How Do I Get My Microphone Back On My Keyboard

by Matthew David | Updated: 09/13/2023

How Do I Get My Microphone Back On My Keyboard

Have you ever tried using voice typing or voice commands on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop only to find the microphone icon missing from your on-screen keyboard? Not being able to dictate text and chat messages can be super frustrating!

But don’t worry, it’s usually an easy fix. In this handy guide, I’ll walk you through the common reasons the microphone vanishes and the simple steps to get it back so you can start speaking text again.

Whether you’re on an iPhone, Android, Windows, or Mac, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in and resolve those mic issues!

Troubleshooting Microphone Problems on Android

If your Android keyboard suddenly loses the ability to record your voice for text dictation or voice commands, here are some things you can try to get the microphone icon back:

Double Check Keyboard App Permissions

The most obvious reason your Android keyboard can’t access the microphone is if you previously disabled permission.

To check, go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > App Permissions > Microphone and make sure the keyboard app has permission enabled. If not, tap the switch to turn on microphone access.

Toggle Voice Typing Settings

Even if the keyboard app has permission, the voice typing function itself may have gotten disabled.

Go into your keyboard app settings (look for a settings/gear icon on the keyboard itself) and look for a setting like “Voice typing” or “Google voice typing” and ensure it’s switched on.

You may need to restart your phone for the change to fully take effect.

Update or Reinstall Keyboard App

App issues like a disappeared microphone can sometimes be fixed by installing the latest app updates.

Open the Play Store, go to Manage Apps & Devices > Updates Available and install any pending updates for your keyboard.

If that doesn’t work, uninstall and reinstall the keyboard app altogether. After reinstalling, remember to re-enable microphone permissions.

Restart Your Android Device

An old fashioned restart or power cycle can work wonders for odd app glitches and bugs.

Press and hold the power button on your Android until the “Power off” prompt appears. Tap it to shut down your device.

Wait 30 seconds, then restart your phone and open your keyboard app again to see if the microphone icon returns.

Use Safe Mode to Isolate the Issue

Booting your Android into Safe Mode temporarily disables all third-party apps and services. This can help determine if the issue stems from a keyboard conflict versus a deeper system problem.

To enable Safe Mode, press and hold the power button and tap Restart. When you see the brand logo during reboot, press and hold Volume Down until you see “Safe mode” in the bottom left.

If the microphone icon appears in Safe Mode, then a third-party app conflict is likely causing the problem in normal mode.

Reset App Preferences

If your keyboard starts acting buggy, resetting app preferences often helps restore normal function. Go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > Advanced > Reset app preferences and confirm.

This will reset all app settings and permissions without losing your app data. After resetting preferences, check if the microphone returns on your keyboard.

Getting the Microphone Icon Back on iPhone and iPad

On iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, here are some handy troubleshooting tips if you lose microphone access on your on-screen keyboard:

Confirm Siri Permissions

For the keyboard to use your microphone for dictation and voice commands, Siri permissions need to be enabled.

Go to Settings > Siri & Search and make sure Listen for “Hey Siri” and Press Home for Siri are switched on. If Siri itself can’t access the mic, the keyboard won’t be able to either.

Toggle Keyboard Settings

Like on Android, make sure the dictation feature didn’t get disabled on your iOS keyboard.

Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Enable Dictation and ensure the switch is turned on.

Update iOS Software and Keyboard

Having the latest iOS version and keyboard app is key to avoiding bugs.

Install any pending iOS updates via Settings > General > Software Update. Also update your iPhone or iPad keyboard by going to the App Store > Updates > Update next to Apple Keyboard.

Soft Reset iPhone

If a simple app re-launch doesn’t work, try forcing your iPhone to restart.

Press and release the Volume Up button. Press and release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the  appear on screen.

This will restart your phone without erasing any data. Check if the microphone is restored after the reset.

Reset Keyboard Dictionary

Over time, keyboard dictionaries can get corrupted leading to odd issues.

To reset the dictionary, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Keyboard Dictionary. This will wipe learned words and start fresh which often fixes stuck keyboards.

Resolving Microphone Problems on Windows Laptops

On Windows laptops, here are some effective troubleshooting steps if your on-screen keyboard loses microphone access needed for dictation and voice typing:

Verify Microphone Privacy Settings

Like on mobile, make sure microphone access didn’t get disabled in Windows privacy settings.

Go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone and confirm the toggle under “Allow access to the microphone on this device” is switched to On.

Update or Reinstall Keyboard Software

Keyboard apps on Windows can start glitching if they aren’t up-to-date.

Go to Microsoft Store > Library > Check for Updates and install any pending ones. If that doesn’t fix it, try uninstalling and reinstalling the keyboard software altogether.

Run Windows Troubleshooter

Windows has a built-in troubleshooting wizard that can automatically detect issues with the microphone and attempt repairs.

Go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional Troubleshooters > Recording Audio and run the troubleshooter. Follow the prompts to diagnose and fix microphone problems.

Disable/Re-Enable Microphone Device

If Windows recognizes the physical microphone but isn’t properly routing sound input to apps, re-enabling the device may help.

Open Device Manager > Audio inputs and outputs > Right-click microphone device > Disable. Then right-click again and select Enable to restart the mic.

Roll Back Recent Windows Updates

Problematic Windows Updates can sometimes break things like microphone access.

Go to Settings > Update & Security > View Update History and select Uninstall Updates. Look for any recent problematic updates to remove such as driver or platform updates.

Fixing Microphone Issues on MacBooks

If the microphone goes missing on your MacBook keyboard, here are some things to try:

Verify macOS Privacy Settings

Like iOS and Windows, macOS has its own privacy settings that can block the microphone.

Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy tab > Microphone and confirm it’s checked on for keyboard apps.

Reset Keyboard Settings

Buggy keyboard apps can often be fixed by resetting them to factory defaults.

Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Modifier Keys and click Restore Defaults. Then test the keyboard mic again.

Update macOS and Keyboard

Having the latest macOS and keyboard software prevents bugs.

Go to System Preferences > Software Update and install any macOS updates. Also update your keyboard by going to App Store > Updates and clicking Update next to Apple Keyboard.

Then restart your MacBook and test the microphone again.

Conclusion

Hopefully with those troubleshooting tips you can get your missing microphone icon back and start voice typing, commanding, and dictating again on your mobile and laptop keyboards!

The key is checking app permissions, toggling voice input settings, doing software updates, restarting your device, and resetting things to factory defaults.

With some methodical testing and patience, you should be able to get your keyboard mic working again in no time. Just follow the steps for your specific device. Happy talking!