Learn how to navigate Microsoft Teams using accessibility features

Learn how to navigate Microsoft Teams using accessibility features

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This article is for people 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.

Microsoft Teams includes accessibility features that make it easy for users with limited dexterity, low vision, or other disabilities to chat privately or in teams. This means you can use keyboard shortcuts and a screen reader to work with Microsoft Teams. For more information about accessibility settings and features that are platform-specific, refer to Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365.

Notes: 

In this topic

Get to know the Microsoft Teams layout

When you open Microsoft Teams, the name of the current view is centered at the top of the screen. Microsoft Teams usually opens to the last view you used. A vertical toolbar resides on the left side of the screen. Its upper left corner contains buttons for the main views: Activity, Chat, Teams, Meetings, and Files. Some buttons may not be available, depending on your account type. In the lower left corner of the toolbar are the buttons for Feedback and Settings.

The rest of the screen is divided into two panes. Pane content depends on the current view. The left or list pane is used to navigate within the view. It always contains the Search field. The rest of its contents depend on the selected view. For example, if you select Chat on the toolbar, the left pane contains a list of your favorite, recent, and suggested contacts.

The right or main pane takes up most of the screen. It shows the content of the selection you have made in the left pane. For example, if you selected Chat on the toolbar, and then selected a recent contact in the left pane, the right pane contains your conversation history with that person. The right pane also has tabs to keep the content organized. For example, in Chat view, the Conversation tab contains the conversation history, the Files tab contains a list of the files shared between you and the selected contact, the Organization tab shows the position of the selected contact in the organization chart, and so on.

Navigate using the keyboard

To navigate to the main views of Microsoft Teams, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Press Alt+1 for Activity

  • Press Alt+2 for Chat

  • Press Alt+3 for Teams

  • Press Alt+4 for Meetings

  • Press Alt+5 for Files

To cycle through the screen elements in the current view, press Ctrl+F6 (forward) or Shift+Ctrl+F6 (backward). To browse within the toolbar or the main pane, press the Up or Down arrow keys. To move between items in the list pane, press Alt+Up or Down arrow. To move between tabs in the main pane, press Alt+Left or Right arrow. To select an item, press Enter. To close a dialog or move focus back, press Esc.

To access the Search field in any view, press Alt+E.

For more details, refer to Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams.

See also

Use a screen reader to privately message or chat in Microsoft Teams

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

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Microsoft Teams on Mac includes accessibility features that make it easy for users with limited dexterity, low vision, or other disabilities to chat privately or in teams. This means you can use keyboard shortcuts and a screen reader to work with Microsoft Teams on Mac. For more information about accessibility settings and features that are platform-specific, refer to Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365.

Notes: 

In this topic

Get to know the Microsoft Teams layout

When you open Microsoft Teams on Mac, the name of the current view is centered at the top of the screen. Microsoft Teams on Mac usually opens to the last view you used. A vertical toolbar resides on the left side of the screen. Its upper left corner contains buttons for the main views: Activity, Chat, Teams, Meetings, and Files. Some buttons may not be available, depending on your account type. In the lower left corner of the toolbar are the buttons for Feedback and Settings.

The rest of the screen is divided into two panes. Pane content depends on the current view. The left or list pane is used to navigate within the view. It always contains the Search field. The rest of its contents depend on the selected view. For example, if you select Chat on the toolbar, the left pane contains a list of your favorite, recent, and suggested contacts.

The right or main pane takes up most of the screen. It shows the content of the selection you have made in the left pane. For example, if you selected Chat on the toolbar, and then selected a recent contact in the left pane, the right pane contains your conversation history with that person. The right pane also has tabs to keep the content organized. For example, in Chat view, the Conversation tab contains the conversation history, the Files tab contains a list of the files shared between you and the selected contact, the Organization tab shows the position of the selected contact in the organization chart, and so on.

