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Quick Start Guide: Moving from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams for people using a screen reader

Quick Start Guide: Moving from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams for people using a screen reader

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.

If your company or organization has just moved from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams, or plans to soon, you’re in the right place! Perhaps you’ve never used Microsoft Teams and are wondering how it handles the everyday things you already know how to do with a screen reader in Skype for Business. We are here to guide you through with this quick start guide to get you navigating this feature-packed tool seamlessly.

Microsoft Teams is part of Office 365 and has been designed to bring people, conversations, and content together in one convenient interface. Teams has many of the same features and functions as Skype for Business plus a few more we think you’ll like. Chat with people, make video and audio calls, and schedule and attend online meetings just like in Skype for Business. With Teams you can now coauthor and share files with popular Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, take meeting notes, and send follow-up messages to co-workers without ever leaving the Microsoft Teams app.

What exactly is a Team anyway? A Team is a group of co-workers that collaborate on a project together. You might end up on more than one if working on multiple projects. Within each Team are “channels” to keep the discussions organized. For example, you work for a company with multiple clients. Each client project might be set up with its own Team. That team could then have a general channel for announcements and communication, then separate channels for people who work on Product A and Product B, one channel for casual chatter, and so on. Microsoft Teams also stores files related to discussions so that they are easily accessible. If Bob shares a PowerPoint presentation on his team channel, it can be opened directly from that channel – no need to go hunting on a network drive or dig through your email. This powerful tool allows you to customize your workspace and set up a Team in a way that works best for you.

Read on for details and other resources to learn how to do some of the most important tasks in Teams with your computer or device.

You can use Microsoft Teams with your keyboard and a screen reader, such as JAWS or NVDA.

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 for Microsoft Teams.

  • This topic assumes that you are using JAWS. To learn about JAWS for Windows, refer to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

  • This topic makes note of the NVDA functionality as well. To learn more about NVDA, go to NV Access | Get Help.

  • 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

Open Microsoft Teams

  1. Press the Windows logo key and type Microsoft Teams.

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

  3. Type your email, phone, or Skype name when your screen reader asks you to log in.

  4. Press the Tab key until you reach the Next button, and then press Enter.

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

  6. Depending on the sign-in method, follow the prompts as your 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 until you reach the Sign in button, and then press Enter.

Change your status

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

  2. Do one of the following:

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

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

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

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

Send and receive private chats

Chats are only visible to the specific people in that chat.

Start a chat

  1. Press Ctrl+2 to open the Chat view.

  2. With JAWS, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: "Chat list." With NVDA, you hear: "Tab control."

  3. Press the Tab key once, and then press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the name of the contact you want to chat with, followed by their availability information.

  4. Press Enter, type your message, and press Enter again. The message is sent.

Read chats

  1. Press Ctrl+2 to open the Chat view.

  2. With JAWS, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: "Chat list." With NVDA, you hear: "Tab control."

  3. Press the Tab key once, and then press the Up or Down arrow key until you find the chat you want.

  4. Press Enter to open the chat in the content pane. To browse the messages with JAWS, press the H or Shift+H keys to move between the different headings in the list. 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

    With NVDA, to browse the messages, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you find the most recent message. Then switch to focus mode by pressing the NVDA key+Spacebar, and use the Up and Down arrow keys.

Reply to chats

To reply to a chat, locate the right contact as described in Start a chat, type your message in the message compose box, and press Enter.

Start and reply to conversations

Conversations happen in Team channels and are visible to everyone in that Team.

Start a conversation

  1. Press Ctrl+3 to open the Teams view. You hear: "Teams and channels list."

  2. Navigate to the channel you want to follow using the Up and Down arrow keys. To expand or collapse a team's list of channels, press Enter while the focus is on the team.

  3. After you have reached the right channel, press Enter. The focus moves to the message compose box.

  4. Type your message, and press Enter to send it to the channel.

Read conversations

  1. Press Ctrl+3 to open the Teams view. You hear: "Teams and channels list."

  2. Navigate to the channel you want to follow using the Up and Down arrow keys. To expand or collapse a team's list of channels, press Enter while the focus is on the team.

  3. After you have reached the right channel, press Enter to open the chat in the content pane.

  4. To browse the messages with JAWS, press the H or Shift+H keys to move between the different headings in the list. 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

    With NVDA, to browse the messages, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you find the most recent message. Then switch to focus mode by pressing the NVDA key+Spacebar, and use the Up and Down arrow keys.

