Troubleshoot Speech Recognition problems

Here are some solutions to common problems with Windows Speech Recognition.

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I can't use Speech Recognition with User Account Control

User Account Control (UAC) can help you prevent unauthorized changes to your computer. It works by prompting you for permission when a task requires administrative rights, such as installing software or changing settings that affect other users. By default, Speech Recognition is not available when interacting with User Account Control dialog boxes. If you find that you need to frequently interact with User Account Control dialog boxes, you can set User Account Control to work with Speech Recognition. Doing so, however, will result in a lower level of security and is not recommended.

To use Speech Recognition in User Account Control dialog boxes

You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.

If you are using Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, or Windows Vista Home Premium, this procedure will not work because the Local Security Settings snap-in is unavailable on those editions.

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button.
  2. In the Search box, type secpol.msc, and then click secpol.msc. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. Click Local Policies, and then double-click Security Options.

  4. Right-click User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation, and then click Properties.

  5. Click Disabled, and then click OK.

Note

  • If you are prevented from using your computer because you cannot use Speech Recognition, you can turn User Account Control off. For more information, see Turn User Account Control on or off .

The computer doesn't hear me.

There are several possible causes of the problem:

  • The microphone isn't close enough to pick up your voice. Make sure that the microphone is positioned close enough and that you are speaking directly into it.

  • The microphone is muted. Some microphones have an external control for muting. Make sure the mute control is turned off.

  • The microphone input level is too low. Make sure that the microphone input level is set properly.

    To adjust the microphone input level

    1. Open Audio Devices and Sound Themes by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Sound.

    2. Click the Recording tab.

    3. Double-click the microphone that you use for Speech Recognition.

    4. Click the Levels tab, and then use the slider to set the input level for your microphone.

  • The microphone connections are not properly attached. Make sure the microphone wires are intact and unbroken. The connections to the computer might be loose, so unplug the wires and reconnect them, making sure they fit snugly.

  • A different microphone is selected for use with Speech Recognition. If you have more than one microphone installed on your computer, the wrong one might be selected for use with Speech Recognition. Make sure that you're using the microphone selected for Speech Recognition.

    To change which microphone is used with Speech Recognition

    1. Open Audio Devices and Sound Themes by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Sound.

    2. Click the Recording tab.

    3. Select the microphone that you want to use with Speech Recognition, and then click Set Default.

Check the information that came with the microphone for additional troubleshooting information. Common troubleshooting steps include making certain the sound card for the computer is properly installed and that the correct drivers are available.

Speech Recognition doesn't understand my spoken commands.

  • Make sure that you have a good voice profile.

    To create a voice profile

    1. Open Speech Recognition Options by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Speech Recognition Options.

    2. Click Train your computer to better understand you, and then follow the instructions in the Voice Training wizard.

  • Familiarize yourself with the commands that Speech Recognition recognizes. For more information, see Common commands in Speech Recognition.

  • The Speech Tutorial will guide you through lessons that teach you how to command the computer with your voice.

    To take the Speech Tutorial

    1. Open Speech Recognition Options by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Speech Recognition Options.

    2. Click Take Speech Tutorial, and then follow the instructions.

Speech Recognition enters the wrong words during dictation.

If you consistently have a problem with Speech Recognition entering the wrong words when you speak, you can use the Speech Dictionary to exclude those words from dictation. You can also add words that you frequently use that Speech Recognition does not recognize. To open the Speech Dictionary, make sure Speech Recognition is running and then say "Open Speech Dictionary." Click or say Add a new word or Prevent a word from being dictated, and then follow the instructions in the Speech Dictionary wizard.

The mousegrid appears on the wrong monitor.

If you are using two monitors, when you use the "mousegrid" command the mousegrid will appear on the monitor where the pointer is located. To have the mousegrid appear on a different monitor, move the mouse pointer to the monitor where you want the mousegrid to appear, and then say "mousegrid."