jaws no longer working with itunes on windows

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It seems that the accessibility when using the windows version of itunes and jaws is pretty much non existant. Anyone know why? If I remember correctly there was some type of issue between apple and jaws that apple refused to fix. I'm guessing that's still the case? The interesting thing is that NVDA works with the windows version of itunes just fine so not sure the bief between freedomscientific or whatever their name is today and apple but I heard back in the day there was something going on.



Submitted by peter on Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Not seeing this problem with iTunes and JAWS 2022.

One issue might be which method your JAWS is using for detecting text on the screen.

In the JAWS Settings Center for the Default Configuration there is a setting called:
"Use Accessibility Driver"
If this setting is checked (which it is for some versions of JAWS) then JAWS is using the legacy method of capturing text on the screen. Unfortunately, because of changes made under the hood by Microsoft for Windows 10, this legacy method (based on the old OSM or Off Screen Model) was not seeing some text written to the screen.

The new GDI-Hooking method for capturing text written to the screen has been under development for some time now and has been available as an optional method to see text on the screen. In the future, all versions of JAWS will be using this new method to see text on the screen.

To use the new method of seeing text (which will be necessary in some appications) the "Use Accessibility Driver" setting in the JAWS Settings Center should not be checked. I have been running this way now for almost two years and have experienced few if any problems.

Hope that explains what might be going on and helps your problem.


Submitted by Troy on Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Thanks, that unfortunately did not work. I'm not eligible for jaws2022 to even try it with that particular version :(

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Using Windows 10, iTunes, and jaws 20. No issues at here. jaws works well so far. You might want to reinstall iTunes from the store. Microsoftor apple.

Submitted by Chris Hill on Saturday, January 15, 2022

My guess is that you're hitting alt and hearing nothing instead of menus. Try alt plus the first letter of the menu you want, alt by itself does not speak with Jaws 2022.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Sunday, January 16, 2022

I know in the past there were two different downloads of JAWS. One was from the Apple website and one was from the Microsoft Store. Unfortunately, I cannot find one on the Apple site anymore. I downloaded a copy on my new laptop from the Microsoft Store and noticed that tab response is extremely inconsistent. IT doesn't matter whether the accessibility driver is enabled or disabled. This version of iTunes isn't an app; it's a crApp.

Submitted by Troy on Sunday, January 16, 2022

I'm glad you were able to duplicate this bug, with the ms store version, tab response is very sluggish and inconsistent. I don't think there's an apple download anymore. NVDA works just fine so I'm going to have to say it's a jaws issue at this point. I'd contact fs about it but fs has a habit of putting the blame on ones pc rather than their own software so it would be a waiste of time. Guess I'll use NVDA with itunes until this gets resolved if ever. I still like to use itunes for windows for some tasks such as backing up to the pc rather than ICloud, reason being is that a pc backup restores everything on your phone exactly how you had it and all of your settings as well.

Submitted by Usman on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

When you go to the link provided above from Apple to download iTunes for windows, it just links to the microsoft store. Unless you look at downloading an older version of iTunes, the only version now available is the one that's found on the microsoft store.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Yes, that is what I noticed too. I did not find a link for any current version of windows on the Apple website; rather, every link on that page led either to an older version or to the Microsoft Store.

Submitted by Troy on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

What I'm trying to understand is with the ms store version how a free screen reader like NVDA works just fine with the software while a screenreader that costs almost a grand has issues with it. Maybe there's something I'm missing, but it just doesn't make sence to me. From my understanding narator also works well with the ms store version as well but haven't tried it.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

I agree. I don't get it either. It makes absolutely no sense. I haven't tried Narrator but I guess I will do so. I guess the worst thing that could happen is that it would actually work!

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

It is possible to download iTunes from the website above after all. Below the link that says get it from the Microsoft Store, there is a button that says "windows". Click that and it will take you to a page where you can download either a 64-bit or a 32-bit version. I havent' tried it yet as I am still at work but plan to reinstall once I get a chance. Thanks for providing that link after all. :)


I have now uninstalled the Microsoft Store version and installed the version located at https://www.apple.com/itunes/. I am happy to say that the 64-bit version works with JAWS 2022. Thanks to @Tyler for providing that link earlier. Remember, to get the correct version, you have to look below the link telling you to get it from the Microsoft Store and click on the Windows button.

Submitted by Tyler on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Glad the direct download works. Regarding why the version of iTunes in the Microsoft Store works with NVDA but not JAWS, in my opinion, while the extensive feature set of JAWS has made it quite capable and powerful over the years, it has also made the software feel bloated and cumbersome. That is why I generally recommend NVDA to most blind and low vision Windows users, as I find it has most of the features that most people will need. Also, in my subjective experience, NVDA (and Narrator in a pinch) are much faster, more reliable and less resource-intensive than JAWS on the same hardware.

Personally, I would love to see Vispero (the brand that now owns Freedom Scientific) slim down and improve some of JAWS's components, but that's a whole other discussion.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

I've been a JAWS user since 1990 when I had JAWS version 2.2!!!! Yes I'm a relic.

Anyway, the more I hear about NVDA, the more I am thinking it may be time to begin looking at jumping ship. with the way that NVDA seems intent on being constantly improved, not to mention the difference in price, Vespero better start figuring some things out. iTunes is just the latest example.