Lots of people don’t realise it but you can control Windows by simply speaking to it. Obviously, it’s not as natural as using the mouse and keyboard if that’s what you’re used to and it works best where there’s not much surrounding noise, but if you want or need to Windows can be operated with nothing but your voice.

Setting up Windows Speech Recognition is easy, but requires you to run a quick setup wizard. Go to search and type Windows Speech Recognition, then click to open the setup tool.

Choose the type of microphone you are using and then click on next and read the test sentence - make sure the level meter is responding to your voice so that you’re sure the computer can hear your voice. Follow the rest of the wizard and start the tutorial to learn exactly how to get the best out of speech recognition.

The speech recognition bar will show up at the top of the screen so that you know when Windows is listening for your commands. To quickly turn the speech recognition element off and click on the blue microphone button.

For further controls there is a notification area icon that you can use to get more from the voice control tools. If you’d like a bit of help right-click on the icon in the notification area and select Open Speech Reference Card you’ll get a list of the types of commands Windows is capable of responding to. The more you use speech recognition the better it will get as Windows learns your commands, but do remember it’s not completely infallible so you may need to affect your tone of voice or accent to get things working properly.

Visit the Dell Tech Zone for more advice on family computing.