How to stop Dragon for Mac 6 from crashing


It’s been over 2 years since Dragon 6 was released but it still has bugs. As with previous Dragon releases the speech recognition is excellent but the stability is problematic.

My suggestion is to stay with Dragon version 5 if you own it. It strikes the best balance between accuracy and stability. However, if you are running the latest version of Dragon for Mac 6, here are some tips on how to get it working with the least amount of spinning beach balls.

1. Try a different version – version 6.0.7 may be better with Mac OS Sierra (10.12)

In Dragon 6.0.8 and High Sierra the ‘scratch that’ command doesn’t always work and the correction window doesn’t always work.

I am now running 6.0.8 with High Sierra and unfortunately I can’t tell whether it is High Sierra or Dragon 6.0.8 that is causing more crashes. Either way, 6.0.7 with Sierra was better.

Prior to 6.0.7 I found the most stable version to be 6.0.5.

2. Use a new profile.

Delete your old profile and start again. The recognition is so good in the new version that you won’t really need your old profile anyway. It seems to have more problems when you import your old voice data.

3. Delete the old version of Dragon.

When you install Dragon it tries to use your old preferences, but in this process some of the preferences can get corrupted. See this post on how to do this:

4. For stability purposes, do not dictate into ‘supported Apps’ like Apple Pages and Microsoft Word.

Dragon seems to be at it’s worst with Apps that are supported with ‘Dragon Integration’. This includes Pages, Word and Text Edit. Stay away from them. For some reason Scrivener seems to be OK,  Unsupported apps may work better.

5. Try not to do too much clicking with the mouse. 

In previous versions it was OK to mix a combination of speaking and typing but version 6 doesn’t cope as well with that.

6. Try not to do too many corrections when you are dictating.

When dictating into Apple Pages Dragon crashes almost every time I try to do something other than straight dictation. The correction in version 6 seems to be buggy still.

Other Dragon Articles

Dragon 6 review

Dragon 6.0.1 review

Dragon 6.0.2 review


38 responses to “How to stop Dragon for Mac 6 from crashing”

  1. Jon

    Kudos to you for trying to help out for people that as you say, made the mistake of purchasing Dragon for Mac 6. The reality is that when I that you can sum up your post by saying that “the new version doesn’t work with anything that you might want it to, and on the rare occasions when it does work, that only happens under limited circumstances.”

    I can’t believe that I gave reached this point, however quality dictation is so important to my work that I am switching back to PC after many happy years with a Mac. I had hoped that the new version would make it possible to avoid that. Most annoying of all is that this is a victory for Nuance as i will have to purchase yet another version of their software.

  2. GMM

    Thank you for posting this information. I am dictating using my Mac, and unlike Dragon 6, it doesn’t crash.

    1. What software are you using?

      1. GMM

        I use Pages, and Dragon has never worked properly with it for the past several versions. Another problem I found is that I cannot dictate into some programs. I am going to make a new profile this weekend, and its such a pain because I have to enter a lot of unique terms into the program. I first used Dragon 3 on the PC about 18 years ago (it was very bad, back then), and I wish DNS 6 was as good as Dragon 8 for the PC from the past. If I can’t get DNS 6 to work, I’ll roll back to version 4 till future updates fix the problems. I rarely jump into new versions, but I thought that DNS 6 would have been refined since version 5. Not.

  3. Simon

    Dragon is being a pain in the arse this morning. Trying to dictate into MS Word led to several crashes and loss of data. Switching to Dragon Pad has produced a whole heap of gobbeldegook while trying to get it to capitalise a word. The cost benefit of using Dragon is leaning very firmly in favour of cost at the moment. Dictating to computers must be the way ahead but this is just not working. I have been persevering with Dragon for >10 yrs thinking that it is bound to get better soon, but there are still few signs. Come on Nuance – get it sorted.

