How to enable and use Voice Access on Windows 11 22H2

Here's how to start using Voice Access to control your laptop or desktop only with your voice.

Windows 11 22H2 Voice Access
Windows 11 22H2 Voice Access

On Windows 11 22H2, one of the new features is “Voice Access,” which enables anyone to control their computer with their voice. Although you have been able to use your voice to control the experience for a long time, the feature has been rebuilt and now uses a new on-device speech recognition engine that works without an internet connection.

When using Voice Access, you can use your voice to open and switch apps, browse the web, dictate emails, and more.

The feature only supports the English-U.S. language, which means that the “Windows display language should be set to English-U.S. Otherwise, voice access may not work as expected.”

This guide will teach you the steps to enable and get started using Voice Access on the Windows 11 2022 Update and later releases.

Enable Voice Access on Windows 11

To enable Voice Access on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on Accessibility.

  3. Under the “Interaction” section, click the Speech tab.

  4. Turn on the Voice access toggle switch.

    Windows 11 enable Voice Access

  5. Click the Download option from the toolbar (if applicable).

  6. (Optional) Check the “Start voice access after you sign in to your PC” option.

Once you complete the steps, you can launch the feature from the Start menu or Settings app.

Use Voice Access on Windows 11

To start Voice Access is pretty simple on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Voice Access and click the top result to open the app.

Alternatively, you can launch the feature by going to Settings > Accessibility > Speech and turning on the Voice Access toggle switch.

Once the feature is started, you can use the “Alt + Shift + C” keyboard shortcut to begin listening mode or the “Alt + Shift + B” shortcut to stop listening mode.

Also, you can say “Voice access wake up” and “Unmute” to get it listening. “Voice access sleep,” “Mute” to put the feature to sleep. Or “Turn off microphone” to stop voice access from listening to you.

Navigating the Windows 11 experience is quite simple. For example, you can say things like “Open,” e.g., “Open Edge,” or “Open Word,” to open an app. Or “Switch to,” e.g., “Switch to Edge” to switch to an active app. Or “Minimize Window,” “Maximize Window,” and “Close Window” to manage windows. Or “Click,” for example, “Click Start,” or “Click Cancel” to click an item like a button or a link.

You can also use the feature with the touch keyboard. For example, you can spell words and enter numbers, punctuations, and emojis.

Voice Access has an interactive guide that helps you get started and find all the commands.

To access the guide, open the Help (question mark) menu and select the “Start interactive guide” option.

Open Voice Access
Open Voice Access

The Voice Access guide features multiple exercises to help you interact with buttons, menus, and other options. You will also learn how to use the grid overlay to control the mouse pointer to click on specific locations. Finally, you will learn to use Voice Access to dictate and edit text on the web and applications.

Voice Access guide
Voice Access guide

If you need additional assistance with the commands you can use, Voice Access also includes a guide that lists all the voice commands to control your computer with only your voice.

Voice Access commands
Voice Access commands

Change Voice Access settings on Windows 11

The feature also comes with various settings. Click the Settings (gear) button on the right to access the settings menu. The “Select default microphone” settings let you change the new default microphone or access the Sound settings to manage the input devices.

Voice Access microphone settings
Voice Access microphone settings

The “Manage options” settings include the options to enable or disable automatic punctuation, filter inappropriate words and control the startup settings.

Voice Access settings
Voice Access settings

If you no longer need the feature, click the Settings menu and choose the “Turn off voice access” option.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].