Navigate and read threaded conversations

  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. Narrator 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.

Reply to conversations

  1. While reading a conversation, navigate to the message you wish to respond to.

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

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

Make and receive calls

Start a call

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

  2. Type /call, press Enter, and type the name of the person you want to call. The search results are updated as you type.

  3. To navigate the list of results, press the Down or Up arrow key. When you hear the person you want to call, to start an audio call, press Enter. To start a video call, press Ctrl+Shift+U.

  4. To end the call, press the Tab key until you reach the Hang up button, and press Enter.

Tip: If you have the Calls view available in Microsoft Teams, you can use its options to directly call a contact, browse your call history, and check your voicemail. To go to the Calls view, press Ctrl+5.

Answer a call

  1. When a contact calls you, the Microsoft Teams notification window opens, you hear the ringing sound and the caller's name.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To answer an audio call, press Ctrl+Shift+S.

    • To answer a video call, press Ctrl+Shift+A.

    • To decline the call, press Ctrl+Shift+D.

  3. To end the call, press the Tab key until you hear "Hang up," and then press Enter.

Join a meeting

After you have received a meeting invitation, joining is simple.

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Ctrl+4 to go to the Meetings view.

  2. Press the Tab key until you reach the Agenda view or Day view button. If you hear "Agenda view," press Enter. If you hear "Day view," you're in the right view already and don't need to press Enter.

  3. Press the Tab key once, and then press the Down arrow key to move down on the meetings list. When you hear the meeting you want to join, press Spacebar to begin connecting.

  4. To join the meeting with the default settings, press Spacebar again.

Share your desktop in a meeting

  1. While in a Microsoft Teams meeting, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you reach the Open share tray button, and then press Enter.

  2. To share, for example, your desktop, a program window, or files, do one of the following:

    Note: What you can share and how the sharing works depends on the organization hosting the meeting, so all the features and functionality described below may not be applicable in your meeting.

    • To share your entire desktop, press Enter.

    • To share a program window, press the Tab key once, and then press the Right arrow key until you hear the program you want to share, and press Enter.

    • To share a file from Microsoft Teams, press the Tab key twice, and then press the Right arrow key until you hear the file you want to share, and press Enter.

    • To browse for more files, press the Tab key three times and press Enter. Press the Down or Up arrow key to navigate to a location and press Enter to select. Find your file in the selected location, and press Enter.

  3. To stop sharing, press Alt+Tab, and then press the Tab key repeatedly until you reach the Stop sharing button 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

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?

You can use Microsoft Teams on Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader.

Notes: 

In this topic

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

Change your status

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

  2. Do one of the following:

    • 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.

Send and receive private chats

Chats are only visible to the specific people in that chat.

Start a chat

  1. Press Command+2 to open the Chat tab.

  2. Press Command+F6 until you hear: "Recent, clickable, chat list."

  3. Press the Tab key once, press the Down arrow key until you hear the name and status of the contact you want to chat with, and press Return.

  4. Type your message in the message compose box, and press Return to send it.

Read chats

  1. Press Command+2 to open the Chat tab.

  2. Press Command+F6 until you hear: "Recent, clickable, chat list."

  3. Press the Tab key once, press the Down arrow key until you find the recent chat you want to read, and press Return.

  4. Press Shift+Tab to move the focus to the messages. 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 in the content pane. Press the Shift key while typing the shortcuts to move backwards. 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

Reply to chats

  1. Press Command+2 to open the Chat tab.

  2. Press Command+F6 until you hear: "Recent, chat list."

  3. Press the Tab key once, press the Down arrow key until you find the recent chat you want to reply to, and press Return.

  4. Type your message in the message compose box, and press Return.

Start and reply to conversations

Conversations happen in Team channels and are visible to everyone in that Team.

Start a conversation

  1. Press Command+3 to open the Teams tab.

  2. Press Command+F6 until you hear: "Join or create a team, button."

  3. Press Shift+Tab key once, press the Down arrow key until you find the channel you want, and press Return. The focus moves to the channel's message compose box.

  4. Type your message. To send the message, press Return.

Read and reply to conversations

  1. Press Command+3 to open the Teams tab.

  2. Press Command+F6 until you hear: "Join or create a team, button."

  3. Press Shift+Tab key once, press the Down arrow key until you find the channel you want, and press Return. The focus moves to the channel's message compose box.

  4. Press Shift+Tab to move the focus to the messages. You can use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse the conversations.

