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How to Turn On the Microphone on Apple Watch (If the mic is not working)

There could be multiple reasons why your Apple Watch microphone is down. Maybe it’s in need of some overdue cleaning, an update, or a simple restart.

So, before trying to figure out how to turn on the microphone on an Apple watch, you first have to find out why it’s acting up. In this article, we’ll tell you how to identify some possible reasons why the microphone is malfunctioning and share some troubleshooting tips.

Go through them one by one until you’re able to fix the problem yourself. Then, if the problem still persists, your final course of action would be to contact Apple Support.

Let’s get started.

Identifying the Root Cause of the Problem

Microphone problems could either be hardware or software-related. The best way to find out is by creating a voice memo. Here’s how:

  1. On your Apple Watch, select Voice Memos.
  2. Record test audio by tapping the red button.

If you can playback the test audio, but the output is fuzzy, it’s a hardware problem. On the other hand, if you’re completely unable to create a recording, then it’s time to start figuring out which software issue your watch is suffering from.

Read more: How far away can you get from iPhone with Apple Watch

How to Turn On the Microphone on Apple Watch

There are various ways you can get your microphone to work. Take a look.

Hardware Issues

Common hardware issues can be either a blockage or a manufacturing defect.

Blocked Mic Hole

If your recording is inaudible, the holes in the microphone opening could be blocked. Remove any dirt, wax, or protective covering that may prevent the watch from recording properly.

To do this, use a soft, mildly damp cloth or napkin to clean the mic holes. Yet, avoid pushing dirt deeper inside.

Manufacturing Defect

If cleaning the mic holes doesn’t do the trick, it could be a manufacturer defect. If it’s within the warranty period, go back to the store where you made the initial purchase. Remember to bring the product and receipt, preferably in its original packaging.

However, if you bought the watch online, contact Apple customer service. Ask about a possible refund, repair, or replacement.

Software Issues

Read more: How does Apple Watch know if I’m standing?

First, ensure that you’ve turned on the Apple Watch microphone by doing the following:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Microphone under the Privacy Tab.
  3. Enable Measure Sounds.

If the mic still doesn’t work, check out below some other quick fixes you can try.

Update

Make sure your software is up-to-date and that the watch is paired with your phone. To do this:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

The device will prompt you if there’s an update available.

Restart

Sometimes, even smart devices get overwhelmed and need a simple restart. See below for instructions on restarting various gadgets.

To restart Apple Watch:

  1. Press and hold the side button.
  2. Then, swipe slider to turnoff.
  3. Turn it on by pressing and holding the side button until the logo appears.

To restart an iPhone X and other later models:

  1. Press and hold the side button and either of the volume buttons simultaneously.
  2. Swipe slider to turn off.
  3. Turn it on by holding the side and volume buttons simultaneously until the logo appears.

To restart other iPhone models:

  1. Press and hold the side button (top button for some models).
  2. Swipe slider to turn off.
  3. Press and hold the side button until the logo appears.

After restarting your Apple Watch and its paired device, test the mic again by recording a test audio on the Voice Memo, as shown above.

Unpair and Re-Pair

Another solution worth trying is to unpair and re-pair your Apple watch. There are two ways to do this:

iPhone:

  1. Go to the Watch app.
  2. Under the My Watch tab, select All Watches.
  3. Tap the info button (i) next to the watch.
  4. Choose Unpair Apple Watch.
  5. Follow the onscreen instructions.

Apple Watch:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Under the General tab, select Reset.
  3. Select Erase All Content and Settings.

Once you’ve unpaired the devices, re-pair them once again. If prompted, choose the ‘restore from backup’ option.

App-Related Software Issues

You might have a problem with the microphone when using specific applications only. Below are some common app-related issues and how to fix them.

Siri Doesn’t Hear You

If Siri doesn’t hear you, it could simply be that you forgot to enable this function. Keep in mind that for this to work, you need to be connected to the Internet.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Siri & Search.
  3. Tap Enable under the Siri tab.

Additionally, make sure that Siri and Dictation aren’t restricted on your iPhone as follows:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Make sure that Siri & Dictation is enabled under the Allowed Apps tab.

The Mic Doesn’t Work on Calls

If you’re having issues only during calls, check whether your mic is on mute or not. Unfortunately, some users take this feature for granted, which is why it’s commonly overlooked.

In Summary

It’s vital for users to know the basics of how to turn on the microphone on Apple Watch. Otherwise, you might miss out on several convenient functions.

Knowing how to identify the causes and a few basic troubleshooting techniques will help you make the most of your Apple Watch.