Dragon 15.3 Update (for PC)


Nuance has come out with a free update to version 15.3 which offers a solution for several excruciating bugs in Dragon Professional Individual and Microsoft Office.

Why you need this update

These were the issues experienced many people running Dragon Professional Individual 15 in combination with Word and Outlook on Windows.

      • It was impossible to correctly position the cursor by mouse in longer Word documents or Outlook messages. The cursor would land at a random position.
      • Cursor jumping around when dictating in Microsoft Outlook and/or Word.
      • Poor performance/slow performance in Microsoft Outlook and/or Word. Sometimes the application being ‘frozen’ or non-reponsive or even crashing.
      • Loss of Full Text Control (FTC) when dictating in e-mail message. FTC is sometimes also called “Select-and-Say”.
        Full Text Control is available when you see the green dot on the right side of the new Dragon bar or the green checkmark on the left side in the classic Dragon bar.
Green dot in new Dragon bar


Green checkmark in floating classic Dragon bar

Does the update solve the problem?

Yes! I’ve installed the update and everything seems fine.

How do I get the update?

A simple click: GET THE UDATE NOW

Tips for installation

Restart your computer before executing the update. Make sure all applications are closed, especially Dragon and Office.

Then double click the downloaded update.

If you get an error that Dragon is active (even if you didn’t start it):

You may have to manually end Dragon background processes in the WIndows Task manager:

  • Right click on the windows taskbar and click Task Manager. End all processes that start with Dragon. Don’t worry if the Dragon logging process immediately restarts. You can leave that.

Update 8 May 2018: If you experience any issues with the microphone not being recognised after installing 15.3, please read the comments below. Reader Mark kindly shared his solution when he ran into a problem with the Dragon update i.c.w. Windows update 1803.

Update 19 June 2018: I’ve now created a new blogpost with video instructions on how to solve this!

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to comment. And if this was helpful, please leave a comment too. Thanks!

Janneke den Draak

Janneke den Draak

Hi, I'm Janneke and I'm your go-to person for Dragon and Apple speech recognition software help.

When I got severe repetitive strain injury issues over 20 years ago, I didn't want to give up using the computer. So I learned all about controlling the PC with speech recognition and dictating my documents and emails.

I've now been a speech recognition software trainer and consultant for almost two decades, teaching over 2000 people handsfree productivity!

My online courses for Apple Voice Control and Dragon offer self-paced learning and I also love running my membership for Dragon users. For those in need of an intensive training or custom speech command creation, I am available for one-on-one calls.

  • I updated your dragon 15.3 today. Now it will not find my profiles for my USB microphone. I use both vxi and Andrea microphones. I uninstalled and reinstalled Dragon 15 and dragon update 15.3 still I get an error message that it can’t find my device which is my microphones. I think Dragon 15.3 has a bug with Windows 10 1803

    • Hi Mark. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having issues after updating Dragon to 15.3. I haven’t experienced or heard about any bugs or conflicts with regards to this update and any version of Windows.

      Glad you reached out, though. This is not really a Dragon support place, but perhaps I can still help.

      First of all, and apologies if you’ve already tried this: power down the pc, unplug your mics and power up the computer again. Then connect the microphones into a different usb port than before and only then start Dragon.

      If you can go to the Dragon bar in the Profile menu, can you click on Manage dictation sources? If your mics aren’t listed ther, do they show up when you click the Add new dictation source button?

      Hope this helps. Please let me know how you’re getting on with fixing this.

      • One of my friends who is the manager at Colorado University adaptive technology partners named Jim Sandstrom help me fix this issue. The problem was when you install Windows update for April 2008 version 1803, and then install DPI update 15.3; that’s when the user needs to go into settings. Once in settings you have to go to apps that’s when you have to give permission and turn on external speakers. That works for both USB microphones and Bluetooth microphones. I believe that should be added to the instructions on how to install DPI 15.3. That’s only if Windows version 10 1803 is installed first.

      • Mark, thank you for sharing this. I wasn’t aware of this issue (nor the solution) but I’ve edited my post to point out your experience.

        I appreciate you taking the trouble to report back.

  • I updated dragon 15.3 today and now transcription is very slow and I don’t know what to do. It was great before the update

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for reaching out. Quick question: do you mean transcription of a recorded audiophile, or transcription when you dictate directly into the microphone? Assuming you mean the direct transcription into the microphone, I haven’t seen decreased speed/performance by updating to Dragon 15.3 myself. Have you restarted the computer? And perhaps you can quickly create a new user profile to test if performance is faster in that profile? It only takes a couple of minutes and it may shed some light on where the issue is coming from.

