Why is my mic not working on Google Hangout?

Google Hangouts is a popular video conferencing and communication platform developed by Google. It allows users to make video calls, send instant messages, and collaborate in real time. One common issue users face is mic problems during calls, where the microphone is not working or detected by Hangouts.

Having an audio issue can be frustrating, as it inhibits effective communication. Not being heard or able to speak makes video conferencing pointless. This article will dive into the various reasons why your mic may not be working in Google Hangouts calls and provide potential solutions to get it functioning again.

Common Causes

There are several common reasons why a microphone may not work properly during a Google Hangouts call:

  • The microphone is muted – Double check that the mic is not muted in the Hangouts call, your operating system sound settings, or your physical mic switch.
  • Incorrect microphone selected – Make sure Hangouts is using the correct microphone input device.
  • Microphone not plugged in or connected – If using an external USB or bluetooth mic, check that it is properly connected.
  • Outdated audio drivers – Updating your audio drivers can fix compatibility issues.
  • Browser permissions blocked – Browsers like Chrome need permission to access your microphone, which could be disabled.
  • Hardware failure – Faulty cables, mics, or audio jacks can prevent proper mic input.

Troubleshooting your specific hardware setup and Hangouts settings is key to resolving most microphone problems.

Mic Settings

One common issue with mics not working in Google Hangouts is that the mic settings or permissions are not properly configured in your operating system or web browser. To check your mic settings on a Windows computer, open the Sound control panel and go to the Recording tab. Make sure your microphone is enabled and set as the Default Device. You may also need to check your privacy settings or microphone permissions in your browser. In Chrome, click the lock icon > Site Settings > Microphone and make sure Google Hangouts has permission to access your microphone.

Hardware Issues

Faulty or incompatible hardware like microphones, cables, and audio interfaces can prevent your mic from working properly in Google Hangouts. Some common hardware-related issues include:

  • Faulty or low-quality microphones that aren’t properly capturing audio input.
  • Broken audio cables or ports resulting in no audio transmission.
  • Incompatible external audio interfaces that aren’t configured correctly.
  • Issues with your computer’s built-in mic caused by hardware failure or damage.
  • Using a microphone designed for other applications that doesn’t properly interface with Hangouts.

To troubleshoot, first try using different microphones and cables to isolate the issue. Check your computer’s mic port for any damage or debris. If using an external audio interface, check that it’s installed properly and configured to work with Hangouts according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can also try updating related drivers for your hardware. But ultimately, you may need to replace any failing mics, cables, or interfaces to get your audio input functioning again.

As covered on Super User, faulty hardware like mics and cables are some of the most common fixes for Hangouts mic issues.

Browser Permissions

Allowing Google Hangouts to access your microphone and camera through browser permissions is critical. You may see an alert from your web browser (such as Chrome or Safari) indicating that the Hangouts site wants to access your microphone. You need to allow this access in your browser settings or you will not be heard on calls.

According to Google Meet’s support page, you may see a “blocked microphone” or “blocked camera” icon if your browser blocks access. To enable, click on the lock or blocked icon in the browser bar and choose to allow access to microphone and camera. You can also adjust these permissions in your browser settings. For Chrome, go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Site Settings > Additional Permissions > Use the Camera or Microphone.

Network Issues

One common cause of microphone issues in Google Hangouts is network-related problems. Firewalls, VPNs, and other network devices can sometimes block access to the microphone. This often occurs because Hangouts uses WebRTC technology that requires opening certain ports and enabling connections through networks. Some corporate networks or public WiFi networks may intentionally block these ports as a security measure.

For example, VPN software can sometimes disable access to the mic without informing the user. The VPN may block the necessary WebRTC connections Hangouts relies on. Similarly, some firewalls and routers may not have the proper ports opened and configured to allow Hangouts microphone traffic through.

