Home » Apple Watch

Apple Watch Microphone Not Working? Try These 7 Fixes

Published

So you can’t make phone calls on your Apple Watch, use dictation to type messages fast, or communicate with friends on walkie-talkie? Or maybe you can’t record a voice memo or Siri can’t hear you speak? It’s highly likely your Apple Watch microphone isn’t working.

Here’s the deal:  

Your Apple Watch microphone won’t work if the watchOS is outdate or if there’s a connection failure between the smartwatch and your iPhone. Also, there may be dirt blocking your voice from reaching the mic, the mic may be in mute mode, and you might not have configured the mic settings.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to fix an Apple Watch microphone that isn’t working without trying so hard.

Why Is My Apple Watch Microphone Not Working? (7 Problems and Fixes)

The following table is a summary on why your Apple Watch microphone isn’t working and what you can do to fix it:

 ProblemProbable CausePossible Solution
1.Software issues causing malfunctions.There are bugs in the outdated watchOS version.Update the watchOS to the latest version.
2.There’s a connection failure between Apple Watch and iPhone.It’s likely that the Bluetooth is off, the airplane mode is on, or the watch is far from the phone.Turn on Bluetooth, disable airplane mode, and move the watch closer to the phone to connect successfully.
3.Dirt and obstacles are causing obstruction.  Something may be blocking your voice from reaching the built-in Apple Watch microphone.Check the microphone opening for clogs and clean it. Then try using Siri to test if your voice is reaching the onboard mic.
4.RAM and cache jammed the Apple Watch.It’s likely that you’ve used the watch for long without optimizing RAM or clearing cache.Restart your Apple Watch and iPhone to clear their cache memories and RAM.
5.Microphone is on mute mode.This is most likely a human error. A diagonal line appearing on the microphone icon will cut off the mic.Tap the microphone to unmute. Test it with Siri to see if the assistant can hear you.
6.Apple Watch won’t pair with iPhone.The Bluetooth may be off, phone may be far from the watch, or there may be a software bug.Unpair the Apple Watch from the iPhone and then pair them again.
7.App configurationYou haven’t allowed apps the permission to access microphone.Go to settings and grant Siri the permission to access your Apple Watch microphone.

How to Fix an Apple Watch Microphone That’s Not Working

Here are 7 ways to fix a faulty Apple Watch microphone:

1. Upgrade to the Latest watchOS version

Some updates on the iPhone might require you to update your Apple Watch as well.

If your iPhone is up to date, but you notice that the microphone on your Apple Watch isn’t working, start by updating the watchOS.

To check and install the latest watchOS updates:

  • Go to settings on your Apple Watch.
  • Check for the latest watchOS update.
  • Tap on the update button to upgrade to the latest version of the watchOS.
  • Restart the Apple Watch

Test the microphone to see if it works.

Remember, Apple is constantly updating its operating systems to fix bugs, improve security, and enhance user experience.

2. Clean the Microphone

If your iPhone and Apple Watch software are up to date but the microphone is still not working, there is a high chance there might be accumulation of dirt around the microphone’s opening.

Grime, tiny sandstone, wax, dust, or dirt may have blocked the microphone opening, making it difficult for the Apple Watch to detect your voice.

The microphone’s opening is between the watch’s Digital Crown and the side button. You have to check this opening for dirt and debris and clean the area if necessary. 

  • Locate and open the mic’s opening.
  • Inspect the area for possible clogging and all sorts of dirt.
  • Use a soft cloth or cotton dampened with alcohol to clean the opening.
  • Test the microphone by talking to Siri to see if works.

If your Apple Watch’s microphone failed to work because of dirt in the opening, this fix should be more than enough.

I recommend that you get an Apple Watch screen protector with a casing to cover the microphone’s opening. The case will ensure dirt and debris don’t penetrate and block the mic.

Also, get a cleaning kit that you can use to clean the watch from time to time to keep dirt from sticking on the mic.

3. Reconnect the Apple Watch to Your iPhone

If you are having problems with your Apple Watch when making calls, it might be that the watch lost its connection to your iPhone.

