VoiceOver Auto Startup with File Vault

macOS & Mac Apps

Hello community members,
I know I just asked a question not too long ago about automatically starting VoiceOver on startup. While I solved my problem, i am trying to help a friend do the same. This person however, uses file vault. Can auto starting voiceover on startup still be accomplished?
Thanks again,



Submitted by Carlos M Contreras on Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I think you can't use VoiceOver until you enter your login information if you are using File Vault. The reason is that VoiceOver lives within the operating system that is part of the encrypted data. You have to decrypt it before you can use VoiceOver. But my understanding is that you friend is not completely in the dark. I heard that the system will sound a single beep when the username text field appears, so that a blind person know when to enter the username, and that for the password, the system will sound a double beep. I haven't tried this since I don't use File Vault, but check with your friend , and let us know.

Submitted by Tyler on Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

As far as I know, there is no way in the current version of OS X to have Voiceover automatically start when FileVault is enabled. However, I've noticed in the macOS Sierra beta that it has been starting automatically for me. Not sure if this is a new feature and what computers will work with it, as some Mac models handle encrypted logins with Voiceover different than others.

Submitted by Siobhan on Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hi. i think there's a podcast wherein someone shows you how to enable, then start the Mac with file vault, and yes, I do remember the beep, user name field, double beep, password promt.

You can absolutely login accessibly with FileVault. I do it every day. You do, however, have to press command-F5. At that point, while it's not actually VoiceOver, the username and password prompts will speak. You enter your username then press enter, then your password and press enter again. You will hear the prompts as necessary.
A few notes:
First, Apple has information in OS X about VoiceOver not working with FileVault, and instead, there are beep codes for the prompts. This is outdated and has not been true for many years. Apple need to update their documentation on this. Rest assured, every prompt is perfectly accessible.
Second, if you leave your computer sleeping for more than 24 hours, you will have to login through FileVault again even to wake the computer up. The same method applies here as I've outlined above.

Submitted by Tyler on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Whether your Mac will beep or speak depends on its firmware, with older Macs using the beep codes and newer Macs using speech services.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, July 14, 2016

No. They need to hit command f5. They should hear a beep. They enter their user name and hit enter. Then they hear 2 beeps. They enter their password and hit enter. If they hear 3 beeps they will be logged in and voiceover should start.

I did a podcast but it is no longer on the site due to pruning. If you want it contact me and I'll shoot you a link.