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Troubleshoot Skype Audio Not Working

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Support.com Tech Pro Team
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Introduction

When you connect to a Skype call and others claim they can't hear you, or there's something very wrong with someone's audio, where do you start? Audio issues can be frustrating, especially if Skype is being used in a professional setting. Some of the most commonly reported Skype audio issues involve:
  • Being able to hear others, but others cannot hear you
  • Not being able to hear others, but others can hear you
  • Bad echo or overall poor audio quality

If you're suffering from any of the audio issues outlined above, read on. This guide will help you check your device and Skype settings to make sure all your calls go as smoothly as possible.

Skype

1 Check the Skype Service Status Page

The first thing you should do is check the Skype Service Status page. On the status page you can check to see if there are any outages or service interruptions occurring. If there is an issue, simply wait for service to return or contact Skype's customer service.

Skype status page.

2 I Can Hear Others, but They Can't Hear Me

If you've got a microphone that's built-in or attached to your computer and it isn't picking up your voice, it may not be properly connected or its settings may not be configured correctly. Let's check the following to be sure that others are able to hear you on Skype.

Make sure the microphone is connected and not physically muted

When using external devices for your audio input, such as a headset, or USB microphone, make sure they are properly connected to your computer, are powered on and their audio levels are high enough to hear.

  1. Let's make sure the external audio devices are connected correctly to your computer first:
    If You're Using an Analog Audio Device
    Your microphone should plugged into the Pink audio port and your headphone or speaker into the Green one.Analog audio connection showing pink plug going into pink port and lime green plug going into lime green port.
    If You're Using a Digital Audio Device
    In most cases, USB ports output power to drive the devices we've plugged in. Sometimes certain USB ports don't have enough power to properly drive the device we've connected. Make sure the USB cable has been fully connected/seated. If this doesn't have an effect, try using a different USB port on your computer.
    USB port and connector
    Bluetooth Logo

    If you're using wireless devices, such as Bluetooth, make sure they're battery is charged, turned on and connected to the computer.

  2. If you're using a headset check whether or not it comes with its own little remote control. These often hang from the cords and have multiple marked buttons on them. With those buttons you can make sure the audio levels are where you want them to be. If there's a solid or flashing red light, it may mean the microphone is muted locally. Pushing the button should unmute it.
    Red light highlighted on inline controls of headset.

Check the microphone's volume on your computer

There's a possibility that your microphone is working just fine, but the volume of your microphone may be set too low, causing others to be unable to hear you. Check the volume of your microphone (sometimes referred to on your computer as the recording or input device) to be sure it is at a level others can hear.

WindowsChecking Audio Input Levels on Windows
  1. Using your right mouse button, Right click on the speaker in your System Tray, and select Open Sound settings.
    Windows System Tray with speaker icon highlighted with right mouse button near by, with menu open, and Open Sound settings highlighted.
  2. Under Input, select Device properties.
    Sound settings with Input Device Properties highlighted.
  3. Make sure Disable is not checked, and make sure the volume is at a reasonable volume.
    Device properties with disable box unchecked and volume meter highlighted.
    A volume between 50 and 75 is usually appropriate.
AppleChecking Audio Input Levels on Apple macOS
  1. Open the Apple Menu, then select System Preferences.
    Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Select Sound.
    System Preferences with Sound highlighted.
  3. Select the Input tab at top, and make sure the Input volume is at a reasonable volume.
    Sound preferences with Input tab and input volume highlighted.
    A volume between 50 and 75 is usually appropriate.

Make sure you aren't muted in Skype

Skype has a built-in mute feature you can press if you happen to cough, or have other unwelcome noise happen that you don't want anyone else to hear. Sometimes this can be set accidentally, so it's best to check it first.

Unmuted
A white circle with a microphone in it is shown when you can be heard by others.
The bottom icons of skype
Muted
A microphone with a line through it is shown when you can't be heard by others.The bottom row of icons on skype

Check Skype permissions for your operating system

If Skype doesn't have permission to use your Microphone, your microphone won't pick up any sound through the program.

