Enable Narrator in Microsoft Windows 7

In Microsoft Windows operating systems, Narrator is a feature that allows users to listen to the texts and other options that are displayed on their computer screens. This means that whenever they open any window or application, the text displayed on the interface and/or the options available on the boxes are read aloud by the Narrator. This helps physically challenged users to operate Windows easily and comparatively in lesser time.

Under normal circumstances and in production environments, Narrator is not mostly used and is not even popular, but in homes where elderly users live, Narrator serves a great deal by helping those elderly people listen to whatever is displayed on the screens. With the help of Narrator, those elderly people, who mostly have weak eyesight, can use Windows computers even if they are all alone and on their own.

Options Available Other Than Narrator

Narrator is available in ‘Ease of Access’ category in the Control Panel and users must enable the Narrator manually by going to the Ease of Access Center. Apart from the Narrator, Ease of Access Center also provides a few other features such as Magnifier which, when enabled, magnifies the selected area of the computer screens. This feature is helpful for the people who have visibility problems.

On-Screen Keyboard is yet another feature that is available in Ease of Access center. This allows users to use their mice to type in texts in the computers. Although typing texts through mouse clicks is a tedious process, it is very helpful if the physical keyboard stops functioning and users do not have anything to type texts. Also, in some cases this On-Screen Keyboard is strongly recommended when typing in the passwords for the bank accounts. This is because On-Screen Keyboard is an application and any key logger installed on the computers would not record the keystrokes of the On-Screen Keyboard.

High Contrast is another feature that sets the display of the computer screens at high contrast. This again helps people with visibility problems to view the computer screens more conveniently.

Enabling Narrator

In order to enable Windows Narrator on a Windows 7 computer, users must follow the steps given below:

  1. Log on to Windows 7 computer.
  2. Click Start, and from the menu click Control Panel.
  3. On the opened window, click Ease of Access and on the window that appears next, click Start Narrator. (Shortcut keys to start Narrator using keyboard is Windows + U).


  4. Once Windows Narrator is initiated, to close the feature click Exit button available in its interface.
Author: Vivek Nayyar

Works as Systems Admin in Siskin Technologies, India. Corporate trainer on Microsoft and Cisco platform. Specialized in Virtualization Technology. LAN Consultant for some local organizations.