Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

This article is for people with visual impairments who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use Microsoft Teams with your keyboard and a screen reader to work seamlessly with your team. We have tested it with JAWS and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You'll learn how to install and open the desktop app, join a team, find, read and post messages in a channel, and sign out.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • You can easily access the keyboard shortcuts list from within Microsoft Teams. Press Ctrl+E to go to the Search field, type /keys, and then press Enter.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • Recent versions of JAWS no longer have the virtual PC cursor mode set as default for Microsoft Teams. For instructions on how to switch the virtual PC cursor mode on, go to Enable the JAWS virtual cursor.

In this topic

Install Microsoft Teams desktop app

  1. Open a browser on your computer and browse to https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads. Navigate to the download button that's applicable to your version of Windows, and press Enter.

  2. Press Alt+N to jump to the download notification, and press Enter to select Run. The Microsoft Teams app starts installing. When done, the Microsoft Teams login window opens and you can enter your credentials to sign in.

Open Microsoft Teams desktop app

  1. On your computer, press the Windows logo key, and type Microsoft Teams.

  2. You hear: "Microsoft Teams, app." To open the app, press Enter.

  3. When you hear the login window, type your work, school, or Microsoft account in the Sign-in address field.

  4. Press the Tab key to move to the Sign in button and press Enter to select.

  5. You're prompted to select the sign-in account and method you want to use. Press the Tab key until you hear the option you want, and then press Enter.

  6. Depending on the sign-in method, follow and act on the prompts as the screen reader announces them. For example, type your password or select your smart card certificate and type the PIN code, and then press Enter. If needed, press the Tab key to move to the Sign in button, and then press Enter.

Join an existing public team

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Ctrl+3 to access the Teams view.

  2. Press the Tab key to move to the Join or create a team button, and press Enter. The focus moves to the Create a team tile in the Join or create a team view, if the team creation functionality is open to you, or to the Join a team with a code tile if it is not. If necessary, to move focus out of the Enter code text field, press Esc.

  3. To search for a team to join, press Shift+Tab until you hear: "Search for teams."

  4. Type the name of the team you'd like to join, and then press Enter to submit your search.

    Tip: To quickly find and join a team, press Ctrl+E to move to the Search field. Type / join, press Enter, and type the team name. Press the Down arrow key and then press Enter or Shift+Enter.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear the first result.

  6. Use the Right or Left arrow key to cycle through the search results.

  7. When on the team you want, press Enter to join.

    You are added to the team and you can find the team in your list of teams in the Teams view.

Change your availability status

  1. Press Ctrl+E to move the focus to the Search field, and then press the Tab key. You hear: "Profile, app settings, and more, menu item."

  2. Press Enter. You hear your current availability status.

  3. Press Enter to open the status options menu. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the status option you want, and press Enter to apply your selection. Your availability status is changed and the focus returns to Profile and app settings menu item.

Find and read new messages in a channel

  1. To access the Teams view, press Ctrl+3.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear the newest message in the current channel.

  3. To move up or down in the message list, press the Up or Down arrow key.

Navigate and read threaded conversations

Unlike private chats, conversations in channels are threaded. This means that all replies are contained to each individual post instead of the free-flowing conversation style in the Chat view.

  1. If the conversation you're in is a threaded conversation, the screen reader announces it. To open the threaded conversation, press Enter. You hear the first message in the thread.

  2. To move between messages in a threaded conversation, press the Up or Down arrow key. Your screen reader reads the messages as you move through them.

  3. To open a message for further actions, press Enter. To move the focus back to the threaded conversation, press Esc.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode. In JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode.

  1. To access the Teams view, press Ctrl+3.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear the newest message in the current channel.

  3. Messages are marked as headings. To move between messages, press H or Shift+H. The message list contains the following heading levels:

    • Heading 2: Title of the main content area

    • Heading 3: Date separators in the conversation.

    • Heading 4: Individual messages under a date.

    • Heading 5: Replies to messages.

    Tip: By default, Microsoft Teams loads the 20 newest messages. To display older messages, you must navigate backwards in the message list.

Navigate and read threaded conversations

Unlike private chats, conversations in channels are threaded. This means that all replies are contained to each individual post instead of the free-flowing conversation style in the Chat view.