      I’d love to hear back how you are getting on.

  • I received a notice 15.3was available. I downloaded it and then installed. I closed all programs before starting install but did not check Task Manager. Since then , when I dictate at the end of each phrase the program repeats the phrase, or some phrase similar to the original. Example:
    I certify that on the 30th day of April, 2018, true and accurate copies I certify that on the 30th day of April, 2018, true and accurate copies of the foregoing were served via electronic mail of the foregoing were served via electronic mail on those with email addresses on those with e-mail addresses.
    I am using a PC, Windows 7, 64 bit, Word 2016. Can you help or refer me to someone else? Thank you.

    • Hi Chuck. Sorry to hear that you are experiencing problems after the 15.3 update. Even if you didn’t check the Task Manager, it still seems the update itself went smoothly, right?

      Could you verify the update is present by checking in the DragonBar -> Help -> About Dragon splash screen?

      Assuming that the 15.3 is indeed installed, there are a few things to always test (sorry :-))
      – Have you restarted the computer since performing the update?
      – Have you tried dictating in DragonPad
      – Have you tried dictating in a different Word doc?
      – Have you tried creating a new user profile? It really only takes 3 minutes and can give a lot of clarity on where the issue comes from.

      I don’t really do free support other than these basics. Joining my Learn Dragon Online Academy currently only costs $15/month and – while not a true tech support subscription – I’ll always do my very best to answer any questions in the forum and help my members out so that they can get on with their speech recognition.

      I do hope you get it sorted out soonest. It is a pain when Dragon doesn’t work properly.

  • I have just upgrade to v15.3 and still cannot enter text into Outlook messages. Using outlok 2016 and I have registered the DLLs for Outlook. verified the plug-in was enabled. Reloaded the machine and outlook. Still I cannot enter any information into a message using Dragon dictation. If I use the keyboard it works fine.. I can enter information into the subject field and the two and cc fields.

    • Hi Sean, Sorry to hear that you cannot dictate in Outlook messages. From the wording of your message I gather that you were hoping that 15.3 would fix a pre-exisiting problem with this? I know that there could possibly be a problem with losing Full Text Control in the body of the Outlook mails, but I’ve never seen this with the 15.0 version myself; I’ve just seen the madly jumping insertion points.

      You did all the right things to make sure this works; usually this suffices and I am puzzled that for you it doesn’t. Can you confirm that the Full Text Control green dot or green checkmark (when using the classic DragonBar) is OFF, indicating Basic Text Control?

      From the fact that you installed the update, I am assuming that you have full admin rights on your PC?

      I hope to hear back from you.

    • As an afterthought: You can still dictate in the body of the Outlook messasges bij using the Dictation Box. I keep forgetting that no everyone knows about that. Just put the cursor in the body of the message and say: “open dictation box”. You can dictate your message in the box and say “click transfer” to paste it in the mail. It’s a workaround, but beats copying and pasting from a separate window.

  • Dragon 15.3 will not install on my Windows 10 x64 Dragon 15.0. Instead, the Microsoft installer 5.0 instruction dialog box opens, and gives no indication of the what the install problem is. Can anyone help me install this update. Using Microsoft office 2016.

    • Hi KenBob, I’m sorry to see that you can’t get the update installed. If the tips above don’t help and without any further info, I’m afraid I don’t have any suggestionsfor you right now. Have you contacted Nuance support? Perhaps they can help you.

  • I updated to 15.3 today and now Dragon will not read in Word or Outlook. I have Windows 10 and Microsoft office Professional Plus 2016.

    • Hi Steve,

      That is annoying. It may be that full support of Dragon in Word was disabled. Normally you should see a green dot or checkmark (if you use classic dragon bar) to indicate Full Text Control in Word. This is only visible if the cursor is in the edit field of a document. Please check out this video to find out if this is working for you and how you can fix it if it isn’t enabled.

      Please let me know if this was a good solution for you. Thanks!

      • And for anyone wondering if the video is a good solution for the issue presented above, I am pasting Steve’s reply to my email message here: “Thanks, that helps me a lot. Steve”

      • Hi,

        I am getting that error box in word and dragon will not work at all in outlook without locking up. But when I go to the Addin’s they are enabled.

        We are using Dragon 14.
        in a government environment. With office 2016 running on windows 10 computers.

