When Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 earlier this year, the firm branded its latest desktop OS the most inclusive version of Windows. The Redmond mammoth updated the accessibility settings page and included high contrast themes as part of this initiative.
Microsoft has included a new feature it calls Voice Access in the most recent Windows 11 Insider preview build. Users can control their PCs running Windows 11 with just their voice. If you think it would be useful, we can show you how to set up and use Voice Access in Windows 11 to make it more accessible.
To Start, What Exactly Is Windows 11 Voice Access?
The new Windows 11 accessibility feature known as “voice access” makes it simpler to use only your voice to operate your computer. Voice Access was created with those with mobility impairments in mind, and it employs on-device speech recognition to understand what you’re saying even when you don’t have an internet connection. To name just a few examples of what can be done using Voice Access, we can say that you can use it to access the UI, launch applications, and enter text.
With Windows 11 Insider preview build 22518 in the Dev channel, Microsoft has begun bringing out Voice Access. Next year’s OS update may bring the feature to the stable release. Voice Access now only supports English (United States), although expansion to additional languages is planned.
Check your display language settings if you are not seeing the function in English. “Settings -> Time & language -> Language & region -> Windows display language” is where you change it to “English.” If that’s the case, you can enable Voice Access on your Windows machine by following the instructions below.
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Voice Access in Windows 11: How to Set It Up
First, press the “Win+I” keyboard shortcut to launch the Settings programme in Windows 11, then select “Accessibility” from the app’s left sidebar.
2 Select “Speech” from the “Interaction” menu to access the Voice Access configuration screen.
In order to utilize your voice as a keyboard and controller for Windows 11, you must first enable the “Voice access” checkbox. The “Start voice access after you sign in to your PC” box can be checked to have Windows wait for a voice command before proceeding with the rest of the boot process.
As indicated earlier, the only supported language for Voice is English (United States), therefore you’ll need to download the offline language pack before you can get started. Click the “Download” button in the menu bar’s upper right corner to acquire the Voice access language pack and set it up on your machine.
The voice data you record will be processed locally by this speech model. Significantly, Microsoft claims that voice data is not uploaded to the cloud.
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Steps for Activating the New Voice Access Function in Windows 11
First, Windows 11 will immediately launch the voice access interactive guide to familiarise you with the capability when you’ve downloaded the Voice access speech model. As a first step in using voice access, selecting a microphone from the handbook is recommended.
Second, once you’ve selected the microphone, say “click Start guide” to begin the voice access tutorial. Say “click Skip guide” to bypass the tutorial if you’re already familiar with the feature.
Follow the on-screen prompts to experiment with the various menus and tools, move the mouse pointer, and enter and alter text. Click command> is the most common phrase to use, and the full list of commands is provided below.
To add a numerical overlay over all clickable points in the current window, for instance, type “display numbers” at the command prompt. Then you can say “click number>,” where number> is the button number for the desired action.
Synopsis of Windows 11 Voice Access Commands
Microsoft provided a web address where users can find detailed information about each available voice command. See below for a complete list of what this accessibility feature in Windows 11 can achieve for you:
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Experiment with Voice Access on a Windows 11 PC to Take Command
As an early-stage accessibility feature, voice access has much promise for Windows users. To that end, Microsoft has to prioritise expanding language support before releasing a more reliable version to the public.
If you have the most recent Insider build installed, give this new feature a try and let us know if it helps you out in the comments. If you haven’t already made the jump to Windows 11, but are still on Windows 10, we recommend reading through our comparison of Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro to determine which edition is best for you.