Train Windows Vista’s Speech Recognition

Learn how to train Windows Vista’s Speech Recognition to better understand your voice and how you speak.

In order for Windows Speech Recognition to work properly it needs to be trained so that it’ll understand your voice and the way you speak. Training Windows Vista’s Speech Recognition is done by reading a few sentences as it listens.

Let’s get started.

Train Windows Vista’s Speech Recognition

  1. Click the Start button and then click Control to open the Control Panel.
  2. Switch to Classic view if you’re not already using it by clicking Classic view in the left column of the Control Panel.
  3. Open Speech Recognition Options.
  4. Click Train your computer to better understand you.
  5. The Speech Recognition Voice Training wizard will open. Click Next to start.


  6. A series of sentences will appear for you to read while it listens. You can pause it at any time by clicking the Pause button.


    Note: If you read a line and it doesn’t go to the next one, wait a few seconds and read it again.

  7. Once you’re finished training Windows Vista’s Speech Recognition you can either click Finished to quit or More Training to train it some more.


You can re-train Speech Recognition as many times as you’d like.

Speech Recognition Tips

  • Don’t give up: This is a taste of what’s to come in the future, so get used to it. When you first start using speech recognition you might feel like your grandma using a computer for the first time. The more you use it the better you get at it.
  • It learns: The more you use Windows Speech Recognition the better it works because it learns as you use it.
  • Reference Card: Study over the command reference to learn how to get the most out of speech recognition.
  • Use the tutorial: Although Windows Vista’s Speech Recognition is very easy to use once you get the hang of it, it helps to go through the tutorial a few times to learn a few basic things about it. Go to Speech Recognition Options in the Control Panel (classic view) and then click Take Speech Tutorial.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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12 Responses to “Train Windows Vista’s Speech Recognition”

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  1. How do I add training texts? I ran through the ones provided already, and need to train it more. I’d rather first dictate it a few chapters of the book I’m writing so that it knows what I’m on about rather than writing new chapters through speech interface and having to suffer it not knowing what I’m on about (I tried – it gets things QUITE horribly wrong)

  2. Brent Trahan says:

    You can’t add training text. You can start over and train it again as many times as you would like. It learns more about your voice every time. It would be a good idea to dictate a few chapters to train it even further.

    Make sure you have a good quality mic and sound card. That makes a difference when it is listening to your voice.

    • Del Nabla says:

      OK, but the point is that, for instance, the training documents don’t contain the word “code”, and when I dictate this it hears it as “cord”. If the word isn’t in the training document, how can it learn it?

      • Brent Trahan says:

        When you “train it” Windows Speech Recognition listens to how you say words and phrases. It doesn’t memorize how you say every word. It uses what it’s learned by listening to how you say specific words to figure out everything else.

        The more you use it properly the more accurate it gets.

  3. Santa says:

    I have a number of problems with dictation but the four most annoying are:
    1. It keeps adding unwanted words (‘and’ is the most common) at the end of a dictated phrase.
    2. It has great difficulty recognising common punctuation.
    3. I understand that it can mishear words but shouldnt the result still make some kind of sense? (‘and they’re change to our’ was substituted for ‘and they had changed the locks’)
    4. It frequently fails to hear the first one or two words of a phrase.

  4. Bambara says:

    Sorry to say this, but the technology as it is present now simply falls short. The concept is great, but the implication is poor. I’ll be sticking with the mouse and keyboard.

  5. Santa says:

    Are we ever likely to get a comment from someone from Redmond?

  6. MohJ says:

    Certainly, we have to start somewhere ;). I can already imagine a future when you can speak to your computer as if you’re speaking to another human-being.
    P.S: I’ve tried to use a third-party program called Dragon NaturallySpeaking and found that, although not perfect, it’s much more accurate than Windows Speech Recognition. Might be worthwhile for people who care about this kind of stuff to check it out…

  7. Hi,

    I used to type a lot with speech recognition in my Windows XP computer with Office 2003 and never had a problem. It worked well, recognized punctuation and did not bug me with an alternates dialog box after everything I said. Imagine if whenever u spoke to me I asked u “Did u mean, “this is apple”, “this is orange”, “it is orange”… You will never get past the first few lines.

    I spent a whole night and I’m a programmer and I couldn’t figure out how to transfer my existing speech profile as it is removed from Office 2007 and made into the OS.

    I agree you’ve to start somewhere, but the quality has gone down, not up between previous and version and this.

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