Enable Speech Recognition in Windows 10

Windows provides both a device-based speech recognition feature (available through the Windows Speech Recognition Desktop app), and a cloud-based speech recognition service in those markets and regions where Cortana is available. Here is how to enable the Speech Recognition feature in Windows 10.

Windows 10 Speech Recognition App

Windows Speech Recognition lets you control your PC with your voice alone, without needing a keyboard or mouse. There's a special wizard to help you get started. You need to plug in your microphone, and then configure Windows Speech Recognition. Speech Recognition is a nice addition to the dictation feature of Windows 10.


Speech Recognition is only available for the following languages: English (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India, and Australia), French, German, Japanese, Mandarin (Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional), and Spanish.

To enable Speech Recognition in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open the classic Control Panel app.
  2. Go to Control Panel\Ease of Access\Speech Recognition.
  3. Click on the Start Speech Recognition item.Speech Recognition
  4. Read the welcome page of the wizard and click on the Next button.Windows 10 Enable Speech Recognition Step 1
  5. Select the microphone type you have connected and click Next.Windows 10 Enable Speech Recognition Step 2
  6. On the next page, click Next to set up your microphone.Windows 10 Enable Speech Recognition Step 3
  7. Read aloud the provided sentence and click Next.Windows 10 Enable Speech Recognition Step 4
  8. Click on the Next button on the next page to confirm the microphone setup.Windows 10 Enable Speech Recognition Step 5
  9. Turn on or off the options Enable document review or Disable document review according to your preferences. You can improve the computer's ability to recognize spoken words by allowing Speech Recognition to review documents and email in your search index. Speech Recognition will learn words and phrases to better understand you when you speak.Windows 10 Enable Speech Recognition Step 6
  10. Select the option Use manual activation mode or Use voice activation mode. In manual mode, you will need to click on the Microphone icon or press the Ctrl + Win sequence to enable Speech Recognition. In voice activation mode you will need to say the "Start Listening" voice command.Windows 10 Enable Speech Recognition Step 7
  11. On the next page, you can print the list of supported voice commands.Windows 10 Enable Speech Recognition Step 8
  12. On the next page, turn on or off the option Run Speech Recognition at startup for what you want.Windows 10 Enable Speech Recognition Step 9
  13. On the last page of the wizard you can view the tutorial or skip it.Windows 10 Enable Speech Recognition Step 10

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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