How to use VoiceOver on your Apple TV

How to enable and use VoiceOver on your Apple TV

If you have an Apple TV but find it difficult or impossible to see and navigate the menu system VoiceOver is there to help. An accessibility option meant to help those with visual challenges, VoiceOver "speaks" the controls to you, letting you hear what you can't see. You can even set up shortcuts to turn VoiceOver on and off with just two taps.

How to enable VoiceOver on a new Apple TV

  1. Plug in your Apple TV
  2. Wait
  3. VoiceOver will automatically turn itself on and ask you if you want to continue with audio prompts.

How to enable VoiceOver on an existing Apple TV

If you've got an Apple TV already set up that doesn't have VoiceOver turned on yet, it'll need to be enabled via the Accessibility menu.

  1. Launch the Settings app from the main menu of your Apple TV.
  2. Click on General.
  3. Scroll all the way down and tap on Accessibility.
  4. Toggle the VoiceOver setting to On.
  5. Continue to the next section to create a shortcut for quickly turning it on and off on the fly.

How to create a shortcut to quickly enable/disable VoiceOver on the Apple TV

  1. Launch the Settings app from the main menu of your Apple TV.
  2. Click on General.
  3. Scroll all the way down and tap on Accessibility.
  4. Turn the Accessibility Menu option On.
  5. Hold down the menu button on your Apple TV remote and hit the Select button to toggle VoiceOver on or off.

I highly suggest enabling the Accessibility Menu option if you have someone in your home that is visually impaired. This way they can quickly enable and disable VoiceOver without relying on anyone else to help them. It's also a great feature to have in case VoiceOver accidentally gets disabled. This same menu also lets you toggle closed captions on and off quickly.

How to get more help with your Apple TV

If you need any additional help or have specific questions check out our Apple TV Forum!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to use VoiceOver on your Apple TV


First off, I just want to say it is fantastic when a mainstream publication talks about accessibility features as you folks do on a regular basis.

I am blind so use VoiceOver on all my Apple products. It is helpful to not only me, but my daughter as well. She runs the Apple TV like a champ and picks out the shows she wants to watch without any assistance from me.

As already noted, it's great that you actually write about accessibility. I'm also blind, and use VoiceOver on my Mac, iPhone, and Apple-TV.
What I would like to see in the future is better quality voices for more languages. The English voice got a lot better in the last update, but Norwegian (my first language) is still pretty pour.

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