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

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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.

Comment from Barb
Time March 26, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Andy, Thank you for taking the time to help people with computer stuff and specifically for helping us by sharing fix for this horrible bug. It worked so far. I read somewhere also that you can click on CAPS lock & Esc. but I’m not sure yet if it works as well, or if its for a different problem. Thank you again!! Barb

Comment from Carole H
Time March 31, 2017 at 3:12 pm

It worked…thank you!

God, that’s annoying…they should make for a simple ‘off’ switch.

Comment from Beth
Time April 20, 2017 at 5:54 am

Thank you!!!!! I’ve been trying to turn it off for weeks! SO annoying when you don’t need it when you start up the computer.

Comment from p.
Time June 2, 2017 at 9:50 am

thank you. Writing in June 2017, a more efficient path has been made by Microsoft:
1. Settings
2. Narrator
3. Off

Comment from scott
Time June 14, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Thank you so much. After the reboot the crazy voice stopped.

Comment from jenna
Time July 12, 2017 at 1:23 pm

I did everything, but when I got to the checkbox part, narrator wasn’t even checked off.. I’m not sure what to do now.

Comment from John
Time July 13, 2017 at 8:58 pm

Thanks a lot that noise finally went away

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