To resolve this, try disabling the VPN temporarily and connecting directly to the local network. Or check with your network administrator to ensure the necessary ports are opened for WebRTC traffic. Refer to Google’s recommendations for the required network settings to enable Hangouts. In some cases, you may need to add exceptions to firewalls and routers for the Hangouts domain and WebRTC protocols.

Additionally, weak or unstable internet connectivity can also cause the microphone to cut in and out. Check that you have a strong, high-bandwidth connection when using Hangouts for best performance.

Hangouts Settings

One potential cause of microphone issues in Google Hangouts is incorrect or outdated settings in the Hangouts app or website. You should review your Hangouts audio and video settings to ensure everything is configured properly.

On the Google Hangouts website, click on the settings icon and go to the “Audio & Video” tab. Make sure your microphone is selected as the input device and the volume is turned up sufficiently. Test your mic using the “Test mic” feature.

In the Hangouts mobile app, go to your profile and open settings. Under “Audio & Video calls,” check that the correct microphone is selected and permissions are enabled for the Hangouts app to access your microphone.

You may also want to adjust the “Voice & video quality” setting in Hangouts. Setting this to “High definition” can sometimes resolve mic issues.

If your mic works in other applications but not Hangouts, the problem is likely with Hangouts settings specifically. Going through and double checking the audio configurations can help identify and fix the problem.

For additional troubleshooting tips, refer to Google’s guide on troubleshooting Hangouts audio and video issues.

WebRTC Issues

WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is the technology that enables real-time communication capabilities in the browser without requiring users to install plugins. This allows applications like Google Hangouts to offer features like voice chat without needing additional software.

With regards to Google Hangouts, WebRTC handles all the audio and video communication between users. Any issues with microphone functionality in Hangouts likely stem from problems with WebRTC being able to access the microphone input.

Some common WebRTC-related problems that can cause microphone issues in Hangouts include:

  • Browser permissions blocking access to the microphone
  • Incompatible browsers that don’t fully support WebRTC
  • VPNs, firewalls, proxies etc. interfering with WebRTC connections
  • Hardware issues with the microphone setup
  • WebRTC bugs in the browser or Hangouts app

Troubleshooting WebRTC issues would involve going through these potential causes one-by-one to identify and resolve the problem. Reaching out to Hangouts support teams can also help diagnose where in the WebRTC pipeline the problem lies.

Overall, while extremely useful, WebRTC does add more components that can fail and cause microphone issues in Hangouts calls/meetings.

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/33548517/webrtc-chrome-microphone-not-working

Contacting Support

If you are still experiencing microphone issues in Google Hangouts after trying the troubleshooting tips, you may need to contact Google Support directly for further assistance. There are a few options to get in touch with their support team:

  • Search for the Hangouts contact number on the Google Support page and call them.
  • Initiate a live chat by clicking “Contact Us” at the bottom of the Hangouts page you are using.
  • Send feedback directly from Hangouts by clicking “Send feedback” in the left-hand menu.

When contacting Google Support, be prepared to provide details about when the microphone issue started occurring, what troubleshooting steps you have already tried, specifics about your computer setup, and any error messages you may be seeing. The more information you can provide, the better equipped they will be to resolve your microphone problems.

Note that response times may vary depending on your Hangouts product/subscription level. But rest assured the Google Support team aims to respond as quickly as possible.


In this article about troubleshooting Google Hangouts microphone issues, we covered:

  • Checking your mic settings and hardware issues to ensure your microphone is functioning properly and enabled for Hangouts.

  • Checking browser permissions to make sure Hangouts has access to use your mic.

  • Checking for network issues like firewalls or VPNs that may block access to your mic.

  • Adjusting Hangouts settings to select the correct microphone and enable permissions.

  • Troubleshooting issues with WebRTC, which handles media streaming in Hangouts.

  • Contacting Google support if all else fails.

Hopefully by following some of these troubleshooting steps, you will be able to successfully enable your microphone in Google Hangouts. Reach out to official support channels if problems persist.

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