  5. VoiceOver announces how many replies each conversation has. Press Return to open the conversation. You hear the first message in the thread. To move between messages in the conversation, press the Up or Down arrow key. To reply to the conversation, press the Down arrow key to move past all messages until you hear "Reply, button," and press Return. Type your reply and press Return to send it.

    Note: If the conversation has more than a couple of messages, all of them are not shown by default. To expand the conversation so show all messages, open the conversation, press the Down arrow key until VoiceOver announces the number of replies and their senders, and press Return.

  6. To close the conversation and move the focus back to the channel, press Esc.

Make and receive calls

Start a call

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

  2. Type /call, press Return, and type the name of the person you want to call. The search results are updated as you type.

  3. To navigate the list of results, press the Down or Up arrow key. When you hear the person you want to call, to start an audio call, press Return. To start a video call, press Command+Shift+U.

  4. To end the call, press the Tab key until you reach the Hang up button, and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Answer a call

  1. When a contact calls you, the Microsoft Teams notification window opens, and you hear the caller's name.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To answer an audio call, press Command+Shift+S.

    • To answer a video call, press Command+Shift+A.

    • To decline the call, press Command+Shift+D.

  3. To end the call, press the Tab key until you reach the Hang up button, and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Join a meeting

After you have received a meeting invitation, joining is simple.

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Command+4 to go to the Meetings view.

  2. Press the Tab key until you reach the Agenda view or Day view button. If you hear "Agenda view," press Return. If you hear "Day view," you're in the right view already and don't need to press Return.

  3. Press the Tab key once, and then press the Down arrow key to move down on the meetings list. When you hear the meeting you want to join, press Spacebar to begin connecting.

  4. To join the meeting with the default settings, press Spacebar again.

  5. To leave the meeting, press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear "Hang up," and press the Spacebar.

Share your desktop in a meeting

  1. While in a Microsoft Teams meeting, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you reach the Open sharetray button, and then press Return.

  2. To share, for example, your desktop, a program window, or files, do one of the following:

    Note: What you can share and how the sharing works depends on the organization hosting the meeting, so all the features and functionality described below may not be applicable in your meeting.

    • To share your entire desktop, press Return.

    • To share a program window, press the Tab key once, and then press the Right arrow key until you hear the program you want to share, and press Return.

    • To share a file from Microsoft Teams, press the Tab key twice, and then press the Right arrow key until you hear the file you want to share, and press Return.

    • To browse for more files, press the Tab key three times and press Return. Press the Down or Up arrow key to navigate to a location and press Return to select. Find your file in the selected location, and press Return.

  3. To stop sharing, press Command+Shift+Spacebar, and then press the Tab key until you reach the Stop presenting button and press Return.

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?

You can use Microsoft Teams for iOS with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader.

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 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

Open Microsoft Teams

  1. On your phone, navigate to the home screen where the Microsoft Teams app is, swipe right until you hear "Teams," and double-tap the screen to open the app.

  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.

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

Microsoft Teams opens on the Activity view.

Change your status

  1. Tap with 4 fingers near the top of the screen. You hear: "More menu, button." Double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Your current presence status is," followed by the current status. Double-tap the screen, swipe right until you find the status you want to use, and then double-tap the screen to confirm.

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

Send and receive private chats

Chats are only visible to the specific people in that chat.

Start a chat

  1. Tap with 4 fingers near the bottom of the screen, swipe left until you hear "Chat, tab," and double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe left until you hear "New chat, button," and then double-tap the screen. The New Chat window opens and the focus is on the To field.

  3. To search for a contact, use the on-screen keyboard to type the name of the contact.

    Tip: If the contact you seek has a common name, type it out until you get to the part that separates it from the rest. For example, if you type John, you might get dozens of results, so try typing his full name before browsing the results.

  4. The search results are listed above the on-screen keyboard as you type. To go to the results, swipe left until you hear a contact's name, and keep swiping until you find the result you want. To select the contact, double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Type your message here," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Text field, is editing, insertion point at start."

  6. Type your message using the on-screen keyboard. To send the message, swipe left past the first key of the on-screen keyboard until you hear "Send, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  7. To close the keyboard and return to the Chat view, tap with 4 fingers near the top of the screen. You hear: "Chat, back button." Double-tap the screen.

Read and reply to chats

  1. Tap with 4 fingers near the bottom of the screen, swipe left until you hear "Chat, tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right or left until you find the chat you want to read, and then double-tap the screen to open it.

