How To Use The Voice Control Feature With macOS Catalina

The new macOS Catalina is finally here. It was released by Apple last October 07, 2019. It has new overwhelming features and app improvements. One of the key features with the new macOS Catalina is the Voice Control. The introduction of Voice Control in macOS Catalina is designed by Apple to help individuals to control their Mac using their voice without the need to use a keyboard and or a mouse 

Basically, the Voice Control features has two main functions: First, it allows individuals to type and dictate text to documents and also to type text into emails too. Secondly, it also allows commands such as “Quit Safari” or “Open Google docs”. It is a very convenient feature to most of Mac users and very exciting and fun at the same time. 

The capability of Voice Control is more like the same as with Siri, Apple’s Voice-Controlled personal assistant. It also has the capacity to understand the content of what is being asked. And it can be used in all your applications on your Mac. Read on below on how to use Voice Control with macOS Catalina.

If you own an Apple macOS or iPhone or any other Apple products, we will be glad to assist you with any concerns that you may have with your device. Feel free to contact us using this form. This is a free service that we are offering. We asked however, that when you do contact us, please try to be as detailed as possible about your concern so that we can accurately assess your concern and able to give appropriate solutions.


Before anything else, you have to make sure that you’ve downloaded the final version of macOS Catalina in order to take advantage of the new feature Voice Control on macOS Catalina. Yes, the macOS Catalina is free to download. Now, in order to do this, you also have to make sure that your Mac is compatible with the new macOS Catalina. Below are simple steps on how to download macOS Catalina on your Mac. 

  1. Check device compatibility: Not all Mac models is compatible with the new macOS Catalina and are able to run its software.  For a list of compatible Mac, refer to the list below:
  • MacBook Pro (mid 2012 onward)
  • MacBook Air (mid 2012 onward)
  • 12-inch MacBook (early 2015 onward)
  • iMac Pro (2017 onward)
  • iMac (late 2012 onward)
  • Mac Mini (late 2012 onward)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 onward)   

2. Backup device

As with any major update to OS, it is highly recommended to back up your device in case there can be malfunctions or problems when updating so that if anything goes wrong you are able to restore your device easily. 

3. Download macOS Catalina from the App Store

Head over to the App Store on your Mac, search for macOS Catalina, then click on the button “Install”, a pop up window appears, and finally click on “Continue” to begin the download process. 

Now that you’ve downloaded the new macOS Catalina, you can now use the Voice Control feature on your Mac. Since Voice Control is disabled by Default upon download, you may want to enable it first to use it. To enable Voice Control, follow these steps:

  1. Go to System Preferences
  2. Click on Accessibility
  3. Then Click on Voice Control under the Motor section. It is located in the far end from the list of options.
  4. Finally, click on the checkbox of Voice Control to enable it. You may be asked to input your password if required. 
  5. Download of Voice Control will automatically start. The time for download to finish will depend on your connection. 

Also, the language for the Voice Control feature, is usually set by default. However, you can change and select a language for your own personal preferences.You may also choose which microphone to use, Automatic by default or Internal microphone.  

How to reach Voice Control:

Once Voice Control is enabled, an icon that looks like a small microphone will appear on the lower right portion on your Desktop. You can click to wake Voice Control and Click it again for Sleep mode. These icon will also show the language being used with Voice Control.  

How to use Voice Commands: When the microphone is set to wake up, you can try to send a command by saying “Open Commands”. A list of Commands will appear. These are the default commands with the Voice Control feature. These commands are grouped together and organized into certain categories such as Basic navigation, Overlays and mouse, Dictation, Text Selection and Text Navigation. 

You can also summon Siri using Voice Control by saying “Open Siri”, “Show Siri”, “Launch Siri” or even ‘Switch to Siri”.

As mentioned, Voice Control can be used to dictate text in documents and emails by the use of Commands in apps such as Microsoft Word. You can edit text using commands such as “Delete Sentence”, “Select All” , “Paste Text” or “Copy Text”.  At anytime, you may want to say “show commands” if you need some help with the list of commands. 

There are a wide variety of commands to choose from, here are a few of the commands that Mac users needs to know about: 

  • Open
  • Hide 
  • Quit
  • New item
  • Search
  • Zoom
  • Open Spotlight
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Close
  • Format Text
  • Delete That 

If you want to receive an alert every time a command is being recognized in Voice Control on Mac, follow these steps to enable it:

  1. Click on System Preferences from your Mac Home Screen
  2. Click on Accessibility. 
  3. Find Voice Control from the list of options, Click on Voice Control under the Motor Section.
  4. Click on the box next to “Play Sound when command is recognized”. 
  5. When you’ll send a command to Voice Control and is being recognized, you will hear a “Flash” sound. 

You can set your own command at your preference because not everything on Mac can be controlled with a simple click or a spoken command. You have to set your own command to speed up the tasks and browsing on your Mac. You can add commands by doing  these steps: 

  1. Click on System Preferences from your Mac Home screen
  2. Select and Click Accessibility.
  3. Then scroll down to find Voice Control. On the motor section, click on Voice control.
  4. Then click on Commands button. 
  5. Select add that looks like a plus (+) sign on the lower left corner. 
  6. Then add your own command on the “When I Say” box. This command will be used in all apps, by default. But to specify the command to a certain app, click on the “While using”  and select the Application from the pull-down menu.
  7.  Select how the command will be performed on the list from the pull-down menu such as Open Finder Items, Open URL, Paste Text, Paste Data, Press Keyboard Shortcut, Select Menu, Run Workflow.
  8. Finally, click on Done to apply these changes. 

You can also delete the added commands if you feel like you don’t really need it for your Voice Control, to do this simply follow these steps:

  1. Click on System Preferences from your Mac Home Screen
  2. Click on Accessibility. 
  3. Find Voice Control from the list of options, Click on Voice Control under the Motor Section.
  4. Click on Commands Button.
  5. Click and Highlight on the Command to Delete.
  6. Select on (-) sign. Note: This will permanently delete the command. You can however add this command again if you want to.
  7. Prompt appears “Are you sure you want to delete the command? Click on Delete to Confirm
  8. Finally, click on Done to apply changes. 

The Voice Control feature on macOS Catalina has Four modes for Interaction, these are: Dictation Mode, used to both dictate and use voice commands; Command Mode, used for Voice commands only and no dictation; Go to Sleep, which means Pause and cannot be used; and Wake Up, which resumes voice control feature. 

Connect with us

If you have any questions & concerns regarding your macOS or iPhone , feel free to connect with us using this form. We will be of help and will provide you with a free technical support. Just make sure to provide us with the details as possible for us to make an accurate assessment and provide you appropriate intervention. Also, do let us know your experience along the way. I look forward to hearing from you.