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How to set up a microphone as the new default on Windows 10

Windows 10 set microphone defaults
Windows 10 set microphone defaults (Image credit: Windows Central)

On Windows 10, you can connect virtually as many microphones as you want. The only issue is that the first one you install will automatically become the default recording device for the enteire system.

However, if you happen to have multiple microphones because, for example, one came built into the webcam, and then you installed one of the best microphones for streaming, it is possible to set either of them as the system default. That way when you open a recording or communication application, you don't have to keep going through extra steps to select the microphone you want to use.

Whatever the reason it might be, Windows 10 includes at least two ways to change the default microphone with the Settings app and Control Panel.

In this Windows 10 guide, we will walk you through the steps to set a new microphone as the new default on your device.

How to change default microphone in Settings

To select a new microphone as the system default, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Sound.
  4. Under the "Input" section, use the Choose input device drop-down menu and select the new default microphone.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, the microphone you selected will be available as the system's primary input device.

How to change default microphone in Control Panel

To change the default microphone settings in Control Panel, use these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click on Hardware and Sound.
  3. Click on Sound.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Recording tab.
  2. Select the microphone you want to set as the new default.
  3. Click the Set Default button.Quick tip: You can also click the down-arrow button next to "Set Default" to select whether the recording device should be the default for the entire system or only for communication applications. If you select the "Default Communication Device" option, then the previous device will continue to be the system default for other apps.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Apply button.
  2. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, Windows 10 will use the configured microphone as the new default.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

1 Comment
  • Thanks. I feel it's somewhat relevant to note that Teams doesn't always honor this, especially if your Mic and Speakers are not united in a common device (like a headset or some USB systems that support both mic and speaker output). Sometimes it does. Strangely hit and miss.