  1. If the conversation you're in is a threaded conversation, the screen reader announces it. To navigate threaded conversations with JAWS, make sure the virtual cursor mode is off. To switch it off, press Insert+Z. To open the threaded conversation, press Enter. You hear the first message in the thread.

  2. To move between messages in a threaded conversation, press the Up or Down arrow key. Your screen reader reads the messages as you move through them.

  3. To open a message for further actions, press Enter. To move the focus back to the threaded conversation, press Esc.

Tip: You can quickly go to your unread messages using the Search field. To move to the Search field, press Ctrl+E. Type /unread and then press Enter.

Post messages to channels

  1. Tip: With JAWS, make sure the virtual cursor mode is off. To switch it off, press Insert+Z.

    On the Posts tab, with JAWS, press C to move the focus to the message compose box. With NVDA, press the Tab key until you hear "Start a new conversation. Type @ to mention someone."

    Tips: 

    • To expand the compose box to access more editing options, press Ctrl+Shift+X. To collapse the box, press Ctrl+Shift+X again.

    • To make sure your team members see the message, press Ctrl+Shift+I in the compose box to mark the message as important. You hear: "Block quote style removed." Important messages show an Important! label in the channel, and appear as notifications in the Activity Feed for team members.

  2. Type your message. You can also add attachments or even emoji, stickers, or memes.

  3. To send the message, press Ctrl+Enter. You hear: "Sending."

    Tip: When the compose box is not expanded, press Enter to send the message.

For more information on how to write group and private messages and attach files, images, emoticons, stickers, and memes, refer to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams.

Reply to a message

  1. On the Posts tab, navigate to the message you wish to respond to with the arrow keys.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you reach the reply field, and press Enter.

  3. Type the reply and press Enter to send the reply to the channel.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode. In JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode.

  1. On the Posts tab, press H or Shift+H to navigate to the message you wish to respond to.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you reach the reply field, and press Enter.

  3. Type the reply and press Enter to send the reply to the channel.

Enable notifications for a conversation

When notifications are enabled for a conversation, replies to the conversation will appear in the Activity Feed. Notifications are automatically enabled for conversations that you have started or replied to.

  1. In a channel conversation, in the message compose box, press Shift+Tab to go to the last message in the channel.

  2. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the first message in the conversation you want to enable notifications for.

  3. Press Enter. You hear: "Like." You may need to press Enter twice.

  4. Press the Tab key once. You hear: "More options." Press Enter to select.

  5. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Turn on notifications," and then press Enter to select.

    Tip: To disable notifications for the conversation, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Turn off notifications," and press Enter to select.

  6. If you hear a confirmation dialog box prompt, press Spacebar to confirm and apply the change.

  7. To return the focus to the message, press Esc.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode. In JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode.

  1. In a conversation, press H or Shift+H until you hear the first message in the conversation you want to enable or disable notifications for.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear: "Toolbar with 2 buttons."

  3. Press Enter. You hear: "Like." Press the Tab key once. You hear: "More options." Press Enter to select.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Turn on notifications," and then press Enter to select.

    Note: To disable notifications for the conversation, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Turn off notifications," and then press Enter to select.

  5. If you hear a confirmation dialog box prompt, press Spacebar to confirm and apply the change.

  6. To return the focus to the message, press Esc.

Use the Search field commands

In Microsoft Teams you can use the Search field to quickly do things by entering commands.

  1. To go to the Search field, press Ctrl+E.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Type / to open the list of available commands. Navigate the list using the Up and Down arrow keys until you hear the command you want and press Enter to select it.

    • If you know the command you wish to use, type the command in the Search field, and press Enter.

Check if you're a team owner or member

Team owners have additional privileges, such as editing the team settings.

  1. To access the Teams view, press Ctrl+3.

  2. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate to the team you want to check.

  3. Press Shift+F10 to open the More Options menu.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear: “Manage team.”

  5. Press Enter. You hear: “Members.”

  6. To search for yourself in the members list, press the Tab key to move to the search box, and type your name.

  7. Press the Tab key until you hear the screen reader read your name, title, location, and role.

Sign out of Microsoft Teams

  1. Press Ctrl+E to move to the Search field.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Profile, app settings and more," and press Enter.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the sign-out option and then press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to create and modify teams in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Video: What is Microsoft Teams?

