Learn how to navigate OneDrive using accessible features

Learn how to navigate OneDrive using accessible features

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.

OneDrive includes accessibility features that make it easy for users with limited dexterity, low vision, or other disabilities to store and share files across devices. Many accessibility features, such as a screen reader, magnifier, or speech recognition are built-in to your computer or device. To find out how to use these features, see Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365.

OneDrive is built into Windows 10 and appears automatically in File Explorer as a location where you can save files. Files that you save to OneDrive are available online at OneDrive.com and offline on your PC, so you can use them anytime—even when you’re not connected to the Internet. When you reconnect, OneDrive syncs the online files with the files on your computer.

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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in OneDrive app for Windows 10.

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

In this topic

Get to know the OneDrive layout

The OneDrive app is built into Windows 10 and integrated with File Explorer as a location where you can save files. In File Explorer, OneDrive is listed as a drive in the tree view navigation pane. When you select OneDrive, its name is in the title bar at the top of the File Explorer window.

Below the title bar is a set of ribbon tabs: File, Home, Share, and View. The ribbon sits below this row of tabs. When you select a tab, a tab-specific ribbon appears. Each ribbon includes commands organized in groups. For example, if you select the Home tab, a ribbon which contains common commands appears, along with the Clipboard, to help you organize files or to make selections. If you select the Share tab, you see a ribbon which you can use to send or share selected files.

Below the ribbon are navigation controls, like Back, Forward, and Up One Level. An address bar lists the current path. Next to the address bar is the OneDrive search box.

Under the navigation controls is the structure of folders and files stored in OneDrive, and this structure makes up the majority of the page. The left pane contains the tree view navigation pane, which includes the higher level folder structure of your documents, music, pictures, and public files. The main view contains the list of folders and files in the item selected in the tree view.

When you select a folder in the main view, that folder opens and displays a list of its sub-folders and files. When you select a file, it opens in the appropriate application, such as Word or Excel.

Navigate using the keyboard

To navigate in the OneDrive app for Windows 10 and to cycle through screen elements, press the Tab key (forward) or Shift+Tab (backward). To select an item, press Enter. To browse within menus or lists, press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key, and then, to make a selection, press Enter. To exit a menu or mode, press Esc.

As you move around the areas of the OneDrive window, your screen reader provides information about the area which has the focus, whether it’s the menu bar, the tree view, or the main view of folders and files. For more information on using the OneDrive app for Windows 10 with a screen reader to open, upload, download, and share files, and for information about keyboard shortcuts, refer to Basic tasks using a screen reader with OneDrive.

See also

Keyboard shortcuts in OneDrive app for Windows 10

Basic tasks using a screen reader with OneDrive

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

OneDrive includes accessibility features that make it easy for users with limited dexterity, low vision, or other disabilities to store and share files across devices.

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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Complete guide to 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 OneDrive, we recommend that you use Internet Explorer as your browser. Because OneDrive 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 OneDrive.

In this topic

Get to know the OneDrive layout

OneDrive runs in your web browser. In the browser window, the OneDrive name shows in the toolbar, along with the Office 365 app launcher that contains tiles for Microsoft services and Office Online applications, including Mail (Outlook.com), Excel Online, OneNote, and more. The toolbar also contains commands to get notifications, manage your options, get help, and sign out.

Under the toolbar is a menu bar that contains a search box, view options, and the information command. When you work with your files, the menu bar also includes commands to create or upload new files, open or download a selected file, or sort files in various ways. If you select the information command, an information pane opens on the right side of the main OneDrive window and offers details about any selected folder or file.

Under the menu bar is the structure of folders and files stored in OneDrive. If you’re working with a wide screen such as a desktop computer, a left pane lists the navigation tree including the view categories of files, recently viewed files, photos, shared files, and the recycle bin. If you’re working with a narrow screen such as a phone, the view categories are available in a menu of additional options on the toolbar instead of in a left pane. The main window view contains the list of the folders and files for the selected view category.

When you select a folder in the main view, that folder opens and displays a list of its sub-folders and files. When you drill down to a lower level, the menu changes to include commands such as open, share, download, move, and copy selected files. The available commands change depending on whether anything is selected or not and on the type of item selected.

When you select a file, it might open in the current browser tab or in a separate browser tab (for example, in Word Online or Excel Online).

Navigate using the keyboard

To navigate in OneDrive and to cycle through the groups of screen elements, press the Tab key (to go forward) or Shift+Tab (to go backward). To select an item, press Enter. To browse within menus or lists, press the Up or Down arrow key. To select an item, press Enter. To exit a menu or mode, press Esc. .

As you move around the areas of the OneDrive window, your screen reader provides information about the area where the focus is, whether it’s the menu bar (you hear “Search box”), the tree view (you hear either “OneDrive” or your name), or the main view (you hear “List of folders and files”).

See also

Basic tasks using a screen reader with OneDrive

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.

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×