How to Toggle Mute Your Mic on Windows (with a keyboard shortcut!)

Published Mar 14, 2022  ∙  Updated May 2, 2022

How can we toggle mute our microphone on a Windows computer?

I often want to appear unmuted in Zoom meetings, but I still want my microphone to be muted.

Ideally, I can mute and unmute my microphone without anyone on the call knowing.

There are microphones that have dedicated mute buttons. However, if we’re using a built-in microphone or an external microphone without a mute button, we’ll need a custom solution to toggle-mute our microphone.

We’ll be using the Microsoft PowerToys, which is a set of utilities for Windows systems to increase user productivity.

Many users have suggested MicMute. I have not used this application, so I can’t speak to its quality or ease of use, but I’m sure it’s reliable given the number of recommendations for this application.

The first step, of course, will be to install Microsoft PowerToys.

1. Install Microsoft PowerToys

We’ll want to install the Experimental Version of PowerToys from GitHub.

  1. Head over to the list of Microsoft PowerToys releases
  2. Select the latest verified tag (as of this article, the latest tag is v0.56.1)
  3. Scroll to the Assets section
  4. Download the .exe file and launch it
  5. Follow the wizard to install the application
    1. Be sure to select the option: Automatically start PowerToys (Preview) at logon

2. Grant PowerToys admin privileges

Next, we want to ensure PowerToys always runs as administrator.

  1. Let’s open up Microsoft PowerToys (Preview)
  2. Go to GeneralAdministrative Mode
  3. If you are not running as administrator, select Restart PowerToys as administrator
  4. Turn on: Always run as administrator

3. Enable Video Conference Mute

Now, we want to enable Video Conference Mute.

  1. Go to Video Conference Mute tab
  2. Turn on: Enable Video Conference Mute
  3. Under Mute microphone, select the pencil icon to edit the shortcut
  4. Press your desired keyboard shortcut

4. Verify that the shortcut works

Finally, we can verify that our keyboard shortcut indeed does toggle-mute our microphone.

  1. In Start, search for Sound settings
  2. Go to SoundInput
  3. Ensure Test your microphone responds when you speak
  4. Press your keyboard shortcut
  5. Verify that 2 things happen:
    1. The Test your microphone does not respond when you speak
    2. You get a notification saying Microphone off
  6. Press your keyboard shortcut again
  7. Verify that 2 things happen:
    1. The Test your microphone does not respond when you speak
    2. You get a notification saying Microphone on