Navigate using the keyboard

To navigate to the main views of Microsoft Teams on Mac, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Press Option+1 for Activity

  • Press Option+2 for Chat

  • Press Option+3 for Teams

  • Press Option+4 for Meetings

  • Press Option+5 for Files

To cycle through the screen elements in the current view, press Command+F6 (forward) or Shift+Command+F6 (backward). To browse within the toolbar or the main pane, press the Up or Down arrow keys. To move between items in the list pane, press Option+Up or Down arrow. To move between tabs in the main pane, press Option+Left or Right arrow. To select an item, press Enter. To close a dialog or move focus back, press Esc.

To access the Search field in any view, press Option+E.

For more details, refer to Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams.

See also

Use a screen reader to privately message or chat in Microsoft Teams

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

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Microsoft Teams for iOS includes accessibility features that make it easy for users with limited dexterity, low vision, or other disabilities to chat privately or in teams using Microsoft Teams for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader for iOS. For more information about accessibility settings and features that are platform-specific, refer to Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

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

  • This topic assumes that you are using an iPhone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an iPad.

In this topic

Get to know the Microsoft Teams for iOS layout

When you open Microsoft Teams for iOS, the name of the current view is centered at the top of the screen. The first time you open Microsoft Teams the Alerts view opens, showing the latest activity Feed.

At the bottom of the screen you can find buttons for selecting the main views that are, from left to right: Alerts, Chat, and Teams. The fourth button is More.

The Alerts view shows the following items at the top of the screen from left to right: Search, the Activity Selection menu, and the Filter Activities button. Use Search to find people, messages, and files. The Activity Selection menu contains the Feed that lists all recent activities, My Activity that lists your personal activities, and Team Activity that lists your team's activities. Using the Filter Activities button you can select and apply a filter to sort and distinguish the type of messages and activities you want to find. You can filter the messages based on five options: Unread, Mentions, Replies, Following, and Likes.

The current activity is listed in the middle of the screen with the most recent activities at the top of the list. The contents shown depend on the selected view, and whether you've applied any filters or searches.

You can access your private chats in the Chat view. In this view you can type new messages and even make audio or video calls.

The teams you've joined are listed in the Teams view. In this view you can manage your team's members and channels, or leave a team.

Behind the More button you can find additional options, such as saved conversations and app settings. You can also edit your profile picture and change your availability status. The app settings contain options for notifications, showing and clearing history, finding help articles, signing out of the app, and more.

Navigate using touch

To cycle through the elements on the screen in Microsoft Teams for iOS, swipe right with one finger. VoiceOver announces the items as you reach them. To cycle through in reverse order, swipe left. To select or activate an item or to open a menu, double-tap the screen.

You can also explore the items on the screen using touch gestures. To explore, place a finger on the screen and drag it around slowly. VoiceOver focus follows your finger and VoiceOver announces the item in focus. To select an item, lift your finger and double-tap the screen. For example, to reply to a message, first select the message and double-tap the screen to open the conversation, then place your finger on the screen and drag it all the way to the bottom of the screen until you hear: "Reply, text field." Lift your finger and double-tap to select the field. You can now type a reply using the on-screen keyboard in the bottom half of the screen.

To use Search in any of the main views, navigate to the top left corner of the screen, double-tap the screen, and type the search words using the on-screen keyboard at the bottom half of the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to privately message or chat in Microsoft Teams

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

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Microsoft Teams for Android includes accessibility features that make it easier for people with disabilities like limited dexterity or low vision to chat privately or in teams using Microsoft Teams for Android. For more information about accessibility settings and features that are platform-specific, see Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

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

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with an Android phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an Android tablet.

In this topic

Get to know the Microsoft Teams for Android layout

When you open Microsoft Teams for Android, the name of the current view is centered at the top of the screen. The first time you open Microsoft Teams, the Activity view opens, showing the latest activity Feed.

At the bottom of the screen you can find buttons for selecting the main views that are, from left to right: Activity, Chat, and Teams. The fourth button is More.

