Turn on TalkBack

The TalkBack screen reader gives you spoken feedback and notifications.

Option 1: Press both volume keys

Important: The first time that you use this option on your device, you’ll be asked to confirm if you want to turn on the volume keys shortcut. To confirm, you can select Turn on or press both volume keys for a few seconds again.

Press both volume keys for a few seconds.

Tip: If this step doesn't work, follow the accessibility shortcut steps.

Option 2: Turn on TalkBack in your device settings

The steps below require sighted assistance.

  1. Open your device's settings app Settings app.
  2. Select Accessibility, then select TalkBack.
  3. Select Use TalkBack.
  4. In the confirmation dialogue, tap OK.
  5. Optional: Change your TalkBack shortcut. Learn about accessibility shortcuts.

Steps for earlier Android versions

  • Android 4.0: Select TalkBack and slide the TalkBack switch to the on position. Next, go back to the previous screen and turn on Explore by touch.
  • Android 3.2 and earlier: Select the Accessibility tick box, then select the TalkBack tick box.

Learn how to check your Android version.

Option 3: Set up a new Android device with TalkBack

You can turn on TalkBack when you turn on your Android device for the very first time. 

If possible, keep headphones handy so that you can plug them in when it's time to enter any passwords, such as your Wi-Fi password. By default, key echo is only turned on if headphones are plugged into your device. You can change this setting later in your Android device settings.

  • Android 4.1 and above: Press and hold two fingers on the setup screen. When your device recognises this gesture, TalkBack is enabled and a tutorial begins.
  • Android 4.0: Use your finger to draw a closed rectangle on the setup screen. When your device recognises this gesture, you'll hear a beep.