How to Turn Off the Microphone in Windows 10 in 5 Seconds

Saikat Basu 03-04-2017

Today, surveillance techniques exist that can activate your webcam or microphone without your knowledge. In 2011, New York Times wrote about the spyware antics of the German Police. They also reported on the flourishing industry of spy tech firms that would look at home in a Jason Bourne movie.


In short: any interface device like a microphone or a webcam is a privacy concern Your Computer’s Microphone is a Privacy Concern – Here’s Why What if your privacy was being invaded without your knowledge? There are many reasons why you should disable or cover your webcam, but what risk does your computer's built-in microphone pose? Read More .

The tried-and-true hack of using tape works for webcams, but not for microphones. Therefore, you need to disable the microphone altogether. However, this technique will not work if someone has deployed a RAT to attack your machine.

Disabling the microphone has other everyday uses beyond privacy — for instance, to block it from picking up any noise at all while trying to record something. Also, it could be a barrier against websites which ask permission to use your microphone or camera.

Disable the Microphone in Windows 10

Right-click on the Start Button and open Device Manager.

In the Device Manager window, expand the Audio inputs and outputs section and you will see your Microphone listed there as one of the interfaces. Right click on Microphone and select Disable.

How to Turn Off the Microphone in Windows 10 in 5 Seconds Windows Mic

A dialog box will prompt with a warning. Click on Yes, and now your mic will not function. You can follow the same steps to Enable it again.

This straightforward method also works in Windows 8 and 7. (It’s also easy to block the camera and microphone on your Mac The Best Ways to Block Your Camera and Microphone on a Mac Covering your Mac's webcam is important for privacy. Here are several old-school and new ways to secure your webcam. Read More after the Mojave update.)

I had an old laptop that would not disable the internal mic by default when I plugged in an external microphone. Disabling the microphone from the Device Manager helped resolve the conflict.

Explore more about: Computer Privacy, Microphones, Troubleshooting.

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  1. ALowe
    July 18, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Disabling the microphone in Device Manager had no effect on my Windows 10 laptop though I still recommend doing that.
    But you also need to do this:

    Right click Speaker icon in notification area (bottom right by the time/date)
    Open Sound Settings
    Click Manage Sound Devices under any volume slider
    Click Internal Mic and then Disable
    Still in Sound Settings, scroll to the bottom and select Microphone Privacy Settings
    Under Microphone Access For This Device, at the top, click change
    Turn it off.

  2. R
    May 21, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    This did not work on my laptop computer. The microphone was disabled in Device Manager and was still active and caused feedback on a call where we were using a speakerphone next to the computer. You have to go to the Windows "Sound" application, "Recording" tab. First, right-click on one of icons to make sure "Show Disabled Devices" is checked, that way you can see the microphone icon when it's disabled. Then right-click the microphone icon to disable it.