How to Enable Dictation on Mac

Kyle Wood

Mac, Tutorials

Dictation is a powerful feature on Mac that allows you to speak instead of type. It can be extremely useful for those who prefer not to type or have difficulty with typing. Enabling dictation on your Mac is a straightforward process and can be done in just a few steps.

Enabling Dictation on Mac

If you want to enable dictation on your Mac, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Open System Preferences

To begin, click on the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu.

Step 2: Access Keyboard Preferences

In the System Preferences window, locate and click on the “Keyboard” icon. This will open the Keyboard preferences pane.

Step 3: Open Dictation Preferences

In the Keyboard preferences pane, navigate to the “Dictation” tab at the top of the window. Click on it to access the dictation settings.

Step 4: Enable Dictation

On the Dictation tab, you will see an option labeled “Dictation.” Click on it to enable dictation on your Mac.

  • If this is your first time enabling dictation, you will be prompted to download additional files. Follow the instructions provided by macOS to complete this process.
  • If you have previously enabled dictation, skip ahead to Step 5.

Step 5: Choose Dictation Language (Optional)

Once you have enabled dictation, you can choose your preferred language for dictating text. Click on the language dropdown menu and select your desired language from the list.

Step 6: Enable Enhanced Dictation (Optional)

Enhanced Dictation allows you to use dictation even when you’re offline. It requires additional disk space and will download the necessary files to your Mac.

To enable enhanced dictation, check the box next to “Use Enhanced Dictation. “

Note: If you choose to enable enhanced dictation, macOS will begin downloading the necessary files automatically. This process may take a few minutes depending on your internet speed.

Step 7: Customize Shortcut (Optional)

If you prefer to activate dictation using a shortcut, you can customize it by clicking on the shortcut field and entering your desired key combination.

Step 8: Start Dictating

Once you have completed the above steps, dictation is ready to use on your Mac. To start dictating, place the cursor in any text field or document and press the function (fn) key twice. You will see a microphone icon indicating that dictation is active.

Note: Make sure your Mac’s microphone is functioning properly for accurate dictation results.


Congratulations! You have successfully enabled dictation on your Mac.

Now you can enjoy the convenience of speaking instead of typing. Remember to speak clearly and give appropriate pauses for accurate transcription. Happy dictating!

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