        Any suggestions how to fix this? The tech-support has uninstalled and reinstalled dragon and it still is not working properly!

      • I’m sorry to hear that you are experiencing issues with Dragon 14 and Office 2016.

        One thing that is simple to try is to unclick the natspeak addin in Outlook (in the Outlook options -> Add-ins -> COM add-ins at the bottom of that dialog window). Close Outlook and restart it, then click the Natspeak add in in the COM settings.

        If you are interested in finding out if paid tech support from me would be useful, I’d be happy to discuss if I feel I could be helpful in your situation. You can book a completely free discovery talk via here.

  • I am running into an issue where after updating to 15.3, when we click in a new Outlook email message, the green dot appears and the first 4-6 words are picked up, but then the dot goes away and the Dragon Software hangs. The add-in is not disabled in Outlook and we do not see the same issue when using DragonPad. Any suggestions on what to check for that issue?

    • Hi Ryan,
      Mmmm… that’s a bit of a puzzle.
      I can only give the general tip of always starting Dragon first,then your Offcie applicatioms. Also close your computer down regularly, not keeling it on standby for many days.

      And otherwise you can disable the plugin by unchecking it as per the reverse prcedure from the tutorial. Next close down your computer entirely, then restart computer, start Dragon, start Outlook and enable the natspeak plugin again.

      • Thanks for the response. I found I was not able to resolve this issue until I downgraded Microsoft Office 2016 to Version 16.0.9330.2118 (released June 12, 2018) . Once I upgraded past this version, the issue would appear. We have it working on version 16.0.9330.2118 now.

        Is it possible the Dictate feature that was introduced in Office 2016 this Summer causes a conflict?

      • Hi Ryan, thanks for your update. It’s great to hear back if/how people got to resolve their problem.

        There’s always a risk of the various speech applications causing a conflict. I’m mainly working on a Dutch PC with Office 365 and – apart from the occasional glitch – there doesn’t seem to be a an issue. I do have the Microsoft dictation featured enabled.

        It is possible to disable it, by the way. So if the dictation feature is the cause, it might be possible to fix the issue without reverting to an earlier office version.

        Thanks again for reporting back. Someone else may be very happy to read about a solution if they have the same problem.

        And, dear reader, if you find your solution here… write it in the comments please. That way we get more confirmation and that helps everyone solve their problems faster. Thanks!

  • I’ve come to this site through google search having had difficulties installing the 15.3 update.
    After downloading the 15.3 patch clean rebooting with nothing else open during the update it suggests that certain folders within the file hierarchy of nuance software are locked and to continue with the updates I need to reboot.
    Done that a couple of times and get the same error message.
    Reading through these 18 comments it seems more trouble than it’s worth, it actually looks like the Nuance Mac team code writers have transferred into the Windows division with the haphazard poorly written code coming with them.
    The February release obviously should not have happened and this patch should have been held back and tested against the April Windows update, which anyone within the industry would have known about rather than make users jump through hoops and make adjustments such as going to older versions of Windows software to get it to work.
    As mine is working perfectly I cannot see the point of trying to solve this problem.
    Although that’s not really a great solution giving up.
    If you make a living working with nuance products you have my deepest sympathy, although to be fair to the Windows side 15 professional is a great product, my anger and frustration stem from being a Mac user trying to use their products which are not fit for purpose.
    Never buy it if tempted.

    • Hi Sean,
      Sorry to hear that you didn’t succeed with the update.
      The persistent files locked message can also be caused if you have some MS Office application autostart with Windows. All applications need to be closed (including virusscanner) and then check for the Dragon processes as described in the procedure.

      You are very lucky not to need the update, becaue many (very many) Dragon users had horrible issues with the 15.0 version.
      It is a bummer if the program doesn’t work properly and you have to jump through some hoops to install the update. That is true. It’s not all warm, fuzzy feelings towards the manufacturer in these cases.

      But you miss the point entirely if you pity anyone working professionally with the software. There’s no better job than the one I have. I get to make it possible for a 9 year-old to go to school, despite a horrible disability. I get to help a translator or author make more money by making their text entry 3x faster and more relaxed. I get to have my own business and have been able to have an income for the past 20 years thanks to speech recognition.

      I personally run into trouble when I have a persistent cold, making it impossible to dictate for longer than a couple of days. Because then my physical complaints kick in. But as long as my voice works, I can work and make money. And help other people do the same. It is the best thing ever.

