This guide describes the most popular accessibility features of Windows and Microsoft Office. It also covers assistive technology products for Windows and Microsoft Office that are designed for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. For a more complete overview download the full guide.

If you have questions related to accessibility, contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk. This team can help you use many popular assistive technologies with support in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language (ASL).

If you’re a government, commercial, or enterprise user, see Accessibility support for enterprise
To troubleshoot common issues and learn more about some of our accessibility features, including some features covered in this guide, check out the Accessibility playlist on the Microsoft Customer Support YouTube channel.

In this guide:

Set up accessibility options in Windows 10

Change Windows sound settings

Use accessibility features in Office

Set up accessibility options in Windows 10

With Ease of Access, you can set up accessibility settings and programs that are available in Windows 10.

Make your PC easier to use

Windows 10 accessibility help

Turn on Ease of Access options

In Windows, you can access commonly used accessibility options right from the sign-in screen. Press the Windows Logo Key  + U to open the Ease of Access settings. This also works after you have logged in.

To open the Ease of Access settings on a touchscreen device, swipe in from the right edge of the screen and select All Settings > Ease of Access.

In the Ease of Access settings, you can, for example, customize closed captions, change Windows notification settings, and turn on mono audio.

Use closed captions

You can customize the way that closed captions appear when you watch a movie or TV show in some Windows apps or in some productivity tools like PowerPoint.

  1. Press the Windows Logo Key  + U to open the Ease of Access settings.

  2. Select Closed captions.

  3. Change the caption font and caption background settings to your liking. The Preview section at the top of the menu displays how closed captions look with your current settings.

Adjust notification settings

You can choose to have the active window, active title bar, or the whole screen flash when a notification arrives instead of relying on sound alone.

  1. Press the Windows Logo Key  + U to open the Ease of Access settings.

  2. Select Audio.

  3. Choose how you want to see alerts under Show audio alerts visually.

Listen with mono audio

People with partial hearing loss or complete deafness in one ear can switch on mono audio to hear the same sounds in both left and right audio channels.

  1. Press the Windows Logo Key  + U to open the Ease of Access settings.

  2. Select Audio.

  3. Select the Turn on mono audio toggle to turn it on.

Change Windows sound settings

It's simple to adjust your computer's volume to suit your preferences. Most speakers have a volume control, and you can also control speaker volume using Windows.

To change the speaker volume for your computer, select the Speakers button in the notification area, and then move the slider right or left to increase or decrease the speaker volume.

Use accessibility features in Office

Microsoft Office comes with built-in accessibility features designed for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. You can also customize options in Office to meet your individual needs and preferences.

You can customize common accessibility settings within the Ease of Access options in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

To find the Ease of Access options:

  1. Open an Office application.

  2. Select File > Options > Ease of Access

  3. Customize your accessibility options to suit your preferences.

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