How to Control Windows 10 With Your Voice

Voice control is hit-or-miss, but it’s a handy way to conquer tasks quickly when it’s working well. Windows 10 has built-in voice controls for some of its most popular features already, including Cortana, which makes quick searches for apps or answers to questions a breeze.

Today, we’re going to get Windows Speech Recognition set up, and expand the limits of what Cortana alone can do.

1. Type Windows Speech into the Cortana search bar, and tap Windows Speech Recognition to open it.

2. Click Next in the pop-up window to get started.

3. Select your microphone and press Next. If you’re wanting the best results, a headset or other standalone microphone is a solid bet. For laptop users, or those with built-in mics, these will work just fine.

4. Follow the on-screen instructions for microphone placement, and press Next once you’re ready.

5. Read the on-screen prompt to calibrate the microphone and press Next.

6. Choose whether to allow your computer to review documents and e-mail to better understand you when you speak.

7. Select an activation mode. Windows Speech Recognition can turn off when you say “Stop Listening” with voice activation mode, or you can choose to use a key combination (CTRL + Windows) to activate and de-activate the service.

8. Print the speech recognition card for easy access to the commands Windows understands, or you can just save this link (opens in new tab) for later viewing.

9. Choose to run Speech Recognition at startup, or you’ll have to manually enable it through the control panel.

10. Finish the setup by watching the tutorial to learn more about Speech Recognition’s capabilities.

Windows 10 Basics