How to Fix Garageband Not Working on Mac

David Wilson
2023-08-25 21:06:27 • Filed to: Screen Recording Troubleshooting

GarageBand is a highly popular audio production application made for Mac and iOS that can be installed on most of your Apple devices. Whether you are using a MacBook or iPad, you can start using GarageBand for all your audio production needs. GarageBand can also be used for voice recording for either creating songs or for recording sound effects. And since GarageBand offers an easy to use user interface, it is one of the best audio production apps for beginners.

While GarageBand works just fine in most cases, some of you might be facing issues like GarageBand not picking up mic or Garageband not recording. As this can be quite frustrating to face while producing music, fixing Garageband not opening and other similar issues is highly important. Hence we are here with multiple fixes for GarageBand not working on Mac, along with a great alternative that you can find down below.

How to Fix GarageBand not Working on Mac?

Whether you are working on a music production project or simply recording basic audio effects using GarageBand, you would want it to work perfectly. And if you are facing issues like GarageBand not downloading or GarageBand not picking up mic, you want it fixed right away. This is to ensure that you can get back to your audio production project in GarageBand right away. In that case, you can consider the following fixes for GarageBand not working on Mac:  

Restart your Mac

Before looking at other more advanced fixes regarding GarageBand not recording, you should consider restarting your Mac from the Apple menu. Rebooting your Mac can fix a lot of bugs with all sorts of programs, including GarageBand, which can potentially fix its issues as well. Before taking a look at other more advanced fixes regarding garageband not recording, you should consider restarting your mac

Update GarageBand to the Latest Version

In case that you are using an older version of GarageBand, not only might it lack many of the latest features, but it might even have bugs and issues. Because of this, you might face problems like GarageBand not opening or GarageBand not picking up mic. Hence, make sure to keep your GarageBand updated with the latest version: in case that you are using an older version of garage band, not only it might lack many of the latest features, but it might even have bugs and

  • For updating GarageBand to the latest version, you have first to open the App Store from the Apple menu.
  • Now, go to the Updates option present in the toolbar, where you will find a list of all the applications installed on your Mac that currently have an update available for them.
  • At last, if there is an update available for GarageBand, click on the Update button, which will download and install the latest version of GarageBand on your Mac.

Use Inbuilt Audio in GarageBand for Recording

A great thing about GarageBand is that other than its inbuilt musical instruments and audio loops, it also supports external devices. This means that you can connect something like an external MIDI controller or an audio interface for recording and creating music on your Mac with endless possibilities.

Even though this feature for the support of external devices is quite handy, it does create issues like GarageBand not recording in some cases. Thankfully, in such a case, you can simply switch to the inbuilt audio in GarageBand for fixing bugs like GarageBand not picking up mic. This can be done quite easily in GarageBand settings, as shown here:

  • First, you must disconnect all the various external MIDI controllers and audio interfaces currently connected to your Mac.
  • Once disconnected, you can then go ahead and open GarageBand to fix its issues.
  • Inside the GarageBand application, simply go to GarageBand > Preferences > Audio/MIDI, where you will find all of the settings related to audio devices and audio preferences associated with GarageBand.

garageband recording setting

  • Then, click on the drop-down menu next to the Output Device option and choose the Built-in Output to stop using external audio devices.
  • Similarly, open the drop-down menu present next to the Input Device option and select the Built-in Input or the Built-in Microphone option as per the available option, which will disable external audio devices.
  • Now, save these settings and open any project of your choice where you face issues like GarageBand not opening as they will be fixed now. If that is the case, your external audio device will most likely be broken and needs to be fixed right away.

Open GarageBand without Audio Input and Output

You can also consider opening GarageBand without audio input and output by simply holding the control key right after opening GarageBand and before opening a project. And when you get an alert on your screen, you have to click on the “Don’t Launch” option simply.

If this fixes the GarageBand not opening issue, you should update all external audio interface drivers and all audio plug-ins.

garageband audio input and output

Reset GarageBand Preferences

Suppose none of the solutions stated above have worked for fixing GarageBand not working issues on your Mac. In that case, multiple GarageBand preferences and settings have likely been incorrectly set.

