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Troubleshoot issues with Kinect voice commands on Xbox One


You can control your Xbox One console by using voice commands via a Kinect sensor. For example, you can pause a movie or invite a friend to chat by using your voice.

The Xbox One Kinect sensor uses a microphone to hear your voice commands. Making sure that your Kinect sensor can hear you is key to a great experience. This article describes how to troubleshoot issues with the Kinect microphone when you try to use voice commands.

Note Xbox One voice commands are not available in all regions. To find out if voice options are available in your country or region, see Xbox One Feature Availability. In the chart on that page, check the Premium/Natural Voice (including "Xbox On") feature to see if it’s available in your locale.

Things to know

Consider the following points when you adjust the Kinect microphone or configure your play space:

  • The Kinect microphone is designed to hear everything in your play space. However, things like appliances, speakers, fans or lots of people talking can interfere with the Kinect microphone. In these scenarios, Kinect may not recognise precise voice commands.
  • Make sure your Kinect is plugged in and turned on. The Xbox logo will be lit when the sensor is on. If your sensor won’t turn on, try the troubleshooting steps in Your Kinect sensor won’t turn on.
  • If you’re having trouble with a specific game or app, view the tutorial or try to calibrate the Kinect sensor from within the game or app.
  • If you want to learn the available voice commands, see Use Kinect voice commands with Xbox One.
  • Voice commands only work with a Kinect sensor. You can’t use an Xbox One headset to give voice commands.
  • You can only use the “Xbox on” command if your console is set to use the Instant-On power mode. For information, see About energy-saving and Instant-On power modes.

Troubleshooting Kinect voice commands

If you’re having trouble getting your Kinect sensor to recognise voice commands, try the following.

Verify that your Kinect sensor is on

  1. Press the Menu button on your controller.
  1. Select Settings, and then select Kinect.
  2. Verify that the Kinect on setting is selected. If it isn’t, select Kinect on to turn the sensor on.

Perform a full power cycle of your console

A full power cycle reboots the console fully. Doing this does not erase any of your games or data. Here's how:

  1. Turn off your console by pressing the Xbox button on the front of the console for approximately 10 seconds.
  2. Turn your console back on by pressing the Xbox button on the console or the Xbox button on your controller.

Note If your console is in Instant-On power mode, these steps will shut the console completely off. Instant-On mode, or the ability to turn on your console by saying “Xbox on”, won’t be enabled until you restart the console.

Calibrate the Kinect microphone

Before you start the procedure:

  • Make sure that your speakers are turned on and the volume is louder than normal.
  • Make sure that the room is quiet.
  • If you use a home cinema system, make sure that the system is on and set louder than normal.

To calibrate the Kinect microphone, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Menu button on your controller, select Settings, and then select Kinect.
  2. Select Kinect doesn’t hear me.
  3. On the Let’s check your audio screen, select Start audio check.

    During the audio check, the sensor checks the background noise in your play space. If there isn’t too much background noise, the system automatically goes to the next step. If there is too much background noise, minimise the background noise and then run the audio check again.

    During the audio check, the sensor plays several tones to determine speaker placement. The system displays a screen when it calibrates the microphone. This may take a few seconds.

  4. Verify that a success screen appears indicating that the audio is set up correctly.

If these troubleshooting solutions don’t solve your problem

If none of these solutions solved the problem, your Kinect sensor may need to be serviced. See Getting your Xbox One console or Kinect sensor serviced.

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