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Support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020

We recommend you move to a Windows 11 PC to continue to receive security updates from Microsoft.

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You can use the Speech Properties dialog box to set options for Windows Speech Recognition and Text to Speech.

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

  2. In the left pane, click Advanced speech options.

The following table describes the options on the Speech Recognition tab.




Lists available Speech Recognition engines. Select the engine you want.

Speech Recognition is available only in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.


Shows additional engine properties. The display is specific to the engine type, and not all engines have additional properties.

Recognition Profiles

Lists available user profiles. Selecting a profile from the list will mark it as active.


Adds a new user profile. The Add a profile wizard runs and sets up the profile and calibrates the microphone and speakers. The wizard will automatically launch the Microphone Setup wizard.


Removes the selected profile. The selected profile must not be in use by any other program when you choose to delete it.

Train Profile

Starts the Speech Recognition Voice Training wizard. The wizard can help improve recognition accuracy by learning about your specific speaking style and the sounds of your environment.

Run Speech Recognition at startup

Sets Speech Recognition to run when you start your computer.

Review documents and mail to improve accuracy

Allows Speech Recognition to review documents and e‑mail on your computer for commonly used words and phrases. This can help improve recognition accuracy.

Enable voice activation

Sets Speech Recognition to start in sleep mode and allows Speech Recognition to enter sleep mode when you say "stop listening."

Number of spaces to insert after punctuation

Sets the number of spaces to insert after sentence-ending punctuation when you're dictating text using Speech Recognition.


Indicates the sound level of the microphone.

Audio Input

Opens the Sound dialog box. You can adjust settings for your audio input devices.


Allows you to set a preferred audio device, such as an audio input for Speech Recognition. It will be active only if there is at least one audio device installed.

Configure Microphone

Starts the Microphone Setup wizard. This helps you to calibrate the audio input devices and speaker levels.

The following table describes the text-to-speech options on the Text to Speech tab.



Voice selection

Lists available text-to-speech voices. Click a voice to activate it. Once selected, the text-to-speech engine will speak the text to preview the voice.


Shows additional information or options about the text-to-speech engine. It is specific to the engine type, and not all engines have additional properties.

Use the following text to preview the voice

Displays the sample text spoken by the text-to-speech playback voice. You can change the text temporarily, but it will always default to the original content.

Preview Voice

Speaks the text in the Use the following text to preview the voice box using the selected voice. Each word is highlighted as the engine speaks it. When speaking, the Preview Voice button changes to Stop, which allows you to end the speech. When finished speaking (or if it's stopped), the Stop button changes back to the Preview Voice button.

Voice speed

Adjusts the rate of speech for the text-to-speech playback voice.

Audio output

Opens the Sound dialog box. You can adjust settings for your audio output devices.


Click to set a preferred audio device as output for text-to-speech playback. It will be active only if there is at least one audio device installed.


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