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Is Dictation Not Working On iPhone? Here's How To Fix It

DoubtUser Concern

“I recently upgraded to iOS 17 and since doing so my dictation has stopped working properly. It was working at first but it has stopped. Can someone please help me fix this?”

The Dictation feature is quite helpful, providing an easy way to convert speech or voice to text when typing on an iPhone. However, using this feature hasn’t been that smooth for everyone. While some users claim to see an X mark when they tap the Diction icon, other users report that the microphone icon is grayed out.

Why is Dictation Not Working on My iPhone?

Many people have reported that their iPhone's Dictation is malfunctioning or not working at all, and it seems to often happen after an iOS update. It could also be due to problems with the internet connection, microphone, restrictions, or even your keyboard choice.

Whatever the cause, though, don’t fret because this post shall help. Below are several quick and easy ways to troubleshoot your iPhone’s dictation feature and have it up and running again.

Ensure Dictation Is Enabled on iPhone

If you don't have Dictation enabled in your iPhone's settings, you won't be able to use the keyboard voice typing feature. This is the first thing you should check, and to do that, take the following steps:

  • Launch Settings and then open General.
  • Tap the Keyboard option.
  • Head down to the Enable Dictation option and tap the toggle next to it to turn it on.
  • In case it’s already on, then tap the toggle to disable it and then tap it again to enable it.

enable dictation

Enable Dictation Language

You can only use the Apple Keyboard speech-to-text feature for languages that are added under the Keyboard settings. It won’t work if you use it for any other language that’s not added or enabled. As such, you need to first add the dictation language you want to speak and then enable it as follows:

  • Launch the Settings app. Open General and go to Keyboard.
  • Now tap the Keyboard option and then tap on Add New Keyboard….

add new keyboard

  • Choose English (US) or any other language supported by Dictation.
  • Head back to Settings again. Open General and tap Keyboards. Navigate down to Dictation Languages and tap it.

dictation languages

  • Choose the dictation languages you’ll be using.

If you want to change a particular dictation language, just touch the microphone icon you see on the Apple Keyboard and then choose the language you wish to switch to.

Turn Off/On Cellular Connection

Apple’s Dictation function needs a strong and stable internet connection for it to function properly. You’ll notice that the microphone icon is grey if your iPhone isn’t connected to the internet and dictation isn’t working either. So, ensure your device has a strong and stable internet connection.

  • Head to Settings and then turn off the Cellular Data connection.
  • Now, restart your iPhone.
  • After it reboots, turn on the Cellular Data again.

cellular data

Doing this soft reset may fix the dictation issue you are facing and also any other connection issues.

Refresh the Siri Settings

If the internet connection is strong and stable, and your iPhone’s microphone works just fine, but you’re still facing the issue of dictation not working on your iPhone, then try to refresh the Siri settings. It seems simple, but it can actually work.

  • Launch Settings and open Siri & Search.
  • Next, turn off Press Home/Side Buton for Siri and also Listen for “Hey Siri”.
  • Wait for a few seconds, and then turn them back on. Now, try the dictation feature again.

siri search

Check If Siri & Dictation Are Restricted

With the Screen Time feature, you can control the content that your children can access on their iPhone and iPad. However, enabling Screen Time could lead to Dictation on iPhone not working because it’s possible that Siri and Dictation features are equally disabled through these Screen Time restrictions. To fix this:

  • Launch Settings and open the Screen Time option.
  • Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  • Next, tap on the Allowed Apps option.
  • Head to Siri & Dictation and turn it on by tapping the toggle next to it.

siri dictation

Alternatively, you can remove the restrictions by directly turning off Content & Privacy Restrictions. Note that once you disable Content & Privacy Restrictions, the restrictions for all the apps/features will be removed.

Turn Off Low Power Mode

The battery life of your iPhone can be extended by enabling the Low Power Mode. However, some helpful features like Dictation will not work if your iPhone is in Low Power Mode. So, you need to turn it off and check if that resolves the problem.

  • On your iPhone, open the Settings app and choose Battery.
  • Then, disable the Low Power Mode toggle.

disable low power mode iphone

Change to the Default Apple Keyboard

Unlike the Apple keyboard, third-party keyboards such as Google’s Gboard don’t usually have the Dictation feature. Therefore, you have to switch to your iPhone’s default keyboard or remove the third-party keyboards altogether in order to use Dictation.

