Use a screen reader to explore and navigate OneDrive

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate OneDrive

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 OneDrive with your keyboard and a screen reader to explore and navigate the different views and move between them. We have tested it with Narrator, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

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: 

In this topic

Navigate to OneDrive and to a OneDrive folder in the navigation pane

The OneDrive app is integrated with the Windows 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.

Warning: To check if the navigation pane view is on, press Alt+V, N. If you hear "Navigation pane, menu item, checked," the pane view is on. If you hear "Navigation pane, menu item," the pane view is off. Press Spacebar to turn the pane view on.

  1. To open File Explorer, press the Windows logo key+E.

  2. Press F6 until you hear: "Tree view."

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear: "OneDrive."

  4. With the focus on OneDrive, press Alt+Enter to expand the contents list.

  5. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the name of the folder you want, and then press Enter to open it in the main content area.

    Tip: If you hear the folder name followed by "Collapsed," the folder has subfolders. To expand the folder, press Alt+Enter.

Navigate the OneDrive main content area

  1. Navigate to and select a OneDrive folder as instructed above.

  2. To navigate to the main content area, press the Tab key until you hear: "Items view."

  3. To browse the list of items, use the Up and Down arrow keys.

  4. When you hear the item you want, press Enter to select it.

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

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

Use OneDrive with your keyboard and a screen reader to explore and navigate the different views and move between them. We have tested it with Narrator, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

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.

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

  • 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

Navigate the OneDrive main view

The OneDrive main view contains the following main elements:

  • The toolbar at the top of the screen

  • Navigation pane on the left

  • The main content area to the right of the navigation pane

To navigate between the elements in the main view, press the Tab key (to go forward) or Shift+Tab (to go backward), until you hear the one you want.

Navigate the OneDrive toolbar

The toolbar at the top of the screen shows the app launcher that contains tiles for Microsoft services and applications. The toolbar also contains options to manage notifications, settings, and your account, find help, and sign out.

  1. To navigate to the toolbar, press the Tab key until you hear: "App launcher."

  2. To move on the toolbar, press the Tab key until you hear the option you want, and then press Enter to select it.

Navigate the navigation pane

The navigation pane on the left, below the toolbar, contains an upper level tree view of the contents of your OneDrive with categories such as Files, Recent, and Photos.

  1. To navigate to the navigation pane, press the Tab key until you hear "OneDrive," followed by a description on how to move in the pane.

  2. To move in the pane, press the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear the category you want, and then press Enter to select it.

Navigate the main content area

The main content area contains the folders and files in the selected category. Depending on the selected category, the main content area may also show a task bar at the top of the area.

  • To navigate between the screen elements, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab.

  • To browse menus and lists, press the Up or Down arrow keys.

  • To move on the task bar, press the Left or Right arrow keys.

  • To select a file to display further options or actions on the toolbar, press Spacebar.

  • To select and activate an item, button, or option, press Enter.

    For example, when you're on a Word Online file and press Enter, the file opens in Word Online, either in the current browser tab or in a separate tab.

    If you're on a folder and press Enter, that folder displays its subfolders and files in the main content area.

The menus and the toolbar are context sensitive. Depending on the selected item and the level of the item in the tree, the content of the menus and toolbar may change.

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.

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