If dictation in Office isn't working

Be sure you're signed in to your Office 365 account. If dictation isn't working, the problem is likely with your microphone. Here are some things to try.

Microphone isn't working

If your microphone isn’t working, or you see the message, "There is a problem with your microphone" or, "We can’t detect your microphone," try these:

  • Make sure the microphone is plugged in.

  • Test the microphone to make sure it's working.

  • Check your Microphone settings in Control Panel.

Dictation can't hear you

If you get the message, "Dictation can't hear you," or if nothing happens as you dictate, try these:

  • Make sure your microphone is not muted.

  • Move to a quieter location.

  • Adjust the input level of you microphone.

  • If you're using a microphone built in to your computer, try switching to an external microphone that you plug in to your computer.

Microphone settings

Windows 10: See how to set up and test microphones

Surface running Windows 10: Adjust microphone settings

Surface running Windows 8.1: Adjust Microphone settings

Microphone doesn't have access

If you see the message, "We don’t have access to your microphone," try these suggestions:

  • Make sure no other application is using the microphone, and try Dictate again.

  • Refresh the web page, select Dictate again, and give permission for the browser to access the microphone.

Microphone isn't working

If your microphone isn’t working, or you see the message, "There is a problem with your microphone" or, "We can’t detect your microphone," try these:

  • Make sure the microphone is plugged in.

  • Test the microphone to make sure it's working.

  • Check your Microphone settings in System Preferences.

Dictation can't hear you

If you get the message, "Dictation can't hear you," or if nothing happens as you dictate, try these:

  • Make sure your microphone is not muted.

  • Move to a quieter location.

  • Adjust the input level of your microphone.

  • If you're using a microphone built in to your computer, try switching to an external microphone that you plug in to your computer.

Microphone settings

  1. Go to System Preferences > Sound > Input.

  2. Be sure your microphone appears as a device for sound input and select it.

  3. Test the microphone and adjust the input volume on the slider.

Microphone doesn't have access

If you see the message, "We don’t have access to your microphone," try these:

  • Make sure no other application is using the microphone, and try Dictate again.

  • Refresh the web page, select Dictate again, and give permission for the browser to access the microphone.

Microphone isn't working

If your microphone isn’t working, or you see the message, "There is a problem with your microphone" or, "We can’t detect your microphone," try these:

  • Make sure the microphone is plugged in.

  • Test the microphone to make sure it's working.

  • Check your Microphone settings in Control Panel (Windows).

Dictation can't hear you

If you get the message, "Dictation can't hear you," or if nothing happens as you dictate, try these:

  • Make sure your microphone is not muted.

  • Move to a quieter location.

  • Adjust the input level of your microphone.

  • If you're using a microphone built in to your computer, try switching to a microphone that you plug in to your computer.

Microphone settings

Windows 10: See how to set up and test microphones

Surface running Windows 10: Adjust microphone settings

Surface running Windows 8.1: Adjust Microphone settings

Mac: Go to System Preferences > Sound > Input.

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