I've install Windows 8 on a BootCamp macbook air The problem is that the command key located differently from the winkey in a normal keyboard, therefor, I keep clicking Winkey+Enter which starts the narrator (which is really annoying!)

Is there a way to disable this shortcut?

  • @vcsjones does the existed answer doesn't helped you? – avirk Nov 26 '12 at 15:55
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    @avirk The bounty is "One or more of the answers is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty." I was really happy to find this, so in 24 hours (when I can award the bounty) I'll give it to the accepted answer (which worked well enough for me). Sometimes I find an answer that is really worth more than an upvote. This is one of those times. – vcsjones Nov 26 '12 at 15:56
  • now I know why sometimes windows narrator appears when I press alt+enter to view a movie in fullscreen – phuclv Apr 11 '15 at 10:50

10 Answers 10


I have not tried it personally but here's what I found.

  1. Navigate to %systemroot%\System32
  2. In this folder a file called Narrator.exe is to be found
  3. Right click the file and choose Properties
  4. Choose the Security tab and press Advanced
  5. In the top of the window press Change to change the Owner permissions
  6. In the text field write your username and press OK to all the dialogs

Now you should be able to change the permissions of the file, this is where we remove all the permissions from your user and change the owner back to SYSTESM; this way your user will not be able to start the Narrator.

  1. Right-click the Narrator file again and choose Properties and Security
  2. Press Advanced
  3. Now that you are the owner you can change permissions for other users. Choose your own user and press Edit
  4. Remove the Read & Execute and Read permissions and press OK
  5. Now press Change in the top under Owner and write system in the text field
  6. Press OK to all dialogs


  • 8
    Patchy as hell, but best solution so far. Thanks! – Dig Sep 21 '12 at 10:57
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    Disabling narrator.exe can be achieved much simpler by just renaming the file. Also, it will need to be redone every time it is updated by Windows Update. – harrymc Nov 26 '12 at 16:03
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    Indeed patchy as hell but definitely necessary. It utterly defies belief that there's no way of disabling the narrator completely from the regular UI. That I've found so far, at least. – J. Steen Feb 18 '13 at 10:18
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    see the comment on the other post about doing the same for AtBroker aswell - otherwise you'll get those processes spawning and hanging around when you windows + enter – JonnyRaa Oct 15 '14 at 10:25

If you're familiar with editing the Windows registry, you can use the solution described here:

  • Launch regedit.exe and navigate to: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options
  • Create a key with the name Narrator.exe
  • Inside the key, create a new String value called Debugger, and set its value to %1

This won't be changed by Windows updates, and can be easily reverted by just deleting the key.

If you don't use any Windows Assistive Technology features, you may also want to create a registry key for AtBroker.exe with an identifical string to prevent it to be launched as a rogue process in the background every time you accidently use the Narrator shortcut.

  • 14
    This should be the right answer IMHO -- doesn't require hacking files. – GlennG Nov 21 '13 at 11:13
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    -1 bad idea. AtBroker.exe starts every time you press the shortcut and keeps on running, sometimes hogging 100% CPU (at least on Win 8.1). Instead, do the same thing for AtBroker.exe. – user541686 May 14 '14 at 7:46
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    @GlennG not sure I agree - the registry is a strange and mysterious place - just mucking around with a few file permissions seems a lot simpler to me... although if it does indeed get reset by windows update I might try this – JonnyRaa Oct 15 '14 at 10:28
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    @Mehrdad I've added a line about AtBroker.exe to this answer. – user33758 Feb 3 '15 at 3:05
  • This also works in win10. Thanks! – Jokester Dec 14 '15 at 15:49

Pressing the Capslock and the Esc keys at the same time brings up a window that allows you to Exit the Narrator.

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    I was going crazy until I found your solution :) – skeept Jan 21 '13 at 21:01
  • Hallelujah! I could not stand the narrator any longer! Thanks. – Vaccano Mar 24 '13 at 20:59
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    I found this shortcut solution elsewhere, but it didn't work for me. Win-Enter did. – Tatiana Racheva Nov 12 '14 at 2:04
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    This is correct information on how to exit narrator one time, but it does not answer the question, which is how to disable narrator from ever starting again, no matter what keys you accidentally hit – JoelFan Jun 23 '15 at 20:55

You could use AutoHotkey to disable the Win + Enter key combination with the following script :

#Enter:: return

With AutoHotkey you could also map this key combination to any other key combination or action.

If you wish to disable the Win key itself, see this registry hack :
How to disable the keyboard Windows key.