Use Microsoft Teams on Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in macOS screen reader, to work seamlessly with your team. Learn how to install, open and sign in and out of the app. Join teams, find, read, and post messages in a channel.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • You can easily access the keyboard shortcuts list from within Microsoft Teams. Press Command+E to go to the Search field, type /keys, and then press Return.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in macOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

In this topic

Install, open, and sign in to Microsoft Teams

Install Microsoft Teams on your computer

  1. In a browser on your Mac, go to https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads. Press the Tab key until you hear "Skip to main content," and press Return.

  2. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Click here to download the Microsoft Teams app on your desktop device," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  3. Press the Right arrow key to navigate the download confirmation dialog. When you reach the Allow button, press Control+Option+Spacebar. The Microsoft Teams app starts downloading.

  4. Press Control+Option+D to jump to the dock. Use the Left or RIght arrow key to move to the Downloads folder, and press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the folder. Press the Tab key once to move to the latest download item and then press Return.

  5. The installer opens. Use the Arrow keys to navigate all the all the items in the installer window or jump straight to the buttons with the Tab key. To click a button, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  6. If your computer asks for your Mac password to allow the installation, type your password and press Return. When the installation is finished, you hear a sound. Press Return to close the dialog.

  7. You hear, "Do you want to move the Microsoft Teams installer to the Bin?" To keep the Microsoft Teams installer, press Return. To move it to the trash, press the Tab key and then Return.

Open and sign in to Microsoft Teams

  1. You can use, for example, Spotlight search to quickly open Microsoft Teams on your Mac. To open Spotlight, press Command+Spacebar. Type Microsoft Teams and press Return.

  2. A Sign in dialog opens. Type the email address of the account you want to sign in with and press Return.

  3. If the account selection dialog opens, press the Tab or Shift+Tab keys to move to the account you want to use. To select it, press Return.

  4. Your organization's sign-in page opens. The focus is in the Password field. Type your password and press Return.

  5. If you have two-step verification in use, you need to verify the sign-in request using the method you have chosen. When approved, the Stay signed-in dialog opens. To reduce the number of times you need to sign in, press Return. Microsoft Teams opens.

Join an existing public team

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Command+3 to access the Teams view.

  2. Press the Tab key to move to Join or create a team, and press Return.

  3. Press the Right arrow key to navigate through the available teams. When you hear the team you want to join, press Return.

    You're added to the team, and the team is added to your list of teams on the Teams view.

Tip: You can also use the Search field at the top to find and join a team. Press Command+E to move to the Search field. Type /join, press Return, and type the name of the team. Press the Down arrow key to go to the search results and press Return to select.

Change your status

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Command+E to go to the Search field.

  2. Type one of the following commands:

    • To set your status to available, type /available and press Return.

    • To set your status to away, type /away and press Return.

    • To set your status to busy, type /busy and press Return.

    • To set your status to do not disturb, type /dnd and press Return.

Find and read new messages in a channel

  1. In Microsoft Teams, to access the latest messages, press Command+1. The Activity view opens.

  2. Press the Tab key until VoiceOver reads the latest message in your feed. To hear the previous message, press the Up arrow key. To go back to the next message, press the Down arrow key.

Tip: You can quickly go to your unread messages using the Search field. To move to the Search field, press Command+E. Type /unread and then press Return. The related conversation with the unread messages opens in the content pane. To navigate to the unread messages, press Control+Option+Command+H until you reach heading level 3, and then press Control+Option+Command+M until you reach the heading Last read. The focus is on the latest unread message. Press the Up arrow key to move to the previous messages.

Navigate and read threaded conversations

  1. To access threaded conversations, press Command+3 to go to the Teams view, or Command+1 to go to the Activity view.

  2. To go to threaded conversations, press the Tab key until VoiceOver announces a tab. If you did not land on the Posts tab, press Option+Left arrow key until VoiceOver announces the tab and press Return.

  3. Press the Tab key repeatedly to move to the threaded conversations. The focus moves to the latest message.

  4. To navigate the separate messages in the conversation, press Return, and then press the Down or Up arrow keys. To navigate away from the conversation, press Esc.

    Tips: You can also use VoiceOver heading navigation, such as Control+Option+Command+H (find next heading) and Control+Option+Command+M (find next heading of the same level) to browse the messages. The heading levels are:

    • Heading 2: Title of the main content area

    • Heading 3: Date separators in the conversation.

