Dictation gives you the ability to talk to your iPhone instead of typing. You can access it almost anytime your keyboard is on screen, so if you really want you never have to type a text, email, note, or even Facebook message ever again. It’s also known by other names like talk to text, voice to text, or speech to text. However, sometimes the dictation microphone icon may be missing on the keyboard or it may not convert what you speak into text. In this article, I’ll explain why dictation is not working on your iPhone 13 and show you how to fix this issue for good!
Ways to Fix dictation not working on iPhone 13
If the iPhone 13 dictation feature doesn’t work for you, follow the steps below to fix the issue.
Note: information in this article apply to iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Connect to Wi-Fi or Cellular
You can use dictation offline on iPhone 13. However, not all dictation languages work without being connected to the internet. So, for best results, make sure your iPhone 13 is connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data.
Please note: when you select a new dictation language (or immediately after setting up your iPhone), you will have to connect to Wi-Fi for support files to download.
Enable and disable Airplane Mode
Go to the iPhone settings app and enable Airplane Mode. After waiting for around 15 seconds, tap the same toggle to turn off Airplane Mode.
Force quit the app in question and reopen it
If dictation isn’t working in a particular app, force close and reopen it. After that, tap the microphone key on the iOS keyboard and try to use dictation. It should input what you speak.
Restart your iPhone
When dictation is not working on iPhone 13, or it comes and disappears from the screen, simply turn off your iPhone and turn it back on. It’s an important fix. So, make sure you don’t skip it.
Press and hold the side button and either volume button.
Release the button or buttons when slide to power off appears on the screen. Swipe the power icon from left to right to shut down your iPhone.
Wait 30–60 seconds, then press and hold the side button again until the Apple logo appears on the screen. Your iPhone will turn back on again shortly.
Disable and re-enable dictation to refresh it
Follow these steps to turn off and turn on dictation which should ensure it starts working correctly. This particular step will help you verify if you had enabled dictation in the first place or not!
- Open iPhone Settings and tap General.
- Tap Keyboard.
- Turn off Enable Dictation > Turn Off Dictation.
- Wait for a few seconds and restart your iPhone.
- Go to Settings > Keyboard and turn on the switch for Enable Dictation.
Now, open the Apple Notes app, tap the microphone icon on your keyboard, and dictation should work like a charm.
Turn off extra dictation languages
If you’re bilingual or multilingual, you might have added more than one keyboard to your iPhone. After that, you’ll see a Dictation Languages option appear below the Enable Dictation toggle. Tap it and uncheck all the languages except one. Now, restart your iPhone and try using dictation. It should work as expected.
Once that’s done, you can check more dictation languages if you want to use them. In case doing so starts causing dictation problems again, update your iPhone.
Important: Make sure you select the right accent for the same language. For example, if I’m from India, for best results, I should select English (India) as my dictation language instead of English (US) or English (UK).
Dictation option missing in iPhone Settings?
If you don’t see the Enable Dictation option in the steps above, follow these two fixes:
Add iOS keyboard
You will lose Apple’s dictation feature if you add just a third-party keyboard (like SwiftKey) and remove the built-in Apple keyboard. To see the Enable Dictation option in iPhone keyboard settings, do the following:
- Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard.
- Choose a keyboard under Suggested Keyboards or Other iPhone Keyboards.
- Now go back and you should see the Enable Dictation option. If not, restart your iPhone.
Note: Some third-party keyboard (like SwiftKey) may also offer their own dictation feature. You can use that while using the third-party keyboard.
Unrestrict Siri & Dictation
Follow these steps to ensure dictation is not restricted:
- Open iPhone Settings and tap Screen Time.
- If it says, Turn On Screen Time, you can skip all the steps below. Else, tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
- If Content & Privacy Restrictions is disabled, you can skip the steps below. If it’s enabled, tap Allowed Apps.
- Under Allowed Apps, make sure Siri & Dictation is enabled.
You should see the Enable Dictation option after adding the iOS keyboard and ensuring dictation isn’t restricted.
Try using dictation without AirPods or earphones
At times, you may not be able to use dictation at all, or it may function poorly with wired or wireless earphones. If it isn’t working at all, make sure your iPhone isn’t stuck in headphone mode.
Remove iOS keyboard and add it again
Here’s how you can remove the iPhone keyboard and re-add it to ensure dictation works:
- Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards.
- Tap Edit > red minus icon > Delete > Done to remove the keyboards. You can leave the Emoji keyboard.
- Tap Add New Keyboard and select your desired iPhone keyboard. Now, open Notes or a similar app and use dictation. It should work well.
Turn off Siri and turn it back on
Siri and dictation are related. So, if dictation isn’t working on iPhone 13 after following the above solutions, turn Siri off and on.
- Go to Settings and tap Siri & Search.
- Turn off Listen for “Hey Siri” and Press Side Button for Siri.
- Restart your iPhone.
- Enable Siri again by turning on the switches you turned off in step 2.
Clean iPhone’s microphone
If your iPhone’s microphone grills are dirty, it can cause blockage, which causes poor experience on calls, Siri, voice recordings, dictation, and other related things. To fix this, make sure you remove any iPhone case and use a cloth, dry brush, or toothpick to clean the microphone holes.
Important: If any external device (like earphones) is attached to your iPhone, disconnect it to ensure the on-device mic is used.
Update your iPhone
We can’t rule out the possibility of dictation not working on iPhone 13 due to software bugs. To fix this, go to iPhone Settings > General > Software Update and get the latest version of iOS.
Reset network settings or all settings
In case the iPhone 13 dictation problem continues, reset your phone’s network settings. This should help, and if it doesn’t, you can reset all settings.
Contact Apple Support
Finally, if nothing fixed dictation not working on iPhone 13 issue, contact Apple Support or take your iPhone to an Apple Store and get it inspected. If there are issues with the iPhone hardware, they will take care of it.
Fixed dictation not working on iPhone 13
You’ve fixed the problem and your iPhone 13 dictation feature is working again! Make sure to share this article on social media to teach your friends and family what to do when dictation is not working on their iPhone 13. If you have any other questions about your iPhone, let us know in the comments section below.