voice over startup problem with high Sierra

macOS & Mac Apps

I have an iMac of 21.5 inch and I have started to have startup problems with voice over after upgrading to high Sierra. vo doesn't start and I have to restart the computer. sometimes the computer doesn't even boot. I have also recovered the os but the problem persisted. Is there anyone else having the same problem?



Submitted by Moopie Curran on Saturday, October 21, 2017

I'm having a similar issue, and this is after a CLEAN install!!! I'm using a 2012 13 inch macbook pro. Mine always boots, but my problem is that a little while after it boots, voiceover goes completely mum, all it will do is make the mac os error noise, although if itunes is playing, that will continue. No matter what I do to turn voiceover back on, it doesn't work unless I do a cold restart, which I hate to do because it may be harmful to the computer. Has anyone found any solutions to this rather scary bug with high sierra?

Submitted by Can on Saturday, October 21, 2017

Apple support told me that the problem was caused by the apfs file system on fusion drives so I reformatted the hdd with extended journal but the problem still persisted...

Submitted by Ryan Dour on Saturday, October 21, 2017

I'm curious if the following work-around brings back speech in VoiceOver, or if you still need to turn VoiceOver off and back on to get speech back:

If you have someone open Terminal for you and type this and press return, does VoiceOver start working again?

killall -9 com.apple.speech.speechsynthesisd

Alternatively, if you have a braille display, you may not need sighted assistance to try this work-around. If it works though, please post your results, I'm curious.

Submitted by Ekaj on Sunday, October 22, 2017

I've been experiencing the same issue with my mid-2013 MBA. But just last evening I started listening to Taming The Terminal, which is discussed elsewhere on here. It seems rather confusing to this techie but I'm giving it a go. Thanks for the possible workaround.

Submitted by david s on Sunday, October 22, 2017


Since you have reinstalled the OS, try resetting the PRAM and SMC. It is easy to do. You can try the terminal fix but be careful. Terminal can fix or damage your system if you are not careful.

HTH and good luck.

Submitted by Can on Monday, October 23, 2017

I have tried cmd-option-p-r command and also the killall commend above but none of them worked... If the pram and sac are among the option I have mentioned above, it means that I have tried all the option... If the pram and sac were other options, I would be very happy if you could explain how to do it, thanks...

Submitted by Danil on Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Hi there. I have had the same issue since I've installed High Sierra. Time to time, after booting up or restarting, VoiceOver fails to start working, but I can use Siri and even open iTunes pushing the "Play" button on the keyboard, so the problem is exactly with the screenreader itself. Every time it happens I have to hardly restart my Mac, but sometimes it is needed to restart the machine twice or even thrice to make it working properly. By the way,, when I ask Siri to turn VO on, she says it is already on. Finally I'd just asked my sighted brother to open Activity Monitor and have a look at if there is the VoiceOver process, and he told me that there VoiceOver is, but it "doesn't response". He had shot this process down and than VoiceOver momently started to work as usual.

So, firstly, we need to know how can we shoot the VO process down by ourselves, and secondly, we have to tell Apple about this problem.

Submitted by megadance on Saturday, November 11, 2017


Today I had the same problem, not for the first time and I didn't want to restart my mac. After some googling i found this thread and we are allready close to the solution! :)

This worked for me:
Open the Terminal, you can even do it without sighted help by using spotlight (CMD+spacebar type in "Terminal" and press enter).
In the terminal, enter this:
killall -9 VoiceOver

After a short time, VO should restart and hopefully tell something nice again.


Submitted by Rixon Smith on Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I have been having the same issues with my computer. Does anybody know if it is possible for us to downgrade back to Sierra ?

Submitted by Lielle ben simon on Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hello, if do you have a backup that made inn Time Machine you can restore from that to High Sierra or other operated system. if not, you need to download from the Mac AppStore.

Submitted by Rixon Smith on Thursday, November 16, 2017

Another option for those folks who have upgraded to the latest operating system and are not able to use their computers due to the voiceover issue is to have them go into their local Apple Store and have a tech support people reinstall the previous operating system. After speaking with the Apple Corporation, I was told that they will do this for free since it is a software issue.

When I had the Apple store tech person reinstall the previous operating system he told me that when they change the file system Monday new operating system that split the hard drive into many small segments. He also told me that it looked like voiceover was not tracking anything on the screen. The only thing that I could do was to have a previous operating system reinstall. Whether that means doing it retirement Shane, or going into the Apple store The previous operating system reinstall. Your local Apple Store should be able to do this for free since the problem is a software issue is a software issue you also may be able to radians saw or roll back to the previous operating system through time machine I hope this helps you