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How to Get Rid of Speech Recognition in Windows Vista

One of the most frustrating “features” in Windows Vista is speech recognition. Knowing how to get rid of speech recognition in Windows Vista is, unfortunately, a pain in the neck. The Microsoft Help files about disabling this feature are incorrect, so it’s almost impossible to figure out how to turn it off if you ever have the misfortune to turn it on.

Of course, for people with disabilities, the speech recognition feature is a godsend. But for many business users or even home users who accidentally turning it on, it’s insufferable.

When you perform a “Full” installation of Microsoft Office XP or Vista, you get speech recognition whether you like it or not. Unfortunately, disabling speech recognition isn’t as easy as just disabling the ctfmon.exe program in Windows Defender’s Software Explorer.

If you do try to disable the ctfmon.exe to get rid of this annoying auto-starting component of speech recognition, the next time one of the Office applications starts, it puts ctfmon.exe back on the auto-starting list.

Here is one sure-fire way to turn off ctfmon.exe, and Speech Recognition, for good:

  1. Choose Start→Control Panel.

  2. Under the Clock, Language, and Region icon, click the Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods link.

  3. Click the button marked Change Keyboards.

  4. Click the Language Bar tab.

  5. Under Language Bar, click the Hidden button.

  6. Then click OK twice to get out.

Alternatively, you can uninstall speech recognition from Microsoft Office itself, but that’s an entirely different pain in the neck.

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