The Ease of Access is one of the categories present in the Settings on Windows 10. This is the location where you can perform the changes to the accessibility programs and settings. The Ease of Access helps you in setting up the accessibility programs and the related settings of your Windows system. In this article, we will walk through the Ease of Access whose location is in the new Settings of Windows 10.
How to Open Ease of Access in Windows 10 Settings
The first thing you are required to do is launch the Start Menu on your screen.
From the Places section, choose the Settings.
The Settings window will appear with different categories. You need to select The Ease of Access.
The Ease of Access is now open on your screen. The left column of The Ease of Access Center exhibits you seven different segments of Settings. They are Narrator, Magnifier, High Contrast, Closed captions, Keyboard, Mouse and Other options.
The Narrator segment brings you several settings to manage. The upper part of this segment is Hear text and controls on the screen. It means Narrator is a screen reader which read out all the text present on the screen along with the controls. You are provided with a slider to turn on or off the Narrator. You can also choose to Start Narrator automatically after turning on the Narrator option.
The mid section of the Narrator displays the Voice settings. You can access the Voice settings even if you have not turned on the Narrator. You can choose a voice among the five and also alter the Speed and Pitch of the voice. Recently, after the big update, an option Intonation Pauses also made into the settings page.
The next section allows you to pick up the Sounds you hear. You can choose what type of sounds you wish to hear such as the characters you type, hints for controls and buttons, words you type, reduce the volume of other active apps when you use the Narrator and play audio cues.
The last half of the Narrator exhibits the Cursor and keys. You can choose to highlight the cursor when you type a text or allow an insertion point so that you can follow the Narrator and if you are using a touch keyboard you can choose to activate keys on the touch keyboard when you lift your finger off the keyboard.
Magnifier is a tool in Windows 10 which allows you to magnify the things on the screen. The right pane of the Magnifier is divided into two parts. The first part is Magnify things on the screen. The settings under it allow you to turn on or off the Magnifier, use of Invert colors and Start Magnifier automatically.
Tracking is the next part where you can switch on or off the Follow the keyboard focus slider or Follow the mouse cursor. Well, there is a new option into the tracking section. So, if you desire to expand the portion you are typing, it is best to turn on this new option – “Have Magnifier follow the text insertion point”.
You are allowed to Choose a theme from the drop-down menu. Four different themes are available exhibiting you different contrasting colors for different segments. You can pick up any one theme as per your preference and choose to change colors of each item. Do the changes as per your requirement and click the Apply button to save the changes done. The theme that you will choose will be applied on your PC.
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This is the new setting added to the Ease of Access Center in Windows 10. This new setting allows you to manage the looks of the closed captions that can be seen in the Windows apps. You can see the preview of it on the upper half itself. The Font section allows you to select the caption color, its transparency, style, size, and effects. Use the drop-down menus of each setting and choose the desired ones. The settings will not be applied to the closed captions that appear in online streaming.
The Background and window area lets you pick up the background color, transparency, and window color and window transparency.
The next segment is the keyboard settings. Here, you are represented by two sets of settings. If you wish you can choose to switch on your On-Screen Keyboard.
The next set is of Useful keys. You can choose to take benefit of other good keyboard features like Sticky Keys, Toggle Keys, Filter Keys and Other Settings.
The settings you see in the segment are the same of Windows 8. Here you can choose your mouse’s Pointer size by picking up one size. Also, you can see what “Pointer color” you would like to go with. The last section is the Mouse keys where you can Use a numeric keypad to move the mouse around the screen, hold down Ctrl to speed up and Shift to slow down and use mouse keys when Numlock is on.
This is the last segment of The Ease of Access Center. You can see the Visual options here such as you can select to switch on the Windows animations, show Windows background, select the time duration for the appearance of the notifications and adjust the thickness of the cursor.
The protocol of offering new features, settings, and software to its users is the norm of Windows. The same was the case with the predecessors of Windows 10. Every time there is a new edition and the users get to see several new programs and settings. If there is a need for other accessible features, you can add assistive software or products to your PC. Now, you a need an area where all the concerned things related to the accessibility can be carried out.
