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Dictation or Voice To Text Not Working on iPhone? Fix Now!


You’re trying to access the Dictation (Also known as voice to text or speech to text) on your iPhone, but it’s not working or you just can’t seem to find it? In this article, we explain how to fix Dictation (voice-to-text or speech-to-text) not working issue on iPhone or iPad.

Dictation on iPhone and iPad allows you to vocalize your text messages, narrate your notes, or speak to the keyboard anytime you’d normally type. It’s a great feature that makes handsfree an easy possibility. At least, it’s great when it works!

Considering how user-friendly this feature is, It makes sense to share some workable tricks to troubleshoot the voice-to-text issues on the iOS device.

Follow the steps we’ve laid out below, regardless of your iOS device.

Enable Dictation in your Keyboard settings

COPYRIGHT_NOVA: Published on https://www.novabach.com/i/dictation-not-working-on-iphone-fix-now/ by Daniel Barrett on 2022-05-29T21:50:59.000Z

The first thing to do when Dictation isn’t working is to ensure it’s enabled in your iPhone or iPad settings.

  • Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.
  • Scroll to the bottom and tap the switch for Enable Dictation.
  • Confirm you want to Enable Dictation.
  • Now restart your iPhone by holding the Side button and either volume button, then slide to power off.
  • If Dictation was already enabled, turn it off and restart your device. Then follow the steps above to turn it on again.

Dictation not working on iPhone? Turn OFF/ON Cellular or Wi-Fi

The “speech to text” feature requires a stable Internet connection to work perfectly. When your device is not connected to the Internet, the microphone icon turns grey.

So, make sure you have a proper Internet connection.

Open Settings app > Cellular or Wi-Fi. Then, turn off the switch. Next, restart your iPhone. Once your device has rebooted, turn on cellular or Wi-Fi.

After that, open any app like Messages or Notes and try to use dictation as usual. It should work now.

Turn off Screen Time restrictions for Siri & Dictation

Make sure Siri & Dictation are allowed in your Screen Time restrictions.

iOS restrictions allow parents to restrict adult content on their children’s devices. It’s possible that Dictation is also disabled through these restrictions.

You used to access your restrictions through the General settings on your iPhone or iPad. But with iOS 12 and later you can find them under the Screen Time settings.

Voice to text not working

  • Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  • Enter your Screen Time passcode if you have one.
  • Tap Allowed Apps and make sure Siri & Dictation is turned on.
  • Alternatively, choose to turn off all Content & Privacy Restrictions from the previous screen.

Dictation not working on iPhone? Restart Siri and Dictation

In another scenario, the voice dictation doesn’t seem to work even when there is no problem with the Internet, and the microphone icon isn’t grayed out either.

In such a case, giving a fresh start to both iPhone and Siri Dictation could do the trick.

  • Open Settings app on your iOS device > Siri & Search. Now, turn off “Listen for Hey Siri” and “Press Home/Side Button for Siri”.
  • Then after, disable Dictation. To do so, head over to Settings ? General ? Keyboard ? Dictation.
  • Next, you need to force restart your device. As the process slightly varies based on different models, check out this guide if you need help.
  • After your device has restarted, go back to the Settings and turn on Listen for Hey Siri and Press Home/Side Button for Siri. Also, enable Dictation. Now, check out if you have finally eliminated the problem.

Voice to text not working? Remove Third-Party Keyboards

Third-party keyboards, like Google’s Gboard, might not offer Dictation like the Apple keyboard does. Switch back to the standard keyboard whenever you want to use Dictation. Or remove your third-party keyboards altogether.

Third-party keyboards are available to download from the App Store on your device. You can add or remove them in the Keyboard settings and switch keyboards anytime with the Globe icon.

How to turn off third-party keyboards on my iPhone or iPad:

  • Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.
  • Tap the Keyboards button.
  • In the top right, tap Edit and use the red circle to remove any third-party keyboards.
  • If Edit is grayed out, tap Add New Keyboard… and add a standard Apple keyboard in your first language, then try removing your third-party keyboards again.

Clean your iPhone, iPad, or iPod microphones

First, clean your entire device with a microfiber cloth–these often pick up dirt, debris, and lint that might be blocking your device’s microphones!

Give your iPad screen a good wipe down with a clean, dry cloth.Then, locate the exact location of your iDevice’s microphones and inspect them closely, preferably with a magnifying glass or using the magnifying glass feature on a different iOS/iPadOS device.

If you see or suspect any debris remaining, follow the tips outlined in this article: How to clean your iPhone speaker and microphone

Unplug or disconnect your headphones

When you use Dictation with headphones connected, your device tries to hear you through the microphone on your headphones. This might be the cause of your problems.

Unplug any headphones or disconnect them from Bluetooth and try using Dictation again. If this works, look into repairing the microphone on your headphones.

You should also inspect the headphone or lightning port on your device for lint and debris. Shine a light in there and clean it using compressed air or a straightened paperclip. Take care not to damage the delicate connective pins inside!

How to disconnect wireless headphones from my iPhone or iPad:

  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
  • Find your headphones from the list of Bluetooth accessories and tap the i button.
  • Choose to Forget This Device.

Reset Network Settings and reconnect to the internet

Some languages need an internet connection to convert speech to text on your iPhone or iPad. Because of this, a problem with your network settings could be why Dictation stopped working.

Open Settings app on your iOS device ? General ? Reset ? hit Reset Network Settings and confirm.

Now, try to use the voice to text feature as usual. The problem should be gone now!

Update iOS On Your Device

No respite as yet? I suspect the problem could well be due to an adamant bug. To get rid of the bug, update your device. Go to Settings app ? General ? Software Update. After that, download and install the available update.

Restore Your Device As New

In most cases, the software update could troubleshoot the problem but if it also fails to offer the needed outcome, restore your device as new.

Yes, it’s the most unwanted solution as no one ever wishes to do it. But then again, we shouldn’t leave any stone unturned in the search of a fix. So, try it out as well. To get it done, head over to this hands-on guide.

Bottom Line

Got the answer to the problem? I guess you’ve finally sorted out the issue for good and started using dictation as usual. If you ever come across the same hurdle in the future, do keep the tricks in mind to troubleshoot it right away.

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About The Authors

Daniel Barrett

Daniel Barrett

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