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How to turn off all the voice narrations on Roku

These two features can help out the visually impaired, but if they're on by accident, it's simple to switch them off.

Published onMarch 12, 2024

If you find your Roku suddenly narrating everything, you may have accidentally enabled one or both of the platform’s voice features: Screen Reader and Descriptive Audio. Here’s how to turn off voice narrations on Roku, in either circumstance.


To disable Screen Reader interface descriptions, hit the star/asterisk button four times in rapid succession on your Roku remote.

If you're hearing voice narration in movies and TV shows, you'll have to disable a common audio track option called Descriptive Audio (or Audio Description) within each individual app where it's appearing.


How to turn off voice on Roku (Screen Reader)

Roku Express remote controller
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Screen Reader (previously called Audio Guide) can be invaluable if you’re visually impaired, since it lets you know where you are in the Roku interface. It’s easy to enable by accident, though, and potentially annoying if you can read menus clearly.

There are two ways to turn off Screen Reader. The easiest method is the same way it gets turned on by accident, most of the time: hitting the star/asterisk button on your Roku remote four times in a row.

The second is via software. Navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Screen Reader from the Roku OS home screen and toggle the feature off. On some devices, it may still be labeled Audio Guide. And many devices may be lacking the feature altogether, which means you won’t be able to turn it on or off.

How to turn off audio description on Roku

Roku Express with Android figure
Adam Birney / Android Authority

When available, Descriptive Audio allows visually impaired people to follow the action in movies and TV shows via a narrator. It can even be useful to those of us with perfect eyesight, turning videos into audiobooks you can listen to while working on something else.

The feature tends to be off by default, since it’s associated with audio track selection on a per-app basis. Therefore, there’s no one way of disabling it, and it may sometimes have other labels, like Audio Description.

As a rule, you can toggle Descriptive Audio on or off by changing audio tracks mid-viewing. For example, in the case of Netflix, you need to hit the up or down buttons while watching a video and select Audio and Subtitles (the dialog bubble icon). Pick an audio track without a description, and you’re good to go.

If that doesn’t work, try searching an app’s accessibility settings. The Apple TV app asks you to navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Audio Descriptions.


Yes, Audio Guide was renamed in software version 10.5. It is now called Screen Reader, and it accomplishes the same goal.

No. Screen Reader is available on Roku TV models in the USA, as well as some Roku Streaming players. These include the Roku Ultra, Premiere Plus, Premiere, Express Plus, Express, and Streaming Stick. The device also needs to be running Roku OS 7.5 or newer. That said, even some of these devices lack the feature now. We tried to replicate it with a Roku Ultra unsuccessfully.

No. While most popular apps like Netflix and Apple TV support Descriptive Audio, needs to be coded in by the developers for it to work. This means its functionality may not be available on all apps.

If you’re having any other problems with your Roku TV or device, we also have a guide on the most common Roku issues and how to fix them.

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