How to Use Voice Dictation in Windows 11

Windows 11 helps you set up the voice recognition feature so you can dictate commands and text.

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You are working on Windows 11 and you cannot use your mouse and keyboard. No problem. You can still work via voice dictation. Like previous versions of Windows, Windows 11 offers a feature through which you can dictate text and commands. After enabling voice dictation, you choose a specific language and train the feature to recognize your own voice. After this initial setup, you can then use the feature in any Windows application. Here’s how it works.

TO SEE: Windows 11: Installation, security tips and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

To start in Windows 11, go to Settings, select Accessibility, then choose the setting for Voice (Figure A).

Figure A

On the speech settings screen, enable the switch for Windows Speech Recognition. A welcome window appears prompting you to configure your computer to recognize your voice. Click Next (Figure B).

Figure B

On the Microphone screen, choose the type of microphone you normally use with this computer: headset microphone, desktop microphone, or other. Click Next (Figure C).

Figure C

Position the microphone if necessary. Click Next. Now read the text on the screen to start training the technology to understand your voice. When you are done, click Next (Figure D).

Figure D

You are told that your microphone is now configured. Click Next. On the next screen, you are asked if you want to improve speech recognition accuracy by allowing Microsoft to examine all documents and email messages referenced in your search index. If you are ok with this option, select “Enable document review”. If you are concerned about privacy issues, select “Disable document review”. To learn more about this process and the privacy implications, click on the Privacy Statement link. Once you have made your selection, click Next (Figure E).

Figure E

At the activation mode screen, choose one of the two options. With manual activation mode, you deactivate voice recognition by saying “Stop listening”. To resume, you must click on the microphone icon or press Ctrl + Windows key. With voice activation mode, the recognition feature simply goes to sleep when you stop it and can be reactivated if you say “Start listening”. After making your selection, click Next (Figure F).

Figure F

On the next screen, click the View Reference Sheet button to see a list of commands you can dictate by voice. Click Next. On the next screen, leave the box next to “Run speech recognition at startup” if you want the feature to be available every time you log into Windows. If not, uncheck the box. Click Next. On the next screen, click the Start Tutorial button to test speech recognition. Otherwise, click the Skip Tutorial button (G-figure).


The Speech Recognition module appears at the top of the screen. To view or change other feature options, click the Voice setting under Related Settings. If multiple languages ​​are installed in Windows, you can select the language you want to use. Check the box “Recognize non-native accents for this language” if you speak the chosen language with an accent (H-figure).


Next, open an app, email, document, or other piece of content where you want to dictate text and commands. Click the microphone icon on the module and start speaking. Remember that you also speak punctuation symbols and navigation commands (eg period, comma, new line, new paragraph) (I figure).

I figure

To pause or stop the feature, click the microphone icon or say: “Stop listening”. To resume, press the icon again or say: “Start listening” if you chose voice activation mode during setup. Finally, right-click on the module at the top to access a host of commands, including changing the activation mode, opening a voice reference card, starting a tutorial, opening the voice dictionary to add a new word, and accessing to various configuration options. (Figure J).

Figure J

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