    • Heading 4: Individual messages under a date.

    • Heading 5: Replies to messages.

Post messages to channels

  1. On the Posts tab, press C. The focus moves to the message compose box.

    Tips: 

    • To expand the compose box and access more editing options, press Command+Shift+X.

    • The box is automatically collapsed when the message is sent, but you can also press Command+Shift+X again to collapse it.

  2. Type your message.

    Tips: 

    • You can add attachments or even emoji, stickers, or memes to your message. To navigate to the emoji and stickers menus, press the Tab key once, and then press the Right arrow key until you hear the menu you want to open. Press Return to open the menu, and type what you want to search for, or press the Tab key to go straight to the gallery. To navigate the options in the gallery, use the Right or Left arrow keys. To select, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    • To make sure team members see the message, you can press Command+Shift+I in the compose box to mark the message as important. You hear: "Block quote style removed." Important messages are labeled Important! in the channel, and appear as notifications in the Activity Feed for team members.

  3. To send the message, press Command+Return.

    Tip: When the compose box is not expanded, you can send a message by just pressing Return.

For more information on how to write group and private messages and attach files, images, emoticons, stickers, and memes, refer to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams.

Reply to a message

  1. To reply to an existing message or thread, navigate to the message, and press R.

  2. Type your reply and press Return to send it.

Enable notifications for a conversation

When notifications are enabled for a conversation, replies to the conversation will appear in the Activity Feed. Notifications are automatically enabled for conversations that you have started or replied to.

  1. Go to the first message in the conversation you want to enable notifications for, and press Return. You hear: "Like, menu item."

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "More options," and press Return to select.

  3. To enable notifications, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Turn on notifications," and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select.

Note: To disable notifications for the conversation, follow the above steps until you select the More options menu. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Turn off notifications," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar to select.

Use the Search field commands

In Microsoft Teams you can use the Search field to quickly do things by entering commands.

  1. To go to the Search field, press Command+E.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Type / to open the list of available commands. Navigate the list using the Up and Down arrow keys until you hear the command you want and press Enter to select it.

    • If you know the command you want to use, type the command in the Search field, such as /dnd for setting your status to do not disturb, and then press Enter.

Check if you're a team owner or member

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Command+3 to go to the Teams view.

  2. Press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to enter the list pane.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the team you want, and then press Spacebar.

  4. Press the Down arrow key once to move to the Manage team option, and press Return.

  5. Press the Tab key and type your name.

  6. Press the Tab key until you hear the Name header, and then press the Down arrow key. VoiceOver reads your information, including your role in the team.

Sign out of Microsoft Teams

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Command+E to go to the Search field. Press the Tab key once, and then press Return.

  2. The menu opens. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the sign out option, and press Control+Option+Spacebar to sign out.

See also

Use a screen reader to create and modify teams in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Video: What is Microsoft Teams?

Use Microsoft Teams for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader for iOS, to work seamlessly with your team. Learn how to install and open the app, sign in and out. Find, read, and post messages in a channel.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

In this topic

Install and open Microsoft Teams for the first time 

  1. If not already installed on your phone, download and install the Microsoft Teams app from App Store.

  2. On your phone, navigate to the home screen where the app is, swipe right until you hear VoiceOver announce it, and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Account field, text field, Sign-in address," and double-tap the screen.

  4. Use the on-screen keyboard to type the email address you want to sign in with. When done, swipe right until you hear "Go," and double-tap the screen.

  5. You hear "Sign in, Cancel, button," and your organization's sign-in page opens. Swipe right until you hear "Password," and double-tap the screen. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your password. When done, swipe right until you hear "Go," and double-tap the screen.

  6. The app asks for your permission to use the microphone for calls. To allow, swipe right until you hear "OK, button," and double-tap the screen.

    Microsoft Teams opens on the Activity view.

Sign in to Microsoft Teams

  1. Open the Microsoft Teams app on your phone.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Account field, Sign-in address," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Use the on-screen keyboard to type the email address you want to sign in with. When done, swipe right until you hear "Go," and double-tap the screen.

  4. You hear "Sign in. Cancel, button," and your organization's sign-in page opens. Swipe right until you hear "Password," and double-tap the screen. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your password. When done, swipe right until you hear "Go," and double-tap the screen.

