iPhone Microphone Not Working: 6 Possible Reasons and Fixes

Nicholas Russell
By Nicholas Russell 15 Min Read
15 Min Read

Are you struggling with your iPhone’s microphone that just won’t work? It’s like trying to talk with your phone on mute, right? Well, I’ve been in the same boat with my iPhone 13. But guess what? I figured it out.

Turns out, there are six main reasons why your iPhone might be giving you the silent treatment. These reasons range from something as simple as a dust bunny party to more complex issues like a hardware hiccup.

In my case, the culprit was my phone case – it was sneakily covering the bottom microphone! But for you, it might be a different story. So, if you’re ready to play detective and solve the microphone mystery on your iPhone, keep your eyes on this article. I’m going to walk you through each of these six reasons and show you how to fix them. Let’s turn that silent iPhone into a chatty buddy again! Keep reading if you’re all about getting that microphone back in action! 🕵️‍♂️📱

Mic Testing

Before we jump into solving the mystery of your silent iPhone mic, let’s figure out how to test it properly. Did you know your iPhone has not one, not two, but three microphones? They’re like a little team: one at the bottom, one at the back, and another at the front. Let’s check if they’re all playing their part!

Testing the Bottom Mic: The Voice Memos Method

  1. Open the ‘Voice Memos’ App: It’s like your iPhone’s personal sound recorder.
  2. Record a Test: Hit the red button and say something into the bottom of your iPhone. Think of it like talking to a tiny friend living inside your phone.
  3. Play it Back: Stop the recording and play it. How does it sound? Clear as a bell or more like you’re underwater?

Testing the Back and Front Mics: The Camera App Technique

  1. Camera App, Here We Come: Open your Camera app; it’s showtime for your iPhone’s other mics.
  2. Record a Video: Hit record and speak to the top of your iPhone. Pretend you’re a vlogger for a second.
  3. Switcheroo: Flip the camera and do it all over again. It’s like taking selfies, but with your voice!
  4. Playback Time: Watch your mini-movies. Did your voice star or was it more of a silent film?

If you can hear yourself loud and clear, you’re golden. But if it’s more mime than rhyme, one or all of your mics might be on a coffee break. Now, let’s figure out why and how to get them back to work! 🕵️‍♂️🎤📱

Possible Reason #1: Dust Buildup

Think about all the places your iPhone has been with you. Your pocket, your bag… it’s like a mini world tour! But guess what? On this tour, it might have picked up some uninvited guests: dust bunnies. They could be having a party right in the microphone grill, blocking your voice from getting through.

How to Evict Dust Bunnies:

  • Toothbrush to the Rescue: Grab a clean, dry toothbrush. Gently brush the microphone grill. It’s like giving your iPhone a mini spa treatment.
  • Compressed Air Can Trick: If you’ve got one, lightly spray around the microphone opening. But be gentle! Blasting air right into the mic is like a hurricane for those tiny parts.

Don’t Forget the Accomplices: Your phone case or screen protector might be the secret hideout for these dust bunnies. Check if they’re blocking the microphone holes, especially at the bottom. Sometimes, the villain is hiding in plain sight!

Possible Reason #2: Software Glitches

Sometimes, apps throw a fit and decide they don’t want to play nice with your microphone. If you notice the mic acting up with specific apps like Facebook or Viber, try giving those apps a restart. It’s like a little nap for them.

Close All Tabs: Got a million tabs open in your browser? It’s time for a tab-closing party. It can help reset things and might just wake up your microphone.

The Classic Turn Off and On Again:

  • Restart Your iPhone: It’s the old faithful of tech fixes.
  • Force Restart: If the normal restart doesn’t cut it, a force restart is like a gentle shake to say, “Hey, wake up!”

Check for Updates: Your iPhone might be living in the past with an old iOS version. This can cause bugs, including mic troubles. Here’s how to check:

  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • See if any updates are waving at you. Download them if they are. It’s like giving your iPhone a fresh coat of paint!

Now that we’ve talked about dust and software, are you ready to explore more reasons why your iPhone mic might be taking a silent retreat? Let’s dive deeper!

Possible Reason #3: Faulty Accessories

Do you love decking out your iPhone with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos? If yes, one of them might be the sneaky reason behind your microphone woes. Sometimes, your iPhone gets a little too cozy with an external mic from an accessory, leading to muffled or grainy sound quality.

How to Fix It:

  • Unplug Everything: Start by removing any physical accessories.
  • Turn Off Bluetooth: Swipe down from the top-right corner to open the Control Center and give that Bluetooth icon a tap to turn it off.
  • Manual Disconnect: Want to be extra sure?
    • Head to Settings > Bluetooth.
    • Under My Devices, tap on any accessory to disconnect.
    • Hit the ‘i’ icon and choose Forget This Device to prevent automatic reconnections.

