iPhone Says Everything You Touch? VoiceOver & Spoken Content Explained!

Apple iPhones have a variety of accessibility features, however, if you turn something on by accident, you may wonder why Siri on your iPhone is saying everything you touch.

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Why is my iPhone saying everything I touch?

There could be a few different reasons that your iPhone is saying everything you touch, but the cause of this problem almost certainly has to do with your iPhone’s VoiceOver or Spoken Content settings being turned on unexpectedly.

I’ve been an iPhone user since the very first iPhone was released and in that time I have become quite an expert at using iPhones and navigating iOS. The iPhone’s settings have become more diverse and complicated over the years in order to make the iPhone as user-friendly, customizable, and accessible as possible. 

Still, figuring out what’s wrong after accidentally changing a random setting can be difficult. However, if your iPhone or iPad is saying everything you touch, it is really simple and easy to fix once you know which setting you need to find and how you can change it.

What Settings Are Causing Your iPhone To Say Everything You Touch?

iPhones feature a variety of different accessibility settings to make them easier to operate for those with impaired vision, hearing, or motor ability.

Some of these features include Zoom, which allows you to zoom in on anything on the screen, Switch Control, which allows you to change the way your iPhone is controlled, and VoiceOver, which gives spoken descriptions of what’s on screen.

If you find that, all of the sudden, your iPhone is saying everything that you touch, it is most likely because you accidentally turned on VoiceOver in your iPhone’s accessibility settings. 

Another setting that could cause your iPhone to speak to you is the Spoken Content setting. 

This is an additional accessibility option that could cause your iPhone to read on-screen text, even without VoiceOver being turned on.

What Are The Differences Between VoiceOver And Spoken Content?

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Now that you know what could be causing your iPhone to say everything you touch, it will be useful to know what these settings are and how they are different in order to figure out which one you accidentally turned on.

Though they are similar, there are some small differences that will allow you to know exactly which one has been activated. 

Then, once you know which setting you need to adjust, you’ll be able to go to the right place in the settings menu to turn it back off again. 

What Is VoiceOver?

VoiceOver is a program built into iOS that allows the iPhone to read the content of what’s on the screen, and it has been available on all iPhones since the release of the iPhone 3GS back in 2009. 

This setting aims to help those with impaired hearing, especially the blind, by allowing them to hear what is currently on the screen to facilitate easier navigation.

When this setting is turned on, as you touch or drag your finger across your iPhone’s screen, VoiceOver will say the name of the item you’re currently touching, no matter whether it’s an app, written text, or the battery percentage. 

VoiceOver also makes additional audible cues even without touching the screen to notify users that something else has happened on screen.

For instance, VoiceOver will tell you when the display orientation changes from portrait to landscape and when the screen locks. It also reads the first item on the screen anytime a new window is opened.

All of these features are incredibly useful in telling which setting you need to turn off to make your iPhone stop talking. 

Though both VoiceOver and Spoken Content can allow your iPhone to say what’s on the screen, only VoiceOver will give you audible cues without touching the screen.

So, if you are unsure which setting you need to adjust, just try locking your iPhone or rotating it to change the display orientation. 

If your iPhone gives you an audible notification about the change, then VoiceOver is the setting that you’ll need to turn off. If not, then you probably need to adjust your Spoken Content settings.

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What Is Spoken Content?

Another group of settings aimed at facilitating navigation for the seeing impaired is the Spoken Content settings. These settings allow your iPhone to read selected on-screen text, read the entire screen, or even give you feedback while you’re typing messages.

However, there is one big key difference in how the Spoken Content settings and VoiceOver work.

While VoiceOver will essentially read anything you touch on the screen, the Spoken Content settings will only read what you tell it to. 

For instance, if you want your iPhone to read a certain piece of text out loud, you first have to highlight the text that you want to read and then click the Speak button in the menu that comes up.

Spoken Content won’t read the content automatically. 

The same thing goes for the Speak Screen function. If you want Spoken Content to read the full screen, you first need to swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen and then click the play button in the control menu to make the iPhone read the whole screen.

Because of this, while you could accidentally be activating Spoken Content every once in a while if your iPhone is saying everything that you touch, it is more likely that VoiceOver has been activated and not Spoken Content.

Still, there is one feature of Spoken Content that would make your iPhone speak without you prompting it to and that’s the Typing Feedback setting, which gives you audible feedback, including text corrections, when you are typing messages. 

This is again incredibly useful if you aren’t sure which setting you need to turn off. While both Spoken Content and VoiceOver can read what’s on-screen as you type, only the Spoken Content settings will give you feedback and corrections to what you are typing.

How Do You Turn These Settings Off?

Now that you have a good idea as to why your iPhone is saying everything you touch, we can get into the details about how exactly to fix it. 

However, since VoiceOver and Spoken Content are two different settings, you’ll need to follow different instructions to turn the right one off. 

How Do You Turn Off VoiceOver?

If you’ve come to the conclusion that VoiceOver is the setting you need to adjust, then the first thing you need to do is go to your iPhone’s setting menu.

Once you’ve reached the settings menu, scroll down and look for the option that says Accessibility. Then click it to open the accessibility settings menu.

Click on the VoiceOver option to open the VoiceOver settings menu. It should be the first option at the top of the Accessibility settings menu. 

From this menu you can control all of the different settings for VoiceOver including touch gestures and speech settings, however, the only one you’ll need to worry about is the one at the top of the screen that allows you to toggle the feature on and off.

If the VoiceOver switch is in the on position, you can click the switch to turn it off.

This should stop your iPhone from saying everything that you touch, however, if you get here and the VoiceOver feature is already turned off or the problem still persists, you’ll know the problem is coming from Spoken Content settings.

How Do You Turn Off Spoken Content?

If you come to the conclusion that VoiceOver isn’t causing the problem, then it means that you’ll need to adjust your Spoken Content settings.

To access your Spoken Content settings, you’ll need to navigate to your iPhone’s settings menu. Then once you have opened the settings menu, again scroll down until you see the Accessibility option. 

Click on Accessibility and then locate and click on the option that says Spoken Content. It should be just a few options below VoiceOver. 

Doing this will open the Spoken Content menu where you can control which features areiph turned on and off including speak selection and typing feedback.

If you see that any of these features are enabled, click on the switch to turn it off. If all of these, along with VoiceOver, are turned off in your settings menu, your iPhone will no longer say anything that appears on the screen.

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Key Takeaways

  • If your iPhone is saying everything you touch, it is because either VoiceOver, Spoken Content, or both are turned on.
  • Both of these features are accessible via the Accessibility settings menu and they exist to help those with impaired vision operate iPhones.
  • To turn off VoiceOver go to Settings, then navigate to Accessibility and click VoiceOver. Then click the toggle switch to turn this feature off.
  • To turn off Spoken Content go to Settings, then navigate to Accessibility and click Spoken Content. Then switch all the toggle switches into the off position.