Fixed: iPhone Dictation Not Working in iOS 16

Is your iPhone dictation not working? Many users have found this to be the case after updating to iOS 16. Fortunately, in most cases it's just a matter of a setting being switched off. Here's how to fix that, as well as some other things to try if Voice to Text on your iPhone isn't working.

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Dictation Not Working on iPhone After iOS 16 Update

An iOS update can reset some settings we weren't even aware of. After updating to iOS 16, many people found their dictation capabilities disabled. Fortunately, there's a quick and easy fix to this. If your iPhone dictation isn't working, just toggle on Enable Dictation in Settings. Here is how to do that:

How to Enable Dictation in Settings

  1. In your Settings app, tap General.

    Tap General
  2. Tap Keyboard. (Don't worry, you won't have to add a new keyboard!)

    Tap Keyboard
  3. Make sure Enable Dictation is toggled on. You'll know it's on if the slider is to the right and the bar is green. If the slider is to the left and the bar is gray, the feature is off.

    Toggle on Enable Dictation

And that should fix it! If it was already enabled, try toggling it off and on to see if that fixes the issue. If it doesn't, read on.

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Other Things to Try for iPhone Talk to Text Not Working

Restart Your iPhone

There's a reason why restarting your iPhone is at the top of every troubleshooting article. If you haven't yet, turn your iPhone off and back on and see if that resolves the issue. For more troubleshooting tips, from basics to advanced, check out our Tip of the Day.

Switch Dictation Languages

If you have several languages enabled on your iPhone and one of them isn't working, you'll want to go in and make sure it's enabled under Dictation. You'll also have to make sure you've added it in the first place if you want to dictate in that language. This includes language variations by country, so if you're speaking American English you won't be able to dictate with English (UK) and vice versa, or at least not well. To add a language, add a keyboard in Settings. After you've done that:

  1. In Settings, tap General, then tap Keyboard again (or stay if you're already here).

    Tap Keyboard
  2. Under DICTATION tap Dictation Languages.

    Dictation Languages
  3. Tap to select your preferred dictation language. The checkmark will be blue if enabled, and gone if it is not. If only one language is enabled, that language's checkmark will be gray.

    Tap your language

Try disabling and re-enabling your preferred language to get it to work.

Check Your Screen Time Restrictions

If you've set up Content & Privacy Restrictions in your Screen Time settings, this may be disabling Dictation even if you didn't mean it to. To check to see if this is the case:

  1. Open Settings and tap Screen Time.

  2. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.

  3. Check to see if Content & Privacy Restrictions is toggled on. If it is, continue. If it is not, move on to the next section, as this is not your issue.

  4. Tap Allowed Apps.

  5. Make sure Siri & Dictation is toggled on. You'll be able to tell because if it's on the toggle will be to the right and the bar will be green.

Check Your Low Power Mode

Sometimes Low Power Mode settings can mess up your Dictation capabilities. If your battery is running low, turn off Low Power Mode to see if this helps your Dictation issue.

Update Your iOS (Again)

Did you just update to iOS 16? When a new software rolls out, Apple quickly releases several new versions of it to address bugs that users found. Check to see if there's a new update, and, if there is, update your iPhone to the newest version to see if that fixes your problem.

Check Your iPhone's Microphone

If you've gone through all these steps and dictation is still not working on your iPhone, you might want to check your Mic itself. First, check to make sure your iPhone microphone is enabled. If it is, take a video or make a phone call to see if your microphone is working in other apps. If it isn't, it's likely a hardware issue.

Reset All Settings

This one is a bit of a pain, so we leave it as a last resort. When you Reset All Settings, your iPhone resets all your settings to default, so anything you've customized will be reset. This is not the same as a factory reset, however, which wipes your entire phone clean. You can go back in and re-enable any changes you've made after you do the reset, and this tends to be a potent trick for dealing with unknown bugs.

If, after all of this, your iPhone dictation is still not working, it's time to contact Apple support.

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Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden Both

Amy Spitzfaden-Both is the Managing Editor for iPhone Life magazine and an award-winning novelist, with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. She specializes in Apple news and rumors, health and fitness tech, and parenting in the digital age. She graduated from MIU with a BA in Literature and Writing.
Amy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing or glued to her iPhone, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and creating her own tea blends.