  3. Swipe right or left until VoiceOver reads one of the messages in the chat, and then swipe left or right to navigate to earlier or later messages.

  4. To reply to the chat, swipe right until you hear "Type a new message," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Type your message using the on-screen keyboard. To send the message, swipe left past the first key of the on-screen keyboard until you hear "Send, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. To close the keyboard and return to the Chat view, tap with 4 fingers near the top of the screen. You hear: "Chat, back button." Double-tap the screen.

Start and reply to conversations

Conversations happen in Team channels and are visible to everyone in that Team.

Start a conversation

  1. Tap with 4 fingers near the bottom of the screen, swipe left until you hear "Teams, tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you find the team you want. If the team is in a collapsed view, double-tap the screen to expand it so that you can browse its channels.

  3. Swipe right until you find the right channel, and double-tap the screen to open the channel. The focus is on the Conversations tab.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Type a new message," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Type the message using your on-screen keyboard.

  6. To send the message, swipe left past the first key of the on-screen keyboard until you hear "Send, button," and then double-tap the screen.

Read and reply to conversations

  1. Tap with 4 fingers near the bottom of the screen, swipe left until you hear "Teams, tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you find the team and channel you want, and double-tap the screen to open the channel. If the team is in a collapsed view, double-tap the screen to expand it so that you can browse its channels.

  3. To go to the channel's conversations, swipe right until you hear a message. To browse to other conversations, swipe right or left. VoiceOver announces the conversations as you move.

  4. If the conversation has more than a couple of messages, all of them are not shown in the channel view. To open the conversation, when VoiceOver announces the number of replies and their senders, double-tap the screen. The Conversation view opens.

  5. Swipe right until VoiceOver reads the first message in the conversation. To read the follow-up messages, keep swiping right.

  6. To reply to a conversation, swipe right past all messages until you hear "Reply, text field," and double-tap the screen. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your message. To send the message, swipe left past the first key of the on-screen keyboard until you hear "Send, button," and double-tap the screen.

  7. To close the keyboard and return to the Teams view, tap with 4 fingers near the top of the screen. You hear the channel's name, followed by "Back button." Double-tap the screen.

Make and receive calls

Start a call

  1. Tap with 4 fingers near the top of the screen, swipe right until you hear "Search, button, " and double-tap the screen.

  2. To search for a contact, use the on-screen keyboard to type the name of the contact.

    Tip: If the contact you seek has a common name, type it out until you get to the part that separates it from the rest. For example, if you type John, you might get dozens of results, so try typing his full name before browsing the results.

  3. The search results are listed above the on-screen keyboard as you type. To go to the results, swipe left until you hear a contact's name, and keep swiping until you hear the name you want. To select the contact, double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Call, button," and double-tap the screen.

  5. To end the call, swipe right until you hear "Hang up call, button," and double-tap the screen.

Tip: If you have the Calls view available in Microsoft Teams, you can use its options to directly call a contact, browse your call history, and check your voicemail. To go to the Calls view, tap with 4 fingers near the bottom of the screen, so you hear "Calls, tab," and then double-tap the screen. If you hear some other tab name, the Calls view is not available.

Answer a call

  1. When a contact calls you, you hear a ringing sound. Do one of the following:

    • To answer the call, swipe right or left until you hear "Accept," and double-tap the screen.

    • To decline the call, swipe right or left until you hear "Decline," and double-tap the screen.

  2. To end the call, swipe right or left until you hear "Hang up call, button," and double-tap the screen.

See also

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?

You can use Microsoft Teams for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader.

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 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

Open Microsoft Teams

  1. 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.

  2. The sign-in screen opens. Swipe right until you hear "Sign in, button," double-tap the screen, and do one of the following:

    • Swipe right until you find the account you want to use, and double-tap the screen.

    • If you haven't signed in with your account before, swipe left until you hear "Sign in with another account," and double-tap the screen. Use the on-screen keyboard to type the email address of the account you want to sign in with. When done, swipe right until you reach the Sign in button, and double-tap the screen.

      Note: If the email address field already contains a previously used address, delete it first.

  3. Your organization’s sign-in page opens. Double-tap the screen and use the on-screen keyboard to type your password. When done, swipe right until you reach the Sign in button, and double-tap the screen.

  4. 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.

Change your status

  1. Swipe left or right until you hear "Open hamburger menu, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Current status is," followed by the current status. Double-tap the screen, swipe right or left until you find the status you want to use, and double-tap the screen to confirm.

