How to role back to NVDA 2018.2.1 after updating to 2018.3 or 2018.3.1 and if you need to use NVDA Remote

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UPDATE: A new version of the add-on was released (v2.2) and it is now working with NVDA 2018.3, 2018.3.1 and 2018.3.2. You can download it from here. Note that it is better to update the add-on first before updating NVDA.

On September 18th, 2018, NVDA 2018.3 was released to the public and on September 20th, NVDA 2018.3.1 was. For some users, it might be better to avoid these updates for now. In this article, I will tell you why you should avoid updating to NVDA 2018.3 or 2018.3.1. I will also tell you how you can downgrade your NVDA version back to 2018.2.1.

Why should you avoid the NVDA 2018.3 or 2018.3.1 updates?

The current version of NVDA is 2018.3.1. They released it shortly after releasing version 2018.3. The programming language in use to code NVDA is called “Python”. In this version, it has been updated. Before version 2018.3, NVDA was made in Python 3. In 2018.3 and above, they updated the programming language to wxPython 4. It basically means that the creators of NVDA addons will have to update the compatibility of their addons for them to continue working. If the addons are not updated, they may stop working. That’s what’s happening with the NVDA Remote Access addon. The authors didn’t push an updated version of the addon. NVDA Remote allows you to take control of another computer using NVDA. So, as you might have guessed, the latest public release of Remote doesn’t work after updating to NVDA 2018.3 or 2018.3.1.

How to make Remote working again?

There are 2 ways to fixe the issue about NVDA Remote. The addon hasn’t been officially updated yet. However, the required files to make it work again are available on the Internet. The first way is to download these files and manually copy them in the right directory. I’ll not cover this part with you because it requires technical knowledges but if you want to do so by yourself, see the GitHub repository.

If you don’t want to update NVDA remote manually, you will need to uninstall NVDA 2018.3 or 2018.3.1 and reinstall NVDA 2018.2.1. Here’s how to do that.

Note: You will need to use another screen reader than NVDA to do that. Before beginning this procedure, please make sure that your copy of NVDA is not running. Please also make sure to have the NVDA 2018.2.1’s installation file. You can download NVDA 2018.2.1 here.

  1. Go to the control panel. Once you’re in, press the letter P until you hear Programs and features. Press Enter on it.
  2. Once you’re in your programs list, press N until you hear NVDA. Press the Applications key on your keyboard and down arrow until you hear the uninstall option. Press Enter on it.
    Note: If you don’t have an applications key on your keyboard, you can press shift+f10 and it will do the exact same thing.
  3. Follow the uninstall procedure. If you’re asked to reboot your computer, reboot it.
    Note: If NVDA was set on boot when your computer starts, you won’t have any screen reader when your computer restarts. In this case, press Control+Windows+Enter to turn on Narrator.
  4. Once your computer is restarted, press Windows+E to go inside of the Windows file explorer.
  5. Assuming that the NVDA 2018.2.1 installation file is in your Downloads folder, press D until you hear Downloads and press Enter on it.
  6. Locate the installation file and press Enter on it. Follow the install procedure.
    Note: Once NVDA is installed, you will have to set it on boot when your computer starts again if that’s what you want.
  7. That’s done! Now, NVDA remote should work as it did in the past. I would also suggest you to turn off the automatic check for updates feature. This can be done in the General settings of NVDA. To access these settings, press the NVDA key (which is normally the Insert key) + CTRL + G.

JAWS Tandem

If ou can’t reinstall NVDA or if you don’t know how to update the remote add-on, you can also use JAWS Tandem to remote in a computer. However, the thing with Tandem is that each time you’ll have to start a remote session, you’ll have to generate a new code and enter it manually on the computer you need to remote in.

Conclusion

After using one of the methods mentioned above, Remote addon should now works correctly. Let’s hope that the authors of the addon bring an updated version shortly.