Problems with the Alex voice and a few other things under macOS Sierra

macOS & Mac Apps

I am a bit confused since i have installed the new operating system that Apple has released last week. Alex is a voice I've come to know and love because of the human qualities and it is not a robotic sound. Recently, I installed the new operating system and I am noticing that Alex doesn't work as well anymore. Not only does Alex stop working but, Siri stops working and the only thing I can successfully get to play is the music. Also, the clock stops speaking the top of each hour. I'm going to take a small guess here and say that the ingiuneers broke something here. When I had the last operating system, Alex worked fine with no issues. If I leave the voice set to Alex for a certain amout of time, then come back to the computer later on in the day, no voice can be heard at all. I've called Apple on this matter and the first thing they wanna do is a complete reinstall of the operating system. I tell them that isn't necessary because the last OS worked fine. The solution for me right now on my Mack Mini mid 2010 unit is to use another voice. Ok, that's all well and good. But, why should I have to do that?
This Mack mini has 8 gb of ram and a big enough hard drive. For the sake of this post, let's say the drive is a 520 gb hard drive. When Alex disappears, the keyboard locks up and I lose not only VoiceOver but, Siri and the rest of the usual sounds including music. Has anyone else experienced anything with this latest update?



Submitted by Chris on Thursday, September 29, 2016


This is why I do a clean install of every operating system when a major version is released. You will avoid these kinds of issues. In addition, you will get unnecessary crap off your machine in the process. Your machine will run faster and more smoothly. I would do a clean install after backing up all the essential files like documents and audio files etc. I have performed a clean install of Sierra and it is running like a champ.

Submitted by themusicman08 on Thursday, September 29, 2016

This is a clean installation of the OS. I jujst now tried to switch to Alex and it locked up again. If I switch to any other voice, it doesn't behave as I described before. I did at first install over the top of the previous OS. But then when I noticed this issue, I had a representative help me from the accessibility que. We whipped it clean and did a fresh install and then put a time machine back up on. Still incountering the issue. So kind of lost here.

Submitted by Saqib on Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hi. ;I think the processor on your Mac is no longer handling the demands of the latest OS. I think you will have to invest in a new machine as it's quite common for operating systems to work sluggishly on machines that were released 6 years before the latest OS. Same applies to phones on all platforms such as Windows, Android and IOS. I have the latest Mac Mini and everything is running fine with the new update. I'm sure that won't be the case in 4 years time and I will have to upgrade my hardware.

Submitted by Nicholas on Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sometimes resetting VO preferences can resolve wonkiness issues. In case you haven't tried it yet;
Open VoiceOver Utility, ctrl-option-fn-f8.
Go to the File menu and choose one of the reset options; Reset Basic Preferences, Reset Custom Preferences (kind of cool pop-up menu here.), Reset All Preferences (complete reset).
You will obviously lose any custom settings of your own. Sometimes this can clear up issues and be totally worth the time. Best used before you have many customizations.

Submitted by Chris on Thursday, September 29, 2016


You restored a time machine backup of your old system onto the clean one? That doesn't seem like it would help all that much. I meant simply backing ups all important nonessential system data and applications and starting from scratch. You will have to configure your settings to how you like them, but it helps in the long run. If you really don't want to do that, try deleting and downloading Alex again. Go to your voice settings and under customize, uncheck Alex. When it asks you to delete the voice, let it delete the file. Now, go back into the customize voices screen and download your preferred version of Alex.

Submitted by themusicman08 on Thursday, September 29, 2016

I have submitted logs to the Apple engineers. I did find out that another customer is having the same issue I am having. We shall see what the engineers say. If i have to install the OS again, fine. I would like to point out if i didn't in my original post that this is a clean installation of the OS.

Submitted by themusicman08 on Friday, September 30, 2016

I want to first say thank you to those for helpful suggestions. I did format the machine and start fresh. No go. And this is without a time machine backup. I did have Seri enabled but, disabled it. If this doesn't work, I am just going to switch to another voice and leave it alone and hope that Apple will fix this voiceover bug.

Submitted by themusicman08 on Saturday, October 1, 2016

It seems that if runnning Alex and Siri at the same time on my Mack, things go crazy. For now, I have to disable Siri and just run Alex alone and all audio and speech work as expected. I did report my findings to Apple and the engineers are aware of this problem just after two reports. Not sure when this will get fixed right away unless they release a patch. The customer service representative told me not to reinstall the operating system after the logs were sent. So, i at least wanted to give an update in case your running in to this same issue and you drive yourselves crazy.