Dell XPS and Microsoft Narrator

I bought a Dell XPS 11 a while back for its super-slim form and excellent display. So far, it’s been a pleasure to use. However, I recently ran into a problem where the volume buttons started triggering Microsoft Narrator.

I started looking around for the answer, and I found a few interesting things. This apparently affects Microsoft Surface and Surface Pro tablets as well as other Dell XPS tablet PCs, such as the XPS 12, running Windows 8.

What happens is that Windows confuses the buttons with these actions:

  • Win + Vol Up = start Narrator
  • Win + Vol Down = screenshot (saved in ~\Pictures\Screenshots)

And it may be caused by installing a security update for .NET 3.5 and 4.5.1.

You can try fixing it by following these steps:

  1. Press the Windows button on your tablet PC.
  2. Reinstall the security updates.
  3. Uninstall the Keyboard Device from the Device Manager and restart the PC.

Does that help?


As a side note, the official Dell forums were no help at all.