How to switch to Apple keyboard on iPhone/iPad:

  • Launch the keyboard by tapping on a text field in Messages, Notes, or Safari.
  • Tap the Globe icon and hold on to it to view available keyboards.
  • Choose the Apple standard keyboard (named after your chosen language).
  • Tap the Globe icon again and hold on to it to switch between keyboards.

Reset Network Settings

If you notice that your mic icon is grayed out, chances are your iPhone’s internet connection isn’t working, or you have some other network issues. The way to solve this is to reset your iPhone’s settings. To do that:

  • Go to Settings and click on the General > Transfer or Reset iPhone option.
  • Tap Reset and then tap on Reset Network Settings.

reset network settings

Update iPhone iOS

Sometimes, the cause of Dictation on iPhone not working could be a software bug, which you can get rid of by updating your iPhone’s iOS to the latest version. Even if it’s not actually a software bug, installing the latest iOS version can clean up your iPhone and correct various other issues.

  • Click Settings and open the General option.
  • Next, tap Software Update.
  • Now, Download and Install the update (if there’s any available).

update iphone

Fix iOS 17 Dictation Not Working In One Click

Many users have reported experiencing Dictation not working on iOS 17/16, even after updating their iPhones. This means that the issue is likely a software bug or glitch. The best way to solve this is to use FoneGeek iOS System Recovery, which is an iOS system repair tool that can quickly fix the Dictation not working issue.

This tool is able to get rid of various iOS-related issues within just a few minutes and will get the Dictation function up without data loss and running again. It totally reinstalls your iPhone’s iOS system and eliminates all problems in it. Follow these steps to use it:


  • Download the FoneGeek program and install it. Then, select Standard Mode on the home page.

choose repair mode

  • Click Next once you connect your iPhone to your PC when prompted to do so on the screen.
  • Download the latest firmware when the program prompts you to do so. Click the blue Download button to start downloading.

download firmware

  • After the firmware download is completed, hit the Fix Now button.

fix now

The repair process will take a while, so wait until it’s done. That’s it! Your iPhone dictation feature should now function as well as before.

FAQs about iPhone Dictation

Q1. Why can’t I find the Dictation feature on my iPhone?

When you restrict the Dictation feature, the Enable Dictation button won’t show up on your iPhone/iPad settings. However, you can head to Screen Time settings and change the restrictions.

Q2. Why is my Dictation incorrect?

The quality of your iPhone's microphone, your accent, speaking speed, and background noise are some of the factors that can affect the accuracy of your dictation. Make sure you're speaking properly and in a quiet place. You can also try using the Dictation feature more often to train it.

Q3. How to change the volume for Dictation?

All that the Dictation feature does is convert speech to text. You cannot hear the speech you have said back. Therefore, there is no need to change the volume for Dictation. If your voice is not understood by the Dictation, you need to speak a little louder and closer to your iPhone's microphone.

Q4. Why is the iPhone’s microphone not working for Dictation?

Your iPhone microphone might fail to recognize your voice while using Dictation due to many reasons, such as:

  • There could be grime and dirt blocking it.
  • The case or screen protector of your iPhone could be covering it.
  • Maybe your iPhone is trying to use your headphone's microphone.
  • The microphone might be having hardware problems that have to be repaired.

Try to test all your iPhone’s microphones by recording messages with the Voice Memos, the front-facing camera, and also the rear camera. In case any of these recordings has poor sound, then the respective microphone might have a problem.


We hope you were able to resolve the Dictation not working on iPhone issue you’ve been facing after trying the solutions we’ve highlighted above. You can skip all that jargon and directly fix the issue using the FoneGeek iOS System Recovery. This tool will completely resolve all software issues and bugs, and you can use it to reinstall your iOS system, too, to give your iPhone a fresh start and have the Dictation feature up and running again. It’s very effective and simple to use, so give it a try.

Joan J. Mims

Joan J. Mims is interested in researching all tips about iPhone, iPad and Android. He loves to share useful ideas with all users.

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