Here is your one-stop guide to troubleshooting and fixing all microphone-related issues on Google Chromebooks.
Google Chromebooks are easily the perfect devices for your personal and educational needs.
While we don’t recommend them for heavy-duty usages such as online multiplayer gaming, Video Recording and editing, and Adobe Premiere graphic designs, they’re a perfect pick for your essential online needs and regular office use.
Suppose you need a PC for internet browsing, visiting search engines, reading articles on your favourite blogs, and studying for educational/career purposes while occasionally playing online games; in that case, a Chromebook is one of the most reasonably priced PCs that’ll cover those needs effectively.
An important, but mostly ignored component in a Chromebook, is the inbuilt microphone. Its relevance is noticeable mostly during online meetings (business and educational), private and group chats, and more recently, video calls.
Let’s consider some of the microphone-related complaints reported by Chromebook users in major online communities and forums.
Chromebook Microphone not Working – Common User complaints
- No matter what I do, my Chromebook mic won’t work
- Chromebook mic output is low, almost inaudible
- Chromebook mic works in downloaded apps, but not with pre-installed apps
- Mic only works on certain websites
- The mic doesn’t work on all sites; it only works on applications
- Mic only has a distorted and unclear output
- Chromebook mic doesn’t work in Duo and Zoom; works on other platforms
- Chromebook mic not working on pre-installed Google Chrome works on downloaded Google Chrome
- Mic gives only static output and background noise
- Chromebook inbuilt mic suddenly stopped working
With diligent research, we have come up with a list of reasons you might be seeing some of these issues listed above and what to do as a lasting solution.
What are the causes of the Chromebook mic not working?
1. Chromebook Volume is mute
Yes, it sounds elementary, but many mic-related ‘headaches’ have been cured by simply unmuting the Chromebook volume. It’s logical to begin troubleshooting with the most straightforward ideas before going to the more complex fixes.
2. Mic Sensitivity is too weak
Some complaints about the Chromebook mic not working could be because of a weakness in microphone sensitivity.
3. Chromebook microphone default settings not defined
The reason for complete microphone unresponsiveness can be traced to default settings for Chromebook microphone not yet set.
4. Chromebook does not have an inbuilt microphone
Unknown to many Chromebook users, not every Google Chromebook PC comes with an inbuilt microphone pre-installed. You have to find out if your device has a pre-installed mic.
5. ISP Network restrictions
Your internet service provider may be limiting microphone functions on your device through the app. Some Chromebooks from educational institutions come with such restrictions.
Also, if you’re in a country/region with strict internet usage policies, that could be the reason for your Chromebook mic not working.
6. Restrictions in-app permissions
Your Google Chromebook may have set restrictions in the accessibility of specific applications to your device microphone, and you’ll need to set up microphone accessibility manually for all apps.
7. Trying to access the microphone on a blocked site
Your microphone won’t work on a blocked site in your Chromebook.
8. Faulty/Damaged microphone
Your Chromebook microphone may be faulty or damaged and needs replacement/repair.
How to fix all mic not working issues on Google Chromebook
1. Increase the mic volume
Begin by raising the volume of your microphone. Also, unmute it.
If you’re using an external microphone (e.g. a headset), also ensure to increase the volume of the external microphone.
2. Confirm that your Google Chromebook has an inbuilt microphone
As we mentioned earlier, not all Chromebooks come with factory-inbuilt microphones, and it would be best to verify that yours has a mic in it.
There are easy ways to verify a mic built into your Chromebook, but the easiest is via a microphone test extension on Google Chrome.
Install Microphone Test extension on your Google Chrome browser. When you launch the extension page, it directs you to test your microphone.
Where there’s no feedback on the extension during the test, it means your Chromebook may not have a microphone inbuilt.
3. Uninstall Evernote extension
It would be best to uninstall this extension because it exposes your device to hackers.
Some Chromebook users have also noticed their mic started working after uninstalling the Evernote extension and deleting its cache folder. You may want to try that also.
4. Enable microphone permission to access all websites on Google Chrome
Without access permission in your security settings granted to these sites, the Chromebook microphone can’t function properly.
Head to Chrome browser. Open Menu > settings > privacy & security > site settings > permissions > microphone. Then Unblock ‘ask before access.’ Now your mic is set to request access for all sites.
5. How to Fix mic not working on particular websites
- From Google Chrome, open the site where the mic isn’t responding.
- At the URL (web address at the top), click on the security icon beside the URL (it looks like a padlock).
- Select Site settings > permissions > microphone.
- Finally, select ‘allow,’ and your mic is set on that webpage.
6. Set up default Chromebook microphone
Your Chromebook may not recognize the mic because there’s no default mic set.
- Head to your status menu at the lower right corner and select the tray (where your battery, Bluetooth and other icons are displaying).
- Select the system tray to see the settings.
- Select the microphone icon to go to audio settings.
- From input, select your desired default audio input device.
7. Hard-reset your Chromebook
None of these options seems to fix your Chromebook mic errors? Then you should perform a device hard-reset
- Shut down the Chromebook book.
- Now press and hold the Refresh button; tap the Power button while holding.
- Release the refresh button as Chromebook boots on.
- If your Chromebook has a reset button, then use that, and unplug the power cable for 2 minutes before restarting the device.
8. Use an external microphone accessory
Perhaps nothing works yet, you could try out an external microphone, a headset or earbuds. If this works, then the inbuilt mic might be faulty.
9. Chromebook Powerwash Factory reset
As a last resort, you can perform a Powerwash Factory reset of your Chromebook to restore the device to factory settings.
Ensure you have a backup of your files and documents because they’ll be completely wiped off, including your settings and preferences. It would help if you didn’t worry about data in your Google Drive and other cloud storage space.
- Head to Taskbar at the bottom right of your screen > settings > Advanced.
- Scroll down to reset and go to Powerwash > restart.
- Select Powerwash in the next options, and then Continue.
- To Powerwash your device using hotkeys,
- Go to Taskbar at the bottom right of your display screen and select sign out.
- Press and hold ctrl + alt + shift + r
- Select reset in the next dialogue > Powerwash > continue.
10. Contact Support
If any of these fixes seem a bit overwhelming for you, you should contact Google tech support for more professional advice.
How do I increase my Chromebook microphone sensitivity?
Solution: Head to Chromebook Taskbar at the bottom right and select the clock to see quick settings.
Go to sound > input > microphone.
Now drag the microphone level to the highest level.
How do I fix the mic not working on Zoom?
Solution: During a live video session, go to the mic icon at the left pane below.
Drag the > icon and click on the microphone. Now choose your desired input.
My Chromebook has an inbuilt microphone, but none of these steps worked for me.
Solution: Sign out of your current account on your device and sign in using guest mode. See more on Guest mode signing.