Windows accessibility features by release

Applies to: Windows

This article highlights key accessibility features released with versions of Windows 10 and with Windows Server 2019.

Windows Server 2019


For this version, audio starts automatically in server environments when you turn on Narrator. If you need hearing-assistive tools, you'll be able to install and set up a Windows Server system more easily. 

Windows 10


Windows 10, May 2020 Update (version 2004)

If you use Narrator, you can:

  • Listen to information more easily when you're using Word, Outlook, the Mail app for Windows 10, or the web.
  • Hear the window title narrated when you read messages in Outlook.
  • Get more options when you use Chrome—navigate tables more easily, hear formatting information, and find text.
  • Browse links more easily. Get a quick webpage summary (Narrator + S) that shows the total number of links, headings and landmarks. Or get that summary in a dialog box that includes the most popular links on the page as defined by Bing (Narrator + SS). If you're on a link, you can get the title of the destination page without loading the page (Narrator + Ctrl + D).
  • Reliably activate links when you press the braille routing keys.
  • Hear new sound alerts for Scan Mode switching, links, and more. 
  • Go directly to the beginning of every line in a text area when you use Narrator Braille (Ctrl + Home).
  • Get login information to pop on the braille display when creating a page in Facebook.com. 
  • Hear the capitalization of words while reading and typing. 

If you use low vision features, you can:

  • Use Magnifier more easily and reliably in Chrome and Firefox.
  • Change the color or size of the text cursor so you can see it more easily.
  • Set text size and choose from dark theme options for Magnifier.
  • Keep your cursor centered when you zoom in Magnifier. 
  • Hear web pages, documents, and emails read out loud when you use Magnifier. 

You can also:

  • Get eye control improvements. 
  • Keep your Ease of Access settings from being synced—roaming support was removed.

Learn more

Version 1909, November 2019 Update

Narrator can learn where the FN key is located on keyboards and identify whether it's locked or unlocked.

Learn more

Version 1903, May 2019 Update

If you use Narrator, you can:

  • Find what you need easily on the new Home page, where you can access the QuickStart, the User Guide, Settings, and more.
  • Get to the Feedback option by pressing Narrator + Alt + F, or find it on the new Home page.
  • Minimize the Home page to the Windows System Tray so you don’t hear about Narrator every time you use Alt + Tab to switch applications. 
  • Hear next, current, and previous sentences. If you use the keyboard or touch, you can read by sentence.
  • Get continuous reading commands when you use Chrome. Menus are also easier to use. 
  • Stay focused when you’re reading content—reading and navigation commands now stay within content areas when you're using most web browsers, and also when when you're reading email in Outlook or the Mail app.
  • Hear more natural-sounding pauses and phrasing in narration.
  • Get phonetic information by pressing the Narrator key + comma twice, quickly. Or you can hear it continuously with the Read Next Character command (Narrator key + period) or the Read Previous Character command (Narrator key + M). You can also choose to turn on automatic phonetic reading.
  • Control how much info you hear about text, controls, and other document attributes with new verbosity options. 
  • Have your cursor move as Narrator reads.
  • Hear URLs by pressing Narrator + 0, or use other new keyboard commands to provide feedback, move next, move previous, change view, or move to the beginning or end of text.
  • Get more consistent Views options, including the option to search for a link anywhere within an active window. 
  • Understand tables more easily with new table-reading enhancements.
  • Hear sound alerts for modifier keys like Shift, Alt, and other keys.
  • Hear edit controls identified as "combo edit" or "edit." 
  • Add more voices without having to download language packs. 
  • Use BRLTTY version 5.6d, which adds USB support for Inceptor and Orbit 20 displays. It also recognizes BrailleNote Touch when using USB. Baum displays can now use B9 and B10 interchangeably. Liblouis binaries and tables have been updated to version 3.7.0. 
  • Read by sentence in braille displays by pressing dots 2-3-4 or 2-3-4-7 in command input mode. You'll also find more improvements for the braille display when you use the Narrator key.
  • Get an alert if Caps Lock is on while typing. This is especially helpful for passwords.