The Activity view shows the following items at the top of the screen from left to right: the Filter Activities button, the Activity Selection menu, and the Search. Using the Filter Activities button you can select and apply a filter to sort and distinguish the type of messages and activities you want to find. You can filter the messages based on five options: Unread, Mentions, Replies, Following, and Likes. The Activity Selection menu contains the Feed that lists all recent activities, My Activity that lists your personal activities, and Team Activity that lists your team's activities. Use Search to find people, messages, and files.

The current activity is listed in the middle of the screen with the most recent activities at the top of the list. The contents shown depend on the selected view, and whether you've applied any filters or searches.

You can access your private chats in the Chat view. In this view you can type new messages and even make audio or video calls.

The teams you've joined are listed in the Teams view. In this view you can manage your team's members and channels, or leave a team.

Behind the More button you can find additional options, such as saved conversations, shared files, and app settings. You can also edit your profile picture and change your availability status. The app settings contain options for notifications, settings for storage and logging, issue reporting, signing out of the app, and more.

Navigate using touch

To cycle through the elements on the screen in Microsoft Teams for Android, swipe right with one finger. TalkBack announces the items as you reach them. To cycle through in reverse order, swipe left. To select or activate an item or to open a menu, double-tap the screen.

You can also explore the items on the screen using touch gestures. To explore, place a finger on the screen and drag it around slowly. TalkBack focus follows your finger and TalkBack announces the item in focus. To select an item, lift your finger and double-tap the screen. For example, to reply to a message, first select the message and double-tap the screen to open the conversation, then place your finger on the screen and drag it all the way to the bottom of the screen until you hear: "Reply, edit box, out of list." Lift your finger and double-tap to select the text field. You can now type a reply using the on-screen keyboard in the bottom half of the screen.

To use Search in any of the main views, navigate to the top right corner of the screen, double-tap the screen, and type the search words using the on-screen keyboard at the bottom half of the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to privately message or chat in Microsoft Teams

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

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Microsoft Teams on the web includes accessibility features that make it easy for users with limited dexterity, low vision, or other disabilities to chat privately or in teams. This means you can use keyboard shortcuts and a screen reader to work with Microsoft Teams on the web.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

  • When you use Microsoft Teams on the web, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because Microsoft Teams on the web runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Microsoft Teams on the web.

In this topic

Get to know the Microsoft Teams layout

When you open Microsoft Teams on the web, the name of the current view is centered at the top of the screen. Microsoft Teams on the web usually opens to the last view you used. A vertical toolbar resides on the left side of the screen. Its upper left corner contains buttons for the main views: Activity, Chat, Teams, Meetings, and Files. Some buttons may not be available, depending on your account type. In the lower left corner of the toolbar are the buttons for Feedback and Settings.

The rest of the screen is divided into two panes. Pane content depends on the current view. The left or list pane is used to navigate within the view. It always contains the Search field. The rest of its contents depend on the selected view. For example, if you select Chat on the toolbar, the left pane contains a list of your favorite, recent, and suggested contacts.

The right or main pane takes up most of the screen. It shows the content of the selection you have made in the left pane. For example, if you selected Chat on the toolbar, and then selected a recent contact in the left pane, the right pane contains your conversation history with that person. The right pane also has tabs to keep the content organized. For example, in Chat view, the Conversation tab contains the conversation history, the Files tab contains a list of the files shared between you and the selected contact, the Organization tab shows the position of the selected contact in the organization chart, and so on.

Navigate using the keyboard

To navigate to the main views of Microsoft Teams on the web, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Press Alt+1 for Activity

  • Press Alt+2 for Chat

  • Press Alt+3 for Teams

  • Press Alt+4 for Meetings

  • Press Alt+5 for Files

To cycle through the screen elements in the current view, press Ctrl+F6 (forward) or Shift+Ctrl+F6 (backward). To browse within the toolbar or the main pane, press the Up or Down arrow keys. To move between items in the list pane, press Alt+Up or Down arrow. To move between tabs in the main pane, press Alt+Left or Right arrow. To select an item, press Enter. To close a dialog or move focus back, press Esc.

To access the Search field in any view, press Alt+E.

See also

Use a screen reader to privately message or chat in Microsoft Teams

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

Basic tasks when using a screen reader with 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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