I am a newby! Can’t figure out how to record. When I clicked the record button, got a failure notice. Went to Preferences and it said it could not find a recording device. Guess my computer does not have a mic (10-12 year old Dell). If so, what do I do about that???

my computer does not have a mic (10-12 year old Dell)

That’s not likely. If it’s a laptop it almost certainly has a microphone and if it’s a deskside, it has a soundcard unless you built the machine yourself.

Windows likes to hide devices and services, at least in the later versions. You have to find your microphone in Windows before you even start Audacity.

Doing it this early on is a little beyond me. I’m a Mac elf, but we did write about first recordings.


I am not a computer person, so how do you go about finding a mic or soundcard in Windows — assuming there is one

You have to enable the mic and and any other other devices that the sound card has in the Windows sound control panels.

It would have helped us if you had stated your version of Audacity and version of Windows (see the pink panel at the top of this page).

Please see here for how to use the Windows sound panels in Vista and later Missing features - Audacity Support or here for Windows 2000 or XP Missing features - Audacity Support.

If your computer is that old, it probably has Windows XP and a CD with drivers on it. Try installing the audio drivers from the CD then rebooting. Have you just acquired this computer second-hand from someone?