Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Turn off Narrator

  1. #1


    Posts : 67
    Windows 8.1

    Turn off Narrator


    I know this is going to sound like "the dog ate my homework" but that's life....

    A few minutes ago, one of my cats stepped on my laptop keyboard while I had it on the bed. The computer immediately started "talking to me", as in reading the menus and so forth. It's *massively* distracting since I don't need this but I'm having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to turn it off. In order to retain my sanity, I've temporarily muted the laptop so I can hear myself think to write this but I'm looking for a good solution to the problem.

    Wow! I think I got it. I noticed an unfamiliar icon on the task bar and it was for Narrator; one of the options was Exit so I clicked that. When I turned the volume to its normal position, the computer did NOT talk to me, exactly as desired.

    But I still have one question: what key combination turned Narrator on in the first place? I'm guessing the cat stepped on CTRL-ALT-something to turn on Narrator. I'm not sure why I'm asking since it was totally a fluke that it happened; just curious I suppose.

    I suppose it's a good thing that people who need it can do a simple key combination to activate Narrator rather than having to navigate through various Control Panel windows but it was really aggravating to have the cat do it inadvertently especially since the technique for turning it off was not very intuitive. I eventually figured out that I wanted the Ease of Access Center (which is an unfamiliar name to me; I can't remember the name from previous versions of Windows) but even that panel only seemed to offer a way to *start* Narrator but not stop it.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello RhinoCan,

    Pressing the Windows + Enter keys would toggle to start/exit Narrator.

    Hear text read aloud with Narrator - Windows Help
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 67
    Windows 8.1


    Thank you Brink! That answers my question and also explains what the cat did to turn Narrator on. If he had simultaneously stepped on three or four keys to activate Narrator, I would have been astounded at how unlikely that was. Two keys, with one of them being the largest on the keyboard, seems a bit less improbable :-)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    FWIW, to disable Narrator permanently, I do the following, where no_op.exe is a GUI program I wrote that does nothing and simply exits.

    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options]
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AtBroker.exe]
    "Debugger"="C:\\bin\\NO_OP.EXE"
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\Narrator.exe]
    "Debugger"="C:\\bin\\NO_OP.EXE"
    I had to do this, because using gpedit.msc to disable the standard Windows key combinations doesn't fully work. That is, even though I've disabled the keys and remapped them with Autohotkey to do useful things like, Win+Enter turns on my AVR and configures it properly WRT volume, input, etc, Windows refuses to disable some of the keys, including the stupid Narrator key, which it sees even though AHK should be intercepting it. Fortunately, it's the only such key I use that behaves this way. Other keys that aren't disabled by gpedit.msc include Win+L to lock the computer, but that one I don't mind. I started using the gpedit trick back in Windows 7, because I found that Win+1 and so forth would sometimes be seen by Windows even though AHK should have been intercepting them. Gpedit cured that, but Win+Enter has been especially stubborn in Windows 8.1 for me.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by RhinoCan View Post
    Thank you Brink! That answers my question and also explains what the cat did to turn Narrator on. If he had simultaneously stepped on three or four keys to activate Narrator, I would have been astounded at how unlikely that was. Two keys, with one of them being the largest on the keyboard, seems a bit less improbable :-)
    You're most welcome.

    LOL, yeah that would have been funny to see the cat do a complex keystroke.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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