  3. To close the hamburger menu, swipe left until you hear your name, double-tap the screen to go to your profile, and double-tap the screen again to close the menu.

Send and receive private chats

Chats are only visible to the specific people in that chat.

Start a chat

  1. Swipe right or left until you hear "Chat tab," and then double-tap the screen. You hear the first item in the recent conversations list that's shown in the list pane.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "New chat button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Edit box, To, Search for contacts here." The on-screen keyboard is shown in the bottom half of the screen.

  3. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your search words in the To field. The number of search results is announced as you type. Swipe right or left until you reach the first search result. To move in the list, swipe right or left until you hear the contact name you seek. To select the contact, double-tap the screen.

    Tip: If the contact you seek has a common name, type it out until you get to the part that separates it from the rest. For example, if you type John, you might get dozens of results, so try typing his full name before browsing the results.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Type a message here" and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Type your message using the on-screen keyboard. To send the message, swipe right until you hear "Send message button," and then double-tap the screen.

    When the person replies to your message, you hear "Message received, showing items," followed by the number of the current item and its position in the list of items.

Read and reply to chats

  1. Swipe right or left until you hear "Chat tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you find the chat you want to read, and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right or left until TalkBack reads one of the messages in the chat, and then swipe left or right to navigate to earlier or later messages.

  4. To reply to the chat, swipe right until you hear "Type a message here," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Type your message using the on-screen keyboard. To send the message, swipe right until you hear "Send message button," and then double-tap the screen.

Start and reply to conversations

Conversations happen in Team channels and are visible to everyone in that Team.

Start a conversation

  1. Swipe right or left until you hear: "Teams tab." Double-tap the screen to select. The Teams view opens. To browse the channels, swipe left. As you move, TalkBack announces the channel names.

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

  3. Swipe left until you hear: "New chat, button." Double-tap the screen.

  4. Double-tap the screen to open the on-screen keyboard and type the message. To go to the keyboard, place a finger on the screen and drag it around until you hear a keyboard element.

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

Read and reply to conversations

  1. Swipe right or left until you hear: "Teams tab." Double-tap the screen to select. The Teams view opens. To browse the channels, swipe right. As you move, TalkBack announces the channel names.

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

  3. To go to the latest threaded conversation, swipe right until you hear a message. To browse to older conversations, keep swiping right. TalkBack announces the conversations as you move.

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

  5. Swipe right until TalkBack reads the first message in the conversation. To read the follow-up messages, keep swiping right.

  6. To reply to a conversation, swipe right past all messages 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 right or left until you hear "Send message, button," and double-tap the screen. To close the keyboard, swipe down-then-left.

  7. To close the Conversation, swipe down-then-left.

Make calls

  1. Swipe right or left until you hear "Search," and double-tap the screen.

  2. To search for a contact, use the on-screen keyboard to type the name of the contact.

    Tip: If the contact you seek has a common name, type it out until you get to the part that separates it from the rest. For example, if you type John, you might get dozens of results, so try typing his full name before browsing the results.

  3. The search results are listed as you type. To go to the results, swipe right until you hear a contact's name, and keep swiping until you hear the name you want. To select the contact, double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Make an audio call, button," and double-tap the screen.

  5. To end the call, swipe right until you hear "Hang up," and double-tap the screen.

See also

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?

You can use Microsoft Teams on the web with your keyboard and a screen reader, such as JAWS, NVDA, or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader.

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 for Microsoft Teams.

  • 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 makes note of the JAWS functionality as well. To learn more about JAWS for Windows, go to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

  • This topic makes note of the NVDA functionality as well. To learn more about NVDA, go to NV Access | Get Help.

  • 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 and Narrator as your screen reader. 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.

    If you use Chrome or Firefox as your web browser, we recommend that you use JAWS or NVDA as your screen reader.

In this topic

Open Microsoft Teams

  1. On your computer, open your browser 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.

    Microsoft Teams opens on the Conversations tab.

Change your status

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

  2. Do one of the following:

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

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

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

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

Send and receive private chats

Chats are only visible to the specific people in that chat.

Start a chat

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+2 to open the Chat view. The list pane now shows your Favorites, if any, Recent contacts, and Suggested contacts.

  2. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: "Chat list."

  3. Press the Tab key once and then use the Up and Down arrow keys to find the contact you want to chat with, followed by their availability information.

