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On macos (Monterey/version 12) how can I toggle the microphone off/on (mute/unmute)? If there's no control for this, is there a way to script it for macos specifically to achieve the desired effect of quickly toggling the microphone?

Various apps use the microphone (eg web/webrtc calling, desktop calling/meeting apps, etc) and don't actually mute when I select that option, they simply turn off the audio stream. How can I control my own microphone from the OS instead of the various oddities and quirks of app developers (regardless of whether it's in browser or otherwise)?

Thanks.

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4 Answers 4

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Just tried MuteKey on macOS Big Sur and it did the job very well. On my default installation, the hotkeys were ⇧ Shift+⌘ Command+W; I had to select Device > All Input Devices to get it working globally.

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Note: I'm not 100% sure if this what the original person was asking, but I had the same question on the title and this was the first result on Google, so I figured I could make it easier for the next person!

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  • 1
    How is this different from the existing answer?
    – Thinkr
    Jun 27, 2023 at 5:51
  • You're right, I hadn't noticed that the existing answer also mentions this app as one of its suggestions. Although my answer includes the fact that I tested it successfully and adds more specific instructions.
    – Ricardo
    Jun 27, 2023 at 22:21
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The Sound preferences control panel provides the control for muting and adjusting the microphone in the [Input] tab. When adjusting the volume slider to the far left/down it results in the calling apps warning me my microphone is muted, as expected.

For convenience I searched in the App Store for "mute mic" and found MuteKey which when open allows toggling the microphone off and on (and has settings for opening on login).

Related to this a scripted solution is mentioned in Saaru's comment above which is super helpful and I might try as well. However that scripted solution is aiming to solve a slightly different, related problem.

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I was turning down the built-in mic slider in the Input tab of the System Sound Settings but for some reason it always came back up a notch. I found that you can open Audio MIDI Setup (can search with cmd+space), click the mic you want to mute, then check Mute.

This is nice if you don't want to install anything extra.

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I have ligitic KeyBoard and there is a button to do this function, actually it activates the Mute checkbox of the system Mic in the Audio MIDI Setup thanks to @VerboseOaf for his tip.

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  • That's great you found a solution to your particular scenario, but how does this answer the question being asked short of buying a (assuming) Logitech keyboard? This appears to be more commentary than a bona fide answer.
    – Allan
    Jan 26 at 8:16

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