WindowsGranting Permissions on Windows
  1. Click the Windows Start button and select Settings.
    Start menu with Settings highlighted.
  2. Click Privacy.
    Privacy Settings
  3. Scroll down and select Microphone.
    Settings for microphone
  4. Make sure Skype is ON.
    Skype being given permission
AppleGranting Permissions on Apple macOS

Starting with macOS 10.14 Mojave security and privacy have been increased on Mac computers so that when you install certain apps, you will be asked to allow some permissions to be able to use all their features.
Prompt from newly installed app asking for permission to use the camera on Mac.
If you inadvertently "don't allow" access to your computer's services or devices to any of these apps at the time of installation, you can still change these settings later on if you notice certain functions to not work in these apps. Here's what to do:

  1. Open the Apple Menu and select System Preferences.
    Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Go to Security & Privacy.
    Security & Privacy icon highlighted in System Preferences in macOS.
  3. Click the padlock at the bottom left of the Security & Privacy window.
    Padlock icon highlighted in Security & Privacy in macOS.
  4. Enter the administrator User Name and Password then click Unlock.
    User Name and Password fields, and Unlock button highlighted on admin login prompt in macOS.
  5. In the left pane select the item for which you wish to change the privacy settings, then put a check mark next to the app's name that you wish to allow access to for the item you selected.
    Service or device selection panel and checkboxes next to app names highlighted in Security & Privacy in macOS.
    The items you need to change permissions to for telecommunications apps are:
      • Camera – Allows others to see you through your camera,
      • Microphone – Allows others to hear you when you speak into your microphone,
      • Screen Recording – Allows you to show what's on your screen,
      • Files and Folders – Allows you to send and receive files, as well as record and save conversations or meetings onto your computer,
      • Accessibility – Allows someone else to control your computer remotely while in a meeting.

    Some items are only available in macOS 10.15 Catalina or later. The items you need to change permissions to may be different for each app.

  6. You will be asked if you wish to restart the app. If you need to set more permissions, choose Later.
  7. Repeat the same process for each item you need to change permissions to.
  8. Once you've set all the necessary permissions, quit the app and restart it.
Google Android|Apple iOSHow to Check Skype Permission Settings on Android and iOSMake sure Skype has permission to use your device's camera and microphone. Without this permission, Skype's microphone function will be blocked. Though Skype asks for this permission when the app is initially installed, you can still access it through settings.

Giving Permission to Skype on Android

  1. Navigate to your Android device's Settings.
    Android Settings
  2. Tap Applications then Application Manager.
    Applications and application manager selection
  3. Tap Skype.
    Selecting Zoom
  4. Make sure Skype has access to your device's microphone. If it does not, you may need to reinstall the App.
    Microphone permission

Giving Permission to Skype on iOS

  1. Navigate to Settings.
    iOS Settings
  2. Tap Privacy.
    iOS privacy tab
  3. Tap Microphone.
    Microphone selection
  4. Make sure Skype's permissions have been toggled on or green.
    Skype's permissions

3 I Can't Hear Anybody, but They Can Hear Me

If you're seeing in text chat that you can be heard, but you can't hear anyone else, either your sound is muted, turned down too low, or the wrong source may be selected in Skype. Let's go through and make sure everything is connected and correct.

Make sure the right speaker is selected

  1. With Skype open, select your profile picture. This will open a menu.
    Skype icon
    Skype profile
  2. Select Settings.
    The settings option
  3. Select Audio & Video, then Speakers. Make sure the correct Speakers are selected.
    Speakers selection

Check the volume levels

Many devices come with their own knobs and buttons to adjust the volume, but your operating system also has the ability to control its own volume. It's easily forgotten and overlooked. Make sure your sound hasn't been muted or turned too low by your Operating System. 

WindowsCheck Mute and Volume Levels in Windows
  1. Right-click the speaker icon in the taskbar and select Open Volume Mixer.
    Mouse with Right Mouse Button highlighted.
    Windows 10 open volume mixer
  2. You can set each application's audio level from here. If the icons at the bottom are blue then nothing has been muted.
    Windows 10 volume mixer
AppleCheck Mute and Volume Levels in Apple macOSFor an Apple Mac you can just check the volume slider and make sure it's set to your liking.
Macbook Pro's volume slider
Or you can select the speaker icon on the task bar and adjust the volume.
Mac Volume adjustment

Make sure the right speakers are being used by your computer

Have you hooked up your PC to your television? Use Airplay to stream movies? Well, you might have the wrong speaker selected and all the sound you want to hear it being blasted somewhere else in your house. Even just connecting a new monitor might switch your speaker selection. Let's check it here.

WindowsMake Sure the Right Audio Output Device is Selected in Windows
  1. Left-click the speaker icon.
    Windows 10 speaker icon
  2. Click the arrow.
    Windows 10 speakers volume settings showing arrow
  3. Select your preferred playback device.
    Windows 10 sound settings info with selected speakers
  4. Make sure your correct playback device is selected.
AppleMake Sure the Right Audio Output Device is Selected in Apple macOS
  1. If you are not using headphones or speakers, make sure none are plugged in.
  2. Click the Apple Menu, and choose System Preferences.
    Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  3.  Click Sound.
    Sound Preferences
  4. Choose Output at the top. Make sure your device is selected, the “Output volume” slider is not all the way to the left, and the Mute checkbox is not selected.
    sound preferences with mute option highlighted

If all else fails, reboot

If none of the suggestions have restored audio to your speakers or headphones, reboot your computer and try again. This may seem like a useless step, but sometimes the audio services on a computer can fail. Rebooting can restart those services and potentially resolve the issue you're experiencing.