      But it is true… even the best thing ever sucks now and again 🙂

    • I was able to solve this by opening up task manager and closing down any program or process that might be using Dragon. That’s one reason files might be locked. In my case there were Chrome pages running in the background though not visible. My Chrome browser has a Dragon extension installed in Chrome. After shutting down all the instances of Chrome, the install went flawlessly.

      • Hi Rodney, I’m so glad to hear that you did manage to install the update. Closing all other applications is always the first thing to do when installing a programme (or updating it). Especially if you get an error. Personally I ran into a persistant error on a client’s PC where I didn’t realise that some office file was automatically opened upon restarting the computer. Took a while before I had that figured out!

  • IMO, Nuance has done an incredibly bad job of making Dragon 15 compatible with Windows 10 — I’ve tried installing it twice, and both times I had to back out and downgrade to Dragon 13. It’s astonishing that a major manufacturer like Nuance failed to ensure smooth integration with what is probably the predominant operating system for PCs before releasing this upgrade. Just scanning through the comments above reveals that Dragon 15 (regardless of which version) is a mysterious minefield of problems in Windows 10 — you’re better off with Dragon 13.

    • Hi Craig,
      I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to succesfully install Dragon 15.

      To be honest, I’m not sure how Dragon 15 compares to 13 in terms of installation issues. It may be worse than 13.

      But I’ve seen dozens or hundreds of successful installations of Dragon 15 by now, so it is certainly not so that the product is inherently unusable.

      This blog article will, by its nature, only attract people who are experiencing some issue. And no one is likely to comment who has has not had any problems with Dragon 15 whatsoever.

      I’m not saying that v15 couldn’t have been better, but I do think it good to see both sides of the argument.

      The comments on this blog article are not representative of most people’s experience. Rather like the hospital is not representative of most people’s health.

      I really hope you still manage to get your Dragon 15 working. In general I’ve personally been happy with it.

      Fortunately Dragon 13 is also a good version, should you be stuck with that for the time being.

  • Hi Janneke. I am wondering if you could kindly help me with a weird problem that has come out of nowhere? I am wondering if you have experienced it too or have heard of it. I have Dragon 15.3 and regular updates of Windows and Office (my company takes care of this). My problem is that when I dictate to edit an existing document once I have positioned the cursor and start speaking, the view shifts so the whole document jumps up or down by up to 6 lines. As you can imagine this makes it a real nightmare to work on as the document leaps around the screen! Nuance have been baffled by this for weeks and I fear they may have reached the end of the line in their capacity to solve it. It is so disheartening. Like you I had (and still have lurking) RSI and I am very dependent on Dragon. Up to now it has been great. Any ideas from you or your followers would be much appreciated!

      • Hi Adrienne, I am an RSI sufferer and am experiencing the same problem with 15.3. Were you able to resolve this through the advice from Janneke?

        Any help on this would be much appreciated.

        Many thanks,


    • Hi Adrienne, I am an RSI sufferer and am experiencing the same problem with 15.3. Were you able to resolve this through the advice from Janneke?

      Any help on this would be much appreciated.

      Many thanks,


  • Hi Janneke
    I installed DNS 15.3 with Windows 10. A weird problem occurs when I use my keyboard on any application. I cannot use anymore the “n” keyboard key. As soon as I close DNS, everything goes right again. Thank you for your advice

    Here is how it appears :
    Hi Jaeke. I istalled DNS 15.3 with Widows 10. A weird problem occurs whe I use my keyboard o ay applicatio. I caot use aymore the “” keyboard key. As soo as I close DNS, everythig goes rigt agai. Thak you for your advice.


    • Hi Marc,
      That is a crazy problem for sure. It is most likely caused by a conflict between Dragon and one of your other applications.
      As a matter of fact, one of the members in my Dutch Dragon academy has experienced this exact issue With the N. It turned out to be his clipboard manager. The solution was to start Dragon before the clipboard manager and then his N worked perfectly fine.
      I hope this is a solution for you as well.
      Would you be kind enough to reply here if it was helpful or not?

    • I have found a solution by supressing the shortkey {CTRL+MAJ+N}.
      I am lucky I found this solution.
      Strange bug…
      Best regards

      • Thank you, Marc, for sharing. I’m sure others will benefit when searching for a solution!

        And for those who are wondering what the MAJ key would be: it’s SHIFT on English and international keyboards. So it would be CTRL+SHIFT+N.

        Thanks again,

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