Audacity Microphone Issue

My Audacity software - 2.3.1 - is not picking up sound from my external mic, which plugs into the jack on the front of my Dell laptop. It picks up the built-in mic just fine.

I’ve seen that some people had issues with the Windows 10 privacy settings, but everything was set where it should be when I checked. I disabled the built-in and selected external as default, still no luck.

Audacity worked fine this morning (3/27/19) but after Windows updates today, no luck.

If anyone has a tip, it would be greatly appreciated.


After spending three hours in chat with Microsoft with no improvement, I decided to spring for an upgraded USB mic. I haven’t had the time to check it yet, but I’ll update after I have.

Sorry if you’ve already checked this stuff, but here it is:

  1. Make sure your external mic is selected in the Mic drop down window in Audacity.
    If the external mic isn’t shown then it might be a Windows Permission/Privacy issue.

  2. In Windows, select Settings, Privacy and Microphone to make sure your new mic has “permission” to interact with your computer.

Mic issues seem to be growing with each new update of Windows. It can be very frustrating.

Hope this helps.

Mic issues seem to be growing with each new update of Windows.

Are you sure it’s a microphone connection? If the connection is for a headset, then it’s expecting a really magic combination of metal rings in the plug and last check, they’re completely backwards from an analog computer microphone.

“Who wants a microphone? I want to use a headset and Skype to my sister in Schenectady.”

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 18.30.05.png
This is a common headset.

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