Dictation on iPhone lets you automatically transcribe your spoken words into text when typing. Although this feature can be quite helpful for users that have difficulty typing, or those who want to type quickly on the go, many users complain that Dictation doesn’t work on their iPhone or iPad.
If you’ve also encountered a similar issue on your device, you’ve come to the right place. Below, I’ve compiled a list of quick and easy solutions that can help you resurrect Dictation on your iPhone. Let’s get started!
- Check if Dictation supports your language
- Ensure that Dictation is enabled on iPhone
- Switch to the default Apple keyboard
- Check for network-related issues
- Disable Low Power and Low Data Mode on iPhone
- Check if Siri & Dictation are restricted
- Check for software updates
- Perform a hard reboot
- Check for microphone-related issues
- Reset All Settings
- Perform a factory reset
1. Check if Dictation supports your language
Only a handful of keyboard languages on your iPhone and iPad support Dictation. To see whether dictation is supported in your preferred language, you should take a look at Apple’s Feature Availability website for Dictation.
In case your keyboard language doesn’t support Dictation, you may want to add another keyboard language, such as English (US), to your device. If you don’t know how you can do this, follow the steps that are listed below:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap General → Keyboard → Keyboards.
- Tap Add New Keyboard.
- Choose English (US) or any other language supported by Dictation.
2. Ensure that Dictation is enabled on iPhone
Dictation is enabled for all supported keyboard languages by default. However, this feature won’t work if you have turned it off unintentionally. Here’s how you can ensure that Dictation is enabled on your device.
- Go to Settings → General → Keyboard.
- Scroll down and toggle on Enable Dictation.
3. Switch to the default Apple keyboard
Only a select few third-party keyboards for iPhone and iPad offer the ability to type using your voice. Therefore, If you have any third-party keyboards installed on your device, you must switch to the default Apple keyboard and check if you can use Dictation again.
To switch to the Apple keyboard:
- Open Notes or any other app where you use the keyboard.
- Tap and hold the Globe icon.
- Select English from the pop-up that appears.
Dictation requires an active internet connection to work on your device. Therefore, you must ensure that you are connected to a strong Wi-Fi or cellular connection that’s free from any network-related issues. You can also run an internet speed test to ensure everything works properly.
If you can’t use speech-to-text with Dictation, even when your device is linked to a strong Wi-Fi or cellular network:
- Open the Control Center and enable Airplane mode for a few seconds.
- Then turn it off.
This will help you reconnect your device to the internet and fix network-related glitches.
5. Disable Low Power and Low Data Mode on iPhone
Low Power and Low Data Mode can help reduce your iPhone’s battery and cellular data consumption. However, enabling them prevents many useful features like Dictation from working on your device. Therefore, you must disable them and see if that fixes the issue for you.
- Go to Settings → Battery.
- Toggle off Low Power Mode.
- Then, go back to Settings → Cellular → Cellular Data Options.
- Tap Data Mode.
- Deselect Low Data Mode. Then, Select any of the other options.
6. Check if Siri & Dictation are restricted
Yet another reason Dictation may not be working for you could be because you might’ve accidentally restricted it using Content & Privacy Restrictions.
To ensure that this isn’t the case with your device, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings → Screen Time → Content & Privacy Restrictions.
Enter your Screen Time password if you’ve created one.
- Tap Allowed Apps → Toggle on Siri & Dictation.
7. Check for software updates
Many times, glitches or bugs within iOS can also prevent Dictation from working for you. If you think that’s the case with your device, follow the steps given below to check if Apple has issued a software update with new bug fixes to resolve the issue.
- Go to Settings → General → Software Update.
- Tap Download and Install if an update is available.
8. Perform a hard reboot
If the previous solutions didn’t work, hard rebooting your iPhone/iPad can help you fix software-related glitches that might prevent features like Dictation from working for you. But, if you’re unsure about how you can do that, check out this guide on how to hard reboot any iPhone or iPad.
In case you still aren’t able to use Dictation on your iPhone, there might be some issues with your device’s microphone that might be preventing the feature from working as expected.
To ensure that a blocked microphone isn’t the culprit behind the issue, try recording a voice memo and give it a listen to see if you sound muffled. If you do sound muffled, your device’s microphone might be blocked, and you’ll need to clean it using a cotton swab and some isopropyl alcohol.
However, if cleaning the microphone also didn’t do the trick, you might want to take a look at this guide on fixing your iPhone or iPad’s microphone.
10. Reset All Settings
If most solutions fail, you can reset all settings on your iPhone/iPad to see if that helps fix the issue. This action will restore all settings to their default values while leaving your data untouched. Here’s how to do this:
- Go to Settings → General → Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- Tap Reset → Reset All Settings.
- Enter your passcode.
- Tap Reset All Settings again to complete the process.
11. Perform a factory reset
If none of the solutions helped resolve the issue, your best bet would be to perform a factory reset on your device. This will delete all the user data and restore your iPhone to factory settings so you can start again from scratch.
- Go to Settings → General → Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- Choose Erase All Content and Settings.
- Tap Continue → type the iPhone Passcode. Then you may follow the on-screen instructions once the automatic iCloud backup completes.
Dictation on iPhone is a pretty handy feature that lets you type quickly with your voice. However, if Dictation isn’t working for you, the solutions listed in this troubleshooting guide will help you fix it quickly. If you found this guide helpful, let us know which solution fixed your issue in the comments.
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Ayush is a tech enthusiast turned tech journalist and how-to writer with a knack for explaining complex topics clearly and concisely. When he's not writing, you can find him studying the latest trends in consumer technology, binge-watching videos from his favorite tech YouTubers, or diving into immersive open-world games.