Ever wondered which applications on your PC heard your microphone? A new feature in the Windows 10 update from May 2019 tells you, but it's easy to miss. This feature works for both desktop apps and store apps.
View the current use of the microphone
If an application uses your microphone, your system tray displays a microphone icon, also known as your "System Tray." If you are using the dark theme of Windows 1
Hover the mouse over the icon and Windows will tell you which app your microphone is currently using. If your microphone is currently being used by multiple applications, Windows will tell you how many applications your microphone is using.
Not displayed Check the overflow menu by clicking the up arrow to the left of the notification icons. If the microphone icon is hidden here and you want it to appear in your system tray, you can drag it to the notification area in your taskbar and drop it there.
This icon appears only when an application is currently using or listening. your microphone. If you do not see it, there are currently no applications using your microphone.
If multiple applications are using your microphone and you want to know it Click the icon. This takes you to the Settings> Privacy> Microphone window. Scroll through the list and look for applications with the red text "Currently in use".
Note that there are two lists listed here – a list of "Microsoft Store apps" and one with "desktop apps" each list.
CONNECTED: Everything new in Windows 10, May 2019 update, now available.
How To See Which Apps Have Used Your Microphone Before
Even if your microphone is not currently being used by applications and the icon is not showing, you can check which applications have used your microphone. In Windows 10, go to Settings> Privacy> Microphone to open the microphone settings.
Scroll through the list of applications that have access to your microphone and look under each for a last access date and time. Windows will tell you the exact date and time the application last accessed your microphone.
Settings> Privacy> Camera It also shows when apps last accessed your computer's webcam hardware. However, there is no similar notification icon for webcam access. Microsoft may think that your computer probably already has a visible webcam indicator light.
Not Completely Trusted for Desktop Apps
As Microsoft notes, desktop applications can interact directly with your microphone or webcam hardware and bypass Windows 10's privacy control and monitoring.
In other words, it's possible that a desktop application is accessing your microphone or webcam, but it's not listed here. An application may be accessing your microphone hardware at a low level, and the microphone icon may not be displayed.
However, Windows should detect microphone access from most desktop applications. However, specially coded RAT malware could escape detection.
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