do any of those accessories have a built-in mic? It’s likely that your iPhone is connected to an external mic and thus the recording quality might be muffled and grainy.
To rule out this reason, unplug any hardware accessories and switch off Bluetooth momentarily. Open the Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen and tap on the Bluetooth icon to disable it.
If you’re willing to disconnect devices manually, open Settings and Bluetooth. Under My Devices, you can tap on an accessory to disconnect it. Moreover, you can tap on the ‘i’ icon and Forget This Device to ensure your iPhone doesn’t connect to that accessory again.
Possible Reason #4: Phone Noise Cancellation
Although available only on iPhone 12 and earlier models, the Phone Noise Cancellation feature could be the reason behind your iPhone microphone not working. In a nutshell, it is a feature that reduces background noise while you’re on a call.
Disabling it could get your microphone working again. To do that, open Settings, Accessibility, Audio/Visual, and toggle off Phone Noise Cancellation. Reboot the phone after this and make a test call to see if the microphone is working again.
Possible Reason #5: App Permissions
Are you noticing that your microphone doesn’t work with just one particular app, and seems to work fine with all others? If this is the case, it’s possible that the app in question simply doesn’t have permission to access your iPhone’s microphone!
It probably requested access when you first installed it but you might’ve denied it by mistake. To allow access, go to Settings, Privacy, and Microphone. If that app requests access to your microphone, it’ll be present in this list. Toggle it on.
You might not be able to make any changes if you have put restrictions in place for privacy. Go to Screen Time, Content & Privacy Restrictions, Microphone, and tap on Allow Changes. Go back to Privacy & Security and then Microphone. Now, you’ll have the ability to enable access to the microphone to any apps of your choice.
Possible Reason #6: Faulty Hardware
Finally, it’s also possible that your iPhone microphone is not working due to hardware damage. This could happen if your iPhone was dropped onto a hard surface or came in contact with liquid. If this is the case, the only solution would be to search for a local repair shop or reach out to Apple Support.
Pat yourself on the back! You managed to go through the article and implement the six solutions listed here. If the microphone still isn’t working, I recommend you reach out to Apple Support for further queries.
Want to learn more about the iPhone microphone not working issue? Here are a few common questions.
What if the Microphone on AirPods Isn’t Working?
For fixing the microphone on AirPods, much of what I discussed above is relevant. First, check if there is dust buildup or any kind of blockage on the AirPods. To clean it, you can use a cotton swab and dab it on the microphone holes at the bottom. Once it’s clean, you can put the AirPods back in the charging case and reconnect them.
How to Ensure that the Microphone Picks Up Your Voice Clearly During a FaceTime Call?
If you’re in a noisy environment and want to be confident that you’re heard clearly in a FaceTime call, there’s a feature called Voice Isolation. It does a great job of blocking ambient noise. To activate it during a FaceTime call, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to open the Control Center, tap on Mic Mode, and select Voice Isolation.
The microphone on your iPhone not working can be a major hassle and prevent you from communicating with friends or work. If you go through all the possible causes in this article—dust buildup, software glitch, app permissions, and more—your iPhone’s microphone will hopefully start working again.
If it doesn’t, there might be a more serious hardware issue at play. It could be due to liquid damage or due to broken circuitry from a fall. In that case, I would recommend getting in touch with Apple Support.
Did you manage to get your iPhone microphone working again? Feel free to let me know how in the comments!