Chromebooks are not known as hardware powerhouses but they are probably the most convenient laptop/hybrid devices in this era of online conferencing and video calling. Most of them come with a built-in microphone and web camera so you can either use web clients or Android apps to make video calls without additional hardware. However, some users report that they can’t seem to make the microphone work. For some of them, the Chromebook microphone is not working at all and there are no clear indications of why is this the case.
Learn how to fix this problem with the instructions below. Also, before taking any steps that will delete your data (Powerwash and USB Recovery Utility), we suggest saving all local data to Google Drive or external storage.
Table of contents:
- Test the microphone
- Check with the Enterprise admin
- Reset Hardware
- Powerwash or reset your Chromebook with a Recovery USB
How to fix your Chromebook microphone
If your Chromebook microphone is not working, make sure to:
- Check the settings for individual websites and apps.
- Confirm that your microphone is not blocked by an Enterprise policy.
- Reset the hardware with the combination of Refresh+Power buttons.
- Or perform Powerwash/use USB Recovery Utility to reset your Chromebook completely.
1. Test the microphone on your Chromebook
Although this might be a system-wide problem, maybe the mic is blocked on certain websites only or in certain apps. So, the first thing you should do is test out your microphone on different websites or apps and see if you can single out apps/websites that don’t have microphone access.
To enable a microphone on a website in Chrome, open the website and click on the padlock icon in the address bar, and open Site settings. You should see the list of permissions. Under Microphone, select Allow. On the other hand, if you want to allow microphone access in Android apps on your Chromebook, you need to open Settings > Apps > Manage your apps. After that, select an app from the list and grant Microphone access.
2. Check with the Enterprise admin
This one is important. If your Chromebook is assigned to an Enterprise (e.g. school, workplace), the admin might’ve disabled microphone (microphone and camera access are blocked in many educational institutions) access on your device. There’s no way to do anything about this other than contact the admin and ask for permission to use the microphone.
This is especially problematic if you get a used Chromebook that’s not being cleared. We are not aware of any ways to remove the Enterprise enrollment so make sure to contact your seller as soon as possible and ask for a replacement.
3. Reset Hardware
If you don’t need to worry about the previous step we mentioned, but the Chromebook microphone is still not working for you, you can try the hardware reset. This procedure is fairly simple and, in theory, it should reset hardware peripherals including the microphone.
To reset or refresh the hardware on your Chromebook, you first need to turn it off. After that, press and hold the Refresh button and the Power button together until you see the splash screen. You can release the Refresh button after that but keep holding the Power button until the end of the boot sequence.
4. Powerwash or reset your Chromebook with a Recovery USB
Finally, you can go for the Powerwash (Factory reset) or use a Recovery USB and the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension to restore the system. If none of that two help, make sure to take your device to service because the problem might be on the hardware side.
Before you go through with the Powerwash, make sure to back up all locally-stored files. After you’ve dealt with that, navigate to Settings > Advanced > Reset settings and click Reset. For instructions on Recovery USB creation and use, check this article.
That should do it. Thank you for reading what was, hopefully, an informative article that solved your problem Chromebook microphone not working. If you have any questions or suggestions, make sure to share them with us in the comments section below.