recording problem

all of a sudden I am not recording from my cassette player. instead it’s recording live sound from my laptop microphone. for example, me clapping my hands. what happened?

If you launched Audacity before connecting the device, shut down Audacity and restart it.

If that’s not the problem, try shutting down the computer, disconnect the USB device and visually check the lead and connector. Reboot the computer, and wait until it is fully started.
Then reconnect the USB lead and ensure that it is securely plugged in. You should be notified by Windows that it has identified the device and connected it.
Then launch Audacity and select the USB device as the recording input in the device toolbar.

(Perhaps worth mentioning that we have recently seen a lot of reports about cheap USB cassette / record players dying after only a few weeks, so if this is a fairly new device of that type, then it may be worth looking for your receipt just in case we can’t get you going).