Microsoft released Windows 11 version 23H2 on October 31, 2023. However, the updated Media Creation Tool with 23H2 images arrived only in the second half of the month, forcing those wanting to perform a clean install to wait a little longer. If you plan to install Windows 11 version 23H2 from scratch and you rely on its assistive technologies, beware: Microsoft has confirmed a weird bug with Narrator not working.
Microsoft says using Windows 11 version 23H2 physical media or disk images may result in Narrator launching in an unresponsive state, even though the component is present in the install media. It is worth noting that the bug only happens during installation and does not affect systems upgrading from Windows 10 or older Windows 11 versions.
Please note this issue does not occur when Windows 11, version 23H2 is installed using Windows Update on a device which is already running Windows 10 or Windows 11. This issue only occurs when physical media or ISOs are used for this installation and Narrator is only affected while the installation process is taking place. It should continue to work as expected once the installation is completed.
According to a message published in the official Windows documentation, Microsoft is working on a new Windows 11 version 23H2 install media to let users in need use Narrator during installation.
You can get your system to Windows 11 version 23H2 using several methods. The latest feature update is available via Windows Update: head to the Settings app and toggle on the “Get the latest updates as soon as they are available.” Alternatively, you can perform an in-place upgrade using disk images from the official website or clean-install version 23H2 using Rufus. If your computer does not officially support Windows 11, check out this guide detailing three easy methods to install Windows 11 version 23H2 on unsupported hardware.