Use Speech on my phone

Did you know your Windows Phone is a good listener? With Speech, you can make a call, send a text message, take a note, open an app, find something online and more using only your voice.

To use Speech

  1. Press and hold the Search 

    Search Icon
    button on your phone to start Speech. You can say "Help" any time while Speech is active to display some examples of how to use it.


    Speech dialog box

    When you open Speech, your phone listens for a voice command
  2. Here are some of the things you can do with your voice:

  3. To Say this

    Call a contact

    "Call contact name"

    (where contact name is the name of someone in your contact list)

    Example: "Call Lisa Miller"

    If the person has only one phone number in your contact card, and you've contacted them recently, the call will start. If there are multiple phone numbers for the contact, you'll see an option to choose the number you want to call.

    Call any phone number

    "Call phone number"

    (where phone number is any phone number, whether it's assigned to a contact or not)

    Example: "Call 4255550155"

    Redial the last number


    Send a text message

    "Text contact name"

    (where contact name is the name of someone in your contact list)

    Example: "Text Lisa Miller"

    This will start a text message to that person, and then you can say your message. When you're done speaking, you can say "Send" to send it, "Add more" to add more info to your message, "Try again" to say your message again, or "Cancel" to discard the message.

    Take a note

    "Note what you want to note"

    (where what you want to note is the text you want to include in your note)

    Example: "Note Pick up bread on the way home"

    Your note will be saved and opened in OneNote. Then you can view and edit the text in your note, or tap the Audio note 

    Play Icon
    to play it.

    Call your voicemail

    "Call voicemail"

    Open an app

    "Open app" or "Start app"

    (where app is the name of any app on your phone, such as "Calendar," "Maps," or "Music," or apps you downloaded from the Store)

    Example: "Open Calendar"

    Search the web

    "Find search term" or "Search for search term"

    (where search term is what you're looking for)

    Example: "Find pizza"

    Bing will show you search results based on what you said, such as a map with nearby pizza places.

  4. When you're done speaking, tap Go, or just wait a couple of seconds.

Dictate an email message

When you're in email, you can dictate an email message instead of typing it.

  1. In the App list, tap the name of your email account.

  2. Tap New

    Plus Icon
    , and then enter a recipient name on the To line.

  3. Tap Subject, tap Speak

    Microphone Icon
    , and then say the subject.

  4. Tap in the body of the message, tap Speak

    Microphone Icon
    , and then say what you want to include in the message.

  5. Tap Send

    Send Email Icon

Use Speech while in a call

You can also turn on Speech while you're already in a call to use certain voice commands.

  • Press and hold the Search 

    Search Icon
    button on your phone to start Speech, and then say one of the following:

    • "Press number" (where number is a number from 0 to 9) to press a number on the numeric keypad in order to use voicemail or an interactive voice response menu system.
    • "Call name" (where name is the name of someone in your contact list) to put the current call on hold, and then call someone else.

Other Speech commands you can turn on

In your phone's settings, you can turn on additional Speech commands and functions, including announcing caller ID for incoming calls and texts. You can even tell your phone to read a text message you receive, and then dictate and send a reply.

  1. To turn on Speech for accessibility, tap Settings 

    Settings Icon
    > Ease of access, and then turn on Speech for phone accessibility
    Toggle On Icon
    . This enables the following:

    • Announcing caller ID for phone calls. When you get a call, your phone will announce the name or number of the caller.
    • Speed dialing. To assign a speed dial number, press and hold Search and say "Save speed dial," then follow the instructions. After you assign some speed dial numbers, you can use the "Call speed dial" voice command to call them. Say "Call speed dial number" (where number is the assigned speed dial number).
    • Turning call forwarding on or off using Speech. Say "Turn call forwarding on" or "Turn call forwarding off."
  2. To have your phone announce and read incoming text messages, tap Settings 

    Settings Icon
    > Speech and then choose when you want to hear announcements from the Read aloud incoming text messages dropdown—never, always, or only when using a Bluetooth and/or a wired headset.

  3. When your phone announces an incoming text, you can say "Read it" or "Ignore." Then you can dictate and send a reply.


Article ID: 10645 - Last Review: 17 ሜይ 2016 - Revision: 18

Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1