After waking your Mac from sleep there can be a delay of 5-10 seconds before VoiceOver becomes responsive



After waking your Mac from sleep, you may routinely find that there is a delay of between 5 and 10 seconds before VoiceOver becomes responsive.

If you are a low vision user, you will be able to determine that the Mac can perform ‘sighted tasks during this time - such as using Command+Tab to switch between running applications, scrolling or following links in Safari webpages, and entering text in to editors like Textedit.’

However, if you attempt to perform some VoiceOver-specific keyboard shortcuts, they either do not work or there is the audible tone that would normally indicate that you have attempted to use a. Keyboard shortcut which does not exist. For instance, VO plus the left or right arrow key generates this tone.

This pattern of behaviour would appear to suggest that VoiceOver is in fact not running during this period after waking, rather than simply not being responsive.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Ensure that VoiceOver is enabled.
  2. Have a small number of apps running (such as Safari, Mail, and Textedit).
  3. Allow your Mac to sleep.
  4. Tap on a key to wake your Mac.
  5. Use Command+Tab.

You would expect VoiceOver to speak the names of running applications as you move through the App Switcher.

What actually happens is that the App Switcher visually appears and allows you to switch between applications, but there is no spoken feedback from VoiceOver.

There is also no spoken feedback from VoiceOver if you do anything else with the keyboard during this period after waking the Mac.

After 5-10 seconds VoiceOver should become operational and now work as expected.

Bug First Encountered

macOS 11.0.1

How often the bug occurs

Apple feedback #



Fixed In

macOS 11.2



By Eileen😷 on Monday, January 18, 2021 - 13:19

This bug is absolutely killing the Mac user experience for me.

Having to wait for up to 10 seconds nearly every time I wake or lift the lid of my MacBook, waiting for VoiceOver to begin working... aargh! 🤯