If you get the notification “1 app is using your microphone,” whenever you start up Windows, the processes rundll32.exe or svchost.exe are likely using your microphone.
This issue usually happens when you have the “listen to this device” setting enabled on Windows or when there are outdated drivers affecting the communication between your microphone and Windows.
So, to fix it, you need to click on the sound icon in the notification area of Windows, right-click on your microphone > Properties, then on the Listen tab, disable Listen to this device. If it doesn’t work, update your microphone and audio drivers with a driver updater.
Next, I will show you these fixes step-by-step and an alternative fix if none of those works.
Fix 1: Disable Listen to This Device on Windows Sounds
This fix takes little time, and it works for most users. It involves disabling “listen to this device” on Windows sound settings; here is how you can do it.
- Right-click on the sound icon in the notification area of Windows, then select Sounds:
- Go to the Recording tab, right-click your microphone device, and then click on Properties:
- Go to the Listen tab, and disable Listen to This Device if it is enabled:
If there is more than one device on your recording tab, disable Listen to This Device on all of them.
You can also right-click on your recording devices and click Disable if you won’t be using your microphone for a while. You can always enable it back again later.
(If you want to learn how to set a hotkey to change audio output in Windows 10/11, I’ve written an article about that.)
If this fix doesn’t work, try updating your drivers, as explained below.
Fix 2: Update your Microphone and Audio Device Drivers
Another effective way to fix this issue is to update your device drivers. Drivers are responsible for the communication between your hardware (like your microphone) and Windows.
You can update your drivers directly in the device manager, but often the device manager won’t update devices with the latest drivers.
Using the device manager can also be very time-consuming as it only allows updating one driver at a time. So, I recommend using a program to do the job.
To update your microphone and audio drivers, do this:
- Download Driver Booster and install it.
- Open the program and click on Scan:
- Now select all the outdated audio and microphone drivers on the list, or just select to update all your outdated drivers at once. Click on the Update Now button:
- Wait for the update to complete.
Now check if this rundll32.exe or svchost.exe are still using your microphone. If none of the above solutions worked, you can try to repair corrupted files in Windows by using the DISM and sfc/scannow commands.
Fix 3: Use the DISM and sfc /scannow to repair corrupted files in Windows
You can also try using the DISM and sfc /scannow commands on CMD to scan system files and replace corrupted files with a cached copy located in a compressed folder. Here is how to do it:
- Enter Command Prompt on Windows Search, then select Run as Administrator:
- In the Command Prompt, run the DISM command below:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
It is important that you are connected online, or else the DISM tool will not work.
- After that, run the following command:
- Now, wait while your system is scanned. When finished, restart your PC and check if svchost.exe or rundll32.exe are still using your microphone.
What does svchost.exe do?
The Service Host, or svchost.exe, is a shared-service Windows process that enables different Windows services running from DLL files to share a single process.
What is rundll32.exe used for?
Rundll32.exe is a legitimate Windows system application that allows DLL files to be launched by other Windows programs whenever needed.
To fix this issue, try to disable the “listen to this device” setting on Windows sound settings or update your microphone drivers in the device manager or your device manufacturer’s official website.
The first two solutions are the two main fixes that work, but if they didn’t do the job for you, and the sfc /scannow command also didn’t work, I recommend you try to restore your Windows system to a previous point before the problem, if possible.
If your PC gets too slow when using video conference apps like Zoom or Google Meet, I’ve written an article on how to fix Windows Camera Frame Server high CPU usage when webcam is on.