In the entire process, we discovered that there is no link from The Ease of Access Center of Setting to the same of the Control Panel. But regardless of what users use, The Ease of Access Center provides all the possible settings related to the accessibility. In this post, we also learned about the introduction of closed captioning setting in The Ease of Access Center. We hope you go through the settings and share your experience with us. And don’t miss to share your piece of knowledge regarding this topic with us.
For everyone who prefer classic Windows theme, this is the closest to the original theme.
Just move it to C:WindowsResourcesEase of Access Themes folder and use it.
Of course, You can use this theme file on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8.
Applying the Classic theme will change the Start screen background and tile color to classic view as well.
NEW: theme is compatible with Windows 10 Technical Preview as well!
The Ease of Access tab is organized, but it could be a little more helpful.
If you’re looking for a high-contrast theme, voice narration or closed captions, you’ll find them in the Ease of Access tab in the new Windows 10 Settings menu. But for those of you who are more comfortable with Microsoft’s Ease of Access Center, which offers up recommendations and optimization schemes for different issues, you can still find that in the Control Panel.
The Ease of Access tab in Windows 10 is similar to the Ease of Access section in the Windows 8 PC settings menu (Charms bar > Settings > Change PC settings > Ease of Access), but with a couple of extra sections.
In this section, you’ll find several options for having text and controls read aloud to you. Once you turn Narrator on, you can choose a voice (David, Zira or Mark) and adjust your narrator’s speed and pitch. You can also pick which types of sounds you want to hear (e.g., characters you type versus words you types). If you’ve added any extra language packs to your PC, you may see additional voices (you will need to download voice language packs in the Time & language tab).
In the Magnifier section, you will find options for magnifying your screen — turn Magnifier on, and a floating toolbar will pop up. From this toolbar, you can magnify or reduce your screen and choose what type of magnification view you want to see (full screen, lens, docked). For more information on how to make everything bigger in Windows 10, check out our guide here.
High-contrast themes can make it easier for people with visual impairments to see different items on the screen. In the High contrast section, you can pick and tweak a high contrast theme — choose a theme from the drop-down menu and you’ll see the theme previewed in the box below. Here, you can tweak the theme by changing the colors of each component before you hit Apply to apply the theme to your PC.
The Closed captions section is a handy section that lets you adjust how closed captions appear in Windows apps such as the Xbox Videos app. You can change the color, transparency, style, size, background color, background transparency, window color, and window transparency of your captions. This won’t change how closed captions appear in online streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu.
Keyboard and Mouse
The Keyboard and Mouse sections are exactly the same as what you’ll find in the Windows 8 PC settings menu. In the Keyboard section, you can toggle the onscreen keyboard on and off, and you can turn on useful features such as Sticky Keys and Toggle Keys (sounds a tone when you press Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock).
In the Mouse section, you can adjust your pointer size and color, and turn on Mouse keys, which lets you control the mouse using your numeric keypad.
The last section in the Ease of Access tab is Other options. Here, you’ll find mostly visual options — you can choose to turn off Windows’ animations, the desktop background, and you can also choose how long you want notifications to appear for (5 seconds to 5 minutes). You can adjust cursor thickness, in case the cursor is too slim for you to see properly, and you can turn on visual notifications for sound.
While most people will probably never open the Ease of Access tab, this is one section of the Windows 10 Settings menu that is pretty organized. My only issue with this tab is that there’s no direct link to the Control Panel’s Ease of Access Center, which is much more user-friendly for people who know they need accessibility options but aren’t sure which options to turn on. The Ease of Access Center groups settings together in simpler categories (e.g., "Use the computer without a display/optimize for blindness," or "Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard"), so people can figure out which accessibility features they actually need.
The Ease of Access Center
But you can still access the Ease of Access Center from the Control Panel — just right-click the Start button, click Control Panel, and click Ease of Access Center (if your Control Panel is in Category view, click Ease of Access > Ease of Access Center).
Editors’ note: This How To post was originally published on March 1, 2015, and was updated on May 25, 2016, to reflect new information regarding Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14342.