Speech, inking, typing, and privacy

Your privacy is important to us. That’s why we give you control over your privacy settings for online speech recognition and inking and typing personalization features in Windows 10. To learn more about these features, read the following sections.

Online speech recognition

Windows provides both a device-based speech recognition feature (available through the Windows Speech Recognition app), and an online speech recognition service in regions where Cortana is available. To learn more about what languages and regions speech currently supports, see Cortana’s regions and languages.

Turning on the Online speech recognition setting lets you use Windows cloud-based speech recognition in Cortana, the Mixed Reality Portal, dictation in Windows from the software keyboard, supported Microsoft Store apps, and over time, in other parts of Windows. When you use the Windows online speech recognition service, Microsoft collects and uses your voice recordings to create a text transcription of the spoken words in the voice data. The voice data is used in the aggregate to help improve our ability to correctly recognize all users’ speech, so the data Microsoft collects from these online services helps to improve them.

You can use device-based speech recognition without sending your voice data to Microsoft. However, the Windows cloud-based speech service provides more powerful recognition than the device-based speech recognition. When the Online speech recognition setting is turned off, speech services that don’t rely on the cloud and only use device-based recognition, such as the Narrator app or the Windows Speech Recognition app, will still work, and Microsoft won’t collect any voice data.

If you’ve allowed Cortana to do so, Microsoft also collects information about your Calendar and People (also known as contacts) to help personalize your speech experience, and to help Windows and Cortana better recognize people, events, places, and music when you dictate messages or documents. The information Cortana collects will help personalize your speech experience on all your Windows devices and Cortana apps when you sign in with the same Microsoft account.

Whenever we collect data, even when it’s to make your device work better for you, we want to make sure you have all the information to make the right choices about how and when that data is used. That’s why we provide the info and controls described on this page.

How to control data for Speech

To control online speech recognition

  1. Go to Start , then select Settings  > Privacy > Speech.
  2. Under Online speech recognition, switch the setting to On or Off.

To turn off online speech recognition in previous versions of Windows 10

  1. Go to Start , then select Settings  > Privacy > Speech, inking, & typing.
  2. Select Turn off speech services and typing suggestions. This turns off Windows cloud-based speech recognition. It also clears the local user dictionary used to improve your typing and inking.

Note:

To view and control the voice data Microsoft has associated with your Microsoft account, visit the Microsoft privacy dashboard. When you turn off the Online speech recognition setting, any voice data collected while you were not signed in with a Microsoft account will be disassociated from your device.

If you’ve allowed Cortana to store your calendar and contacts in the cloud so that Windows and Cortana can give you better results, here’s how to clear this data:

  1. Select the search box on the taskbar to open Cortana Home. Then select Settings  > Permissions & History > Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select Clear.

Inking & typing personalization

As part of inking and typing on your device, Windows collects unique words—like names you write—in a personal dictionary stored locally on your device, which helps you type and ink more accurately.

If you sync your Windows device settings to other Windows devices, your local user dictionary (up to 100 KB per language and 300 KB total of hard drive space) will be stored on your personal OneDrive for the purpose of enabling sharing of your dictionary with your other Windows devices. Learn more about sync settings.

How to control data for Inking & typing personalization

To turn off Inking & typing personalization and clear the local user dictionary

  1. Go to Start , then select Settings  > Privacy > Inking & typing personalization.
  2. Under Getting to know you, switch the setting to Off.

To turn off Inking & typing personalization and clear the local user dictionary in previous versions of Windows 10

  1. Go to Start , then select Settings  > Privacy > Speech, inking, & typing.
  2. Select Turn off speech services and typing suggestions. This clears the data on your device and turns off cloud-based speech recognition. It also resets the local user dictionary that’s used to improve your typing and inking.