Help! My iPhone mic doesn’t work!

January 25, 2012

First of all, yep, the short version of microphone is “mic,” pronounced like the man’s name, “Mike.” There, now you can sound hip.

My iPhone 4 microphone suddenly stopped working last week. The thing is, it worked for audio recording but not on the phone. I plugged in a headset and the mic didn’t work there, either, so it wasn’t a hardware issue. I found this solution on Daniel Silva’s blog. I tried that. No luck. Crap…time to go see the Genius guys at the Apple Store.

Which I did on Saturday. Intrepid Apple Genius guy (and one of my former students) Jeff Y. found the problem in a minute. Go to Settings > General > Reset and choose “Reset network settings” and the phone will find AT&T again and fix it. I don’t know if Verizon phones have the same problem. Jeff seemed to indicate this is a fairly common problem, so I figured I would post it here for others who have the same problem.

It makes me happy. The feeling that my phone was not working was scarier than I expected.



  1. Thank you for sharing this, I will update my blog post to reflect your findings. I’m sorry my idea didn’t work, but happy you got your problem fixed and shared how you did it.

    • Thanks Daniel! I was sooooo hoping your fix was all that was necessary. One thing the Apple guy did mention was that sometimes this problem is a result of problems with the SIM card. He actually took mine out and put it back in to make sure it wasn’t damaged in any way. I should have mentioned that. And thanks for putting your post up in the first place – it helped me tell Jeff Y. what I tried. It also made me feel better that I didn’t mess the phone up when I dropped it a week ago!

    • It turned out to be a temporary fix for me, too
      I also called AT&T to have them reprovision the phone but that didn’t help. I read a suggestion to turn on hearing aid assist. I’ll see if that helps.

  2. […] (1/25/2012): If the above doesn’t work, check out this guy’s idea, which he got from an Apple Store techie. In summary, just go to Go to Settings > General > Reset […]

  3. I tried this with my iPhone 3, but sadly, my microphone is still not working. I have also tried to turn off the phone. I will try the general reset mentioned in the comment above and see if that does the trick. Then I guess I’ll probably try a full restore, but that doesn’t appear to have worked for anyone according to what I have read online.
    Still, thanks for posting the fix that your Genius suggested, and I am glad your iPhone 4 is working again!

    • Well, I spoke too soon…yes, the phone works after I reset the network settings. But about 10-15 minutes into a call the microphone problem occurs again. I have to reset the network settings again to make it work. I called AT&T and ask them to “reprovision” my number, which was the other fix Jeff at the Apple Store suggested. All that did was open me up to text spam. It seems to have no effect on the mic problem. I can upgrade sometime in mid- to late March, so perhaps the 4S will not have the issue. Right now it’s not just frustrating, it’s a serious problem, since I have a family member in the hospital and I can’t be reached. Grrrr.

  4. I have an iPad 2 and tried “reset network settings” and it didn’t work…ideas?

    • Unfortunately, I never actually got the iPhone to work consistently. All the fixes were temporary, and finally in March when my contract was up I replaced it with an iPhone 4S. It may have been that there were two different problems – one software, and one hardware. I understand that in the iPhone there is a very small space next to the headphone jack, inside, where wires can cross and short-circuit. I used that phone for a long time with headphones, and every once in a while I caught the wire on something and pulled the iphone out of my pocket or the headphones out of my ears. Ouch! I read in several places on the web where people had successfully opened up the iPhone and moved the wires around enough to fix the circuit. I never tried that, either.

      As far as the iPad having the same issue, I’ve never had a problem with an iPad exhibiting this behavior. I had an iPad 1, which got handed off to my daughter and granddaughters, my wife has an iPad 2, and I have a “new” iPad. My son and his fiance also have iPads and I’ve never seen mic misbehavior in any of them. Of course, none of us use headphones with them the way I did with my phone! (BTW, I try to use Bluetooth now with my phone whenever possible, especially if I am working outside!)

      Sorry I can’t help! Anybody else out there got an idea?

  5. i have a new iPhone 4s, not with a national carrier and this happened to me. I tried the reset of the network settings and it worked!
    Thank you!!!

    • I’m glad it was successful! I hope it stays that way, too!

  6. Works with Verizon. At some point yesterday during Hurricane Isaac this issue happened. All features worked and I could record video with no problem but could not talk during calls. Network reset worked like a charm! Thanks for the information.

    • That’s two people who have actually has success with the network reset! I think it is necessary for certain kinds of problems, so it’s worth a try if you have problems. I don’t have any way to comprehensively track that, but my family’s experience and that of other people I know is that Verizon seems to have far fewer issues than ATT. I thought ATT had more coverage, but in places like downtown Chicago and the area in northwest Ohio where my parents live – small town/rural, Verizon’s performance is far superior to ATT’s. Competition is good!

  7. OMG I am so glad that fixed it!! I am a happy camper again…thanks so much..

  8. Thank you for posting this. My wife’s iPhone stopped working – she could hear but not transmit her voice. This did the trick, and I actually look like I knew what I was doing! Thanks again.

  9. iphone is definitely the best phone on the market today, i love owning the latest version of iphone.”

    Our own web page

  10. Tried didn’t work for me 😦 glad urs worked..

    • Doesn’t work for everybody; I think there are several ways the same symptom can occur. I still think mine was partly electrical, caused by a short inside the case. That phone is gone now and I have never had trouble with my 4s.

  11. my iphone 4s mic doing the same for no apparent reason,iv only got it 2 months, tried all above still nothing!!!

    • I remember reading someplace that there were reports of some iPhone 4s that had a short inside the case near the jack. This might have been a year ago or so. You might have one of those! Since you’ve only had it two months, it’s under warranty – I’d take it back! I know most people who had problems with iPhones under warranty just got a new phone right away!

  12. Thank you so much for posting this information, you made it so simple. There are many more people with the same problem but they apparently have not seen your post.
    Thanks again

  13. whoah this blog is excellent i love reading your posts.
    Stay up the good work! You understand, lots of individuals
    are looking around for this info, you can aid them

    • This one little post of mine generated more responses, and more net traffic, than practically everything else on the blog. Maybe I should just do an iPhone fixit blog. Oh, wait – I really don’t know anything about that!

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