This essentially means that you will have to reset all GarageBand preferences to fix GarageBand not downloading or GarageBand not opening issues. And if you follow the following method to reset GarageBand preferences, none of your projects will be affected:

  • Before resetting GarageBand preferences, you should first check your current ones from GarageBand > Preference and note down the important ones you need to change them later on easily.
  • Then, close GarageBand and use the Finder to choose Utilities from the Go menu on your Mac.
  • In here, open the Terminal and type “defaults delete” and press enter, which should reset all the preferences.
  • If you are using an older version of GarageBand and this command did not clear the preferences, then you can try running the “defaults delete” command.
  • After running either of these commands, you will have to restart your Mac to reset GarageBand preferences successfully. Then, try using the GarageBand projects in which you were facing issues earlier.

GarageBand Alternative to Record Audio on Mac

Even though the various fixes stated above regarding GarageBand not recording issues are quite useful, some of you might still be facing problems with GarageBand not picking up mic. In that case, you should consider using some GarageBand alternative to recording audio on Mac.

While there are various options available out there, Wondershare DemoCreator can be a great option for that. Unlike GarageBand, Wondershare DemoCreator is not an audio production application but still makes for a great pick for recording audio on Mac. Hence, if you face issues like GarageBand not downloading or GarageBand not opening, you can certainly consider Wondershare DemoCreator.

The Best Screen Recorder & Video Editor

Record screen, audio and camera simultaneously. 3 recording modes available.
Capture video demos, tutorials, presentations, games and edit them quickly like a Pro.
Edit the audio, video, recorded clips on different tracks simultaneously.
Built-in thousands of templates, resources, and DemoCreator effects store, make your video more attractive.
Export to MP4, MOV, MKV, GIF and multiple formats, and with high quality.
Free Download
Secure Download
Free Download
Secure Download

As per the name, the DemoCreator app is primarily made for creating video demos in the form of screen recordings from your Mac. But since it also supports webcam and microphone input, you can also use Wondershare DemoCreator to record audio on Mac. It also offers a wide range of handy features like an inbuilt editor, annotation, transition and effects, multiple export formats, and much more that can be handy for both screen recordings and audio recordings.

How to Record Audio on Mac with Wondershare DemoCreator?

Now that you know more about the Wondershare DemoCreator application, you might be interested in using it on your Mac as well. Thankfully, just like GarageBand for Mac, Wondershare DemoCreator is also quite easy to use when it comes to audio recording. For the same, you can simply follow the given steps to record audio on Mac with Wondershare DemoCreator:

  • Before recording high-quality audio recordings with Wondershare DemoCreator, you have to choose the right recording mode. If you want to record screen, audio and camera simultaneously, then please select the New RecordingIf you only wanr to record the screen and the sound, then select the Record Screen mode would be better.

choose recording mode

  • Once you have applied the right recoridng mode, simply click on the red button, which will start recording the screen and audio of your computer. You can then record whatever your wish to capture on your Mac from either its microphone or screen.

start recording

  • Finally, you can end the recording by hitting the capture button once again. You can then either take your footage into the inbuilt editor offered by Wondershare DemoCreator or export it in any format of your choice. This includes formats like MP3, MP4, AAC, MOV, and others. Once exported, you can either manually send it to others or share to any one of the many popular social media platforms supported by Wondershare DemoCreator.

export video


Despite being one of the best audio production applications for Mac and iOS, even GarageBand is not perfect, and a few issues like GarageBand not recording. Therefore, some of the best fixes for GarageBand not working on Mac have been explained above so that you can easily record audio. You can also find a great GarageBand Alternative there to record audio on Mac with Wondershare DemoCreator. If you have successfully fixed GarageBand not working issues, make sure to share your thoughts in the comments section. You can also post any questions down there if you have any!

Free Download
Secure Download
Free Download
Secure Download