I fell asleep with my laptop in front of me the other night and noticed when I woke up that everything I typed was being repeated by some computer sounding voice on my laptop called Sam. Turns out I had accidentally turned on Microsoft Narrator by hitting the Win-Key + U. This utility is one of a couple of others including Microsoft Magnifier that are managed by the Microsoft Utility Manager. Depending on the operating system these utilities run in different ways and the below article is based on Windows XP Pro though turning it off is similar on other Windows versions as well. I believe in Windows 2000 the Utility Manager actually runs as a service so the service can be disabled in the Services Manager.

To disable Microsoft Narrator in Windows XP follow the directions below.

  1. Launch Utility Manager: Click the Windows Key plus U (Win-Key + U) at the same time to launch the Microsoft Utility Manager as shown below in the image.

    Microsoft Utility Manager: Microsoft Narrator is Running 

  2. Disable Narrator Auto Start: Now highlight “Narrator is running” and make sure all of the check boxes are not checked including “Start automatically when I log in”, “Start automatically when I lock my desktop”, and “Start automatically when Utility Manager starts”. If “Start automatically when Utility Manager starts” was checked then Microsoft Narrator would have started as shown below.

    Microsoft Narrator: Narrator Options

    Uncheck each option as shown in the image above.  To stop Microsoft Narrator click the Exit button.

The above will allow you to easily enable Microsoft Narrator in the future if you choose to do so. If you want to make sure that Narrator does not run at all then you can modify the executable file that launches Microsoft Narrator as described in more detail below. I also describe how to stop Utility Manager and Microsoft Magnifier from running.

  • Utility Manager:The Utility Manager executable file is located in the C:\Windows\system32 directory and is titled utilman.exe. Rename this file to utilman.OLD to stop it from running.
  • Microsoft Magnify: The Microsoft Magnify executable file is located in the C:\Windows\system32 directory and is titled magnify.exe. Rename this file to magnify.OLD to stop it from running.
  • Microsoft Narrator:The Microsoft Narrator executable file is located in the C:\Windows\system32 directory and is titled narrator.exe. Rename this file to narrator.OLD to stop it from running.

If you want to simply modify the Microsoft Narrator settings then open the Narrator configuration menu by clicking the Start button in the bottom left corner of your Windows XP computer. Select Run from the pop up window and type in narrator in the box as shown below in the image. Click enter to launch the Microsoft Narrator configuration menu.

Microsoft Narrator: Start Run: narrator.exe

That should allow you to manipulate Microsoft Narrator however you so choose.

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6 Responses to “Disable Microsoft Narrator Using The Utility Manager”
  1. mike boggs says:

    I don’t like or want outlook narrator and cannot stop it. I am not computer literate and it really has me upset. I am beginning to dislike outlook.


    alex Reply:

    Hello Mike,

    I don’t blame you. It is really annoying that something like narrator can be built in without an easy way to turn it off. Did you try the steps above to disable it?


    Karen Reply:

    I have tried all the steps above and still cannot get the darn thing to turn off. When I try to rename the files it says access denied. It continues to pop up when I log on and off my computer. What should I try next?


    alex Reply:

    Hello Karen,

    It sounds as though you are not logged into your computer as an administrator. Modifying this setting may require administrator access. If it is not something related to being an administrator you might get a similar error (Permission Denied) if the files are actively being used by the program. You might try seeing if you can find the process via Task Manager and manually killing it before proceeding with the steps above.

    If you were able to resolve the issue we would love to hear what steps were taken that differ from the article above so if anyone else has the same issue they will be able to benefit from the information you provide.



  2. jaren says:

    thanks…please post other techniques for more boosting of computer


    alex Reply:

    Hello jaren,

    No problem. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.



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