Use a screen reader to sync OneDrive for Business

Use a screen reader to sync OneDrive for Business

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 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 Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, and keyboard shortcuts to synchronize your OneDrive for Business files to your computer. Synchronizing enables you to work with your OneDrive for Business files directly in File Explorer and to access them even when you're offline. Whenever you're online, any changes that you or others have made will be synced.

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In this topic

Sync using the OneDrive sync client

If you have the new OneDrive sync client on your computer, your files are synced automatically when you're signed in to OneDrive on your computer. For information on setting up and signing in, go to Sign in to OneDrive for Business.

Sync using the OneDrive for Business sync client

If you're using the previous OneDrive for Business sync client, follow the instructions below to sync.

If you're not sure which sync client you have, go to Which version of OneDrive am I using.

  1. In your browser, sign in to Office 365 or your organization's SharePoint site with your work or school account.

    Note: If you need more information about signing in to Office 365, see Where to sign in to Office 365 for business.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “App launcher,” and then press Enter.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear “OneDrive,” and then press Enter.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear “New.”

  5. Press the Right arrow key until you hear “Sync.” (In Narrator, you hear “Sync, Menu item.”) Then, press Enter. The Sync dialog box opens, and you hear “Sync this library to your device for easy access.”

  6. To start sync, press the Tab key until you hear “Sync now” and then press Enter. An Internet security dialog box opens, and you hear “Do you want to allow this website to open a program on your computer?”

  7. In the security dialog box, to grant permission, press Alt+A or tab until you hear “Allow,” and then press Enter.

  8. The OneDrive for Business dialog box opens with the Show my files button selected, and you hear “Microsoft OneDrive for Business, Show my files button.” The dialog box includes the web address of your OneDrive for Business and the location on your computer where the library will be saved.

    At this point, a security dialog box may open. If this dialog box requires that you enter the email address of your Office 365 account, do the following:

    1. Type in the email address of your account, press the Tab key to move to the Next button and then press Enter.

    2. The Sign in window opens with the Password edit field selected. Type your password.

    3. Press the Tab key to move to the Sign In button, and then press Enter. The Sign In window closes, and the OneDrive for Business dialog box reappears with the Show my files button selected.

  9. To display your files as they sync, press Spacebar. File Explorer opens with the focus on the list of documents in your OneDrive for Business folder, and you hear “OneDrive for Business, Items view” and the name of the first item in the list. (In Narrator, you hear “OneDrive for Business window, Table items view,” and the name of the first item.)

File Explorer lists your OneDrive for Business folder in the Navigation pane as either OneDrive – CompanyName or OneDrive @ CompanyName.

After your documents have been synced to your computer, you can save Microsoft Office files directly to your OneDrive for Business folder. In the file you want to save, press Alt+F, A, and then A. In the Save As list, press the Up arrow or Down arrow key to select your OneDrive for Business folder and then press Enter.

Stop syncing your OneDrive for Business folder

  1. With the focus on the desktop, press F6 to move to the Start button.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Notification chevron button,” and then press Spacebar. The Notification overflow pane opens.

  3. Press the Up arrow key until you hear “OneDrive <CompanyName>, <status>.”

  4. To open the context menu, press Shift+F10.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear "More options button." Press Enter to open the menu, and then S to open Settings.

  6. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Stop sync, link," and press Enter.

  7. A confirmation dialog opens with the focus on the Unlink account button. To stop syncing your OneDrive for Business folder, press Enter.

Sync a folder manually

  1. With the focus on the desktop, press F6 to move to the Start button.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Notification chevron button,” and then press Spacebar. The Notification overflow pane opens.

  3. Press the Up arrow key until you hear “OneDrive <CompanyName>, <status>.”

  4. To open the context menu, press Shift+F10.

  5. To manually sync a folder by using the Sync now button , press N. When you’re on your network, OneDrive for Business automatically syncs folders with their SharePoint libraries approximately every 10 minutes.

View and fix sync problems

If you encounter issues with syncing with OneDrive for Business, try the following steps to view and then fix the problems.

  1. With the focus on the desktop, press F6 to move to the Start button.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear “Notification chevron button,” and then press Spacebar. The Notification overflow pane opens.

  3. Press the Up arrow keyuntil you hear “OneDrive <CompanyName>, <status>.”

  4. To open the context menu, press Shift+F10.

  5. Select from the following options:

    • To view sync problems, press V. The OneDrive for Business dialog box opens, and you hear “Leaving menu, File Explorer, Items view, OneDrive for Business dialog, [X] items can’t be synced with OneDrive for Business” and the name of the first file.

      To move through the list of files, press the Down arrow key. Select the file you want to open, press the Tab key to move to the Open item button, and then press Enter. In the opened file, fix the problem that is causing the sync problem and save the file.

    • This option repairs libraries that are not in sync. It syncs the server versions of these libraries to your computer and backs up any local files that have unsynced changes.

      To run Repair, press E. A OneDrive for Business dialog box opens, with the focus on the Repair button. To repair, press Enter.

More information

See also

Keyboard shortcuts for OneDrive for Business in Windows

Basic tasks using a screen reader with OneDrive for Business

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate OneDrive for Business using accessible features

Keep files and folders on your Mac in sync with your OneDrive for Business in the cloud using a keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader for Mac OS.

Notes: 

In this topic

Sync using the OneDrive app

Your OneDrive files are synced automatically when you're signed in to OneDrive on your computer. As you set up the OneDrive app on your Mac, you are asked to select the files and folders you want to sync. When the set-up is done, the selected content is automatically synced to your Mac. For the set-up instructions, refer to section Open OneDrive and set up OneDrive for Business in Basic tasks using a screen reader with OneDrive for Business.

Sync using the Office 365 portal

  1. Go to the Office 365 page in your browser, and sign in to your organizational account.

  2. Press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear: “Install Office apps.” Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Link, OneDrive," and press Return.

  3. Press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear: “New.” The focus is on the Files view.

  4. Press the Right arrow key repeatedly until you hear “Sync,” and press Return.

  5. A confirmation dialog opens asking if you want to allow opening OneDrive. Press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear “Allow,” and press Return.

  6. The Sync Files from Your OneDrive dialog opens. In this dialog, you can select the folders and files you want to sync to your OneDrive folder on your Mac.

    Select what you want to do:

    • To sync all the selected OneDrive files and folders to your Mac, press Return.

    • You can also pick separately the OneDrive files and folders that you want to sync. To navigate between the items in the dialog, press Control+Option+Left or Right arrow key. To enter the table, press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key. To select or deselect an item or a checkbox, press Spacebar. To leave the table, press Control+Option+Shift+Up arrow key. When the selections are done, press Control+Option+Right arrow key to navigate to the Start Sync button, and press Return.

For more information, see OneDrive for Mac: FAQ.

See also

Basic tasks using a screen reader with OneDrive for Business

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate OneDrive for Business using accessible features

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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