Use the TalkBack options on your Galaxy phone or tablet

Woman holding phone listening to the TalkBack assistant

Talkback is an accessibility feature available on Galaxy phones and tablets, including the latest models on our website. Talkback describes things you select on the device's screen, such as icons, buttons, or features. It works on every screen, even when browsing the web, sending text messages, or taking photos. It also provides suggestions for certain apps frequently use and will let you know what to do based on your past actions and usage patterns.

Note: Available screens and settings may vary by wireless service provider, software version, and model.

Enable and navigate with TalkBack

Once you turn on TalkBack, the voice assistant will begin reading every on-screen item that you type, and we mean everything. This can make it difficult to navigate the phone or tablet, but once you know the trick, it will be a breeze. Follow these steps to activate TalkBack and learn how to use it:

  1. Navigate to Settings and then swipe to and tap Accessibility.

  2. Tap TalkBack, and then tap the switch at the top of the screen.

  3. Review the information, and then tap Allow to activate.

    Allow highlighted under a description of the TalkBack setting
  4. Follow the tutorial for an interactive explanation of the features. When TalkBack is enabled, the voice assistant will read whatever you tapped aloud. For example, if you tap Continue, the voice assistant will say "Continue."

  5. To select an item (not just read it), you have to single tap it and then double tap it. This will allow you to navigate around your phone. For example, you will need to single tap the Back arrow, and then double tap it to go the previous page.

Adjust TalkBack settings

To access TalkBack's settings and features, tap Settings on the main TalkBack screen for a list of all available features. Remember, if TalkBack is already enabled, you will need to single tap and then double tap items to select them.

  • New features in TalkBack: Take a tutorial to learn about all the new things available with TalkBack.

  • Text-to-speech settings: Choose your preferred engine for text, which will allow for more language options. You can also adjust the speech rate and pitch with the sliders.

  • Verbosity: Tap to enable extra wording options such as Punctuation and Capital letters, or to ask Voice Assistant to read details, like the number of items in a list.

  • Speak passwords: Each character will be read aloud when entering a password. Use headphones to ensure your passwords are not overheard.

  • Sound and vibration: Gives you access to several other audio options:

    • Vibration feedback: Tap this option to make your phone vibrate during speech.

    • Audio ducking: Decrease other audio volume while speaking.

    • Sound feedback: Turn on sound feedback.

    • Sound feedback volume: Adjust the speech volume of sound feedback. You can match the volume or change it to 25%, 50%, or 75% to suit your preferences.

  • Customize Focus Indicator: Change the color of the Focus Indicator. This is the box that highlights items when you're using TalkBack.

  • Customize gestures: Adjust and customize different gestures for the Reading menu so it's easier for you to use. There are many options to choose from.

  • Customize menus: Adjust and customize the TalkBack menu or the Reading menu to show your desired options.

  • Braille keyboard: Connect a braille keyboard and adjust other settings so it's easier for you to type.

  • Tutorial and help: View several help options:

    • Tutorial: Revisit the initial tutorial to learn how to use TalkBack's different features.

    • Practice gestures: Learn and practice the different gestures you can use with TalkBack.

    • Help: Open and view Google's troubleshooting guide for TalkBack.

  • Advanced settings: Access advanced features you can use with TalkBack:

    • Custom labels: Create and save your own labels to help you navigate through your phone. These can be created by tapping once on an icon or tab, and then double tapping and holding on the screen.

    • Single-tap to activate: Tap once on a focused item to activate.

    • Element description order: Change the order the voice assistant describes items on the screen.

    • Typing preference: Change the action used to type when TalkBack is activated.

    • Keyboard shortcuts: Tap this to view available shortcuts. You can choose Default or Classic key mapping.

    • Developer settings: Special settings that debug the phone and run other operations. You should not use these options unless you are tech-savvy.

    • Privacy policy: Review Google's privacy policy for TalkBack.

    • Terms of service: View Google's terms of service for different countries.

  • Open TalkBack in the Galaxy Store: Open TalkBack to see its app details or update it through the Galaxy Store.

Turn off TalkBack

You can turn off TalkBack if you no longer wish to use it. Keep in mind you will need to single tap and then double tap items to select them.

  1. Navigate to and open Settings.

  2. Swipe to and tap Accessibility, and then tap TalkBack. Tap the switch next to TalkBack to turn it off.

  3. Tap Turn off to confirm.

Talkback switched off on a Galaxy phone
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