Why Doesn't My Mic Work on Yahoo Instant Messenger?

by John Machay
Getting your microphone to work with Yahoo Messenger will likely be a simple task -- once you figure out what the problem is.

Getting your microphone to work with Yahoo Messenger will likely be a simple task -- once you figure out what the problem is.

With features like PC-to-PC calling, webcam chatting, call forwarding and voicemail, Yahoo Messenger has expanded its services beyond instant messaging to position itself several steps closer to becoming an all-encompassing communication tool. However, such cutting edge features mean little when the person with whom you’re attempting to communicate can’t hear you. Although getting your microphone to work with the program is usually a simple task, there are several potential issues that could figuratively cut the cord between your microphone and Yahoo Messenger. The trick is figuring out which one it is.

The Basics

Visit the Yahoo Messenger home page (see link in Resources) and make sure you have the latest version of the program. If not, download and install the new version.

Run Yahoo Video and Voice Setup Assistant to troubleshoot microphone problems. Get there by selecting “Set up video and voice” in the Messenger Help menu.

Confirm that your microphone is plugged into the proper jack. The icons that appear next to the jacks often can be misleading; consult your computer’s or sound card’s documentation to make sure your microphone is connected properly.

Slide the switch on your microphone to the “On” position, if applicable.

Replace the battery or batteries in your microphone, if applicable.

Confirm that your microphone is working properly by either trying it with a different device or connecting a different microphone to your computer.

Double-click the speaker icon in the bottom right corner of your screen to open the Windows sound mixer. Make sure your microphone is selected.

Configure the Microphone for Windows

Open Device Manager in the Windows 8 Control Panel and select “Sound, video and game controllers.”

Select the “Recording” tab and double-click the microphone icon. The “General” tab opens.

Select “Use this device” from the drop-down menu near the bottom of the pane.

Click the “Custom” tab and select “AGC” to boost your microphone’s audio signal. If this feature isn’t present, select the “Levels” tab and move the slider under the “Microphone Boost” heading all the way to the right. Do the same with the slider under the “Microphone” heading.

Click the “Advanced” tab and uncheck the box associated with “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device.” Click “OK.”

Update the Windows Audio Driver

Click the Start button and type “Windows Update” in the search box.

Click “Windows Update” near the top of the resulting pane. The update window opens.

Click “Check for Updates” in the left pane. A progress bar will begin scrolling across the center of the window as Windows compares your hardware’s existing drivers to the latest available drivers.

Click “View Available Updates” when the progress bar has stopped. A list of updated drivers appears.

Review the list of drivers to see if an updated audio driver is available. If this is the case, check the box next to it and click “Install.”

Update Your Sound Card's Driver

Visit your sound card manufacturer’s website and download the updated driver.

Open Device Manager in the Windows 8 Control Panel and select “Sound, video and game controllers.”

Right-click on your audio device and click “Update driver software.”

Select “Browse my computer for driver software” and navigate to the location of the driver you downloaded. Select it and click “Next” to install the updated driver.

Install Windows Compression Codec

Shut down Yahoo Messenger.

Download the AC3 Filter compression codec for Windows (see link in Resources).

Click the “Downloads” icon, located near the bottom left of the Windows 8 desktop, to expand the folder.

Double-click the Ac3filter_1_63b.exe file and install the codec.

Install the Latest Version of DirectX

Open your Internet browser and navigate to the Microsoft DirectX download page (link in Resources).

Click the “Download” button.

Double-click the Dxwebsetup.exe file in the Downloads folder to install the program.


  • If you're purchasing a new microphone and don't want to pick up a lot of room noise, look for one marked "directional." A directional microphone picks up sound that comes from one spatial direction, whereas an omnidirectional mic takes in sound from all directions.

About the Author

John Machay began writing professionally in 1984. Since then, his work has surfaced in the "West Valley View," "The Sean Hannity Show," "Scam Dunk" and in his own book, "Knuckleheads In the News." His efforts have earned him the Ottoway News Award and Billboard magazine honors for five straight years. Machay studied creative writing at Columbia College in Chicago.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images