Why did my phone mic suddenly stop working?

Check Physical Damage

If your phone microphone suddenly stopped working, the first thing to check for is any physical damage to the phone. Examine the phone carefully, looking for any cracks, dents, or other external signs of damage, especially around the microphone area. On most smartphones, the microphone is located along the bottom edge near the charging port.

In particular, inspect for any obstruction of the small microphone holes, which could block sound from entering. This sometimes occurs from drops or other impacts that may lodget debris in the holes. Try using compressed air to clear anything blocking the microphone opening.

Moisture damage can also disable a phone microphone. If the phone was exposed to water, inspect for corrosion around the microphone. Allow the phone to fully dry out over 24 hours in case any moisture remains inside.

Finally, try using different headphones, earbuds or an external microphone to isolate whether the issue is specifically with the built-in phone microphone. The microphone may still work for recordings if the problem only affects phone calls.

Update Software

One of the most common reasons for a phone microphone to stop working is outdated software. Keeping the phone’s operating system and apps up-to-date can prevent and resolve microphone issues.

Check that your Android or iOS software is current by going to Settings > System > System Update (Android) or Settings > General > Software Update (iOS). Install any available OS updates. Also visit the Google Play Store or App Store to check for app updates and install those as well.

Software and app developers often release patches that fix bugs, like microphone glitches. According to a thread on the Android Central forums, updating to the latest OS version resolved microphone problems during calls for many users [1]. Keeping software completely up-to-date is one of the easiest troubleshooting steps to get a phone’s microphone working again.

Toggle Airplane Mode

One potential solution is to turn Airplane Mode on and off on your iPhone. According to discussions on the Apple Support Communities forum, toggling Airplane Mode can reset network connections and fix issues with call quality and microphone problems.

To toggle Airplane Mode on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap on Airplane Mode to switch it on
  3. Wait about 30 seconds
  4. Tap on Airplane Mode again to switch it off

Toggling Airplane Mode essentially reboots the network and wireless radios in your phone. This can reset any glitches or temporary connection issues that may be interfering with the microphone.

After toggling Airplane Mode on and off, test if the microphone is working properly again by making a phone call or voice memo. If the issue persists, you may need to try other troubleshooting steps.

Clear App Cache and Data

One potential cause of microphone issues during calls is a buildup of cached data in messaging and calling apps. Over time, cached data can become corrupted or overloaded, which can disrupt proper functioning of the microphone.

Try clearing the app cache and app data for apps you use to make calls or video chats, such as your phone’s default calling app, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Google Hangouts etc. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps on your phone.
  2. Select the messaging/calling app and tap Storage.
  3. Tap Clear Cache to clear the app cache.
  4. You can also tap Clear Data to reset the app to default settings (you may need to re-login).

Clearing the cached data forces the app to rebuild its data files and can resolve microphone glitches. Make sure to test the microphone in a call after clearing each app’s cache/data to check if the issue is fixed.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/17lnz5v/microphone_not_working_during_calls/

Check App Permissions

One common reason a phone’s microphone may stop working is if an app has been denied access to the microphone. Make sure any apps that need microphone access like messaging, calling, or voice assistant apps have the proper permissions enabled. On an iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone and make sure any important apps are toggled on to allow microphone access. On an Android, go to Settings > Apps & notifications > App permissions > Microphone and make sure necessary apps have permission to use the microphone. If a messaging, calling or voice app was inadvertently denied access, make sure to re-enable microphone access in the app permissions. Sometimes toggling permissions off and back on can also fix microphone issues if there’s a glitch.




Restart The Phone

One of the easiest and most effective fixes for a suddenly malfunctioning microphone is to simply restart the phone. Powering down and restarting the device essentially resets the phone and cleans out any temporary glitches or software issues that may be interfering with the microphone.

To restart an iPhone, hold down the side or top button until the power off slider appears. Drag the slider to power off the phone completely. Wait 30 seconds, then hold down the side or top button again until the Apple logo appears to restart the iPhone. For Android phones, hold down the power button for a few seconds until the power off options appear. Tap Restart and wait for the phone to fully reboot.