If you use low visibility features, you can:

  • Keep your mouse centered when you zoom, and discover more improvements for Magnifier.
  • Set bigger and brighter mouse pointers in Windows 10. To find the new sizes and colors, go to Settings  > Ease of Access , then under the Vision category, select Cursor & pointer.

You can also:

  • Receive IAccessible2 information through the UI Automation client interface.

Learn more

Version 1809, October 2018 Update

    If you use Narrator, you can:

    • Use scan mode more intuitively—new options allow Narrator to stop on interactive elements like links. They also make it easier to copy blocks of text while maintaining formatting within the text.
    • Use a familiar, standard keyboard layout.
    • Hear dialog boxes narrated out loud.
    • Search for specific text and move to it if it's found, using the Narrator Find option.
    • View a list of objects so you can easily jump to a link, heading, or landmark.
    • Easily learn the basics—a QuickStart tutorial is available when you launch Narrator.

    If you use low vision features, you can:

    • Keep your mouse centered on the screen when you use the Magnifier.
    • Adjust Magnifier by increments of 5% and 10%.
    • Make text bigger by going to Settings  > Ease of Access  > Display .

    Learn more

    Version 1803, April 2018 Update

    If you use Narrator, you can:

    • Get faster, more reliable performance, including faster typing speed.
    • Identify bold, italics, underline, or all caps with changes in speed, pitch, and volume—and get more audio enhancements as well.
    • Learn whether a download succeeds or fails (while Narrator is running). If it succeeds, braille will be enabled.
    • Run Narrator in Safe Mode. 
    • Sign in using a braille display—configure it once and after that, just press the Use current settings before sign-in button. 
    • Switch to other screen readers easily, using your braille display.

    If you use low vision features, you can:

    • Make your screen content bigger and brighter with new settings on the Display page.
    • Use heading navigation and landmarks to jump to the settings you need on long Settings pages.

    You can also:

    • Ask Cortana to find and activate a setting.
    • Set audio, speech, or eye control settings from the Ease of Access Settings page. This page has been reorganized so you can find settings easily.
    • Pause eye control and hide the launchpad for uninterrupted reading or streaming.
    • Complete common tasks easily with quick access to Windows 10 Start, Timeline, Settings, and device calibration—and discover more eye control options as well.
    • Use common keyboard shortcuts for color filters and other controls.
    • Set whether scrollbars are automatically hidden or not. 

    Learn more

    To read more about these improvements, see Windows 10 Accessibility: What to expect in the year ahead (3/19/2018).

    Version 1709, Fall Creators Update

      If you use Narrator, you can:

      • Navigate through content easily with up and down arrow keys, navigate by character with the left and right keys, and use the space bar to interact with simple controls.
      • Quickly open the Feedback Hub by using caps + EE.
      • Use Scan mode by default, without needing to turn it on. 
      • Easily memorize the keys on your device by hearing the name of each key when you press the command associated with it.
      • Find the Getting Started User Guide quickly by pressing a button in Settings.
      • Turn on auto-captioning.
      • Dictate text in either English or Chinese. To start dictating, use the microphone button or press Win + H.
      • Use hotkeys to read from your current location through the rest of the application (Caps + R), jump to the beginning of an application (Caps + Home), or jump to the end of an application (Caps + End). You can also read both the controls in the window and the text (Caps + W).
      • Get app shortcuts and modifier keys that make it easier to use your braille display for common tasks. 

      If you use low vision features, you can: 

      • Find Magnifier shortcuts in the Quick Reference list on the Settings page. 
      • Zoom on the Magnifier page by using your mouse wheel and holding down the Win + Ctrl keys.
      • Open Magnifier settings from anywhere in Windows 10 by pressing Ctrl + Win + M. 
      • Set a custom Magnifier mode in Settings. 
      • Select a custom zoom increment when using Magnifier. 
      • Use color filters on the Magnifier page to differientiate between red and green.

      Learn more

      Version 1703, Creators Update

      Includes a beta version of braille, and an option to have Narrator automatically switch voice depending on the language of the text.