    Microsoft Teams opens on the Activity view.

Find and read new messages in a channel

  1. In Microsoft Teams, to move the focus to the app bar, tap the screen with four fingers near the bottom of the screen. You hear: "More tab."

  2. Swipe left until you hear "Activity," followed by the number of unread items, if any. Double-tap the screen. The Activity view opens.

  3. To move the focus to the top of the screen, tap the screen with four fingers near the top of the screen.

  4. To browse to the activity feed, swipe right. VoiceOver announces the latest activity as you move.

  5. To open a conversation, when on the message you want, double-tap the screen. To read a new message, swipe right until VoiceOver reads the message for you.

  6. To close the conversation, tap the screen with four fingers near the top of the screen, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen.

Navigate, read, and reply to threaded conversations

  1. In Microsoft Teams, to go to a team channel, swipe right or left until you hear "Teams tab," and double-tap the screen. The Teams view opens. To browse the channels, swipe right. As you move, VoiceOver announces the channel names followed by "Button."

  2. When on the channel you want to read, double-tap the screen. The channel opens.

  3. To view the latest threaded conversation, make sure the Posts tab is open. To open the Posts tab, swipe right until you hear "Posts tab," and double-tap the screen.

  4. Set the Rotor to Messages.

  5. To go to the latest threaded conversation, swipe down. VoiceOver announces the latest threaded conversation. To browse to older conversations, swipe up.

  6. To open a conversation, when on the message you want, double-tap the screen. The conversation opens.

  7. To reply to the conversation, tap the screen with four fingers near the bottom of the screen, swipe left until you hear "Reply, text field," and double-tap the screen. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your message. To go to the keyboard, swipe right until you hear: "Q." To send the message, swipe left until you hear "Send, button" and double-tap the screen.

    Tip: You can also find the keyboard by exploring the screen. To explore, place a finger on the screen and drag it around. VoiceOver announces the items as you land on them. To select an item, lift your finger and double-tap the screen.

  8. To close the conversation, tap the screen with four fingers near the top of the screen, swipe left until you hear "Back button" and double-tap the screen.

Post messages to channels

Communicate with your team through messages in team channels. You can also flag a message as important. Important messages show an Important! label in the channel, and appear as notifications in the Activity Feed for team members.

  1. Go to the channel where you want to post a message, and make sure the Posts tab is selected. Tap the screen with four fingers near the bottom of the screen. You hear: "New post." Double-tap the screen. You hear: "Type a new message".

  2. Type the message using the on-screen keyboard. To go to the keyboard, swipe right until you hear: "Q."

  3. If you want to mark the message as important, swipe left or right until you hear "Format," and double-tap the screen. You hear: "Important, unselected." Double-tap to select. You hear: "Important, selected."

  4. When done, swipe left or right until you hear "Send, button," and double-tap the screen to send.

For more information on how to write group and private messages and attach files, images, emoticons, stickers, and memes, refer to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams.

Change your availability status

  1. In Microsoft Teams, tap the screen with four fingers near the top of the screen. You hear: "More menu." Double-tap the screen to select.

  2. Swipe right until you hear your current availability status, and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear the status you want, and double-tap the screen to select and apply it.

  4. To exit the menu, swipe left until you hear "Close the More menu," and double-tap the screen.

Sign out of Microsoft Teams

  1. In Microsoft Teams, tap the screen with four fingers near the top of the screen. You hear: "More menu." Double-tap the screen to select.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Settings," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Sign out," and double-tap the screen.

  4. A Sign out confirmation dialog opens. Swipe right until you hear "Sign out," and double-tap the screen to finish signing out.

See also

Use a screen reader to work with files in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Video: What is Microsoft Teams?

Use Microsoft Teams for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to work seamlessly with your team. Learn how to install and open the app, sign in and out. Find, read, and post new messages in a channel.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

In this topic

Install and open Microsoft Teams for the first time

  1. If not already installed on your phone, download and install the Microsoft Teams app from Play Store.

  2. On your phone, navigate to the home screen where the app is, swipe right until TalkBack announces the app, and double-tap the screen to open.

