Is there an open source windows 10 trick (or a tweak/app) that would just turn ON/OFF the microphone or at least shows when it records? (For instance when it will record, it will show a red icon on the task-bar)

I find it surprising in windows 10 (which use Cortana) to don't be able to know when I'm recorded. I would like to turn the microphone OFF when I'm not using Cortana.

The same question has been asked about linux


Unfortunately there isn't a way to see that, however, here are several ways you can disable your microphone manually:

  • Click on start button and select Control Panel
  • Click on Hardware and Sound
  • Click on Sound
  • Now in the pop-up window, click on Recording tab

You should see your hardware activity there and you can disable your microphone.

  • Right-click on Microphone and select Disable

If you are using external microphone or a headset, they usually have hardware on/off switches. To be completely safe it is always beneficial to just mute your microphone that way. And of course, you can just unplug your microphone if it is stand alone.


Yes. Attach an opamp and a 3V LED to either of the two wires, and it will pulse when the mic is active. The LED is easy to embed in the casing with a little 3mm drill. Go to electrical engineering on stack exchange, and they will help you.

Edit: It will be a lot quicker to add one of these: Sliding switches You can get by with wirewrapping, but it's not recommended for audio cables. A cheap soldering iron costs 3-5$.

Connect wire (either red+ or black-, it doesn't matter), to either pins 1 and 2 or pins 2 and 3.

  • great idea, thank you! I guess without drill it could be done with a thin nail heated to red. – marloypo Jul 6 '17 at 20:29
  • @marloypo Yes, why not. The excess plastic can be scraped with a box cutter after it cools. – user2497 Jul 6 '17 at 20:47

No there isn't anything native within Windows for showing you when it's recording. Which if you think about it is all the time - the OS is always listening for the mic input by default.

Even if there was some way to show you when the OS or another app was listening then some malware could circumvent the notification system and lead you into a false sense of security.

Anything which involves software can be manipulated so even if you find a third party app that does claim to notify you, just be aware it may not be reliable.

  • thanks for your reply. So I guess the only way would be to add a physical switch to turn off the recorder, which doesn't sound easy to do. (Sorry I don't have enough reputation to upvote) – marloypo Jul 3 '17 at 8:49
  • Yes I think so. You can mark the question as answered if you feel it helped. All the best :) – ISMSDEV Jul 3 '17 at 10:21

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