  4. A most formidably awful programme is Dragon for Mac version 6. I also run Dragon on my PC version 15. It is amazing and I dictate 35 page reports with almost no problems. on the Mac it’s a nightmare. I am really at a loss as t heMac is my main computer. I am shattered that Nuance did not transfer the technology from the PC platform to the Mac platform in a way that could keep the competence of the PC platform.

  5. Goat farmer

    I have had more than Dragon 6.0 crashed more than 50 times in the last month while using Microsoft Outlook and Word. I have had more than 10 communications (verbal and email) with Nuance and technical support. I have followed all of their suggested “fixes”, even when they sounded very stupid (can you reinstall Microsoft Office). The program is unusable and the technical support is not support – the company does not willing to acknowledge there are issues and not interested in solutions (or unable to provide)

  6. Tools is buggy shit for years. sadly, no alternative

  7. Lai

    I have been using 6.0.1 and experienced a nightmare when upgraded to 6.0.2. Fortunately, I was able to reinstall 6.0.1 from a Time Machine backup. Since then, I have had no trouble using Pages or TextEdit but have been unable to use word 2011. Also seems to work in Apple Mail.

    I am tempted to upgrade to 6.0.5 but hesitant given the nightmares that everyone seems to be having with previous upgrades. Any suggestions?

  8. My Dragon 6.0 crashes whenever I want to add a new word in vocabulary. Using a new profile it works only for some limited time, then again it crashes. I reinstalled the program several times, useless.
    I had similar problems with the old version of Dragon (4.02) which was using many years ago. Till today, after so many years, Nuance seems not to be able to fix such a common software problem. For me not understandable.

  9. Andrea Meier

    I just tried to use Dragon 6.0 for a long dictation into a Pages document on my Mac Book Air with OSX.10.11.6. It crashed after about 45 minutes. Since then I have been unable to start the program again. I have rebooted with no luck. (I have also had problems with the “crazed cursor.” Based on the suggested fixes above, it is infuriating that Nuance can’t make a product for Mac users that works with the programs that are almost universally used by professionals. I purchased it 12/27/16. How do I get my money back?

  10. Maximilian

    If I had read the comments above I would have been warned – so I experience the same problems crashes all the time and now no start at all. How can we get our money back??

  11. Hillary Chumley

    My advice is if you use Pages for Mac, and have upgraded your Lion OS to El Capitan (v.10.11.6), Dragon Dictate WILL NOT WORK AT ALL. I had to buy a new Dragon Dictate license, having previously used it for >5 years, because older versions are not compatible with Mac OSX El Capitan. Dragon Dictate 6.0.x stalls during dictation, randomly shuts down, causes the cursor to ‘scramble’ etc as described elsewhere. I tried loading Dictate upgrades (6.0.1, 6.0.5 etc.). In the end, Dragon’s tech advice was to go back to 6.0.0 and switch off auto updates because they make the problems worse. I’m now using Mac’s built-in dictation software (which is free!!), it’s far more stable than Dragon Dictate, and is compatible with Pages for Mac. PS if you’ve recently ordered Dictate, you only have 30 days to return and refund, as i learnt to my cost.

    1. I’m currently going over some older versions one by one to see which is the most stable. Currently I’m testing 6.0.3. It was a Version that was almost stable before the latest version started crashing again.

  12. Ron Grelsamer

    Just purchased Dragon and to make sure I’d have no problems [I had not seen this site] purchased a new MacBookPro will all the bells and whistles meeting all of Nuance’s requirements.
    Has just crashed twice in one dictation.
    I see that I’m not alone, but it doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better.
    Since this is clearly not a new problem, I think it’s dishonest for Nuance to keep selling this product.
    I’m sure they’re trying to fix the problem, but in the meantime it appears that we deserve a significant rebate. This will be bad publicity when word gets out.

  13. Jef

    I too have a constant problem with the program crashing. It also has started inserting just a few letters into previously written text. Inside of Excel I have far fewer problems. When working with Word the program is almost unusable.

  14. Andrew

    Dragon for Mac v6 is hopeless. Really truly dire. It is completely reliable on Windows, but my everyday ‘in the rucksack’ machine is a Mac.

    If it doesn’t work with Word, then it’s a pretty pointless application.

    However, I have started using Document Writer Pro (free) to transcribe text and this seems to work well.

  15. Noel

    HI Folks,

    Since the last update, Dragon for Mac continues to crash. It dies straight after showing the startup icon. I have sought help from the online resources – alas, nothing is working.

    Help please.

    1. Have you tried a completely fresh new installation?

      1. Ron Grelsamer, MD

        Yes, thank you. This past summer I re-downloaded Dragon + recently downloaded the update. (Re-loading means having to re-input all auto-texts!).
        The biggest problem, really, is that the cursor will sometimes jump to an earlier part of the dictation. If I’m not watching the screen, I’m suddenly dictating in the middle of a prior page!
        Also, not infrequently, if I dictate “correct xxx” the cursor will jump to a prior part of the dictation where the word xxx exists.
        I don’t know if you have a patch that’ll fix this.
        Thank you,
        R Grelsamer, MD

      2. Yes I have that problem too. Dragon things that you want to correct some earlier text, and it jumps back and tries to find it. I don’t know of any way to disable that.

  16. George

    Once a good program. Now worse than worthless. They ought to be ashamed for marketing such a flawed program.

  17. Phil

    I installed this yesterday. I should have left version 4 there. It doesn’t work and Dragon is unresponsive. Has anyone had any luck with this? It is junkware as far as I can tell.

  18. Phil

    Fixed: I got two updates yesterday. 6.0.8 works with High Sierra. Works fine with MS Word, Outlook, etc running. Has been running for over 12 hours without a glitch. Recognition is super fast.

    1. Yes 6.0.8 is quite stable. Does the ‘scratch that’ command work and does correction work?

      1. Tim Harper

        Scratch that and correction works in notepad and dragonpad. Every where else it is broken.

        It’s been quite stable. I’ve had a few times where it behaves erraticly in notepad. I set up some commands to copy some text box to notepad for dictation and editing, then another command to transfer it back. Annoying, not ideal, but workable.

        It really does suck. Tempted to go back to windows for this alone. :(

  19. This is dreadful!

    I bought DNS for my Macbook Air last year, and it was unusable. After a lot of chasing around a very obtuse web site, I got a refund.

    Then I bought an Imac, and thought I’d try again, so bought an on-special half-price version of Dragon Professional Individual 15. I can’t even get it to start! It loads OK, and puts up the icon. But if I speak, or click on it, it just shuts down. I lodged a service request with Nuance, no response! Why is this not fraud!

  20. Lee

    I have the exactly same problem as described above by Malcom Macherson on a brand new Macbook air (days old) and Dragon for Mac v6, it just keeps crashing. If anyone who knows how to get around this, please post that solution.

  21. Lyon

    6.0.8 update fixed the crash problem.

  22. Rafal

    In 6.0.8 – creating creating a new profile seems to eliminate the problem of constant crashes.

    1. Stewart Midwinter

      I also had the problem of constant crashing on startup when I turned on the microphone. Reboots would usually solve the problem for a short while. However, this posted solution seems to work for me. I created a new profile and selected it, then deleted the old profile.

      In the past, I have had one other problem, and that is that after a couple of days Dragon application no longer begins recording text when I turn on the microphone. Sometimes I would have to wait up to 30 seconds of talking before it would register anything I said. Let’s see if the fix for crashing also solve that problem

  23. Mikel Wallace

    I have 6.0.8 and today it stopped working. Kept crashing, so deleted my profile and created a new one. Now it won’t listen at all! Training crashes every time I tried. This is so frustrating! I rely on this software since I have no use of my arms and typing with a mouthstick is slow and eventually causes sores. Why can’t a company release fully functioning software? Especially when I paid $300!

  24. Ed Kean

    I spoke with Nuance’s tech support today and received the following information:

    1) Technical support for Dragon for Mac v.6 ends in December
    2) Nuance will no longer be making Mac software

    So… anyone who purchased Dragon software is pretty much out of luck. Despite this, they continue to list and sell Mac products on their website!

    I will never, ever purchase anything from Nuance again.

  25. carl

    I am disabled and absolutely love my Mac air for the features and ease of use (trackpad) for my crappy hands, BUT dragon just does not work! In the same way Siri is not a serious productivity tool. Sure you can dictate a bit of this or that for 5 minutes, but if you want to do corrections forget it. This is a probram that is either flawless (PC) or just works a bit, and then therefore looses all productivity and workflow benefits. Its so bad in 2018 apple doesn’t have its own version of dragon especially considering the efforts they make for accessible features or nuance a dragon can make a program that works! Think of all the features, software and hardware that apple has produced for the disabled but it can’t work around the keyboard and handle speech recognition? Apples own native version is a pile of crap as well, what the hell? Its 2018!
    I am very reluctantly going back to a pc to get Dell Xps or something. Its such a shame that nuance/ apple can sort this out.

    1. Dragon has always been second rate on Apple computers. It’s hard to know where this will lead but my hope is that Apple will take this opportunity to put some kind of working speech recognition into OS X. If they don’t we’re stuffed because Dragon had a monopoly! As nice as it is to work in the Mac ecosystem I am noticing that Apple seem to be moving away from that approach that everything needs to be able. in fact I have written some articles on this website about how Google seemed to be winning the synchronisation battle.

      I have wanted to share some files with co-workers and it’s far easier to share them using Microsoft Word with dropbox, or Google Docs. iCloud sharing with Pages was the hardest option. I am an Apple fan but I’m wondering whether in the future the change to using a Microsoft computer might not be so big as it was in the past as we become less reliable on our local computer and more in the cloud.

      I guess what I’m saying is (sadly) that moving across to Dragon on a Windows computer could be a good option. But I agree Apple have better accessibility options. Can you hold out for a year and see if Apple do anything to fill the gap that Dragon left?

      1. Martin

        I know I’m very late to this thread but I wanted to offer some input.

        I work in IT at a major University and have been troubleshooting Dragon crashing issues for two weeks now and it’s been a roller coaster of emotion and sweat.

        Nuance no longer supplies links to updates for the app and the internal check for updates command is broken. In fact Nuance offers next to nothing as far as Mac support in any regard and it’s absolutely ridiculous. My client, a professor, had to jump through 15 hoops to get the University to get this purchased for her and the software was essentially DOA.

        The default install from their website, which is also hard as hell to find, is 6.0.0. For anyone wondering, that address to get it is . From there you can download the app as long as you have a serial number.

        The 6.0.8 update, which fixed 90% of my crashing issues, can be found at this address:

        Or directly:

        Replace the application in the Applications folder with that updated one and it should help.

        Also, I’d like to add that Apple announced that the new macOS “Catalina” is apparently supposed to have an overhauled dictation system built in. Hopefully this will eventually replace Dragon. Nuance is a wonderfully awful company.

        Best of luck to all of you!

  26. Jono

    Martin, thank you so much for your advice! Mine had been crashing as soon as I opened it so I’d completely stopped using it. Seems to be working well now (for the first time ever).

    Much appreciated!

    1. Peter S

      thank you very much for your contribution which has pretty much saved my way of working. As with other contributors I am totally reliant for global communication and writing and DragonDictate and has been for many years. Until recently I had a copy of version 6.0 which without 6.0.8 update was useless in High Sierra. The link you gave to a working copy – not the broken copy on the official website – allowed me to sleep at night. I have had the new version running for two weeks in High Sierra and it is only crashed twice, probably because I was using a piece of software with which it was unfamiliar. In the main, I used Text Edit to draft my emails and it works very quickly. I find that it works very well in the Chrome Browser but not at all in Firefox browser. I have transferred all my information across without too much trouble. Thus far, I have been happy but that isn’t to say that won’t be problems down the line. Thanks again very much for your contribution.

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