How to Turn off the Narrator on the Xbox One

Quiet that voice so you can concentrate

The narrator is a screen reader feature for the Xbox One that reads menus, buttons, and other types of text out loud. It's designed as an accessibility option for gamers who have visual impairments. However, it can be an annoyance if it is turned on accidentally. We show you how to disable it.

Ways to Turn off the Voice Narration on Xbox One

There are three ways to turn off the narrator on your Xbox One:

  • Through the power menu: This is the easiest method, but it doesn't provide any extra options.
  • Through the system settings menu: This method takes a little longer, but it has more options.
  • With voice commands: This method is easy, but it only works if you can use voice commands with your Xbox One.

How to Turn off the Narrator From the Power Menu

The easiest way to turn off the narrator is through the Xbox One power menu. The downside is that this method is also the main way people accidentally turn on the feature without realizing it.

Here's how to turn off the Xbox One narrator using the power menu:

  1. Turn on the Xbox One, and verify that the narrator is on.

    The launch screen for Monster Hunter: World on the Xbox One dashboard

    When the narrator is on, items you select are outlined by a light blue box, and you hear a text-to-speech voice when you make a new selection.

  2. Press and hold the Xbox button on the controller until it vibrates and the power menu opens.

  3. Press the menu button (the three horizontal lines) to turn off the narrator.

    The Xbox One power menu.
  4. Return to the home screen and verify that the narrator is off.

How to Turn off the Xbox One Narrator in the Settings Menu

Turning off the Xbox One narrator using the settings menu is more complicated than using the power menu. However, it provides several options the power menu method doesn't offer.

If you want to set a warning that prevents you from accidentally turning on the narrator in the future, this method gives you that option.

Here's how to turn off the Xbox One narrator from the system settings menu:

  1. Press the Xbox button on the controller to open the guide.

    The Xbox One guide.
  2. Select System > Settings.

    The Xbox One guide system menu.
  3. Select Ease of Access.

    The Xbox One Ease of Access settings menu.
  4. Select Narrator.

    The Xbox One Ease of Access system settings.
  5. Select Narrator on, then press the A button on the controller to remove the check mark.

    The Xbox One ease of access narrator menu.
  6. If you want to avoid accidentally turning on the narrator in the future, select Warn me when turning Narrator on, and make sure the check box is selected.

    The Xbox One ease of access narrator menu.
  7. The narrator is now off, and you can navigate menus and play games without the Xbox talking to you.

How to Turn off the Narrator Using Kinect or Cortana

Some older Xbox One consoles support voice commands through the Kinect peripheral or a headset and microphone. If you have voice controls turned on, you can disable the narrator with one of the two following voice commands:

  • Hey Cortana, turn off narrator.
  • Xbox, turn off narrator.

If you have Cortana turned on, you need to use the Cortana command. If you have Cortana turned off, you need to use the Xbox command. Neither works if you don't have voice controls turned on.

How to Turn the Narrator Back On

The Xbox One narrator is an annoyance to some people, but it's a valuable accessibility feature for others. If you need to turn it on after you accidentally turned it off, you can do so through the power menu, the settings menu, or a voice command.

Here are the voice commands to turn on the Xbox One narrator:

  • Hey Cortana, turn on narrator.
  • Xbox, turn on narrator.

Here's how to turn on the narrator using the system settings menu, which is where you also find other powerful accessibility features:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide.

    The Xbox One guide.
  2. Select System > Settings.

    The Xbox One guide system menu.
  3. Select Ease of Access.

    The Xbox One settings menu.
  4. Select Narrator.

    The Xbox One Ease of Access setting options.
  5. Select Narrator on, then press the A button on the controller to make sure the box is checked.

    The Xbox One narrator settings.

    The other options on this screen give you greater control over how the narrator works, including access to the controller and keyboard shortcuts.