How to Turn Off Narrator in Microsoft

Turn off the voice and enjoy the quiet

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A woman is sitting at a desk looking at a laptop computer.

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The Narrator function, which is accessible through Microsoft Windows, can help those with limited vision to “see” what’s on their computer screen. Narrator is a screen-reading app that uses a voice to read text that appears on the screen.

If you use Narrator, but want to turn it off, say because someone who doesn’t need it wants to use your computer, there are several ways to do it.

The instructions in this article differ for each version of Windows. Included are instructions for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

How to Turn Off Narrator Using the Keyboard

There is a quick and easy keyboard shortcut to turn off Narrator. Simply press Win+Ctrl+Enter, that is, the following three keys at the same time: 

  • The Windows key (the Windows logo, likely on the bottom left or bottom right part of your keyboard)
  • The Control key (labeled Ctrl, likely on the bottom left and bottom left parts of your keyboard)
  • The Enter key

In Windows 8, the key combination is Win+Enter.

When you press this key combination, you should hear the Narrator voice say, “Exiting Narrator.”

You may have your settings adjusted to not allow this shortcut. To change this, go to Settings > Ease of Access > Narrator, and check the box next to Allow the shortcut key to start Narrator.

Turn Off Narrator by Exiting the Narrator Window

When you start Narrator, a Narrator window opens. To close it and end Narrator, simply click the X in the upper-right corner or select Exit within the window. Again, you’ll hear the Narrator voice say, “Exiting Narrator.”

Windows is showing the Narrator Settings window.

Windows 8 may display an additional dialog box asking if you’re sure you want to exit.

Turn Off Narrator Using Windows Settings

Here’s how to access the Narrator settings (including the on-off toggle) in Windows 10.

  1. Click the Windows logo in the lower-left part of your screen, or press the Windows key on your keyboard. 

  2. Click the Settings (gear) icon. 

  3. On the Windows Settings screen, click Ease of Access

    Windows is showing the Windows Settings window.
  4. In the left column, in the vision section, select Narrator.

    Windows is showing selections for vision assistance.
  5. Under Use Narrator, click the toggle switch to Off

    Windows is showing the Narrator options.
  6. The Narrator voice will say, “Exiting Narrator.” 

 

Here is the process for Windows 8.

  1. Right-click in the blank area of the start screen

  2. Select All Apps on the menu bar, then select Control Panel

  3. In the Control Panel window, choose Ease of Access > Ease of Access Center

  4. Next, select Make the computer easier to see

  5. Uncheck the box next to Turn on Narrator and click Apply, then OK

Here is the process for Windows 7.

  1. Click Start and select Control Panel

  2. Choose Ease of Access > Ease of Access Center

  3. On the next screen, click Use the computer without a display

  4. Uncheck the box next to Turn on Narrator. Click OK

  5. Finally, close the Narrator program icon in your taskbar and restart your computer for the setting to take effect.

Turn Off Narrator With Task Manager

If you can’t turn off Narrator using any other method, try force-stopping it with Task Manager. 

  1. Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and select Task Manager. 

  2. When Task Manager opens, select the Processes (on Windows 7, Applications) tab. 

  3. Under Name, look for Screen Reader

    Windows is showing the Task Manager with the Processes tab open.
  4. Right-click anywhere in the row, and select End Task