How to enable Read Aloud Feature in Outlook and fix it if not working

The read-aloud feature in Office applications, such as Outlook, is relatively straightforward. It reads back text; that’s it! This feature is part of Windows’ text-to-speech (TTS) capability and can be beneficial for people with hearing or visual impairments. In this article, we’ll show you how to configure, use, and activate the read-aloud feature when you’re not using Outlook.

Configure Read Aloud Feature in Outlook

When you’re viewing mail, either in the main Outlook window or an individual message, the Read Aloud button is towards the far right of the home tab under the ribbon menu.

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From the File tab in Backstage View, select the Options category to open the Outlook Options dialog box. This dialog box provides various options to choose from.

Select the ‘Ease of Access’ category from the left. There, under the ‘Ease of Access’ category, activate the ‘Show Read Aloud’ feature by checking the box marked against it.

When done, press the OK button to return to Outlook.

Now open the Message Read Aloud that you would like to be placed in the cursor position. Then hit the Outlook Read Aloud button.

There are a few different things that you can do with Read-Aloud Control Player settings, including setting the speed of the speech. Other commands that are available under the ‘Control Player’ include:

  • Previous
  • Play
  • Next

Outlook Read Aloud feature is not working

If the Outlook Read Aloud feature isn’t working as you’d like, try checking for add-ins that might conflict with the feature by launching Outlook in safe mode. To do this, follow these steps:

Start by finding the shortcut icon for Outlook. Once you’ve found it, press and hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard and click on the shortcut icon. Doing so will launch Outlook in Safe Mode. If you’re prompted with a message asking if you want to continue, click “Yes.”

Buy it now Next, choose File > Options. Under the Add-ins tab on the left sidebar menu, select COM Add-ins and hit the ‘Go’ button.

Clear the checkbox against add-ins, if seen. This will temporarily disable them.

Close Outlook and restart it. See if the problem is fixed or continues. Usually, it is fixed.

To exit Outlook Safe Mode, close Outlook and restart the application. It will start in normal mode unless there is a problem opening the application.

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