Possible Reason #4: Phone Noise Cancellation

If you’re rocking an iPhone 12 or an older model, there’s a feature called Phone Noise Cancellation. It’s like a superhero that tries to keep background noise out of your calls. But sometimes, it ends up being a little too overprotective and messes with your mic.

Turning Off the Superhero:

  • Dive into Settings: Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual.
  • Toggle Off the Hero: Find Phone Noise Cancellation and switch it off.
  • Reboot and Test: After turning it off, give your iPhone a quick restart. Then, make a test call to see if your mic has come back to life.

Are these reasons helping you get closer to solving the mystery? There’s more to uncover, so let’s keep going and find out what else might be muting your iPhone!

Possible Reason #5: App Permissions

Have you noticed your microphone playing hide and seek with just one app? It might be a simple case of the app being too shy (or not allowed) to use your iPhone’s microphone. When you first downloaded the app, it might have asked for microphone access, and maybe you said ‘No’ by accident.

How to Give the Green Light:

  • Settings Adventure: Head to Settings > Privacy > Microphone.
  • Find the Shy App: If the app you’re having trouble with is listed here, it’s just waiting for your permission.
  • Flip the Switch: Toggle it on and let the app break its silence.

Dealing with Restrictions: If you’ve set up some privacy boundaries on your iPhone, you might need to loosen them a bit.

  • Screen Time Path: Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Microphone.
  • Allow Changes: Tap on Allow Changes.
  • Back to Privacy: Now, return to Privacy & Security > Microphone and you should be able to grant mic access to your chosen apps.

Possible Reason #6: Faulty Hardware

If your iPhone has had a bit of a rough time (think drops or liquid spills), the microphone issue might be a hardware problem. Unfortunately, this is like having a toothache – you can’t really fix it at home.

The Professional Touch:

  • Local Repair Shop: Look around for a trustworthy repair shop that can diagnose and fix hardware issues.
  • Contact Apple Support: They’re like the doctors for your iPhone. Reach out to them for professional advice and solutions.


Give yourself a big round of applause! 🎉 You’ve navigated through all six possible reasons and their fixes like a pro. If your iPhone’s mic is still giving you the silent treatment, it’s time to call in the experts at Apple Support. They’re your go-to team for these tech mysteries. Remember, sometimes it takes a village (or a support team) to bring back the voice to your iPhone!


Dealing with a non-working microphone on your iPhone can feel like trying to talk through a wall – frustrating and unproductive, right? It gets in the way of chatting with friends, family, or even sorting out work calls. But don’t worry, you’re now equipped with all the possible fixes to tackle this issue head-on.

A Quick Recap: We’ve explored a variety of reasons – from sneaky dust buildups to shy apps not asking for permission. You’ve learned how to give your iPhone a mini clean-up, manage those app permissions, and even dive into settings for some techy tweaks.

When It’s Time to Call the Pros: Sometimes, despite our best efforts, things might still be a bit quiet on the microphone front. If you’ve walked through every step and still find yourself in silence, it could be a sign of a more serious hardware issue. Think about any recent accidents – a swim in the sink or a tumble down the stairs. These incidents could lead to internal damage, like a broken circuit.

Reaching Out for Help: In these cases, it’s best to turn to the experts at Apple Support. They’re like the detectives in tech mysteries, ready to dive in and get to the bottom of the issue. Whether it’s liquid damage or something else, they have the tools and know-how to diagnose and fix your iPhone.

You’ve made it through the troubleshooting journey! By following the steps in this article, you’ve given your iPhone the best chance to find its voice again. And remember, if all else fails, Apple Support is just a call or click away. Here’s to hoping your iPhone’s microphone sings loud and clear once more! 📱🔊🎉


What are the common causes for an iPhone microphone not working?

This article discusses six possible reasons: dust buildup, software glitches, issues with connected accessories, phone noise cancellation (specific to certain models), app permissions, and potential hardware damage.

How can I test if my iPhone’s microphone is working properly?

You can test the different microphones (bottom, back, and front) using the Voice Memos app and the Camera app by recording and playing back audio and video.

What should I do if there’s dust buildup in my iPhone’s microphone?

Use a clean, dry toothbrush to gently clean the microphone grill. Optionally, you can use a compressed air can, but be careful not to blow directly into the microphone.

How can software glitches affect my iPhone’s microphone, and what’s the fix?

Software glitches can prevent the microphone from working properly. Solutions include relaunching apps, closing browser tabs, restarting your iPhone, performing a force restart, and updating iOS.

What steps should I take if my microphone doesn’t work with a specific app?

Check if the app has permission to access the microphone by going to Settings > Privacy > Microphone. You may also need to adjust Screen Time settings to allow changes in microphone access.

What should I do if I suspect hardware damage to my iPhone’s microphone?

If troubleshooting doesn’t fix the issue and you suspect hardware damage (possibly from a fall or liquid contact), it’s recommended to contact Apple Support or visit a local repair shop for professional assistance.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *