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I'm one of today's best-selling computer book writers, with more than 15 million books in print.

This website keeps you up-to-date on my books, and your computers. Each week, I answer a reader's question on-line.

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Turning off Windows Narrator

Turning off NarratorQ: I accidentally turned on Windows’ “text-to-speech” software, and I can’t find out how to turn off that annoying voice.

A: Windows Narrator, a text-to-voice translation program, gives the vision-impaired a chance at using a PC. Narrator dutifully reads Windows’ menus and text, but in an irritating, robotic voice.

Unfortunately, it’s too easy to turn on accidentally, and Microsoft hid the kill switch: Every time you turn on your PC, Windows Narrator begins reading menus, keystrokes, and other onscreen text.

If you’ve accidentally turned on Windows Narrator, follow these steps to put a sock in its mouth:

  1. Click the Start menu, and choose Control Panel.
  2. Click the Ease of Access category.
  3. Click the Ease of Access category.

  4. Choose the Ease of Access Center.
  5. Choose Ease of Access Center

  6. In the Explore All Settings area, click Use the Computer without a Display.
  7. In the Explore All Settings area, click Use the Computer without a Display.

  8. Uncheck the checkbox called “Turn On Narrator,” then click the OK button. (The narrator will continue to announce everything you’re doing.)
  9. Uncheck the checkbox called "Turn On Narrator."

  10. Finally, either restart your PC or close the Narrator’s program icon from your taskbar.

The Narrator will no longer return whenever you restart your computer.

Comments

Comment from Nancy Lorieau
Time February 28, 2016 at 12:48 pm

I’m using a Windows 7 laptop that I got yesterday from Kijiji. I logged on for help turning off the Narrator, which I turned on by mistake. I think that it worked. Thanks very much.

Comment from Dee
Time April 22, 2016 at 8:40 am

can you do the same for windows 10?

Comment from Andy Rathbone
Time April 22, 2016 at 8:09 pm

Dee, it should work. But in Step 1, right-click the Start button and choose Control Panel from the pop-up menu. If it doesn’t work for you, let me know which step gives you trouble.

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