  3. The sign-in screen opens. Swipe right until you hear "Sign in, button," and double-tap the screen.

  4. Use the on-screen keyboard to type the email address of the account you want to sign in with. When done, swipe right to move to the Sign in button, and double-tap the screen.

  5. Your organization’s sign-in page opens. Swipe right until you hear "Edit box," and double-tap the screen. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your password. When done, swipe right until you hear “Sign in, button,” and double-tap the screen.

  6. The Welcome to Microsoft Teams page opens. To hear the page contents, swipe right. To move to the next page, swipe left with two fingers. When you reach the last page, swipe right until you hear “Got it, button,” and double-tap the screen.

    Microsoft Teams opens on the Activity view.

Sign in to Microsoft Teams

  1. Open the Microsoft Teams app on your phone. If you've signed in previously on the same device, that sign-in account is already filled in and TalkBack announces it.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To accept the suggested account, swipe right to the Sign in button, and double-tap the screen.

    • To change the account, swipe left until you hear "Sign in with another account," and double-tap the screen. Use the on-screen keyboard to delete the suggested account, and type the one you want to sign in with. When done, swipe right to the Sign in button, and double-tap the screen.

  3. If you have more than one account associated with your email, you may need to choose the account to use. Swipe right until you hear the account you want to use, and double-tap the screen.

  4. Your organization’s sign-in page opens. Swipe right until you hear "Password, edit box," and double-tap the screen. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your password. When done, close the keyboard, swipe right until you hear “Sign in, button,” and double-tap the screen.

    Microsoft Teams opens on the Activity view.

Find and read new messages in a channel

  1. In Microsoft Teams, to go to the app bar at the bottom of the screen, swipe down-then-up. You hear: "More tab."

  2. Swipe left until you hear "Activity tab," and double-tap the screen. The Activity view opens and your activity feed is displayed.

  3. To move the focus to the top of the screen swipe-up-then-down. You hear: "Navigation button."

  4. To browse to the latest activity feed, swipe right. TalkBack announces the latest activity as you move. New messages are announced, for example: "Unread," followed by the name of the sender, activity, channel name, timestamp, and position.

  5. To open a conversation, when on the message you want, double-tap the screen. You hear: "Post." To read the new message, swipe right until TalkBack reads the message to you.

  6. To close the conversation and return to your feed, swipe down-then-left.

Navigate and read threaded conversations

  1. In Microsoft Teams, to go to the app bar at the bottom of the screen, swipe down-then-up. You hear: "More tab."

  2. Swipe left until you hear: "Teams tab," and double-tap the screen to select. The Teams view opens.

  3. To move the focus to the top of the screen, swipe-up-then-down. You hear: "Navigation button."

  4. To browse the channels, swipe right. As you move, TalkBack announces the channel name followed by the Team name.

  5. When on the channel you want, double-tap the screen. The channel opens.

  6. The latest threaded conversation is displayed automatically. To hear the message, swipe right until you hear a message. To browse to older conversations, swipe left from the latest message. TalkBack announces the conversations as you move.

  7. To open the conversation, when on a message in the conversation, double-tap the screen. The conversation opens.

  8. To reply to a conversation, swipe right until you hear "Reply, edit box" and double-tap the screen. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your message. To send the message, swipe down-then-left to close the keyboard, swipe right or left until you hear "Send message button," and double-tap the screen.

  9. To close the conversation and return to the list of messages, swipe down-then-left.

Post messages to channels

Communicate with your team through messages in team channels. You can also flag a message as important. Important messages show an Important! label in the channel, and appear as notifications in the Activity Feed for team members.

  1. Go to the channel where you want to post a message, and make sure the Posts tab is selected.

  2. Swipe down-then-up. You hear: "New conversation." Double-tap the screen. The text field for typing a new message opens.

  3. Double-tap the screen to open the on-screen keyboard, and type your message.

  4. If you want to mark the message as important, swipe left or right until you hear "Open format message," and double-tap the screen. You hear: "Mark as important button." Double-tap to select. You hear: "Message marked as important."

    To return to typing your message, swipe left until you reach the text field.

  5. When done, swipe right until you hear "Send message," and double-tap the screen.

  6. To return to the list of teams and channels, swipe down-then-left to close the keyboard, then swipe down-then-left again.

For more information on how to write group and private messages and attach files, images, emoticons, stickers, and memes, refer to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams.