If you're still experiencing problems after a reboot, the speakers or headphones you're using may be malfunctioning. Try a different device, or reach out to the manufacturer for further assistance.

WindowsRebooting Windows
Before you restart or shut down your PC, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.
  1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Power Button
  2. Select Restart.
    Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.
AppleRebooting Apple macOS
  1. Select the Apple menu, then Shut Down...
    Apple menu with shut down highlighted
  2. Wait for your computer to shut down, and turn off.
  3. Wait 10 seconds.
  4. Turn your Mac back on by pushing the Power button on the keyboard.
    Mac Keyboard with Power button highlighted

4 I Hear an Echo, Static or Audio Sounds Bad

If you hear audio echo or audio feedback during a call, this can be caused by:

  • One of the participants is using external speakers that their microphone is picking up, or is too close to.
  • There may be multiple participants in the same room using their own personal computers/devices.

Keep microphones away from external speakers that are in-use

If any participants are using external speakers to listen to the call, their microphone may be picking up what's being played back, causing other attendees to hear an echo. If a microphone is too close to external speakers, this can cause loud audio feedback. Always recommend that attendees use headphones or a headset with a built-in microphone to minimize the chances of this being an issue.

If multiple meeting participants are in close proximity to each other

Similar to the suggestion above, always suggest that participants use their own headphones or headsets to avoid situations where one person's microphone picks up another.

If you're having problems with an echo

If any of the participants within a call are hearing an echo, it means that someone's microphone is picking up the audio that's being played back. In most cases, this can be avoided if participants who aren't speaking simply mute themselves if they aren't speaking. If you are the host/presenter you can:
  • Mute attendees one at a time to determine which one is causing the echo issue.
  • Mute all attendees and only unmute someone when they're asked to speak.
  • Have attendees mute themselves if they do not plan on speaking, or are just there to listen.
Additional sources that can potentially cause echo issues:
  • Speakers (such as TV or soundbar) that are too loud.
  • Microphone echo cancellation features that have failed (this is likely a device or performance issue).
  • A malfunctioning microphone.

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When you connect to a Skype call and others claim they can't hear you, or there's something very wrong with someone's audio, where do you start? Audio issues can be frustrating, especially if Skype is being used in a professional setting. Some of the most commonly reported Skype audio issues involve:
  • Being able to hear others, but others cannot hear you
  • Not being able to hear others, but others can hear you
  • Bad echo or overall poor audio quality

If you're suffering from any of the audio issues outlined above, read on. This guide will help you check your device and Skype settings to make sure all your calls go as smoothly as possible.

Skype

The first thing you should do is check the Skype Service Status page. On the status page you can check to see if there are any outages or service interruptions occurring. If there is an issue, simply wait for service to return or contact Skype's customer service.

Skype status page.

If you've got a microphone that's built-in or attached to your computer and it isn't picking up your voice, it may not be properly connected or its settings may not be configured correctly. Let's check the following to be sure that others are able to hear you on Skype.

Make sure the microphone is connected and not physically muted

When using external devices for your audio input, such as a headset, or USB microphone, make sure they are properly connected to your computer, are powered on and their audio levels are high enough to hear.

  1. Let's make sure the external audio devices are connected correctly to your computer first:
    If You're Using an Analog Audio Device
    Your microphone should plugged into the Pink audio port and your headphone or speaker into the Green one.Analog audio connection showing pink plug going into pink port and lime green plug going into lime green port.
    If You're Using a Digital Audio Device
    In most cases, USB ports output power to drive the devices we've plugged in. Sometimes certain USB ports don't have enough power to properly drive the device we've connected. Make sure the USB cable has been fully connected/seated. If this doesn't have an effect, try using a different USB port on your computer.
    USB port and connector
    Bluetooth Logo

    If you're using wireless devices, such as Bluetooth, make sure they're battery is charged, turned on and connected to the computer.

  2. If you're using a headset check whether or not it comes with its own little remote control. These often hang from the cords and have multiple marked buttons on them. With those buttons you can make sure the audio levels are where you want them to be. If there's a solid or flashing red light, it may mean the microphone is muted locally. Pushing the button should unmute it.
    Red light highlighted on inline controls of headset.

