How to Fix Dictation Not Working on iOS 16

Can’t figure out why dictation is not working on iOS 16?

Improved dictation feature is among the many highlights of iOS 16. However, after installing the update, many users discovered that dictation wasn’t working on their iPhones

Software updates can reset dictation settings and the feature gets turned off by default. This can be the reason you can’t dictate text on our iPhone.

On the other hand, it can also be due to errors with the software update, improper user settings, or conflict with third-party apps. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to fix dictation if it’s not working on iOS 16. 

Let’s begin!

1. Check Your Settings. 

As mentioned above, software updates can reset some of your settings. This certain update may have disabled dictation by default, explaining why it’s not working. 

To confirm this, follow the steps below: 

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone. 
  2. Now, go to General
  3. Tap on Keyboard and turn on Enable Dictation
dictation not working on ios 16

Once done, try using the feature to see if it works. 

2. Restart Your iPhone. 

A temporary bug or error may have occurred on your iPhone, causing some features to malfunction. 

To fix this, restart your system to reload its resources. This should clear corrupted data from the system memory, fixing minor issues caused by applications. 

If you are using an iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, 14, or later, here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Hold down the Volume Down button and Side button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt appears. 
  2. Now, drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds. 
  3. Press the Side button afterward to turn on your device. 
Restart iPhone

For older models, follow the steps below: 

  1. Locate the Power button on your device. 
  2. Now, hold the button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt shows up.
  3. Drag the slider to the right and wait 30 seconds before turning on your device. 
Home Button Restart

Use dictation again to check if the problem is solved. 

Related: How to Fix Email Not Sending on iOS 16

3. Refresh Siri. 

Dictation relies on Siri to convert your voice into text. Refreshing Siri should ensure that an error with Siri does not cause the problem. 

Check out the steps below to refresh Siri: 

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone. 
  2. Next, go to Siri & Search
  3. Tap the toggle switch next to ‘Listen for Hey Siri’
Listen for Hey Siri
  1. After 10 seconds, enable Siri again. 
  2. Restart your device. 

Try typing using dictation to see if everything checks out. 

4. Check Screen Time Settings. 

Screen Time can restrict a lot of features on your iPhone. Siri and dictation could be disabled from your Screen Time settings, explaining why it won’t work. 

Follow the steps below to allow dictation on Screen Time: 

  1. Go to your home screen and launch the Settings app. 
  2. After that, go to Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions
Content and Privacy Restrictions
  1. Open the Allowed Apps tab. 
  2. Find Siri & Dictation and make sure it’s allowed. 
Siri and Dictation

Use dictation on your iPhone again and see if it works. 

5. Force Restart Your iPhone. 

If dictation is still not working on your phone running iOS 16, we suggest force restarting it. 

A force restart reboots your system at a hardware level. This cuts off power from the battery, clearing unused data from the system memory. 

Here’s how you can force restart your iPhone: 

  1. Press and release the Volume Up button
  2. Now, press the Volume Down button once. 
  3. Hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears. 
  4. Release the Side button
Force Restart

Once done, try using dictation again. 

6. Check Dictation Language. 

Dictation supports various languages. However, wrong language settings can cause dictation to malfunction. 

Check your configurations and ensure that the correct language is selected. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone. 
  2. Go to General > Keyboard
  3. Tap on Dictation Languages
  4. Choose the language you’re using when dictating text. 

Try using the feature again to check if the problem is solved. Head to the next step if the issue persists. 

Related: How to Fix Mail Slow to Update on iOS

7. Turn Off Low Power Mode. 

This might be a long shot but still possible. If your battery is running low but needs to use dictation, temporarily disable low power mode. 

Low power mode can sometimes mess up the dictation feature since it actively uses the microphone. 

Follow the steps below to disable low power mode: 

  1. Open the Settings app on your phone. 
  2. Now, scroll down and tap on Battery
  3. Tap the toggle switch beside Low Power Mode to turn it off. 
dictation not working on ios 16


The battery indicator on your iPhone should turn green/red (depending on battery level) when low power mode is disabled. 

8. Update Your iPhone. 

Apple may already be aware of this issue on iOS 16 and is working on another update. 

Try checking if there’s a new version available for your iPhone and install it to patch the bug with dictation. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone. 
  2. Navigate to General > Software Update
  3. If there’s a new iOS version available, tap Download and Install
  4. Once the new software is ready, follow the prompts to install the update. 
dictation not working on ios 16


  • Your device can restart several times while installing the update. 
  • Ensure your iPhone has at least 50% battery before installing updates. It’s best to keep your device plugged into the wall charger to avoid interruptions. 
  • Allow at least 15 minutes for the update to install, especially if it’s a major update (iOS 14 to iOS 15).

Try using dictation again to check if the problem is solved. 

9. Reset Your Settings. 

If none of the solutions above worked, try resetting your iPhone’s settings. 

A third-party app may have changed some configurations on your device that caused dictation to malfunction. 

See the steps below to reset your settings: 

  1. On your iPhone, go to the main menu and open Settings
  2. Now, tap on General
  3. Look for Transfer or Reset iPhone and tap on it. 
  4. Tap the Reset option and select Reset All Settings
dictation not working on ios 16
  1. Follow the prompts to continue. 


  • Your iPhone will immediately restart upon resetting your configurations. 
  • It may appear to be stuck in the Apple logo. Wait for the process to complete, which usually takes 5 to 10 minutes. 

That ends our guide for fixing dictation if it’s not working on iOS 16. If you have questions or clarifications, drop a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, please share it.


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter)

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