How do I turn off speak to text?

Speak to text, also known as speech to text or voice to text, is a technology that allows users to dictate speech into a device which is then converted into text. It can be a useful accessibility tool and time saver for quickly generating text, especially on mobile devices. However, there are some reasons why a user may want to turn off speak to text:

  • Privacy – Speak to text requires recording and transmitting your voice data, which some users may wish to avoid.
  • Accuracy – Although improving, speech recognition can still make errors which need correcting.
  • Annoyance – The voice responses from speak to text interrupting your surroundings may become distracting.
  • Speed – For some users, typing remains faster than dictating to text.
  • Environment – Noisy environments make accurate dictation difficult.

Thankfully, it is easy to temporarily or permanently disable speak to text across devices when preferred. This guide will cover multiple methods to turn off speak to text on iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac devices.

When You Might Want to Turn Off Speak to Text

There are a few reasons why you may want to turn off speak to text on your device:

Privacy/Security Concerns

When using speak to text, your voice data is sent to company servers to process and transcribe. For privacy reasons, you may want to disable this feature so your voice data is not collected (see source). There have also been concerns around potential security vulnerabilities with transmitting voice data over the internet.

Background Noise Issues

Speak to text can struggle to accurately transcribe speech when there is background noise around you. Turning off the feature can prevent transcription mistakes caused by ambient sounds or other people speaking nearby.

Accuracy Problems

The transcription accuracy of speak to text varies. You may find it regularly misinterprets your words. Disabling the feature avoids erroneous transcriptions.

Turning Off Speak to Text on iOS

To turn off speak to text on an iPhone or iPad running iOS, you need to go into the Settings app and disable a feature called Dictation.

Here are the steps to turn off speak to text on iOS devices:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on General, then Keyboard.
  3. Find the switch next to Enable Dictation and toggle it off.
  4. Dictation will now be disabled, preventing your device from using speak to text.

As noted in the Verizon support article, when Enable Dictation is off, you won’t be able to dictate text by speaking into your iOS keyboard. This effectively turns off speak to text capabilities.

You can always come back to this section in Settings and toggle Dictation back on if you want to re-enable speak to text on your iPhone or iPad.

Turning Off Speak to Text on Android

To turn off speak to text on Android devices, first open the Settings app. Then go to System > Languages & input > Virtual keyboard > Gboard > Voice typing. Here you can toggle the “Voice typing” option off to disable speak to text. This will prevent your device from automatically using speak to text when typing.

As an alternative method, you can go to Settings > System > Languages & input > On-screen keyboard > Google voice typing, and turn off “Use voice typing.” This disables speak to text in the Google keyboard specifically.

According to Verizon, you can also go to your keyboard in any app, tap the settings icon, choose Preferences, and turn off “Voice input” to disable speak to text typing.

Turning Off Speak to Text on Windows

To turn off speak to text or speech recognition on Windows, you need to access the Speech Recognition settings in the Control Panel. Here are the steps:

1. Open the Start menu and search for “Control Panel”. Open the Control Panel app.

2. Click on “Ease of Access” and then click on “Speech Recognition”.

3. Under “User Settings”, toggle the switch for “Speech recognition” to the Off position to disable speech recognition.

This will immediately turn off the speak to text feature in Windows so that it will no longer listen to your voice and convert speech to text. You can always return to this setting and toggle it back on if you want to re-enable speak to text.

Some key sources for details on disabling speech recognition in Windows include:



Turning Off Speak to Text on Mac

On a Mac computer, speak to text can be turned off in the System Preferences. First, open System Preferences and click on the Dictation & Speech icon. This will open the Dictation & Speech settings.

In the Dictation section, locate the “Dictation” box and uncheck it to turn off the speak to text functionality. According to Apple’s support documentation, this will disable the ability for your Mac to convert speech into text.

You can also customize additional Dictation settings here, like enabling the shortcut and adjusting the shortcut key combo. Make sure to click out of the Dictation & Speech settings when finished to save any changes.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Many apps have keyboard shortcuts to easily toggle speak to text on and off. These shortcuts allow you to quickly enable or disable the feature without having to navigate through menus.

On Windows 10 and 11, you can press the Windows key + H to open the voice typing menu. From there, you can select the microphone icon to turn speak to text on or off (Microsoft). You can also use Alt + H as a shortcut to navigate the voice typing menu.

For Microsoft Word on Windows, pressing Ctrl + Shift + D allows you to toggle speak to text on and off. You can also use voice commands like “stop listening” to turn off the microphone.

On Mac computers, you can toggle speak to text using the keyboard shortcut FN + F5. Many Mac apps also have their own keyboard shortcuts for this feature, like Shift + Command + D for Pages.

Overall, keyboard shortcuts provide a quick and easy way to enable or disable speak to text across devices and applications. Checking your device or app’s settings can help you find the right shortcuts to suit your needs.

Disabling Speak to Text in Specific Apps

Some apps like messaging may have separate settings to disable speak to text. For example, in the Messages app on iOS, you can go to Settings > Messages and toggle off “Enable Dictation.” On Android, open the Messages app, tap the 3 dots in the top right, choose Settings > Text messages (SMS) > Enable voice input to turn it off.

In the Gmail app on Android, open Settings > General settings > Enable voice typing to disable it. On iOS, go to Settings > [your email] > Turn off Dictation. For other apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, etc., check in the app’s individual settings if there is a toggle to disable voice typing or dictation.

If an app doesn’t give you the option to disable speak to text, you may need to turn it off at the device level as mentioned previously. This will ensure speak to text is disabled across all apps on your phone or tablet.

Troubleshooting Tips

If speak to text or dictation is not working properly, here are some troubleshooting steps you can try:

Restart your device – Sometimes a simple restart can clear up issues with speak to text. Close any apps using speak to text, then power your device off completely and turn it back on.

Check for software updates – Make sure your operating system and keyboard/speak to text apps are up to date, as the latest updates may include bug fixes. On iOS, go to Settings > General > Software Update. On Android, go to Settings > System > System update.

Retrain your voice model – Speak to text relies on analyzing your voice patterns. Retraining the voice model helps it learn your voice again. On an iPhone, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Full Access and choose Reset Dictation. On Android, delete your voice model in the Google app settings and retrain it.

If issues persist after trying these steps, check your device’s microphone, ensure speak to text permissions are enabled, disable certain apps if the issue is isolated, or contact tech support for further help.


In summary, there are a few key ways to turn off speak-to-text or disable the feature in specific apps across iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac devices. The main methods include going into your device settings to toggle speak-to-text off, using keyboard shortcuts, and adjusting app-specific permissions.

Being able to control when speak-to-text is active can provide more privacy in sensitive situations, help minimize distractions, and give you more power over when and where voice dictation is enabled. While speak-to-text can be a handy time-saving feature, it’s useful to know how to disable it as needed for your personal preferences.

Now that you know how to turn off speak-to-text across platforms and apps, you can better manage voice dictation to suit your needs. Use these tips to take control of when and where you use speak-to-text.

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