7 Fixes for Mac Mini Microphone Input Not Working

Mac product expectations are at an all-time high for performance, design, and user experience. However, in this era of high expectations, you might face some hiccups along the way. One common issue is with the microphone on the Mac Mini—sometimes it just doesn’t work as expected. 

In this article, we’ll explore the easy and effective ways to tackle this specific challenge: fixing the microphone on your Mac Mini. 

So, let’s start! 

How to Fix Mac Mini Microphone Not Working

Now, let’s dive into methods to fix the Mac Mini microphone issue and make sure your Mac Mini stays top-notch.

Method 1: Check System Preferences:

Navigating through your Mac’s settings can often resolve microphone issues. Follow these steps to ensure that your audio input settings are configured correctly.

Open System Preferences:

Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen to open the Apple menu.

Select “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu.

Access Sound Settings:

In the System Preferences window, locate and click on the “Sound” icon. It resembles a speaker.

Go to Input Tab:

Within the Sound settings, you’ll find multiple tabs at the top. Click on the “Input” tab. This is where you manage your audio input devices.

Select the Correct Microphone:

In the Input tab, you’ll see a list of available input devices, including built-in and external microphones. Ensure that the correct microphone is selected.

If you’re using an external microphone, make sure it’s properly connected to your Mac Mini. The connected microphone should be recognized by the system and displayed in the list.

Adjust Input Volume:

While in the Input tab, you can also check the input volume slider. Ensure it is not set to the minimum. Adjust the volume slider to an appropriate level.

Test the Microphone:

After selecting the correct microphone and adjusting the volume if needed, speak into the microphone. The input level indicators next to the selected device should show activity, indicating that the microphone is picking up sound.

Check for Software Mute:

Confirm that the microphone is not muted in the software settings. Some microphones have a mute button or switch that might be activated.

Apply Changes:

Once you’ve confirmed the correct microphone selection and adjusted the settings, click the “Apply” or “OK” button to save your changes.

Restart Applications:

Close and reopen any applications that use the microphone, such as video conferencing or recording apps, to ensure they recognize the updated settings.

Method 2: Adjust Input Volume:

If your Mac Mini’s microphone seems unresponsive, it might be due to the input volume being set too low. Follow these steps to ensure the input volume is properly configured.

  • Again go to the Sound settings by going to Apple menu > System Preferences > Sound.
  • Click on the “Input” tab within the Sound settings. This is where you manage your audio input devices.
  • In the Input tab, you’ll find an input volume slider. It is represented by a horizontal bar with a slider knob that you can move left or right.
  • Examine the position of the input volume slider. If it’s turned all the way down to the left, this might be the cause of the microphone not picking up sound.
  • Move the input volume slider to the right to increase the volume level. Adjust it to an appropriate level that suits your preferences and the requirements of the application or task you are using the microphone for.
  • After adjusting the input volume, speak into the microphone or make a noise to see if the input level indicators next to the selected device show activity. You should see the indicators respond to the sound, indicating that the microphone is functioning correctly.

Method 3: Inspect Physical Connections:

If you’re encountering microphone issues on your Mac Mini, especially when using an external microphone, it’s essential to check the physical connections. Loose or faulty connections can lead to unreliable performance. Follow these steps to inspect and ensure the integrity of the physical connections:

  • Identify the port on your Mac Mini where the microphone is plugged in. Commonly, this port is the 3.5mm audio jack or a USB port for USB microphones.
  • Check that the microphone plug is securely inserted into the corresponding port. A loose connection can lead to intermittent or no signal from the microphone.
  • Examine the microphone cable for any visible damage, such as cuts, bends, or frayed wires. Damaged cables can result in connectivity issues and impact the microphone’s functionality.
  • If your Mac Mini has multiple audio input ports, try plugging the microphone into a different port to see if the issue persists. This helps rule out a faulty port as the cause.
  • Some external microphones may require power, either through batteries or an external power source. Ensure that the microphone is powered as per the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • After checking and securing the physical connections, restart your Mac Mini to ensure that any temporary glitches are resolved.