Change your availability status

  1. In Microsoft Teams, swipe up-then-down. You hear: "Navigation button." Double-tap the screen to select.

  2. Swipe right until you hear your current status, and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear the status you want, and double-tap the screen to select and apply it.

  4. To exit the navigation pane, swipe down-then-left.

Sign out of Microsoft Teams

  1. In Microsoft Teams, swipe up-then-down. You hear: "Navigation button." Double-tap the screen to select.

  2. Swipe right until you hear “Open Settings,” and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear “Sign Out, button,” and double-tap the screen.

  4. A Sign Out confirmation dialog box opens. Swipe right until you hear “OK, button,” and double-tap the screen to finish signing out.

See also

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to like and save messages in Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Video: What is Microsoft Teams?

Use Microsoft Teams on the web with your keyboard and a screen reader to work seamlessly with your team. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You'll learn how to open the app, sign in and out, join teams, find, read, and post messages in a channel.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • You can easily access the keyboard shortcuts list from within Microsoft Teams on the web. Press Ctrl+E to go to the Search field, type /keys, and then press Enter.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • Recent versions of JAWS no longer have the virtual PC cursor mode set as default for Microsoft Teams. For instructions on how to switch the virtual PC cursor mode on, go to Enable the JAWS virtual cursor.

In this topic

Open Microsoft Teams and sign in

  1. On your computer, open Microsoft Edge, and browse to https://teams.microsoft.com.

  2. A sign-in page opens. If there are several accounts to choose from, press the Tab key to browse the options. To select, press Enter.

  3. Your organization's sign-in page opens. To move between the options, press the Tab key. To select, press Enter.

  4. To navigate to the password field, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Password," and type your password. When done, press Enter.

  5. You hear, "Get Windows app." Press the Tab key until you hear, "Use the web app instead," and press Enter.

Join an existing public team

Tip: You can quickly find and join a team using the Search field. To quickly find a team, press Ctrl+E to move to the Search field. Type / join, press Enter, and type the team name. Press the Down arrow key and then press Enter or Shift+Enter.

  1. On opening the app, press Ctrl+Shift+3 to access the Teams view.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Join or create a team," and press Enter.

  3. To check if the team you want to join is one of the suggested teams, press the Tab key until you hear: "Create a team." Press the Right or Left arrow key to browse through the suggested teams. If you find the team you want to join, press Enter. You are added to the team and it is added to your list of teams on the Teams view.

  4. If the team wasn't in list of the suggested teams, you can search for a team to join. Press Shift+Tab until you hear: "Search." Type the name of the team you'd like to join, and press Enter. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Create a team." Then press the Right or Left arrow key to cycle through the search results. When you hear the team you want to join, press Enter.

Change your availability status

  1. Press Ctrl+E to move to the Search field, and then press the Tab key. You hear: "Profile, app settings, and more."

  2. Press Enter. You hear: "Change your status."

  3. Press Enter to open the status options menu. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the status option you want, and press Enter to apply your selection. Your availability status is changed and the focus returns to the Profile and app settings menu item.

Find and read new messages in a channel

When a new message arrives, your screen reader reads the text and message details. You can also browse for messages on a channel's Posts tab.

Tip: You can quickly go to your unread messages using the Search field. To move to the Search field, press Ctrl+E. Type /unread and then press Enter.

  1. In a channel, press the Tab key or Alt+Left or Right arrow key until you hear: "Posts." Microsoft Teams on the web selects the latest message by default.

  2. To move up and down in the message list, use the Up and Down arrow keys.

    Tip: By default, Microsoft Teams loads the 20 newest messages. To display older messages, you must navigate backwards in the message list.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode, in JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode, and in Narrator it is called the scan mode.

  1. In a channel, press the Tab key or Alt+Left or Right arrow key until you hear: "Posts." Microsoft Teams on the web selects the latest message by default.

  2. Messages are marked as headings. To move between them, press H (forward) or Shift+H (backward). The message list contains the following heading levels:

    • Heading 2: Title of the main content area

    • Heading 3: Date separators in the conversation.

    • Heading 4: Individual messages under a date.

    • Heading 5: Replies to messages.

    Tip: By default, Microsoft Teams loads the 20 newest messages. To display older messages, you must navigate backwards in the message list.

