As a software developer I want to test my app under a variety of settings, so I played around with the Ease of Access settings on my Surface RT. Now I have the Narrator on and I cannot figure out how to turn it off again. It's making me crazy, because anything you tap on it just tells you what the control is, you have to double-tap to actually click it.

Please make my Surface usable for me again!


7 Answers 7


If you want to quickly exit Narrator, press Caps Lock+Esc.

Source: Windows 8 Narrator page

  • 1
    Ah, that's better! I found a long way around involving getting to the taskbar icon and tapping and double-tapping a lot. This way is much faster, thankyou. Jul 11, 2013 at 2:12
  • This worked for me....^just as obliged as this guy...I must say I had to refresh my page for this to work.
    – J.S.Orris
    Feb 17, 2015 at 5:46
  • By the way, it toggles on and off when you press Windows-Enter.
    – SDsolar
    Oct 20, 2017 at 5:56

Caps Lock + Esc didn't work for me, but Windows Logo + Enter did:

Exiting Narrator

There are also different ways to exit Narrator. These are the two shortcuts many people prefer:

On a keyboard, press the Windows logo key Windows logo key +Enter. On a tablet, press the Windows logo button Windows logo key and Volume Up button together.

  • 1
    please cite the source
    – phuclv
    Jan 17, 2016 at 12:49
  • I had use Windows Logo + Enter whilst the screen was locked, as for some reason this was the only time Narrator was speaking.
    – SharpC
    Aug 2, 2017 at 15:18
  • Windows-Enter is a toggle for it. But to ensure it shuts up you can use Caps-Lock+Esc.
    – SDsolar
    Oct 20, 2017 at 5:57
  • On my particular machine, running Windows 10 Enterprise N 2015 LTSB 10.0.10240, Caps+Esc stops the narrator, but Win+Enter only starts it.
    – durette
    Dec 5, 2018 at 17:33

Ctrl + Alt + Delete, click Task Manager, Scroll down to background tasks, click Screen Reader, click End Task. This is the only thing that worked on my computer so I am posting this.


As of Windows 10, you need to include the Ctrl key, which means that Windows + Enter is not enough: it needs to be Windiws + Ctrl + Enter.

Without the Ctrl key, you can also use Narrator + Esc, which depends on the configured Narrator key (Both the Caps lock and Insert keys serve as your Narrator key by default).

See Appendix B: Narrator keyboard commands and touch gestures - Windows Help for a full table with commands and explanation about the Narrator key.

Note that

  • [WayBack] currently pages at support.microsoft.com cannot be saved in the WayBack machine, so I have not included an archived link.
  • Caps Lock + Esc does not work on an RDP connection originating from a Mac
  • But this question is tagged windows-8. I am not sure a Windows 10 answer is useful here. Has nobody asked about Narrator on Windows 10? Dec 15, 2018 at 17:03
  • Nope. I got here searching how to exit Microsoft Narrator on Windows 10 via Google Search (: Can it be solved by just adding a "Windows 10" tag? Or is that too much of a shortcut? Dec 15, 2018 at 19:14

A tip from the Microsoft Accessibility on my phone page:

Turn on Narrator quick launch and you'll be able to turn Narrator on or off with a quick button combo—press and hold the Volume Up button button, and then press the Start button button.

  • I was asking for the Surface RT tablet, not a phone Nov 25, 2014 at 11:09

Just could not make it die with the previous suggestions, so I did the following.

  1. Windows-key + Q
  2. Search for and run "narrator"
  3. Open Task Manager (righ-click taskbar -> "Task Manager")
  4. Go to details tab, find "Narrator.exe"
  5. Right-click -> "End task"
  • That'll do it for sure. But then you can't turn it back on as easily.
    – SDsolar
    Oct 20, 2017 at 5:58

IN Windows 8.1, go to the Settings, Ease of Use, Turn the Narrator off.

I'm not sure what turns it on, but this is the way to turn it off.

The sad part is that you have to know that it's called "Narrator" before you can figure out how to find setting adjustments for it.

  • Assuming you mean Ease of Access, this is covered by the answer from nc4pk.
    – blm
    Jan 17, 2016 at 18:45

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