9 Ways to Fix iPhone Dictation Not Working [iOS 16 Updated]

Dictation is an interesting feature that converts speech or voice into text on your iPhone. Fortunately, the Apple keyboard also supports the speak-to-text feature. However, the dictation feature often stops working on the iPhone. While many users have reported seeing an X when clicking on the dictation icon, the microphone icon appears gray for others.

Whatever the spelling problem is, this function should help. Let’s check out the different ways to fix Dictation not working on iPhone and iPad including the latest iOS 16.

1. Restart iPhone

The first thing that you should do if the voice-to-text function is not working on your iPhone is to turn it back on. Oftentimes, restarting your iPhone is enough to fix a problem Dictate On the iPhone it does not work.

To restart your iPhone, press and hold the Power button until you see the power slider. Drag the slider to the right to turn off your iPhone. Then, press and hold the Power button again to turn on the iPhone.

iPhone Power Off

Pro tip: You can also try to put your iPhone into Airplane mode, restart your iPhone, and then turn off Airplane mode.

2. Re-enable Dictation in Settings

To use the iPhone keyboard voice typing feature, you have to enable Dictation in Settings. Follow these steps to enable dictation on your iPhone:

Step 1: Open Settings and go to General.

iPhone Settings General

Step 2: Press on the keyboard.

iPhone Settings General Keyboard

Step 3: Scroll down and turn on the toggle next to Enable Dictation. A popup will appear. Click on Enable Dictation.

Enable keyboard dictation for iPhone settings

The fourth step: If it is already on, turn the switch off and then on again.

3. Enable dictation language

The Apple Keyboard’s speech-to-text functionality works with languages ​​added under Keyboard settings. If you are trying to use the dictation feature for a language that is disabled or not added, it will not work.

So, you must first add and enable the dictation language as shown below:

Step 1: Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

Step 2: Tap on Keyboards followed by “Add New Keyboard…”.

Step 3: Select the language you want to add.

iPhone keyboard add language

The fourth step: Now, go to Settings > General > Keyboards. Scroll down and tap on Dictation languages.

iPhone keyboard dictation Add language

Fifth step: Select the languages ​​you want to speak.

Enable iPhone keyboard dictation Add language

Sixth step: To change the dictation language, touch and hold the microphone icon on the Apple keyboard. Select the language you want to switch to.

iPhone keyboard dictation Change language

4. Switch English (UK)

In a strange behavior of Apple Keyboard, many users, especially on iOS 16 DISCOVER Changing the dictation language to English (UK) fixed the problem of dictation not working for them. You can try the same and see if this trick works for you.

Step 1: Follow the first two steps of the above method, for example, go to Settings > General > Keyboards > Add a new keyboard.

Step 2: Select English (UK) from the list.

iPhone keyboard Add UK language

Step 3: Next, open the Apple keyboard and touch and hold the microphone icon on the keyboard. Select English (UK).

iPhone keyboard dictation Change language

Hopefully, you’ll see the waves in the bottom panel, which indicates that the dictation has started working on your iPhone.

5. Check Screen Time Restrictions

If the microphone dictation button does not appear on the iPhone keyboard, it is because of the application restrictions that are set for Siri and the dictation feature. You have to turn it off in Screen Time settings as shown below:

Step 1: Open Settings on your phone.

Step 2: Go to Screen Time followed by Content & Privacy Restrictions.

Step 3: Tap Allowed Apps.

Allowed iPhone Screen Time app

The fourth step: Enable the toggle next to Siri & Dictation.

iPhone Screen Time Siri

Pro tip: You can also try turning off all content restrictions under Settings > Screen time > Privacy and content restrictions. Turn off the toggle next to Content & Privacy Restrictions.

6. Turn off Low Power Mode

Speech-to-text can stop working if Low Power Mode is enabled on your iPhone. You have to turn it off to see if it fixes converting audio to text.

Step 1: Go to Settings followed by Battery on your iPhone.

Step 2: Turn off the switch next to Low Power Mode.

7. Check the microphone

If the Dictation feature does not convert speech to text on your iPhone, there are chances that your iPhone’s microphone is not working properly.

To test and fix it, try using the microphone in a different app like Voice memo. If the audio recording becomes blank as well, make sure that no Bluetooth device is connected to your iPhone. The easy solution is to turn off Bluetooth under Settings > Bluetooth on your iPhone. Check out other ways to fix microphone not working on iPhone.

8. iPhone software update

Sometimes, dictation issue can be caused by a bug in the current version of iOS. You have to update iOS to the latest version to fix the problem. Go to Settings > General > Software Update. If an update is available, click Download and install to install it.

9. Reset settings

Finally, if nothing solves the problem of speech-to-text not working on your iPhone, you should reset your iPhone settings. Doing so will return all settings like permissions, Wi-Fi, etc. to their default values.

Step 1: Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.

Reset Transfer iPhone

Step 2: Tap Reset followed by Reset All Settings.

Try alternative keyboard apps

If dictation is still not working on your iPhone, you should try alternative keyboard apps that support voice-to-text conversion. you can use Gboard or SwiftKey Keyboard. Also check out our other free keyboards for iPhone.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dictation Not Working on iPhone

1. How do I unmute the microphone on my iPhone?

There is no general toggle to enable or disable the microphone on your iPhone. Therefore, the microphone must be muted or unmute in a particular app. However, if the microphone is not working in any particular app, make sure that it has the microphone permission. Go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Microphone. Enable the microphone for required applications.

2. How do I adjust the volume for dictation?

Dictation only converts speech to text. It does not replay the speech you said. Therefore, there is no need to adjust the volume. But if the dictation feature can’t understand your speech, you should speak a little loudly near your iPhone’s microphone.

3. How to fix iPhone dictation not working in car?

First, try the fixes listed above. If that doesn’t help, go to Settings > General > CarPlay on your iPhone. Click on the name of your car and click on “Forget This Car”. Then set up the car again.

Play with Siri

I hope you were able to fix the dictation not working issue on your iPhone. In case Siri is not working either, learn how to fix Siri not working on iPhone. Besides, you can also learn how to use Siri to end calls or change the Siri search engine.

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