Navigate and read threaded conversations

Unlike private chats, conversations in channels are threaded. This means that all replies are contained to each individual post instead of the free-flowing conversation style in the Chat view.

  1. If the conversation you're in is a threaded conversation, you hear: "Threaded conversation." To open the threaded conversation, press Enter. You hear the first message in the thread.

  2. To move between the messages in a threaded conversation, press the Up or Down arrow key. Your screen reader reads the messages as you move through them.

  3. To open a message for further actions, press Enter. To move the focus back to the threaded conversation, press Esc.

Post messages to channels

  1. On the Posts tab, press C. The focus moves to the message compose box.

    Tips: 

    • To expand the compose box to access more editing options, press Ctrl+Shift+X. To collapse the box, press Ctrl+Shift+X again.

    • To make sure the team members see the message, press Ctrl+Shift+I in the compose box to mark the message as important. You hear: "Block quote style removed." Important messages show an Important! label in the channel, and appear as notifications in the Activity Feed for team members.

  2. Type your message. You can also add attachments or even emoji, stickers, or memes.

  3. To send the message, press Ctrl+Enter.

For more information on how to write group and private messages and attach files, images, emoticons, stickers, and memes, refer to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams.

Reply to a message

  1. On the Posts tab, navigate to the message you wish to respond to with the Up and Down arrow keys.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Reply," and press Enter.

  3. Type the reply and press Enter to send.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode, in JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode, and in Narrator it is called the scan mode.

  1. On the Posts tab, to navigate to the message you wish to respond to, press H (forward) or Shift+H (backward).

  2. With Narrator, press the R key to move the focus to the reply field. Otherwise, press the H key until you hear "Reply," and press Enter.

  3. Type the reply and press Enter to send.

Enable notifications for a conversation

When notifications are enabled for a conversation, replies to the conversation will appear in the Activity Feed. Notifications are automatically enabled for conversations that you have started or replied to.

  1. In a channel conversation, in the message compose box, press Shift+Tab to go to the last message in the channel.

  2. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the first message in the conversation you want to enable notifications for.

  3. Press Enter. You hear: "Like." Press the Tab key once. You hear: "More options." Press Enter to select.

  4. To enable notifications for the conversation, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Turn on notifications," and then press Enter to select.

    Note: To disable notifications for the conversation, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Turn off notifications," and then press Enter to select.

  5. If you hear a confirmation dialog box prompt, press Enter to confirm and apply the change.

  6. To return the focus to the message, press Esc.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode. In JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode.

  1. In a conversation, press H or Shift+H until you hear the first message in the conversation you want to enable or disable notifications for.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear: "Toolbar with 2 buttons."

  3. Press Enter. You hear: "Like."

  4. Press the Tab key once. You hear: "More options." Press Enter to select.

  5. With Narrator, press I until you hear "Turn on notifications," and then press Enter.

    With JAWS and NVDA, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Turn on notifications," and then press Enter.

    Note: To disable notifications for the conversation, with Narrator, press I until you hear "Turn off notifications," and then press Enter to select. With JAWS and NVDA, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Turn off notifications," and press Enter.

  6. If you hear a confirmation dialog box prompt, press Enter to confirm and apply the change.

  7. To return the focus to the message, press Esc.

Use the Search field commands

In Microsoft Teams, you can use Search field commands to quickly do things.

  1. To go to the Search field, press Ctrl+E.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Type a forward slash (/) to open the list of available commands. To navigate the list, press the Up or Down arrow key until you reach the command you want, and press Enter to select it.

    • If you know the command you wish to use, type the command in the Search field, and press Enter.

Check if you're a team owner or member

Team owners have additional privileges, such as editing the team settings.

  1. To access the Teams view, press Ctrl+Shift+3.

  2. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate to the team you want to check.

  3. Press Shift+F10 to open the More Options menu.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear: “Manage team.”

  5. Press Enter. You hear: “Members.”

  6. To search for yourself in the members list, press the Tab key to move to the search box and type your name.

  7. Press the Tab key until you hear “Name,” and then press the Down arrow key. The screen reader reads your name, title, location, and role.

Sign out of Microsoft Teams

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear "Profile, app settings and more," and press Enter.

  2. Press the Down arrow key repeatedly until you hear the sign out option, and press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to create and modify teams in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Video: What is Microsoft Teams?

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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