man at table at computer with phone next to him

Use Read Aloud even when your device is locked

Feedback in action
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LinkedIn

Hi, Office Insiders! My name is Sofia Thomas, and I’m a Product Manager on the Office Voice team. We’ve heard your feedback, and I’m excited to share with you that you can now continue listening to your documents on your Android phone or tablet, or on your iPad or iPhone, even while your screen is locked!

Read Aloud in locked-screen mode

Read Aloud takes advantage of the latest text-to-speech technology, enabling you to review your content out loud and catch any errors (also known as “proof-listening”). It also uses cutting-edge neural voices, developed by Azure Cognitive Services, which offer a more natural listening experience.

Using this feature on your device allows you to step away from the screen and give your eyes a break while listening to documents (even if your device screen locks). Read Aloud in locked-screen mode is the perfect way to remain productive while on the go!

How it works   

Ready to try Read Aloud in locked-screen mode?

1. Open a document in Word on your device.

2. Tap Review and then tap Read Aloud, or the Read Aloud icon (Read Aloud icon in Word for iPad) on the More options menu. The app will begin reading the text at the beginning of the document.

NOTE: In iOS, a Read Aloud pop-up suggestion will appear if you connect headphones to the device while a Word document is open.

3. Lock your device screen, and notice that Word continues to read your document.Read Aloud playback panel showing on lock screen of iPhone and Android devices.

Known issues

In Android, hitting Pause or Play from the Read Aloud notification panel on the lock screen will have the desired effect on playback, but the panel icon won’t change.


Read Aloud doesn’t store your content or audio data; Microsoft only uses your content to provide you with audio results. For more information about experiences that analyze your content, see Connected Experiences in Office.


We are rolling out the Read Aloud in locked-screen mode feature to Office Insiders running:

  • iOS Version 2.59 (Build 22022802) or later
  • Android Build 16.0.15104.10000 or later

Don’t have it yet? It’s probably us, not you.

Features are released over some time to ensure things are working smoothly. We highlight features that you may not have because they’re slowly releasing to larger numbers of Insiders. Sometimes we remove elements to further improve them based on your feedback. Though this is rare, we also reserve the option to pull a feature entirely out of the product, even if you, as an Insider, have had the opportunity to try it.


We want to hear from you! To send us feedback:

  • In Word for iOS, tap Settings > Help & Feedback, and then tap Tell Us What You Like or Tell Us What Can Be Better.
  • In Word for Android, tap Settings > Send feedback to Microsoft, and then tap I like something, I don’t like something, or I have an idea.

Learn what other information you should include in your feedback to ensure it’s actionable and reaches the right people. We’re excited to hear from you!

Sign up for the Office Insider newsletter and get the latest information about Insider features in your inbox once a month!