Use of laptop line-in results in error message

Hi, I’ve got a huge problem when I want to use the line in on my laptop to make a stereo recording with Audacity.
The drivers are installed in my laptop, the line in feature shows up in the Audacity input select menu, but when I click on the level meter bar to monitor the incoming signal, I get nothing but the following error message:

“timestamp”: 1656420489,
“event_id”: “d253a2ee9a5abf4ca3bba2551bd36231”,
“platform”: “native”,
“release”: “audacity@3.1.3”,
“contexts”: {
“os”: {
“type”: “os”,
“name”: “Windows”,
“version”: “10.0.19044”
“exception”: {
“values”: [
“type”: “Error”,
“value”: “Error opening recording device.\nError code: -9996 Invalid device.”,
“mechanism”: {
“type”: “runtime_error”,
“handled”: false

I don’t know what this means nor do I know how to use this information to solve this issue.
I’ve already tried everything I could think of but without any result. Could it be a missing or disabled service that causes the problem?
The laptop device manager says that the device (the line in) is working properly.
I am afraid that I’m gonna loose my sanity if I can’t fix this. It makes me so god damn angry to keep trying things without any result.
Why, oh why doesn’t it work as advertised?

Thank you, Frank Heuvelman.

Additional information:
I’m using a ACER Aspire A-315 laptop with Windows 10 home version 21H2 running on it and my Audacity version is 3.1.3

Do you have permission to use the microphone? See: Turn on app permissions for your microphone in Windows 10 - Microsoft Support

I’m using a ACER Aspire A-315 laptop

Like MOST laptops it does NOT have a line input.

1 - Headphone/Speaker/Line-Out Jack

It’s probably a mic-in/headphone-out combo jack, but it doesn’t actually say “input” or “microphone”.

…The “current trend” a combo jack that works with regular headphones or a headset with a mic. The mic input is mono and it needs a special 4-terminal TRRS plug with the extra mic connection.

The [u]Berhinger UCA202[/u] is a popular and inexpensive USB audio interface with line-level RCA inputs. It is lacking a recording-level control. You can boost the volume after recording, but if the signal is too hot and you clip the analog-to-digital converter (in the interface) the analog signal has to be attenuated first. (I don’t own it and haven’t actually read about clipping problems with it.)

Or, there are lots of higher-end [u]USB Audio Interfaces[/u] with switchable mic/line inputs. Most of these have XLR/TRS combo jacks so you’d need an RCA adapter/cable. (Note that these don’t work with “computer mics”.)

Beware of regular “USB soundcards”. Most are like laptops with only mic-in and headphone out.

Thanks for the reply.
When I connect a mini jack-to-cinch to the computer, I get a menu that lets me choose the functionality of the connector.
I can chose whether it will function as a headphone output, a line output, a microphone input or a line input.
So you’re wrong about this laptop only having a headphone output. The connector is supposed to be multi functional and it actually does because when I choose the headphone output function, it works as a headphone output. When I select an input function, it stops working as an headphone or line output but apparently without switching on the line-in function.

I’ve got a Behringer UM2 device to feed my audio monitors. It has a XLR input for microphone and a standard jack input for instrument.
The jack input however is mono so I can not use it for stereo recording, despite most musical instrument having one stereo or 2 X mono line-out.

Thank you.

@ jademan

Thanks for the reply.

Audacity doesn’t show up in the list of apps I can activate the microphone for and like I said before, the hardware (Line-in function) seems to function properly according to the device manager.

It should. Note that Microsoft, in it’s infinite wisdom, thoughtfully confuses us with two lists: One for Microsoft Apps, the other for 3rd-party programs such as Audacity. Check the second list.

(I believe The device manager always has permission to use the microphone).

Note that jacks are frequently color-coded blue for line-in, pink for a microphone, green for line-out or headphones, and as DVDdoug states, you may not have a line-in port on this machine (although I am not sure why Device Manager would find it).