Microsoft moves on from 'speech recognition' on Windows 11

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What you need to know

  • Windows speech recognition has been deprecated and will no longer be developed.
  • Microsoft replaced Windows speech recognition with voice access, which first rolled out in 2022.
  • Voice access allows you to control your PC with voice commands and is much more capable than Windows speech recognition.

You can say goodbye to Windows speech recognition. Microsoft announced the deprecation of the feature recently. Going forward, Windows speech recognition will not be actively developed and will be replaced by voice access.

"Windows speech recognition is deprecated and is no longer being developed. This feature is being replaced with voice access. Voice access is available for Windows 11, version 22H2, or later devices," explains Microsoft in a support document.

Speech recognition first shipped with Windows Vista to improve accessibility. Voice access is a relatively new feature that replaces Windows speech recognition while also having significantly more capabilities.

Voice access entered testing among Windows Insiders late in 2021 and rolled out to general users in 2022. The feature is available on PCs running Windows 11 version 22H2 or later.

While systems on older versions of Windows do not support voice access, speech recognition should still work. Microsoft has stopped development of the feature, but it has not removed it from older versions of Windows.

Since adding voice access to Windows 11, Microsoft has improved the feature. The company added support for more dialects, including English -UK, English – India, English – New Zealand, English – Canada, and English – Australia. Several commands have been added over time as well.

Windows 11 includes several features that improve accessibility, including voice access, live captions, eye tracking, and Windows narrator. The tech giant announced a five-year commitment to help people with disabilities back in 2021. In addition to efforts to make Windows 11 more accessible, Microsoft has an Xbox Adaptive Controller and the Seeing AI app, which recently launched for Android.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at