  4. Press Enter. You hear: "Type a new message." The focus is now in the message compose box.

  5. Type your message and press Enter to send it.

  6. When the person replies to your message, you hear "Message from," followed by the person's name and the text in the message.

Read and reply to chats

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+2 to open the Chat view. The list pane now shows your Favorites, if any, Recent contacts, and Suggested contacts.

  2. To browse the messages, press Ctrl+F6 until the focus is in the message compose box, and press Shift+Tab once. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to hear the earlier messages.

  3. To move the focus back to the message compose box, press the Tab key. To reply to a chat, just type your message in the message compose box.

Start and reply to conversations

Conversations happen in Team channels and are visible to everyone in that Team.

Start a conversation

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+3 to open the Teams view.

  2. Navigate to the channel you want to follow using the Up and Down arrow keys. To expand or collapse a team's list of channels, press Enter while the focus is on the team.

  3. After you've reached the right channel, press Enter. The focus moves to the message compose box.

  4. Type your message, and press Enter to send it to the channel.

Read conversations

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

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+3 to open the Teams view.

  2. Navigate to the channel you want to follow using the Up and Down arrow keys. To expand or collapse a team's list of channels, press Enter while the focus is on the team.

  3. After you have reached the right channel, press Enter. The focus moves to the message compose box.

  4. Press Shift+Tab to move to the latest message in the conversation.

  5. Messages are marked as headings. Move between them with your screen reader's heading navigation keys. 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

    With Narrator, use the Up and Down arrow keys to move forwards and backwards in the list. With JAWS, turn on scan mode (Caps lock+Spacebar) and move forwards and backwards in the list by pressing H or Shift+H. With NVDA, change the screen reader mode by pressing the NVDA key+Spacebar, and then move forwards and backwards in the list with the Up and Down arrow keys.

Navigate and read threaded conversations

  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.

Reply to conversations

  1. In a conversation, navigate to the message you wish to respond to as described in Read conversations.

  2. With Narrator, press the R key to move the focus to the reply field. With JAWS, press the H key until you hear "Reply, heading level 5," and press Enter.

  3. Type the reply and press Enter to send.

Make and receive calls

Start a call

  1. Place the screen reader focus on a contact or group of contacts you want to call, for example, in the list pane.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To start an audio call, press Ctrl+Shift+C.

    • To start a video call, press Ctrl+Shift+U.

    The call window opens and you hear the ringing sound.

  3. To end the call, press the Tab key until you hear "Hang up," and then press Enter.

Tip: If you have the Calls view available in your region, you can use its options to directly call a contact, browse your call history, and check your voice mail. To go to the Calls view, press Ctrl+Shift+5.

Answer a call

To know that someone is calling you, make sure you have the Sound notifications turned on in the Microsoft Teams Settings. To learn more on how to change your notification settings, go to Customize the notification settings.

  1. When a contact calls you, the Microsoft Teams notification window opens, you hear the ringing sound, and “Microsoft Teams, Notifications windows."

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To answer an audio call, press Ctrl+Shift+S.

    • To answer a video call, press Ctrl+Shift+A.

    • To decline the call, press Ctrl+Shift+D.

  3. To end the call, press the Tab key until you hear "Hang up," and then press Enter.

Join a meeting

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Ctrl+Shift+4 to go to the Meetings view.

  2. Press the Tab key until you reach the Agenda view or Day view button. If you hear "Agenda view," press Enter. If you hear "Day view," you're in the right view already and don't need to press Enter.

  3. Press the Tab key once, and then press the Down arrow key to move down on the meetings list. When you hear the meeting you want to join, press Spacebar to begin connecting.

  4. If you get a popup (in Chrome) asking for permission to use your microphone, press the Tab key once to move to the Allow button and press Spacebar.

    To join the meeting with the default settings, press Spacebar again.

Share a presentation in a meeting

Note: You can only share a PowerPoint presentation when using Microsoft Teams on the web. If you want to share your desktop, you have to use the desktop app version of Microsoft Teams.

  1. While in a Microsoft Teams meeting, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you reach the Open share tray button, and then press Enter.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Use the Right and Left arrow keys to select one of the suggested PowerPoint files, and press Enter to share it.

    • To browse for more files, press the Tab key until you hear "Browse PPT files," and press Enter. Press the Down or Up arrow key to find the location where your file is stored, and press Enter to select the location. The Open dialog opens. Navigate to your file in the selected location, and press Enter to share it.

  3. To stop sharing, press the Tab key repeatedly until you reach the Stop sharing button 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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