What is VoiceOver and how do I turn it on and off?

VoiceOver is the built in screen reading feature of Mac and iOS devices from Apple. It is compatible with over 35 languages and works with all built in apple apps. It tells you what is happening on your screen, provides helpful tips and allows you to take control.

Activating and Deactivating VoiceOver

Mac Computers

  •  Press Command-F5. If VoiceOver is on, pressing Command-F5 turns it off
  • Use the Universal Access pane of System Preferences.
If you set the Universal Access preference to include a Universal Access menu in the status bar, the menu shows when VoiceOver is on or off.

The first time you start VoiceOver, you can choose to take a Quick Start tutorial, an interactive tour of VoiceOver navigation and interaction basics. When VoiceOver is on, you can start the tutorial at any time by pressing VO-Command-F8.

iOS devices

You can ask Siri to turn VoiceOver on/off or:

  • tap the settings app on your home screen
  • tap general
  • tap accessibility
  • tap VoiceOver under the vision category at the top
  • tap the VoiceOver switch to enable/disable it

More information on getting the most out of VoiceOver can be found on the help pages of the Apple website:

 For more advice about using apps, troubleshooting issues or other technology topics please contact our Helpline:

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