Check the microphone's volume on your computer

There's a possibility that your microphone is working just fine, but the volume of your microphone may be set too low, causing others to be unable to hear you. Check the volume of your microphone (sometimes referred to on your computer as the recording or input device) to be sure it is at a level others can hear.

WindowsChecking Audio Input Levels on Windows
  1. Using your right mouse button, Right click on the speaker in your System Tray, and select Open Sound settings.
    Windows System Tray with speaker icon highlighted with right mouse button near by, with menu open, and Open Sound settings highlighted.
  2. Under Input, select Device properties.
    Sound settings with Input Device Properties highlighted.
  3. Make sure Disable is not checked, and make sure the volume is at a reasonable volume.
    Device properties with disable box unchecked and volume meter highlighted.
    A volume between 50 and 75 is usually appropriate.
AppleChecking Audio Input Levels on Apple macOS
  1. Open the Apple Menu, then select System Preferences.
    Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Select Sound.
    System Preferences with Sound highlighted.
  3. Select the Input tab at top, and make sure the Input volume is at a reasonable volume.
    Sound preferences with Input tab and input volume highlighted.
    A volume between 50 and 75 is usually appropriate.

Make sure you aren't muted in Skype

Skype has a built-in mute feature you can press if you happen to cough, or have other unwelcome noise happen that you don't want anyone else to hear. Sometimes this can be set accidentally, so it's best to check it first.

Unmuted
A white circle with a microphone in it is shown when you can be heard by others.
The bottom icons of skype
Muted
A microphone with a line through it is shown when you can't be heard by others.The bottom row of icons on skype

Check Skype permissions for your operating system

If Skype doesn't have permission to use your Microphone, your microphone won't pick up any sound through the program.

WindowsGranting Permissions on Windows
  1. Click the Windows Start button and select Settings.
    Start menu with Settings highlighted.
  2. Click Privacy.
    Privacy Settings
  3. Scroll down and select Microphone.
    Settings for microphone
  4. Make sure Skype is ON.
    Skype being given permission
AppleGranting Permissions on Apple macOS

Starting with macOS 10.14 Mojave security and privacy have been increased on Mac computers so that when you install certain apps, you will be asked to allow some permissions to be able to use all their features.
Prompt from newly installed app asking for permission to use the camera on Mac.
If you inadvertently "don't allow" access to your computer's services or devices to any of these apps at the time of installation, you can still change these settings later on if you notice certain functions to not work in these apps. Here's what to do:

  1. Open the Apple Menu and select System Preferences.
    Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Go to Security & Privacy.
    Security & Privacy icon highlighted in System Preferences in macOS.
  3. Click the padlock at the bottom left of the Security & Privacy window.
    Padlock icon highlighted in Security & Privacy in macOS.
  4. Enter the administrator User Name and Password then click Unlock.
    User Name and Password fields, and Unlock button highlighted on admin login prompt in macOS.
  5. In the left pane select the item for which you wish to change the privacy settings, then put a check mark next to the app's name that you wish to allow access to for the item you selected.
    Service or device selection panel and checkboxes next to app names highlighted in Security & Privacy in macOS.
    The items you need to change permissions to for telecommunications apps are:
      • Camera – Allows others to see you through your camera,
      • Microphone – Allows others to hear you when you speak into your microphone,
      • Screen Recording – Allows you to show what's on your screen,
      • Files and Folders – Allows you to send and receive files, as well as record and save conversations or meetings onto your computer,
      • Accessibility – Allows someone else to control your computer remotely while in a meeting.

    Some items are only available in macOS 10.15 Catalina or later. The items you need to change permissions to may be different for each app.

  6. You will be asked if you wish to restart the app. If you need to set more permissions, choose Later.
  7. Repeat the same process for each item you need to change permissions to.
  8. Once you've set all the necessary permissions, quit the app and restart it.
Google Android|Apple iOSHow to Check Skype Permission Settings on Android and iOSMake sure Skype has permission to use your device's camera and microphone. Without this permission, Skype's microphone function will be blocked. Though Skype asks for this permission when the app is initially installed, you can still access it through settings.

Giving Permission to Skype on Android

  1. Navigate to your Android device's Settings.
    Android Settings
  2. Tap Applications then Application Manager.
    Applications and application manager selection
  3. Tap Skype.
    Selecting Zoom
  4. Make sure Skype has access to your device's microphone. If it does not, you may need to reinstall the App.
    Microphone permission

Giving Permission to Skype on iOS

  1. Navigate to Settings.
    iOS Settings
  2. Tap Privacy.
    iOS privacy tab
  3. Tap Microphone.
    Microphone selection
  4. Make sure Skype's permissions have been toggled on or green.
    Skype's permissions

If you're seeing in text chat that you can be heard, but you can't hear anyone else, either your sound is muted, turned down too low, or the wrong source may be selected in Skype. Let's go through and make sure everything is connected and correct.