Restarting the phone resets running apps and services and clears any minor software issues that could be disrupting the microphone. After a restart, check if the microphone is working properly again in phone calls, voice recordings, and other audio apps. A simple restart fixes microphone problems surprisingly often.

If restarting the phone doesn’t restore microphone function, it’s likely there is a deeper hardware or software issue at play requiring more troubleshooting and investigation (source). However, a restart is a quick first step that often resolves microphone problems.

Reset Network Settings

One of the first troubleshooting steps to try for a microphone that suddenly stopped working is to reset the network settings back to default (Apple Discussions). While it may seem odd that resetting network settings could fix a microphone issue, the two systems are actually connected in iOS. Resetting network settings clears out any problematic network configurations that may be interfering with the device’s ability to properly power on the microphone.

To reset network settings, go to Settings > General > Reset and tap “Reset Network Settings.” This will restore all network settings like Wi-Fi passwords, cellular settings, and more back to their defaults. Once the reset is complete, reboot the iPhone. Many users have reported this simple reset resolved their microphone issues after iOS updates or other events disrupted the phone.

It’s a quick fix worth trying before diving into more complex troubleshooting. Just be prepared to re-enter any Wi-Fi passwords, custom APN settings, or other custom network configurations afterwards.

Check For Malware

One potential cause for a microphone suddenly stopping working is a malware or virus infection on your phone. Malware can sometimes access and disable certain phone features like the microphone without you realizing it. To check for malware, it’s a good idea to run a scan using anti-virus software like Norton or McAfee.

According to the Norton forums, some users have reported microphone issues arising after Norton driver updates that ended up being related to malware. Running a full system scan with your anti-virus software can detect and remove any malicious apps or files causing microphone problems.

Additionally, some Android malware variants have been known to mute the microphone in the background. So running an Android anti-malware app to scan for any potential infections is recommended if your Android phone’s mic stopped working suddenly without explanation.

Malware might not always be the issue, but it’s one potential cause worth checking. Run full anti-virus and anti-malware scans and remove anything suspicious detected. If your microphone begins working normally again after cleaning up infections, malware was likely the culprit.

Factory Reset

A factory reset should be used as a last resort when troubleshooting microphone issues, as it will erase all data and settings on the device and restore it to original factory conditions. Before performing a factory reset, it’s crucial to backup any important data, photos, videos, contacts, etc. that you want to keep. There are a few ways to backup a smartphone:

  • Sync the phone with a cloud service like Google Drive or iCloud.
  • Connect the phone to a computer and transfer files manually.
  • Use a backup app to create a local backup.

Once vital data is backed up, here are the steps to factory reset an Android device:

  1. Go to Settings > System > Reset options.
  2. Tap Erase all data (factory reset).
  3. Tap Reset phone.
  4. Tap Erase everything.

The device will reboot and restore to original factory settings, which should hopefully resolve any software-related microphone bugs. If the mic still doesn’t work after a factory reset, it’s likely a hardware issue that requires repair or replacement.

Hardware Repair/Replacement

If none of the previous troubleshooting steps resolve the microphone issue, the problem likely stems from a hardware malfunction that requires professional repair or replacement. Hardware issues can arise from physical damage, component failure, or general wear and tear over time.

To repair the microphone hardware, a technician will need to open up the phone and examine the internal components. Common fixes include:
– Reconnecting loose cables and connectors
– Cleaning microphone parts like the port or mesh filter
– Replacing the microphone module entirely

According to sources, microphone hardware replacement costs typically range from $80-$150 depending on the iPhone model. More extensive damage may increase the price. Apple quotes $279 for iPhone 11 mic replacement and $169 for iPhone 8.

To avoid microphone issues, handle your phone with care and keep it away from moisture and debris. But if the mic stops working, professional hardware repair/replacement may be the best solution.

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