Method 4: Test with Another Microphone:

To further troubleshoot and pinpoint the source of the microphone issue, testing with another microphone is a valuable step. Here’s how to proceed:

  • If available, obtain another microphone that you know is in working condition. This could be another external microphone or even a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone.
  • Plug the test microphone into the same port or a different port on your Mac Mini, depending on the available options.
  • Check System Preferences:
  • Follow the earlier steps to check the System Preferences > Sound > Input settings and ensure the test microphone is selected.
  • Speak into the test microphone or make a sound to see if the input level indicators respond in the Sound settings. This will help determine if the issue lies with the original microphone or the Mac Mini’s input system.
  • If the test microphone works as expected, it suggests an issue with the original microphone. If both microphones exhibit the same problem, it points to potential issues with the Mac Mini’s input system.

Method 5: Update macOS:

Keeping your macOS up-to-date is crucial for optimal performance and addressing potential issues, including microphone-related issues. Follow these steps to check for and install the latest updates:

Access Software Update:

  • Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen to open the Apple menu.
  • Select “System Preferences” from the menu.
  • Click on “Software Update” in the System Preferences window.

Check for Updates:

  • The Software Update window will check for available updates. If updates are available, they will be listed.

Install Updates:

  • If updates are available, click the “Update Now” button to begin the installation process. You may be prompted to enter your administrator password.

Wait for Installation:

  • Allow the installation process to complete. Your Mac Mini will restart if necessary.

Verify Microphone Functionality:

  • After updating, test the microphone to ensure that the issue has been resolved. Check the Sound settings to confirm that the correct microphone is selected.

Restart Applications:

  • Close and reopen any applications that use the microphone to ensure they recognize the updated system settings.

Method 6: Reset NVRAM:

Resetting the Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory (NVRAM) can address certain system settings, including audio-related configurations. Follow these steps to reset NVRAM:

  • Click on the Apple logo and choose “Shut Down” from the menu.
  • Press the power button to turn on your Mac Mini.
  • As soon as you press the power button, immediately press and hold the keys Option + Command + P + R.
  • Keep holding the keys until you hear the startup sound for the second time or, for Macs with the Apple T2 Security Chip, until you see the Apple logo appear and disappear for the second time.
  • Release the keys after the second startup sound or the Apple logo disappears and let your Mac Mini continue starting up.
  • After resetting NVRAM, test the microphone to check if the issue has been resolved.

Method 7: Contact Support:

If the microphone issue persists despite trying the above methods, it’s recommended to seek professional assistance. Contact Apple Support or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to have your Mac Mini thoroughly diagnosed. They can provide expert guidance and solutions for both hardware and software-related microphone problems, ensuring a comprehensive resolution to the issue.


In short, resolving Mac Mini microphone input issues involves a systematic approach, including checking settings, inspecting connections, updating software, and seeking professional help if needed. 

By following the outlined steps, you can troubleshoot and potentially fix microphone problems and enjoy a seamless audio experience on your Mac Mini.


  1. Why is my Mac Mini microphone input not working?

Issues may stem from incorrect settings, loose connections, or hardware problems. Follow the troubleshooting steps in the article.

  1. How do I enable microphone input on my Mac Mini?

Go to System Preferences > Sound > Input, select the correct microphone, and adjust settings.

  1. What are the common fixes for Mac Mini microphone input issues?

Check settings, inspect connections, update macOS, and reset NVRAM if necessary.

  1. Can I use an external microphone with my Mac Mini?

Yes, ensure it’s correctly connected and recognized in System Preferences.

  1. Why isn’t my Mac Mini recognizing my external microphone?

Check physical connections, try different ports, and ensure the microphone is powered if required.

  1. How do I adjust microphone input levels on my Mac Mini?

Navigate to System Preferences > Sound > Input, and adjust the input volume slider.

  1. What should I do if my Mac Mini’s microphone input stops working after an update?

Retry steps like checking settings, updating macOS, and resetting NVRAM. Contact support if issues persist.

  1. Is there a way to test my Mac Mini’s microphone input to troubleshoot problems?

Yes, speak into the microphone and observe input level indicators in System Preferences > Sound > Input.

  1. Can software updates affect microphone input functionality on Mac Mini?

Yes, updating macOS can address bugs and improve overall system stability, potentially resolving microphone issues.

  1. How do I reset audio settings to fix microphone input issues on my Mac Mini?

Reset NVRAM by shutting down your Mac Mini, turning it on, and holding Option + Command + P + R until you hear the startup sound again. 

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