Why can't Microsoft do speech recognition well

When dictation does not work in Office

Make sure you're signed in to your Microsoft 365 account. If dictation doesn't work, the problem is likely with your microphone. Here are some ways to try.

Microphone does not work

If your microphone is not working, or if you see "There is a problem with your microphone" or "We cannot detect your microphone" message, try the following:

  • Make sure the microphone is connected.

  • Test the microphone to make sure it works.

  • Check the microphone settings in the control panel.

Dictation cannot hear you

If you get a message saying "Dictation can't hear you" or nothing happens while you are dictating, try the following:

  • Make sure your microphone is not muted.

  • Change to a calmer position.

  • Adjust the input volume of your microphone.

  • If you're using a microphone that is installed on your computer, try switching to an external microphone that you plug into your computer.

Cannot find dictate button

  • A Microsoft 365 subscription is required to use this feature. Please make sure you are signed in with an active subscription.

  • Only versions of Windows 10 and higher support the use of this feature. The feature is not available if you are running an older version of Windows.

Microphone settings

Windows 10: Learn how to set up and test microphones

Interface with Windows 10: Adjusting the microphone settings

Microphone has no access

If you see the "We don't have access to your microphone" message, try the following:

  • Make sure no other application is using the microphone and try it again.

  • Refresh the webpage, choose again dictate and give the browser permission to access the microphone.

Microphone does not work

If your microphone is not working, or if you see "There is a problem with your microphone" or "We cannot detect your microphone" message, try the following:

  • Make sure the microphone is connected.

  • Test the microphone to make sure it works.

  • Check your microphone settings in the system settings.

Dictation cannot hear you

If you get a message saying "Dictation can't hear you" or nothing happens while you are dictating, try the following:

  • Make sure your microphone is not muted.

  • Change to a calmer position.

  • Adjust the input volume of your microphone.

  • If you're using a microphone that is installed on your computer, try switching to an external microphone that you plug into your computer.

Microphone settings

  1. Switch to System settings # a0 Sound # a1 input.

  2. Make sure your microphone is listed as the audio input device and select it.

  3. Test the microphone and use the slider to adjust the input volume.

Microphone has no access

If you see the "We don't have access to your microphone" message, try the following steps:

  • Make sure no other application is using the microphone and try it again.

  • Refresh the webpage, choose again dictate and give the browser permission to access the microphone.

Microphone does not work

If your microphone is not working, or if you see "There is a problem with your microphone" or "We cannot detect your microphone" message, try the following:

  • Make sure the microphone is connected.

  • Test the microphone to make sure it works.

  • Check the microphone settings in the Control Panel (Windows).

Dictation cannot hear you

If you get a message saying "Dictation can't hear you" or nothing happens while you are dictating, try the following:

  • Make sure your microphone is not muted.

  • Change to a calmer position.

  • Adjust the input volume of your microphone.

  • If you're using a microphone that is installed on your computer, try switching to a microphone that you plug into your computer.

Cannot find dictate button

  • A Microsoft 365 subscription is required to use this feature. Please make sure you are signed in with an active subscription.

  • If you are using a Windows device, please note that only versions of Windows 10 and above support the use of this feature. The feature is not available if you are running an older version of Windows.

Microphone settings

Windows 10: Learn how to set up and test microphones

Interface with Windows 10: Adjusting the microphone settings

For macOS: Switch to System settings # a0 Sound # a1 input.