How do I enable and disable the Screen Reader on my Samsung Galaxy smartphone?

On Samsung smartphones you can activate a Screen Reader to provide audible feedback to assist blind and low-vision users with their phones. Screen Reader uses a Voice Assistant that will describe what you touch, select and activate, giving you maximum control over your phone, even if you can't see it.

 

This feature has previously been called TalkBack.

Please note: the Voice Assistant for the Screen Reader is different to the Bixby voice assistant. Find out more about Bixby and how to use it

Enabling Screen Reader
1 Swipe up on your home screen, to access your apps
Swipe up
2 Tap Settings
Tap Settings
3 Tap Accessibility
Tap Accesibility
4 Tap Screen reader
Tap Screen Reader
5 Tap the switch next to Voice Assistant
Tap the switch
6 Voice Assistant uses your phone in specific ways and requires additional permissions. Tap Allow to give Voice Assistant the permissions it needs to function
Tap Allow
7 Voice Assistant also requires certain functions to be turned off. Tap OK to turn these features off
Tap OK

The Screen Reader feature is now active. The controls of your device will have changed and all of your actions will be read aloud by the Voice Assistant.

How do I use Screen Reader?

Once Screen Reader has been activated, the process of controlling your smartphone will change, making it harder to accidentally press the screen and adding useful features for low-vision users.

 

When you interact with an item on the screen, a rectangular focus box will surround it. You can then use tap and swipe gestures to control the focus. 

 

  • To hear what's directly under your finger: tap and drag your finger around the sceen
  • To activate an item: double tap with one finger
  • To move the focus box to another item on the screen: swipe left or right with one finger
  • To move to the next or previous page: swipe left or right with two fingers
  • To scroll up or down the list: swipe up or down with two fingers
  • To scroll up or down through screen content: with one finger, swipe from left to right to scroll up, or right then left to scroll down
  • To move the focus box to the top or bottom of the page: with one finger, swipe up then down to go to the first item, or down then up to go to the last

 

You can find out more about how to interact with and use Screen Reader by completing the tutorial in the Screen Reader settings.

Tap tutorial
Disabling screen reader

Once the Voice Assistant has been activated, your smartphone will control differently. In general, you will have to tap once to select an item with a blue focus box, then tap twice on the screen to interact with it. Follow the steps below to disable the Screen Reader feature.

1 Using two fingers, swipe up on your home screen, to access your apps
Swipe up using two fingers
2 Tap Settings
Tap Settings
3 Once Settings is selected with the focus box, double tap anywhere on the screen
Double tap anywhere on the screen
4 Using two fingers, swipe up to navigate to the end of the Settings menu
Swipe up with two fingers to go to the end of the Settings menu
5 Tap Accessibility
Tap Accessibility
6 Once Accessibility is selected with the focus box, double tap anywhere on the screen
Double tap anywhere on the screen
7 Tap 1 function in use
Tap 1 function in use
8 Once 1 function in use is selected with the focus box, double tap anywhere on the screen
Double tap anywhere on the screen
9 Tap Turn off
Tap Turn off
10 Once turn off is selected with the focus box, double tap anywhere on the screen to turn the feature off
Double tap anywhere on the screen

The Screen Reader feature is now disabled and the Voice Assistant will stop dictating your actions. Your phone will also revert to the original controls.

If you're experiencing unusual behaviour on Samsung mobiles, tablets or wearables, you can send us an error report or ask us a question in the Samsung Members app.

 

This allows us to take a closer look at what is happening. The data is anonymised and only held for the duration of the investigation. Find out more about sending an error report through the Samsung Members app.

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