Roku players and TCL Roku TVs have an “Audio Guide” feature. If you press the * button on your remote four times quickly, the narrator speaks menu option names out loud. Here’s how to turn it on and off.

Press the * Button Four Times to Turn the Audio Guide On and Off

To have your Roku or TCL smart TV speak menu options aloud, just look down at your remote and quickly press the * button four times. This button may also be called the options button or star button. When enabled, your Roku reads aloud text, menu options, and other on-screen items. As it speaks an actionable on-screen item, you can press the OK button to activate that item.

When the Audio Guide is speaking to you—whether you meant for it to, or just accidentally triggered it—press the * button four times in a row again to turn it off.

Your Roku may not always respond to your button presses immediately, but you can just wait a moment and it should catch up.

Turn the Audio Guide On and Off in the Menu

You can also turn the Audio Guide speech feature on and off from the Roku’s Settings menu, if you prefer. This option is the same place on TCL smart TVs that have Roku’s software built in.

Press the Home button on your Roku remote, and then select “Settings” in the menu at the left side of your home screen.

On the Settings page, select the “Accessibility” menu.

On the Accessibility page, select the “Audio Guide” option. On the right, you can set the Audio Guide on to have it start speaking or off to have it stop.

Yes, that menu option does exactly the same thing as pressing the * button four times. You can even activate the feature using the * button and watch its menu item change from on to off.

Disable the Shortcut or Set Other Options

You can disable that shortcut from the Settings > Accessibility screen, too. Just select the “Shortcut” category, and select the “Disabled” option. Your Roku won’t automatically trigger the Audio Guide when you press the * button four times anymore, but you can always come back to the Settings screen to enable or disable the Audio Guide.

You can also change some other Audio Guide options from here. The “Speech rate” option lets you control how fast the audio guide speaks, so you can make it talk slower or faster. It’s set to “Normal” by default, but you can also choose “Slow,” “Fast,” or “Very Fast.”

The “Volume” option controls the volume of the audio guide’s speech relative to the standard TV volume. It’s set to “Medium” by default, but you can select “Low” to make it quieter or “High” to make it louder.

Image Credit: Roku

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Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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