Make sure the right speaker is selected

  1. With Skype open, select your profile picture. This will open a menu.
    Skype icon
    Skype profile
  2. Select Settings.
    The settings option
  3. Select Audio & Video, then Speakers. Make sure the correct Speakers are selected.
    Speakers selection

Check the volume levels

Many devices come with their own knobs and buttons to adjust the volume, but your operating system also has the ability to control its own volume. It's easily forgotten and overlooked. Make sure your sound hasn't been muted or turned too low by your Operating System. 

WindowsCheck Mute and Volume Levels in Windows
  1. Right-click the speaker icon in the taskbar and select Open Volume Mixer.
    Mouse with Right Mouse Button highlighted.
    Windows 10 open volume mixer
  2. You can set each application's audio level from here. If the icons at the bottom are blue then nothing has been muted.
    Windows 10 volume mixer
AppleCheck Mute and Volume Levels in Apple macOSFor an Apple Mac you can just check the volume slider and make sure it's set to your liking.
Macbook Pro's volume slider
Or you can select the speaker icon on the task bar and adjust the volume.
Mac Volume adjustment

Make sure the right speakers are being used by your computer

Have you hooked up your PC to your television? Use Airplay to stream movies? Well, you might have the wrong speaker selected and all the sound you want to hear it being blasted somewhere else in your house. Even just connecting a new monitor might switch your speaker selection. Let's check it here.

WindowsMake Sure the Right Audio Output Device is Selected in Windows
  1. Left-click the speaker icon.
    Windows 10 speaker icon
  2. Click the arrow.
    Windows 10 speakers volume settings showing arrow
  3. Select your preferred playback device.
    Windows 10 sound settings info with selected speakers
  4. Make sure your correct playback device is selected.
AppleMake Sure the Right Audio Output Device is Selected in Apple macOS
  1. If you are not using headphones or speakers, make sure none are plugged in.
  2. Click the Apple Menu, and choose System Preferences.
    Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  3.  Click Sound.
    Sound Preferences
  4. Choose Output at the top. Make sure your device is selected, the “Output volume” slider is not all the way to the left, and the Mute checkbox is not selected.
    sound preferences with mute option highlighted

If all else fails, reboot

If none of the suggestions have restored audio to your speakers or headphones, reboot your computer and try again. This may seem like a useless step, but sometimes the audio services on a computer can fail. Rebooting can restart those services and potentially resolve the issue you're experiencing.

If you're still experiencing problems after a reboot, the speakers or headphones you're using may be malfunctioning. Try a different device, or reach out to the manufacturer for further assistance.

WindowsRebooting Windows
Before you restart or shut down your PC, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.
  1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Power Button
  2. Select Restart.
    Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.
AppleRebooting Apple macOS
  1. Select the Apple menu, then Shut Down...
    Apple menu with shut down highlighted
  2. Wait for your computer to shut down, and turn off.
  3. Wait 10 seconds.
  4. Turn your Mac back on by pushing the Power button on the keyboard.
    Mac Keyboard with Power button highlighted

If you hear audio echo or audio feedback during a call, this can be caused by:

  • One of the participants is using external speakers that their microphone is picking up, or is too close to.
  • There may be multiple participants in the same room using their own personal computers/devices.

Keep microphones away from external speakers that are in-use

If any participants are using external speakers to listen to the call, their microphone may be picking up what's being played back, causing other attendees to hear an echo. If a microphone is too close to external speakers, this can cause loud audio feedback. Always recommend that attendees use headphones or a headset with a built-in microphone to minimize the chances of this being an issue.

If multiple meeting participants are in close proximity to each other

Similar to the suggestion above, always suggest that participants use their own headphones or headsets to avoid situations where one person's microphone picks up another.

If you're having problems with an echo

If any of the participants within a call are hearing an echo, it means that someone's microphone is picking up the audio that's being played back. In most cases, this can be avoided if participants who aren't speaking simply mute themselves if they aren't speaking. If you are the host/presenter you can:
  • Mute attendees one at a time to determine which one is causing the echo issue.
  • Mute all attendees and only unmute someone when they're asked to speak.
  • Have attendees mute themselves if they do not plan on speaking, or are just there to listen.
Additional sources that can potentially cause echo issues:
  • Speakers (such as TV or soundbar) that are too loud.
  • Microphone echo cancellation features that have failed (this is likely a device or performance issue).
  • A malfunctioning microphone.