With major macOS releases, Apple tends to tweak your Mac’s security system that can prevent Discord’s Push To Talk feature from functioning correctly. Here’s how to troubleshoot Discord’s Push To Talk feature on Mac.
Granting Authorization When First Installing Discord
When you first install and launch Discord, you should see a series of security prompts.
These prompts are Discord requesting access to sensitive permissions on your Mac, including the microphone and camera. The last of these prompts gives Discord access to monitor your keyboard, but it doesn’t say anything about the keyboard, and instead contains a scary-sounding generic “accessibility” message.
If you’re interested in using Push To Talk—or any other keybind functions in the Discord application—it’s important that you click “Open System Preferences” here to allow Discord access to keybinds. You can follow the instructions above if you need to allow these permissions.
If you choose “Deny” here, Discord will never again prompt you, and the Push To Talk feature will simply not work without giving you any errors or indication as to why it isn’t working.
In macOS Catalina and newer applications are normally allowed to see only keystrokes performed while the app in question is active. This is done to mitigate the threat of programs acting as keyloggers and similar sorts of malware. What this dialog is asking is for you to grant Discord global keystroke access, so functions like Push To Talk can function while Discord is in the background.
In previous releases of macOS, applications could read global keystrokes whenever they wanted to without any consent from the user whatsoever. It was convenient, but also quite dangerous. Catalina and newer applications close the hole by requiring user consent for all applications.
In summary, Discord is now forced to ask the system for global keystroke permissions, whereas before it simply did as it pleased. This means that you, the user, must judge the threat of giving Discord these permissions and decide if giving it access makes sense given the threat-to-value ratio.
Granting Permissions to Discord
To ensure that the Discord application has access to your microphone and keyboard, open “System Preferences” on your MacBook and navigate to “Security & Privacy.”
You can easily open your System Preferences by pressing CMD+Space on your keyboard to open Spotlight and then typing “System Preferences” into the search bar.
Once you’ve opened System Preferences, open the “Security & Privacy” panel and click on the “Security” tab.
When accessing these controls, you must first unlock them to make any changes. Click the lock at the bottom of the screen and input your password to make changes to these settings.
From there, click on “Microphone” and tick the checkbox, thus making it possible to utilize the voice chat feature in video calls on the Discord application.
Next, follow this same process underneath the “Input Monitoring” tab. By clicking these checkboxes, you’re allowing Discord to monitor your keyboard inputs—this will permit you to use keybinds for push to talk.
If you’re interested in using your webcam for video calls, go ahead and click the “Camera” tab to grant access to your Camera in the Discord application.
Once you’ve completed this step, go back to Discord to begin configuring Push To Talk keybinds.
Set Keybinds in Discord
After you’ve allowed Discord access to every required permission through your System Preferences settings, you can register a custom keybind for Push To Talk in Discord’s Settings menu.
To set a custom keybind in Discord, look at the bottom left of the app’s screen and locate the Gear icon next to your profile picture. Click the Gear icon to open your User Settings.
Next, scroll to the “Voice & Video” panel and turn “Push To Talk” to the ON position by ticking the box.
All keybinds you’re currently using with Discord will be listed in the “Keybind Settings” menu. Click the link to dive deeper into the app’s settings.
First, double-check that “Push To Talk” and “Push To Mute” are not set to the same key.
There are no keybinds automatically configured as defaults, so if you only set a “Push To Talk” keybind, you don’t need to worry about a “Push To Mute” keybind.
The “Keybind Settings” menu is where you configure all of your keybinds in Discord. Select “Push To Talk (Normal)” and choose which keybind you’d like to use—it can be the same keybind you’re using in the “Shortcut” keybind (seen in the screenshot above ⌘+^).
If you want to test your new Push-To-Talk keybind, Discord provides a relatively easy way of verifying that your microphone is picking up your voice. In that same panel, click “Let’s Check” and then speak into your microphone. If the indicator lights up, then the microphone is working.
For optimal quality for those listening to you, the indicator should jump to around 75 percent of maximum when speaking at a normal volume.
Contact Discord Support
When all else fails, take a look at Discord’s FAQ page where you can find an expansive list of self-help menus written by the Discord Support Team. In the top-right corner of the site, there is an option to submit a request to Discord’s Support team for further assistance.