Top 7 Ways to Fix Read Aloud Not Working in Microsoft Word for Windows

With the Read Aloud feature in Word, you can hear your written words spoken aloud. This can be useful for reviewing lengthy documents or understanding how your text sounds. But what if the Read Aloud feature suddenly stops working in Microsoft Word?

Top Ways to Fix Read Aloud Not Working in Microsoft Word for Windows

There’s no need to switch to another word-processing app just yet. This guide lists some effective tips for fixing issues with Word’s Read Aloud feature on Windows. So, let’s take a look.

1. Check the Volume Level on Your PC

Sometimes, it’s the simple things that slip your mind. If the volume level on your PC is too low, you won’t be able to hear anything when Word reads your document aloud.

Click the speaker icon on the taskbar, then move the volume slider to your right to increase the volume level. Also, click the speaker icon next to the slider to ensure your preferred audio device is set as the default sound output device on Windows.

Increase or Decrease Volume Level on Windows

After this, try using Word’s Read Aloud feature again.

2. Close and Reopen Microsoft Word

Restarting Microsoft Word is another rudimentary fix you can try to fix Word’s Read Aloud feature. If the issue only occurs due to a temporary glitch, closing and reopening Word should restore normalcy.

Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut to access the Task Manager. In the Processes tab, right-click on Microsoft Word and select End task.

Close Microsoft Word

Reopen Microsoft Word and see if you can use the Read Aloud feature.

3. Add the Read Aloud Option

Is the Read Aloud option missing from Microsoft Word? If so, it’s you likely removed it accidentally while customizing Word’s Ribbon menu settings. Here’s how you can add it back.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word on your PC and click the File menu at the top-left corner.

Word File Menu

Step 2: Select Options from the left column.

Open Word Options

Step 3: Switch to the Customize Ribbon tab. Click the drop-down menu under Choose commands from and select Main Tabs.

Customize Word Ribbon Toolbar

Step 4: Under Main Tabs, double-click on Review to expand it.

Review Tab in Word

Step 5: Select Speech and click the Add button. Then, hit OK.

Add Read Aloud to Word Ribbon

4. Open Word in Safe Mode

There’s a chance that a faulty add-in is interfering with Word’s Read Aloud feature and causing problems. To check for this possibility, you can try opening Word in safe mode. Press the Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run dialog box, type in winword /safe, and hit Enter.

Open Word in Safe Mode

After Word opens in safe mode, use the Read Aloud feature again. If it works as expected, disable all your add-ins and re-enable them one at a time to isolate the culprit.

Step 1: When Microsoft Word opens, click the File menu at the top-left corner.

Word File Menu

Step 2: Select Options from the left pane.

Open Word Options

Step 3: In the Add-ins tab, select COM Add-ins from the Manage drop-down menu. Then, click the Go button next to it.

Open Word Add-ins

Step 4: Clear all the checkboxes to disable your add-ins and click on OK.

Disable Word Add-Ins

Restart Word after this and enable your add-ins one by one. Test the Read Aloud feature after enabling each add-in until the issue occurs again. Once you find the problematic add-in, consider removing it to fix the issue for good.

5. Repair Your Word Document

If the Read Aloud feature is not working only in a specific document, there may be an issue with the Word file. You can try using Word’s built-in repair feature to fix any issues with your document and see if that helps.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word on your PC.

Step 2: Click on File option at the top-right corner, select Open, and then select the Browse option.

Browse Files in Word

Step 3: Locate and select your Word file. Click the downward arrow next to Open to select Open and Repair.

Open and Repair File in Word

Wait for Microsoft Word to repair your file and open it. Following this, the Read Aloud feature should work as expected.

6. Install Office Updates

Using an outdated or buggy version of Word can lead to various issues, including the one discussed here. You can check if a newer version of Word is available by following these steps.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word on your PC and click the File menu at the top-left corner.

Word File Menu

Step 2: In the Account tab, click the Update Options menu and choose Update Now from the list.

Update Microsoft Word

7. Run the Office Repair Tool

Microsoft offers an Office repair tool that automatically detects and fixes common issues with all your Office apps, including Word. You can try running this tool to see if it gets the Read Aloud feature to work in Microsoft Word.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start icon and select Installed apps from the list.

Installed Apps on Windows

Step 2: Scroll down to locate the Microsoft Office product on the list. Click the three-dot menu icon next to it and select Modify.

Modify Microsoft Office on Windows 11

Step 3: Select the Quick Repair option and hit Repair.

Quick Repair Office

If you cannot use the Read Aloud feature in Word after this, you can try performing an Online Repair. Make sure your PC has an active internet connection when using this option.

Repair Office Apps

Let Your Words Come to Life

It can be frustrating when the Read Aloud function stops working in Microsoft Word. We hope one of the above fixes has helped you fix the underlying issue for good. However, if none of the solutions prove effective, you can temporarily use Microsoft’s Narrator app to make Windows read the contents of your document out loud.

Last updated on 26 May, 2023

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