If you wish to disable all Win + ?? key combinations, this registry hack does that:
Disable Win+X Shortcut Keys on Windows 7 or Vista.

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    I don't want to disable all the combinations, just the one. And I prefer not to depend on third party software such as AutoHotkey, is there any better solution? – Dig Sep 18 '12 at 15:32
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    Not that I know off. AutoHotkey is a magnificent product that can do MUCH more than key-mapping. – harrymc Sep 18 '12 at 15:57
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    I found AutoHotKey and Windows 8 don't agree. I remapped Win+Enter to CloseWindow, and yet 1 out of 20 times Windows grabs the keystroke before AutoHotKey and lunches the narrator when I intended to close a window. – Guillaume Marceau Nov 27 '13 at 21:11
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    @GuillaumeMarceau: You might try AutoHotkey_L and EnableUIAccess. – harrymc Nov 27 '13 at 22:09

There is a way to disable shortcuts which start with Win in a windows registry.

  1. Create text file with the following content

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
  2. Change file's extension to "reg"

  3. Run it by double click

As you can see, it creates a registry field "DisabledHotKeys", with a value of a key we want to disable. In our case it's a 0D in hex or 13 in dec or "carriage return" symbol. Win key shouldn't be specified here because it's implied.

For example, if you want to disable Win + R, Win + D and Win + Home then the value of "DisabledHotKeys" should be "RD$". ("$" symbol has an ascii-code equals to a keycode of Home button)


This is one post that comes up when users search for how to disable Narrator in Windows 10.

This was annoying me today. The provided solutions weren't satisfactory for me. Especially setting the debuger setting. I did a 30 second search for Narrator in the registry and very luckily found this key:


Setting it to 0 disables the shortcut for the current user, so not in the login screen.

Save this as a .reg file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


This key doesn't seem to be present in Windows 8.1, so looks like it's only a Windows 10 addition.

Hope this helps someone though.

  • On my Windows 10, the WinEnterLaunchEnabled was not present, so I created it, but unfortunately it didn't work, even after a logout/login. – dbernard Feb 28 '17 at 16:08

This probably only works in Windows 10, but the shortcut is really easy to disable now.

Open Narrator (Go to Control Panel > Ease of Access Center > Start Narrator, or use the annoying shortcut), select the Narrator window (it runs in the background), go to General settings and disable shortcut key, click save, and click exit narrator.


I installed a simple little script program that allows you to snap windows to the edges of screens or to other monitors. By default, I think - I've had this program running for a long while on windows, it takes over the same shortcut key. I installed it on my win8 machine and it seems to have done the trick and taken over the same shortcut used by narrator. I realize win8 has good support for snapping windows around, but I like this shortcut to do it because that's what I'm used to and it has the nice side effect of preventing narrator from starting. You can also do more advanced window placement, but I find I just throw things back and forth to other monitors.

In any case, it's worth a try. I just set windowpad to run on startup so it's always active.

lifehacker link to windowpad article


I did the following in my Windows 8 PC to enable and disable narrator,

To enable,

Win + enter

To disable,

Win + alt + enter 

It will bring the narrator screen. Click exit on it.

  • Win + alt + enter launches Media Center on my machine. – Louis Waweru May 23 '13 at 3:37
  • Win + alt + enter doesn't work for me on Windows 8.1. – Nick Westgate Mar 19 '15 at 9:29
  • Win + alt + enter didn't work for me on Windows 10. – Sam Apr 29 '16 at 4:15
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    These are instructions for starting and stopping Narrator not disabling the shortcut that starts it (please read the question carefully) – ndemou Jul 7 '17 at 11:48

I don't know if it works on Windows 8 or not but it works on Windows Vista/7 very well. Press the Win+U key which will open the Ease of access center or you can open it through Control Panel as well.

enter image description here

Now click on the option Use the computer without a display and another window will popup

enter image description here

And unchecked the option Turn on Narrator and click Apply button to apply this settings. Now when you press the Win+Enter narrator won't be start.

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    Nope, That's doesn't work on windows 8. The problem is that those keys actually turns on the Narrator. – Dig Sep 18 '12 at 15:28
  • Sadly, not :( It doesn't mention a thing about how to disable this. – Dig Sep 20 '12 at 15:17
  • Check this Vista registry hack for Win-8. May be it work and let me know if it does. I'll add it in my answer. – avirk Sep 20 '12 at 15:34
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    That option is not checked, but on Windows 8.1 Win + Enter still starts Narrator. – Nick Westgate Mar 19 '15 at 9:33

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