Almost every modern computer, laptop, or tablet has a built-in or external microphone. The rise of video conferences and remote work in 2020 also sparked more fear among users about potential hackers and privacy issues with having one more device with an always-on microphone. If you are a bit paranoid or simply want to protect your privacy, just in case, here is how you can disable the microphone in Windows 10.
How to Find Which App is Using Microphone in Windows?
If an app or Windows service is actively using your microphone, you will spot a mic icon in the tray area. Hovering the cursor over the icon will reveal what app is currently using the microphone. This works in Windows 10 and Windows 11 as well.
Note. Another common situation is when you hearing yourself on mic in Windows.
How to Turn off Computer Microphone in Windows 10?
The most effective way to disable a microphone in Windows 10 is to disconnect it from your computer. No power means no spying. That is not the problem if you have an external USB microphone. You just plug out the cable, and evil hackers can no longer listen to you talking.
Many external microphones also come with a dedicated mute button. That is a good way to disable the microphone in Windows 10.
If you have a non-removable mic, disconnecting it from a computer or a webcam is not possible. Still, you can disable the microphone in Windows 10 using built-in Windows tools. Alternatively, you can turn off your computer when not in use.
- Open Windows Settings and go to System > Sounds.
- Find the Input section and click the Manage sound devices link.
- In the Input Devices section, find your microphone and press on it.
- Press Disable.
Alternatively, you can revoke apps’ access to the microphone using the privacy settings.
- Go to Windows Settings > Privacy.
- Find the Microphone section in the list of sections.
- Turn off the Allow apps to access your microphone option.
Disable Microphone in Windows 10 Using the Control Panel
If you prefer managing your Windows settings from the old Control Panel, here is how to disable the microphone. This part of the article also applies to Windows 7 and Windows 8. Besides, you can use it to disable the microphone in Windows 11.
- Press Win + R and enter control.
- Go to Hardware and Sound > Sound.
- In a new window, go to the Recording tab.
- Find your microphone and right-click on it.
- Select Disable.
That is how to disable the microphone in Windows 10.
Turn Off Microphone in Windows 11
Now let us show you how to disable a microphone in Windows 11. The latter is steadily increasing its user base, which means there are many newcomers to the latest operating system from Microsoft.
There are several ways to disable a mic in Windows 11. You can do that in the Settings app, with a shortcut, or the PowerToys app.
Disable Microphone in Windows 11 Using the Settings App
- Press Win + I to open the Settings app.
- Go to System > Sound.
- Find the Input section and locate the Microphone button. The app should display your microphone below the “Microphone” sign. Click it.
- On the next page, click the Don’t Allow button. That will cut access to the microphone and prevent any application from using it. After that, your microphone will also disappear in the Settings app.
Disable Microphone in Windows 11: Shortcut Key
You can disable the microphone in Windows 11 using a dedicated shortcut, which is Win + Alt + K. Note that this shortcut only works in Microsoft Teams call. Fortunately, you can bypass that limitation and use a universal microphone mute shortcut for all apps in Windows 11 (also in Windows 10).
- Download and install the PowerToys app. You can get it from the Microsoft Store or GitHub.
- Launch the app as Administrator and go to the Video Conference Mute tab.
- Enable the Video Conference Mute tool.
- Find the Mute microphone shortcut and click the button with a pencil icon.
- Create your own shortcut or leave the default one.
- Now you can press the shortcut to enable or disable the microphone in Windows. The operating system will notify you about turning the mic on or off with a small banner in the bottom-right corner of the screen (you can change its position using settings in PowerToys).
That’s it. Now you know how to disable the microphone in Windows.