Important activities on our iPad like FaceTime, calls, Siri, video/audio recording, dictation, third-party apps, and multiplayer gaming require a functioning microphone. However, it is really annoying when sometimes the microphone stops working with a specific app. If your iPad microphone is facing a similar issue, here’s how to fix it.
But before jumping to the solutions, take this quick test to diagnose the problem.
Note: The methods below will help fix mic problems caused due to software. If you recently dropped your iPad or it somehow has a hardware issue, please contact Apple Support.
Perform iPad microphone test
Before we move forward, it is essential to establish where the microphone problem lies. Is it limited to one or some particular apps? Or is it with all apps and services?
To check the iPad’s microphone:
- Open the Camera app and switch to video mode.
- Make sure you are recording from iPad’s back camera.
- Speak something and record a short video.
- Next, switch to the front iPad camera and record another video. Make sure you speak loudly.
Now, play these recorded videos. If you hear the audio, it is a sign of immense relief. This means the microphones have no hardware problem. We can fix it easily by following the solutions below.
Even if you do not hear the audio (make sure the volume isn’t on mute), try the fixes below before contacting Apple Support.
How to fix your iPad’s microphone
- Disconnect all Bluetooth devices
- Restart your iPad
- Check app’s microphone permission
- Clean the iPad microphones’ grills
- Get the iPad out of ‘stuck headphone mode’
- Update your iPad
- Reset All Settings
1. Disconnect all Bluetooth devices
Your wireless headphones are likely connected to the iPad, and thus, iPadOS is using the headset’s mic instead of the on-device microphones. To address this, open iPad Settings (or Control Center) and disconnect the device. You may also turn off Bluetooth.
Once this is done, try recording a video or using the iPad for the task that requires the microphone. It will work perfectly.
If this doesn’t help, move on to the next fix.
2. Restart your iPad
The microphone (and other such features) might temporarily stop working if you have not restarted your iPad in a long time. This is nothing to be worried about, as it’s a problem that any device might pick up during regular use.
To fix this, use the power button to turn off your iPad and turn it back on after a minute. You can also head over to the Settings app → General → Shut Down.
3. Check app’s microphone permission
As a privacy measure, I never permit unnecessary apps to access my iPad’s (or iPhone’s) microphone (or camera, photos, etc.) If you denied an app the mic access when asked but now need to use the app’s feature that requires it, here is how to enable that.
- Open iPad Settings and tap Privacy.
- Tap Microphone.
- Enable the switch next to the concerned app name.
- Another Method: Tap the app’s name in the Settings app and enable the switch for Microphone.
4. Clean the iPad microphones’ grills
First, make sure you remove any poorly designed case, cover, screen protector, etc., that covers the microphones wholly or partially.
Next, use a soft dry brush to clean the iPad microphone’s grills carefully.
Caution: Do not insert metal pins or anything similar to clean these. Be careful.
Initial models of iPad had one microphone, relatively modern ones have two, and the latest iPad Pro 2021 has a total of five studio-quality microphones. Use the images below to locate the microphone grills. (All image source: Apple)
Even if the diagram for your exact iPad model is not included above, you can get an idea of the microphone placement by referring to these images.
5. Get the iPad out of ‘stuck headphone mode’
If you use wired earphones with your iPad (be it in the 3.5mm jack, Lightning port, or USB-C port), in rare times, your iPad may get stuck in headphone mode.
In this, even after you have unplugged the wired earphones, the iPad still thinks they are connected to one and may assume to take audio input from those mics instead of its own.
We have a separate guide that shows you how to fix this weird problem.
6. Update your iPad
It is recommended that you have the latest version of iPadOS on your device. This ensures the best performance Apple has to offer. Head over to Settings, tap General, and then Software Update to get the most recent version of iPadOS available for your device.
7. Reset All Settings
Finally, if nothing helps, consider resetting all settings. This won’t delete any personal stuff like photos, music, apps, etc. But all the settings you have changed or altered, like keyboard, location, Wi-Fi, etc., will reset to the default state.
To do this, open iPad Settings → General → Reset → Reset All Settings.
Are you using a 2020 or later iPad model with a case?
As a privacy measure, iPads launched in 2020 and later feature the hardware microphone disconnect option. This means that when you close the iPad case lid (cases by Apple or MFI certified), the microphones are disconnected.
In short, when the iPad case is closed, the microphones won’t record anything. So, if you were trying to record your college lecture with the case closed, it won’t work. Make sure you keep it open.
Additional info: The same is also found on MacBooks with T2 security chip introduced in 2018 and later.
These were the solutions to make your iPad microphone work again. I hope one or a combination of a few methods mentioned above helped you fix the problem. If you have additional queries, please ask using the comments section below.
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