How to fix “Speech Recognition Could Not Start” error on Windows


Speech recognition enables features like speech-to-text, text-to-speech, and even voice access on your computer. However, sometimes problems arise when the voice recognition feature does not work, resulting in your computer displaying a pop-up window that says “Speech recognition could not start”.

Do not worry! The following article will list some methods to help you fix speech recognition errors on Windows.

1. Start with some basic fixes

If you’re having problems with speech recognition on Windows, the following tips can help you fix it quickly:

Make sure your microphone is connected correctly.
Change the default microphone and use voice-to-text once.
Check your system’s sound settings to make sure everything is set to default.
Try updating your audio driver using any of the free driver updaters for Windows.
If you’re still using an older version of Windows, see how to update your Windows device for instructions on how to update.
If the problem persists after these quick fixes, try the more advanced fixes outlined below.

2. Troubleshoot microphone problems

One of the most common causes of the “Speech recognition could not start” error is a faulty or improperly set up microphone. To fix this problem, check your microphone for any physical damage and make sure it is selected as the default device.

If your microphone is connected but doesn’t show up in your device’s settings, see how to fix Windows not detecting the microphone. On the other hand, if your microphone is connected properly, follow’s microphone troubleshooting guide for more help.

3. Modify voice properties

Another solution is to modify speech recognition settings from Windows Speech Properties. Here’s how to do it on your computer:

1. Click the Windows key and enter Control Panel on the search bar.

2. Click Open to launch it. Once you’re in the Control Panel window, go to Ease of Access > Speech Recognition > Advanced speech options.

3. On the Speech Properties screen, select Run Speech Recognition at startup to enable this feature.

4. Under Recognition Profiles, click the New button and then click OK.

5. Follow the steps to create a new profile and restart your computer.

Once you’re back on the desktop, you’ll be able to use all the voice recognition features.

4. Restart necessary Windows services

Windows services always run in the background and may stop (in rare cases), leading to speech recognition errors. It’s easy to fix through the Windows Services app.

Here’s how restarting Windows Services is required for speech recognition:

1. Press Win + R and enter services.msc in the field.

2. Press Enter to launch the Services window.

3. Locate services related to speech recognition: Human Interface Device Service, Windows Audio and Windows Audio Endpoint Builder.

4. To restart the above services, right-click each service and select Restart.

5. Finally, restart the computer and check for voice recognition issues again.

Tip: If you are using a Bluetooth microphone, restart the Bluetooth Support Service and Bluetooth Audio Gateway Service along with the mentioned services.

5. Set up voice recognition
Sometimes, the initial setup for voice recognition can cause you problems. For example, you can’t use voice-to-text if you select the wrong device type during setup.

To fix this issue, you should reset the voice recognition feature on your device. You can type Windows Speech Recognition in Windows search and open it. This will open the Speech Recognition Set Up screen.

Follow the setup prompts one at a time and once complete, reconnect your microphone. This will quickly fix your speech recognition related problems. If you cannot open the setup, access it from Control Panel > Ease of Access > Speech Recognition > Set up microphone.

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