illustration retro woman speaking in speech bubble

How To Turn On Google Chrome Voice Search

The problem: You are trying to enable Google Chrome Voice Search but you are not being prompted to grant Google permission to your microphone.

illustration retro woman speaking in speech bubble

The solution: You need to adjust your Chrome settings and/or Adobe Flash Global Privacy Settings. At one point you may have denied Google access to the mic and the settings saved, never to ask again. When you click the microphone icon on the Google Chrome search bar at, you see a link to Learn More, instead of being prompted to Allow or Deny permission (because you already denied it). On Chrome for Mac you’ll see “Voice search has been turned off. Details”

Google Chrome Voice Search searchbar microphone icon

Clicking on “Details” on Mac or “Learn More” on Windows 7 takes you to a page entitled “Voice search and voice actions on Chrome” where you can read about how great Voice Search is and how to enable Ok Google but there is no information about turning the mic on/allowing permission. How do you adjust your permission settings for the microphone in Google Chrome? 

Enter chrome://settings/ in your omnibox. Click Advanced Settings. Under Privacy, click Content Settings.

You’ll see these options on Windows (similar on Mac):

Google-Chrome-Content-settings-Media-camera-AdobeSelect “Ask me when a site requires access to my camera and microphone (recommended).” Click on Manage Exceptions. You may see some entries for Hostname pattern and Behavior. If you see the Hostname you will want the Audio to be set to “Allow.” If it says block, simply highlight this row and click the X to delete it. Then Google will ask for permission to access the mic when you return to and click the microphone icon to use Voice Search. The problem should be solved now.

However, if it says “Allow” here and you are still having issues, just click on the URL to highlight it, then click the X to delete it. We’ll try and reset the process. If you see no entries for Hostnames here and are unable to type any in manually, that is also okay. Let’s make sure you don’t have any settings in Adobe that are at play:

After you’ve clicked Manage Exceptions, at the bottom, click the “Change” link in: “Adobe Flash Player camera and microphone exceptions are different. Change” and you will end up at Adobe Flash Player Global Privacy Settings: (Note: it does not matter if you’re logged into Adobe.)

Look for Google in the list of website settings. Delete it. Now you should have no settings regarding Google Chrome in your Chrome Settings or Adobe Flash Player: try to click the mic at again. You should see Allow or Deny pop up.

You’ll find the basic instructions about setup and voice search examples on the Chrome voice search information page (but this page does not allow you to adjust the permission settings and the troubleshooting section doesn’t touch on Adobe). If you have problems after managing the Adobe settings though, the troubleshooting tips there could help.

I’m a fan of any technology that helps us get away from typing.

9 thoughts on “How To Turn On Google Chrome Voice Search”

  1. Hi Emily,

    I am 74 (female) and feel highly satisfied as I followed your instructions to the letter and have managed to turn my Google mic back on. It was annoying to me that I couldn’t use the middle bar any more. It wasn’t easy but your instructions were very clear and I am very grateful. Did you write the copy on multi tasking too? I find I can do one thing at a time by totally switching off everything else. Anyway I am not into face book or twitter – more of a designer, gardener, painter and reader but your sort of helpful instruction is an absolute bonus to all of us out there who like to be independent. Thank you very much Pat.

    1. Hi Pat, I’m glad you found the post helpful and appreciate your comment. Yes, I wrote the multitasking post and all the other content on this site. Thanks for reading.

  2. Emily, you are a genius. I have googled this problem and nothing worked until I found your article. Thank you!

    1. Yes! Word for word what I was going to say. Thank you Emily, and like the man (woman? – sorry Kimiata90 I’m foreign and can’t tell with your name), like the person says: You’re a genius! cheers, 😀

  3. This worked perfectly, I never would have been able to figure this one out on my own!

  4. Fantastic piece – I am thankful for the details . Does someone know where my assistant might be able to access a template a form version to use ?

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