Simply recommend the Apple Watch to your iPhone to fix this problem.

To do this:

  • Unlock your Apple Watch and swipe the home screen starting from the bottom.
  • Check whether the iPhone icon on your Apple Watch is green.

If the iPhone icon is green, it means the watch and the phone are “in sync” and the mic problem is because of something else.

If you see a red icon instead, it means there’s no connection between your Apple Watch and iPhone, making it impossible for the microphone to work.

Simply reconnect the Apple Watch to iPhone to get the microphone to work.

4. Unpair and Re-pair the Apple Watch to Your iPhone

If the Apple Watch an iPhone are in active sync state, but the microphone is not working, you might be dealing with a pairing issue.

The best fix is to disconnect Apple Watch from iPhone and reconnect the two again.

To do this: 

  • Disconnect Apple Watch from iPhone, either directly from the watch or from the phone itself.
  • Restart both devices at the same time.
  • Pair the two devices again.

Try talking to Siri. If she responds, then you know the microphone is working.

5. Clear Apple Watch Cache to Free Up RAM Storage

The other possible way you can fix an Apple Watch that has an unresponsive microphone is by doing a restart.

You should also restart your iPhone to escalate the fix.

Restarting gadgets might be an old trick, but I’ve seen it get the job done quite well. And while it doesn’t erase all cached files, it does remove a majority of temporarily cached files that may be stopping the microphone from working.

Furthermore, clearing cache closes background apps and refreshes your Apple Watch’s memory.

6. Unmute Your Apple Watch’s Microphone

You might have muted your Apple Watch microphone without knowing. And that’s probably why the person on the other end of the conversation can’t hear what you’re saying.

When someone calls you, the microphone icon will appear on the Apple Watch display.

If you accidentally touch the mic instead of the call options, a diagonal line will appear to indicate that you’ve muted the microphone.

No one, not even Siri, will hear whatever it is you say because the watch assumes that you’ve intentionally turned the microphone off.

Unmute the microphone by tapping on it once more. The diagonal line should disappear, allowing you to speak to Siri, do dictation, and answer phone calls.

7. Enable Siri and Dictation

Your Apple Watch mic is not working for some apps because you haven’t granted them the permission for access.

Take Siri, for example. This app won’t work if you don’t give it the permission to access the microphone.

Therefore, you must allow Siri and other applications to access your Apple Watch’s microphone for a better user experience. To do this: 

  • Open Settings on your iPhone and go to Siri & Search.
  • Also, open Settings on your Apple Watch and go to Siri

Make sure that Siri and Dictation aren’t restricted. Then on your iPhone:

  • Go to Settings
  • Navigate to Screen Time
  • Select Content & Privacy Restriction
  • Go to Allowed Apps and enable Siri & Dictation.

Also, apps require internet access to operate, so ensure you connect your Apple Watch to Wifi after granting the apps access to the microphone.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do I Unclog my Apple Watch Microphone?

You can easily unclog the Apple Watch microphone using cotton.

  • Dampen the cotton with isopropyl alcohol
  • Press on the microphone hole, which is located right between the digital crown and the side button.
  • Continue dampening the cotton with alcohol and continuously press the wet cotton on the hole until you remove all the dirt.

Isopropyl alcohol is a good solution to consider because, unlike water, it doesn’t damage electrical components.

2. Why is My Microphone Always Active on Apple Watch?

The microphone on your Apple Watch is always active to allow you to talk to Siri, record voice memos, and use dictations to write texts faster.

It can also help you to use an application such as Walkie-Talkie, which requires that the mic to be constantly active.

Final Thoughts

I’ve had instances when my smartwatch couldn’t calls because the mic jammed up. But I’ve had it fixed fast and without spending a penny on repair service.

If you try the fixes that I’ve suggested in this guide, you just might get your Apple Watch microphone fixed fast.

Should everything fail, take your Apple Watch to the nearest repair store or contact Apple Support as the last resort.

Photo of author

Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

Leave a Comment