Turn this feature on to have your Mac read announcements and notifications when they come in.

People multitake with multiple Macs

Occasionally, you might be so engrossed in your work or just not stepping off your Mac screen and missing time-sensitive notifications and warnings. In fact, there may be times when you just thoughtlessly hit the close button without reading a notification.

One way to make sure that notifications grab your attention is to have your Mac announce them to you. Stop letting go of urgent notifications with Mac's Speak Announcements. Read on to learn how to enable this feature.

What are voice prompts?

Your macs Speak announcements The feature is one of Apple's accessibility settings that includes several features designed to help more users access their devices and navigate them efficiently.

When this option is checked, your Mac will speak the text in notifications. It also notifies you when you need to take certain actions in apps.

Related: How to use the dictation for voice-to-text entry on a Mac

While speak announcement is primarily used to assist people with visual impairments, you can also use it as a hack to increase your productivity and efficiency.

How to activate voice prompts

Before you begin, make sure this feature works on your Mac: it's only available for Macs running macOS Sierra and above.

To have your Mac announce notifications and warnings:

  1. Go to System Preferences> Accessibility.

  2. click Spoken content.

  3. Check the box next to Speak announcements.

Accessibility options for spoken content

This feature is also fully customizable. You can select the preferred voice and the phrase to be heard before the text is spoken. To change that voice, phrase, and Delay, click Options.

Here are the options it gives you:

  • Voice: By default, your Mac uses System voice. Click the drop-down menu next to voice to select a different voice if you want.
  • Delay: You can set a delay from 0 to 60 seconds before your Mac speaks an announcement or notification.
  • Phrase: You have several options for the phrase you want to hear before your Mac announces a notification. By default, your Mac will display the name of the app associated with the notification. You can choose from available sentences such as "Sorry" or "Caution" or set a custom sentence. Just click Edit phrase list> Add, then enter the phrase in the text box and press OK.

Adjustment of the spoken announcement

To turn this feature off, just go back to System Preferences> Accessibility> Spoken Content, then deselect Speak announcements.

Be the first to hear of urgent notifications

To be honest, not all notifications are urgent. This is probably why it is very common for most people to ignore them. However, if you have already missed important warnings in the past, or are a busy body that needs a little help with this, you may want to give this feature a try.

Mac

Mac Accessibility Shortcuts: Navigate your Mac without a mouse

If you've turned on accessibility on your Mac, here are all the keyboard shortcuts you need to know.

Continue reading

About the author

Rachel Melegrito
(63 published articles)

Rachel Melegrito gave up her college teaching career to become a full-fledged content writer. She loves everything from Apple – from iPhones to Apple Watches to MacBooks. She is also a licensed occupational therapist and budding SEO strategist.

More
By Rachel Melegrito

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free e-books, and exclusive offers!

Click here to subscribe