My microphone doesn’t seem to work. How do I turn it on?

Recently I decided to speak to my son over Skype using my wife’s Windows 7 laptop computer, which has a built-in webcam and microphone. However it’s tells me a ‘sound-recording device can’t be found’ and to plug in a microphone. Surely I should be able to use the inbuilt microphone?

To check, in Windows 7 click Start followed by Control Panel, then click the Hardware and Sound link followed by Sound.

In the Sound dialogue box, click the Recording tab. In the box below, the laptop’s built-in microphone should be listed: if not, right-click in the blank area and click to place ticks next to Show Disabled Devices and Show Disconnected Devices.

The microphone should now appear in the list and be marked as the default device. However, we have a feeling the device will already be listed and will have been disabled.

To re-enable the device, right-click its entry and choose Enable from the menu – and that should be that.

To change the recording level, right-click the microphone’s entry but this time choose Properties. In the Microphone Properties dialogue box, click the Levels tab and use the controls to adjust the pick-up sensitivity.

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