How to Install & Use Third Party TTS Voices in Windows 10

Windows 10 comes with two default voices installed to be used with the text-to-speech engines. These two voices (namely Microsoft Zira and Microsoft David) that come pre-installed in Windows 10 are to be used with both apps and desktop applications. In case you are installing a third party voice pack for TTS then most probably it will be available for the desktop applications only. Here is how you can install third party TTS voices, set them as default and use them in Windows desktop applications:

Download and install TTS Voice Packs in Windows 10

One of the sources for downloading free Microsoft and LTS TTS voices is Zero2000. You can also purchase very high quality TTS voices for Windows from companies like Ivona, Cepstral or CereProc. But if you want to try out these high quality voices in Windows 10, then you can also download the 30-day trial versions too. You can download these various packs from where you will find voice packs from Ivona and Nuance (no longer work in Windows 10).

Installation of these packs is usually very simple. All you have to do is launch and go through the setup installer package and it will automatically install all the voices included in the package in your Windows 10 PC.

Install Third Party TTS Voices in Windows 10

Testing VisionAid Voices Packs in Windows 10

If you have downloaded the speech packs from VisionAid website (link above), then the setup package installs some extra tools in your PC. You can open the Start Menu icon and search for Speech Test to find a small speech testing tool. The other tool installed is for managing the installed voice licenses on your PC.

VisionAid Speech Test

The Speech Test tool can be used to check the proper installation of these voices in your PC. You can select one of the installed voices from the drop-down list, then type something in the text box and click on the Speak button. There are some other options for this tool like speak punctuation and parsing XML files.

VisionAid Speech Test

Setting a Default Voice for TTS in Windows 10

Some voices in Windows 10 are only meant for apps, and some for only desktop applications, while others can be used both for apps and traditional desktop applications. Most of the third party voices are designed to be used with the desktop applications. In order to use them, you have open Control Panel and choose the default voice.

You can press the Win+X and select Control Panel from the menu. In the Control Panel, search for “speech” and then click on the Change text to speech settings. In the window that opens, you can choose a default voice from Voice Selection list-box and then finally click on OK button.

Note: Not all voice packs installed may show up in these settings depending on the API used by them. Even the same voice pack may use different API for different versions of the voice packs. For using them, use specific apps like TTSReader mentioned below.

Install Third Party TTS Voices in Windows 10

Using the Newly Installed Voice in Desktop Application

For using the newly installed voices in Windows 10 requires you to either use a Windows app that you can download from the official Microsoft apps store or a desktop application like TTSReader that you can download from

TTSReader is a free application and can read all the text that you have copied  to the clipboard automatically. In the application, you can choose one of the available TTS voices and control its speech, volume and pitch. TTSReader can also save the speech output to an MP3 or WAV audio file.

Install Third Party TTS Voices in Windows 10

Conclusion: If you are not happy with the default Microsoft Zira and Microsoft David TTS voices available in Windows 10, then you can get third party TTS voices for free or buy them online. Using the third party TTS voices in Windows 10 is a breeze if you know what type of voice packs you have installed.


  1. Dear Trisha,
    I am a first-time visitor to your website. Found it while looking for guidance on how to add more voices, in particular third party voices, to Windows 10. Your article about “How to Install & Use Third Party TTS Voices in Windows 10” looks like what I need. Having links to sources is very valuable. Thanks for publishing it. I think I shall visit again since you seem to have a few nuggets of info worth exploring. Unfortunately, despite following your recommendations, I am still to be able to see the voices I downloaded added to Windows 10’s pool of voices.
    Following your article, I downloaded Ivona’s Anerican English Voice Pack from VisionAid’s website. Then, ran the executable file (VisionAid American English Ivona Voice Pack Setup 2.6.2.exe), which at the end announced that the setup was successful. Immediately, I went to Windows 10’s Text-to-Speech settings hoping to see the new voices in the voice-selection dropdown menu, but it was not to be. Ivona’s new voices (Eric, Ivy, Jennifer, Joey, Kendra and Kimberly) were not there.
    Your article indicates that to use the newly installed voices I need either a Windows app or a desktop application like TTSReader. I tried ReadAloud and Hear-it-First from the app store. Still not able to use the new voices I tried TTSReader. Ilona’s English voices were available to TTSReader, but so were other Ilona voices for which I had not installed their packages, as well as other Non-Ilona voices I had not installed either. So, I suspect, the voices available to TTSReader were installed by TTSReader. None of the voices available to TTSReader (except for the Microsoft ones) are listed in Windows 10’s Text-to-Speech settings in the voice-selection dropdown menu.
    My final goal is to be able to see third party voices truly added to Windows 10’s pool of voices available to all Text-to-Speech capable applications. I thought that’s what the article was going to help me do. Am I missing something?

      1. The problem is Microsoft is pushing the new API for speech synthesis and the TTS voice companies are complying. If you install an old API based voice pack in latest version of Windows 10, it won’t show up in Windows settings. Similarly, if you install a voice pack with latest API support, it will show up in Windows settings but will fail to work in third-party programs that were designed using older API.

        When I wrote this article last time, I was using Windows 10 version 1511, Ivona British English pack downloaded from VisonAid version 2.x and TTSReader 1.3.

        I tried the same just a few minutes ago on Windows 10 version 1607 – the voices don’t show up in Windows settings, but work in TTSReader and VisionAid’s Speech Test.

        1. On Windows 64 bit, the 3th party voices did not show up in settings and are not selectable. I’ve downloaded Claro Speech Control Panel and was able to change the default Windows 10 Voice with this utility. Sadly the SAPI5 voices I’ve purchased (from Nuance) work only with applications, not with Store Apps.

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