How to disable voice guidance or blind mode on Android.
The Android operating system is famous for its inclusive nature, which makes it possible for people with various health problems to use a mobile phone. To do this, operating system developers equip devices with a host of useful features, such as voice guidance. However, for people who are not visually or hearing impaired, these options cause many inconveniences. Therefore, it is important to find out how to turn off voice guidance on your Android phone.
What is TalkBack
Voice guidance in the Android operating system is based on the TalkBack function. TalkBack is an option that, when enabled, causes screen text and actions to be automatically spoken by Google’s voice assistant.
Since the average user doesn’t need additional audio, TalkBack is a huge inconvenience and should therefore be disabled. Before doing so, however, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the purpose of the feature, as some categories of Mobile Phone owners may still find it useful.
What is it for
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Android mobile phones are inclusive, which means that they can be used by people with various disabilities. In this regard, the developers of the operating system have come up with various functions that allow you to operate your gadget even if you have a visual or hearing disability.
TalkBack is a mode for blind people. Since the voice assistant expresses the user’s actions by tapping, swiping, and other actions, a severely visually impaired person can operate the Mobile Phone without any problems. At the same time, if the deterioration is not so severe, there are other options. For example, you can change the size of fonts or images on the screen.
How to disable the function
If you suddenly notice that your actions with the mobile phone, as well as the text on the screen, are being vocalized by the voice assistant, you should disable the TalkBack function. You can do it in several ways, each of them good in their own way.
This is the basic option to disable TalkBack. It can be deployed on any device, regardless of personalization settings. To disable TalkBack, you will need to:
- Open the mobile phone settings.
- Go to “Advanced Settings” and then to “Special Features”.
- Open the “Vision” tab and then – “TalkBack”.
- Turn off the slider in front of “Use TalkBack.”
Please note that depending on the device manufacturer and firmware version, the names of the menu items may vary.
If you’re having trouble finding the switch, use the search box in settings and enter the query “TalkBack.”
Through the Google Assistant
Since TalkBack is an option responsible for the sound of the actions performed on your mobile phone, you can disable the function by voice. To do this, you will have to call Google’s voice assistant. It is usually invoked with the command “Ok, Google”. Next, all you have to do is say: “Turn off TalkBack”, and then the option will be disabled.
Of course, you can only implement this method if you have the voice assistant activated on your mobile phone. It should also be noted that the Google Assistant can be called not only by voice, but also by pressing the corresponding button in the Google app or on a previously registered hotkey. In all other situations, it is recommended that you use a voice command or other ways to disable TalkBack.
The sound feature of the Android operating system was conceived as a convenient way for visually impaired people to interact with their mobile phone. Therefore, hotkeys are used to turn the option on and off. By default, these are volume buttons that need to be pressed for a few seconds.
This deactivation method will only work if the option has been previously activated in the phone settings. It is activated as follows:
- Open the phone settings.
- Go to “Advanced settings” > “Special functions” > “Vision” > “Talk back”.
- Turn on the switch in front of “Quick Start TalkBack”.
Please note that quick launch is not only done via hotkeys (“Volume Up” + “Volume Down”), but also via swipe. Depending on the method selected in the phone settings, the process of deactivating voice guidance will be different.
In general, the process of disabling voice guidance does not cause problems even for beginners. However, due to the peculiarities of this mode, the user may encounter various difficulties, which we suggest eliminating:
- Once TalkBack is activated, it is impossible to use the mobile phone. When TalkBack is activated, each action must be confirmed by double-clicking on a button, since a single press will only result in a spoken interface element.
- I can’t find the “TalkBack” section in the mobile phone settings. The exact procedure depends on the device model and firmware version. However, if you are having difficulty finding a menu item, you can use the search bar that appears at the top of the screen after starting the settings.
- Hotkeys don’t work. Using hotkeys to turn TalkBack on and off is an optional setting. If holding down the volume buttons for three seconds doesn’t help disable the option, it’s possible that hotkeys have been disabled in settings. Also, swipes are often used instead of hotkeys to disable the option.
These are the most common issues users encounter when trying to turn off the sound. However, there is a possibility that even the suggested solutions will not solve the problem. It is then recommended to contact Google support, located at support.google.com.