How to Use and Troubleshoot Voice Typing in Windows

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Windows 11 comes equipped with a Voice Typing feature, enabling you to enter text on a PC just by speaking the words. This tool employs online speech recognition powered by Azure Speech services. As a result, you will require an Internet connection and a working microphone to start using this tool. The following tutorial explains how to enable Voice Typing in Windows 11 and what to do if it is not working.

What Is Voice Typing and Why Should You Use It?

Microsoft updated the Windows 10 dictation tool and renamed it “Voice Typing” in Windows 11. Thanks to Azure Speech services, the feature is now seamless and much more accurate. The following are its key advantages.

  • An average person can type around 40 words per minute, but we can speak around 130 words per minute, making voice typing a huge time saver.
  • Voice Typing can minimize hand muscle stress if your typing sessions last for many hours daily.
  • Voice Typing can help you achieve better accuracy, as your documents will not have spelling errors if you pronounce words correctly.
  • There is no restriction on where you can use Voice Typing in Windows. You can deploy the tool wherever you have a text box/window on your PC’s screen or inside a website/app.

How to Activate Voice Typing in Windows

Follow these steps to activate Voice Typing on your PC.

  1. Open a word processor such as Microsoft Word or a text box on your PC.
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  1. Press Windows + H on your keyboard to open the Voice Typing tool.
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  1. Click the microphone icon and start speaking. Your speech will automatically be converted into text.
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  1. Voice Typing also comes with an auto punctuation feature. To enable it, click on the cog-shaped Settings button in the Voice Typing launcher and toggle on the “Auto punctuation” option.
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  1. If you want to automatically access the Voice Typing launcher whenever you’re in a text box, click Settings again and toggle the “Voice typing launcher” option at the top.
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  1. Voice Typing also offers various commands to edit text quickly and boost productivity. They are compatible with all Voice Typing languages. For example, you can say “Pause Voice Typing” or “Pause Voice Mode” to terminate a Voice Typing session or say “comma” to add a comma to your dictation. Visit Microsoft’s website to see the complete list of commands.

How to Change Voice Typing Language

By default, Windows allows you to start dictating in English. However, you can easily switch to another language. Voice Typing supports up to 46 languages, including French, Spanish, Romanian, and Bulgarian.

  1. Press Windows + I to access the Settings menu.
  2. Click on the “Time & language” tab in the left sidebar, then go to “Language & region” on the right.
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  1. If you cannot see the language you want to use for Voice Typing in the “Preferred languages” section, you will need to add it by clicking on the “Add a language” button.
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  1. Find the language you want to add to Voice Typing and follow the on-screen instructions to install it.
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  1. Once your chosen language is installed, you can easily switch Voice Typing languages by pressing Windows + Spacebar.
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How to Fix Voice Typing Not Working

Use the troubleshooting methods below if Voice Typing fails to start or is misbehaving in any way.

1. Make Sure You’re Using the Correct Language

If you’ve selected an incorrect language, Voice Typing will not be able to identify your words. Therefore, you must select the correct language using the steps below.

  1. Go to the “Settings” menu and click on the “Time & language” tab in the sidebar.
  1. Click on “Speech” in the right pane.
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  1. Choose the language you want to use from the “Speech language” section. Also check the “Recognize non-native accents for this language” option if your chosen language is not your native language.
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  1. Alternatively, you can use the Windows + Spacebar shortcut to switch languages.

2. Check Whether Your Microphone Is Enabled

Voice Typing will not work if your Microphone is disabled, so you’ll need to turn it on.

  1. Go to the “Settings” menu.
  2. Click on the “Privacy & security” tab in the left sidebar.
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  1. Scroll down the right pane until you reach the “App permissions” section and select the “Microphone” tab.
  2. Toggle on “Microphone access.” You may also want to enable the “Let apps access your microphone” option.
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3. Troubleshoot Built-in Recording

Windows 11 has built-in troubleshooters for almost all hardware and software issues. Running its dedicated Recording troubleshooter can find and fix any issues preventing the Voice Typing feature from working. Even if it doesn’t fix the problem right away, the troubleshooter offers more details about the problem, which could lead to a solution.

  1. Go to the “Settings” menu and click the “System” tab in the left pane.
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  1. Scroll down the primary pane and click on the “Troubleshoot” option.
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  1. Press the “Other troubleshooters” option.
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  1. You will see various options to troubleshoot on the right. Scroll down and choose “Recording Audio.”
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  1. Choose your default microphone and click “Next” to generate a troubleshooting report.
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  1. Study the report to see whether there is an issue in recording audio and change settings accordingly.
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4. Update Microphone Driver

A faulty microphone driver could cause Voice Typing to stop working. Therefore, you should check whether your microphone driver needs to be updated.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run utility, then type “devmgmt.msc” to launch Device Manager.
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  1. Click on the “Audio inputs and outputs” tab and locate your microphone.
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  1. Right-click on your microphone to update the driver.
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  1. Choose the “Search automatically for drivers” option.
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  1. If Windows cannot find a driver, you’ll have to download it from the manufacturer’s website on your computer first, then select the “Browse my computer for drivers” option and follow the on-screen instructions.

5. Update Your PC

A bug could cause an issue with Voice Typing. Updating your PC may fix the issue.

  1. Go to “Settings -> System -> Windows Update.”
  2. You’ll be able to see on the right whether new updates are available.
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  1. Click on the “Check for updates” button to start the update process.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I control my Windows PC with voice commands?

Yes. Windows 11 offers improved accessibility functions compared to the older version. It has a voice assistant feature known as Voice Access, which helps you control the PC’s operating system using your voice and microphone. Go to “Settings -> Accessibility -> Speech” to enable the voice access feature. Windows also features Cortana, which works as a virtual assistant and can help you do all kinds of things with your voice, such as checking calendars, adding tasks, and setting reminders.

Does Windows 11 have a text-to-speech feature?

Yes, Windows 11 has a text-to-speech feature known as Narrator. It is a screen-reading tool that reads aloud the text on your PC’s display. Press Windows + Ctrl + Enter to start using Windows Narrator.

Why am I getting the 0x80049dd3 error code?

0x80049dd3 is a speech-to-text error code. You may encounter this error when using Voice Typing. Following the troubleshooting steps mentioned above will likely fix this error.

Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels. All screenshots by Sandeep Babu.

Sandeep Babu
Sandeep Babu

Sandeep Babu is a tech writer. He loves writing on Windows, cybersecurity, privacy, and internet. Earlier, he was working as a publisher of QuickScream

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