Outlook read aloud not working [Fix it]! (How it works – Entire Tutorial)

Last Updated on December 30, 2022 by Amit Bansal

Can anybody read my email to me, yes, I can, Outlook reads aloud all your required email for you!

Just like speaking phone in earlier days, you just must hit a button and your telephone set announces all your call recordings received by you. Microsoft Outlook also allows you to sit back and relax and you can listen to all your email messages just like read-aloud isn’t available because something is preventing it from starting.

In this article, you will learn “How to use outlook read aloud” & “how to fix if Outlook read aloud not working“.

How to make Outlook read aloud?

The Read Aloud feature is available for Outlook 365 subscribers who read your document naturally with all the pauses. Outlook read-aloud allows you to click the speak button to listen to your text.

The below steps are important [refer to images]

  • Lunch Outlook >> Open a specific folder consisting of email.
  • For instance, in Inbox, select the email, you like to listen to.

There are two options to listen to your email message.

  1. Simply click on the email, and your email message opens on the right-side reading pane.
  2. The second option is to double-click and open the email message in a separate window.

In both, the scenario, click on Message Tab >> Hit Read Aloud  

Outlook read aloud not working

This mechanism starts reading your email, you can also select a specific area only and allow Outlook to read aloud.

When Read Aloud is running, understated controls appear on the right side of the document.

How to make Outlook read aloud

There are some options/choices available, [refer: Image]

  1. Backward paragraph selection: While reading click the back button to the preceding paragraph and start reading again.
  2. The second option is the play and pause button.
  3. Thirdly skip paragraph selection: This option skips your running paragraph and jumps to the next.
  4. Option key which opens a few more functions:
  5. Can adjust the reading speed/narration, which can be modified.
  6. You can choose from three voices, two male and one female.

To stop Read Aloud, you can click to (x) cross on the far right of the controls, click to read aloud again, or close the message.

Outlook Read Aloud only just the body, it won’t read the subject line, since by default only English language narrator is available in Outlook, you can also add other languages like Canadian, Indian, UK, US, or Australian language.

Read aloud not available (How to enable & Disable in Outlook)

By default, the Microsoft Outlook Tab section consists of “Read Aloud”, some of the users still ask, “Why read aloud not available, below steps allow you to enable and disable this feature.

  • Click File >> Options
  • Go to Ease to Access >> Under “Application display options” section
  • Click the checkbox “Show Read aloud”
  • Hit OK
Read aloud not available

This process enables and brings back the missing Read aloud icon in the Tab section. Reversion of this process disables the function (If you don’t need the Read-Aloud functionality) and the icon is gone disappears & the feature itself will not be triggered by the keyboard shortcut as well.

Outlook read-aloud shortcut key

  • Ctrl + Alt + Space – Start/Exit Read Aloud.
  • Ctrl + Space – Pause Read Aloud.
  • Alt + Right – Increase reading speed.
  • Alt + Left – Decrease reading speed.
  • Ctrl + Right – Read the previous paragraph.
  • Ctrl + Left – Read the next paragraph.

Add Speak to Quick Access Toolbar

To add the Speak command to the Quick Access Toolbar, the following steps are required:

  • Open Outlook >> Click File >> Options
  • Quick Access Toolbar >> Select Commands Not in the Ribbon from the dropdown list.
  • Select Speak from the drop-down list (the list is arranged alphabetically), finding that speak doesn’t require rocket science, go to ‘S‘ series >> Click Add button.
  • Click OK, Outlook read aloud added to QAT.
Add Speak to Quick Access Toolbar

Why is Outlook read-aloud not working?

The outlook read aloud feature is part of Microsoft Outlook and is beneficial for people suffering from hearing or visual disabilities, user complain of Outlook Read Aloud feature is not working.

Launching Outlook in safe mode, mostly some of the Outlook add-ins that might conflict with most of the functionality. The challenge is to find the culprit add-in causing issues to the feature.

Here are the steps to get it done.

  • Open Outlook
  • Choose File >> Click Options.
  • Select Add-ins from the left sidebar menu.
  • Manage: COM Add-ins option, select Disable items.
  • Click OK
Why Outlook read aloud not working

This step temporarily disables them and opens the gates of all the features without any hurdle. Restart Microsoft Outlook to bring it back to normal mode. It will start in normal mode unless there’s a problem opening the application.

The second reason is funny, but it exists, Checkup volume of your system, sometimes it’s mute or has the same technical error, which results in Outlook read-aloud not working.

A few technical PC repair software is also available in the open market which Fixes Windows errors automatically.

Final Words

In summary, Outlook is an excellent product, and it contains lots of features. The speech feature is useful for people who have issues with their hands, ears, or eyes. We can imagine that Outlook will become even more popular in the future.

Also Read:

Amit Bansal

Hello, my name is Amit Kumar Bansal, and I am the founder of MailSmartly.com. Through this blog, I focus on Microsoft Outlook, offering insightful and informative content. Additionally, I produce educational videos on YouTube to further enhance the understanding of my audience. visit my YouTube Channel

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1 thought on “Outlook read aloud not working [Fix it]! (How it works – Entire Tutorial)”

  1. I know that you are giving freely of your knowledge and your time, and that is appreciated.

    I would like to suggest that you might consider using a grammar-checker on your future posts. It is clear that English is a second language for you, and that is pretty amazing – so please don’t consider this just a criticism.

    Seriously – I’m learning Nihongo right now, and though it’s not the first foreign language for me, it is reminding me how crazy the English language is, with the endless rules and exceptions for spelling and pronunciation, etc.. It is a huge accomplishment to even learn to speak English in my opinion.

    Cheers, and thank you.


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