How to Turn off the Narrator on the Xbox One

Quiet that voice so you can concentrate

TV mounted on wall with person's feet up on sectional

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The narrator is a screen reader feature for 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, but it can turn into a huge annoyance if it gets stuck on accidentally and you can't figure out how to turn it off.

Ways to Turn Off the Voice Narration on Xbox One

There are three ways to turn the narrator off 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 also very 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 of that simplicity is that this method is also the main way people accidentally turn the feature on without realizing.

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

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

    A screenshot of the Xbox One home screen.

    When the narrator is on, items that you select are outlined by an additional light blue box, and you will hear a text-to-speech voice every time you make a new selection.

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

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

    A screenshot of the Xbox One power menu.
  4. Return to the home screen, and verify that the narrator is off.

    A screenshot of the Xbox One home screen with the narrator turned off.
  5. If you want to avoid turning the narrator on accidentally, the next set of instructions includes an option to issue a warning before turning the narrator on.

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

Turning the Xbox One narrator off using the settings menu is more complicated than using the power menu, but it provides a lot of options that the power menu method doesn't. The power menu only provides a simple toggle, while the settings menu gives you additional control over the narrator function.

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

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

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

    A screenshot of the Xbox One guide.
  2. Navigate to System > Settings.

    A screenshot of the Xbox One guide system menu.
  3. Select Ease of Access.

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

    A screenshot of the Xbox One Ease of Access system settings.
  5. Make sure the Narrator on box is selected, and press the A button on your controller to remove the check mark.

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

    A screenshot of the Xbox One ease of access narrator menu.
  7. The narrator is now off, and you will be able to navigate menus and play games without your Xbox talking to you.

How to Turn off the Narrator Using Kinect or Cortana

Xbox One consoles support voice commands through the Kinect peripheral and headsets. If you have voice controls turned on, then 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, then you need to use the Cortana command. If you have Cortana turned off, then you need to use the Xbox command. Neither of these commands will work if you don't have voice controls turned on at all.

How to Turn the Narrator Back On

The Xbox One narrator is an annoyance to a lot of people, but it's a valuable feature for others. If you need to have the narrator on, and 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 the Xbox One narrator on:

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

Here's how to turn the narrator on through the system settings menu, which is where you'll also be able to access other powerful ease of access features:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide.

    A screenshot of the Xbox One guide.
  2. Navigate to System > Settings.

    A screenshot of the Xbox One guide system menu.
  3. Select Ease of Access.

    A screenshot of the Xbox One settings menu.
  4. Select Narrator.

    A screenshot of the Xbox One Ease of Access setting options.

    If you benefit from narrator, you may also benefit from the other ease of access options that you can access from this menu.

  5. Select Narrator on, and press the A button on your controller to make sure the box is checked.

    A screenshot of the Xbox One narrator settings.

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

  6. Return to the home screen, and verify that the narrator is on.

    A screenshot of the Xbox One home screen with narrator on.
  7. The narrator will remain on until you turn it off.