Installing SpeakOn and getting started >

System requirements, download and installation

Features release 4.5, latest version 4.5.0, 1 September 2016
Page update May 2020

This page contains important information on system requirements, download and installation.

If you have been referred to this page directly, note that the SpeakOn Home page where you can find general information and all important links is:

This page is part of the
SpeakOn manual which contains a comprehensive tutorial about using SpeakOn.

The instructions below relate to SpeakOn MediaSuite which is referred to simply as SpeakOn.

Operating Systems  

SpeakOn can be used with Microsoft Windows 10, 8 / 8.1 and 7.


SpeakOn is written in Java and requires Java 8. It is self-voicing so the Java Access Bridge is not required.


SpeakOn is small and efficient and will run at the recommended processor speed and memory specified for your operating system.

Internet Connection 

SpeakOn uses the internet extensively and a broadband connection is required. Depending on the type of operation SpeakOn is performing, internet connection is not required all the time.


As mentioned above, SpeakOn requires Java 8; 32-bit is recommended but 64-bit also works. Before you start to install SpeakOn, check that no other version of Java is installed on your computer. If Java is not installed, don't worry as the SpeakOn installer will direct you to install Java 8 before SpeakOn itself is installed.

The easiest way to check if Java is installed is to bring up the 'Add or Remove programs' dialog located in the control panel. One way to do this is to press:
[Ctrl + Esc]. In Windows 10 search for 'remove', the first item is 'Add or Remove programs', press [Enter] to bring up the 'Add or Remove programs' dialog.
Tab a few times until you get to the list of programs installed on your computer. Go down the list and check that if Java is present, it is version 8. If it is another version remove it.

The SpeakOn installer is

You can either run the installation file from the internet or save it on your hard disc and run it from there.

When the installer starts it will check your computer for the Java Runtime Environment. If it was not found on your computer, it will offer to download the Java 8 installer for you. In this case, when running the Java installer, it is recommended that you choose the default values.

After the installation of the Java runtime (if required), the installation of SpeakOn itself will start. After confirming that you accept the licence agreement, SpeakOn is installed in the folders specified further down this page.


SpeakOn checks automatically for updates and needs to run its installer from time to time. In addition you might want SpeakOn to assign file associations to be able to run media files. Both operations require admin permission. If your UAC (User Account) is enabled it will pop up asking for permission to run SpeakOn; you must accept for SpeakOn to work.

If you don't want the UAC to come up, you have two options:

To access the property dialog of the SpeakOn icon on the desktop and enable SpeakOn to be run as administrator, do the following:

To start SpeakOn, use the SpeakOn MediaSuite shortcut on the desktop. When you start SpeakOn for the first time it may take slightly longer than usual to start. When SpeakOn starts, as it is self-voicing, speech will start automatically. If it does not, see the end of this page for trouble-shooting.

You can read the rest of the user manual including the 'Getting started with SpeakOn' page and a step-by-step tutorial here

Java network permissions

If you use Windows 10 Defender (or perhaps other protection software), sometime after starting SpeakOn for the first time a dialog appears asking you to confirm that Java can access networks that your computer connects to. As the internet is essential for SpeakOn operations, accept all defaults settings and confirm. Please note that this dialog appears after every Java update.

Updating Java

From time to time you will be notified that a new Java version is available. Note that the updates are minor versions of Java 8 containing bug and security fixes and therefore it is a good idea to update. You can update directly from the Java notification dialog or from the 'Configure Java' app. You can find it by searching for 'Java' in Windows Search. When the app opens, move to the 'Update' tab and tab to the Update button.

SpeakOn Folders 

SpeakOn installs itself in:
32-bit computers:
C:\Program Files\SpeakOn-MediaSuite
64-bit computers:
C:\Program Files (x86)\SpeakOn-MediaSuite

After you run SpeakOn for the first time, two folders are created:

User and application data:
Windows 10, 8 / 8.1 and 7

User media:
Windows 10, 8 / 8.1 and 7

This probably is the only folder you will want to look at and work with from time to time. You can change the location of this folder later.

Updating SpeakOn from a previous version

The easiest way to update SpeakOn is within SpeakOn itself as explained here

Alternatively you can download and install a new version of SpeakOn on top of your current installation; the installer will invite you to remove your old SpeakOn installation version first.


  1. Remove SpeakOn using 'Add and remove programs' in the Control Panel.

  2. If you don't intend to use SpeakOn again, delete the folders above; this will remove all settings associated with SpeakOn.

Trouble-shooting if speech does not start 

When SpeakOn starts, the program should start to speak using the eSpeak voice synthesizer. You can change to other synthesizers and voices later as explained in the manual.

If speech does not start the most likely cause is the Java installation. SpeakOn uses Java 8. If either Java is not installed or an incompatible version is installed, the program will not work.

If Java is not installed, this should have been detected during SpeakOn's installation and, in this case, the user would have been guided to install Java first. If you suspect that Java may not be installed or an incompatible version of Java is installed, probably the easiest way is to remove SpeakOn and repeat the installation procedure outlined above.

If you have any questions, there is a self-help SpeakOn low traffic
mailing list
for announcements and discussions on all matters relating to SpeakOn use.

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