macOS High Sierra

Use portable preferences

Make your VoiceOver preferences “portable” by storing them on an external drive. You can then easily use your settings on other Mac computers and keep an up-to-date copy of your current settings always available.

Note: VO represents the VoiceOver modifier.

Set up the portable preferences drive

Do this set of steps once for each external drive you want to use.

  1. Insert the drive in your Mac.

  2. Open VoiceOver Utility (press VO-F8 when VoiceOver is on), then choose File > Set Up Portable Preferences or click Set Up in the General category.

  3. Select a drive from the list of external drives, then click OK.

    VoiceOver creates a VoiceOver folder on the drive.

Use the portable preferences drive

When you connect your portable preferences drive to a Mac, VoiceOver detects the drive and asks if you want to use it. How VoiceOver uses the portable preferences drive depends on the Mac you’re using.

  • If you’re using the Mac where you set up the drive: Any changes you make to VoiceOver preferences until you eject the drive are automatically saved to the drive. For example, if you increase the speech rate, your change is instantly saved to the portable preferences drive.

  • If you’re using another Mac (as a guest): VoiceOver uses the preferences stored on the drive. Any changes you make to VoiceOver preferences until you eject the drive are automatically saved to the drive and not to the guest computer. The next time you use the drive on the Mac where it was set up, VoiceOver synchronizes preferences on the Mac and the drive, based on the most recent change to a preference.

Stop using the portable preferences drive

  • When you’re done, eject the portable preferences drive using the Finder, or click Stop in the General category in VoiceOver Utility (in this case, the drive is not ejected).

If you choose not to use the portable preferences drive when VoiceOver asks you, but later want to use it, open VoiceOver Utility, then click Start in the General category. If you choose to always use the portable preferences drive, but later want to use it only sometimes, delete the preferences file from the drive, then set up the portable preferences drive again.

If you have portable preferences on an external drive and reset basic or all VoiceOver preferences on your Mac, you must set up the portable preferences drive again.