Screen Reader Settings: Win7 Built in Narrator

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For similar pages about other screenreaders, see the page AT Settings.

This page shows an overview of Microsoft Narrator's UI settings and their location in the Windows registry.


Narrator settings are stored in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Narrator in the Windows registry. The location of the Narrator executable, together with some other settings is stored in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Accessibility\ATs\Narrator. Some other notes:

  • Live configuration is not supported, i.e. when the Narrator is running, an update in the registry is not reflected in the UI. You need to close the Narrator and open it again for the changes to take place. As it seems, the settings are read from the registry only on application startup, though they are written every time you tinker with the UI. The same is true for Magnifier.
  • Some keys might be non-existent (that's different than with no value!) if the corresponding settings haven't been used before, just as with Magnifier.


UI Setting Registry Name Registry Type Registry Data
Echo User's Keystrokes EchoChars REG_DWORD 0 or 1
Announce System Messages AnnounceSystemMessages REG_DWORD 0 or 1
Announce Scroll Notifications AnnounceScrollNotifications REG_DWORD 0 or 1
Start Narrator Minimized StartType REG_DWORD 0 or 1
Background Message Settings * BackgroundMessageTimeout REG_DWORD Value in milliseconds

Voice settings:

UI Setting Registry Name Registry Type Registry Data
Voice CurrentVoice REG_SZ Voice Name **
Voice Speed CurrentSpeed REG_DWORD 1..9
Voice Volume (1-9) CurrentVolume REG_DWORD 1..9
Voice Pitch (1-9) CurrentPitch REG_DWORD 1..9

* Time period in the UI is one of 5s, 10s, 15s, 30s, 1min, 5min, 10min

** Installed voices are available in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Speech\Voice\Tokens