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Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

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 Microsoft Teams with your keyboard and a screen reader, such as JAWS or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to work seamlessly with your team. Learn how to install and open the desktop app, join a team, find, read and post messages in a channel, and sign out.

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?.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams.

  • You can easily access the keyboard shortcuts list from within Microsoft Teams. Press Ctrl+E to go to the Search field, type /keys, and then press Enter.

  • 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 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 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

Install Microsoft Teams desktop app

  1. Open a browser on your computer and browse to https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads. In the Desktop Apps section on the page, navigate to the download button that's applicable to your version of Windows, and press Enter.

  2. Press Alt+N to jump to the download notification, and press Enter to select Run. The Microsoft Teams app starts installing. When done, Microsoft Teams opens and you hear: "Desktop, Microsoft Teams window, Conversations."

Open Microsoft Teams desktop app

  1. On your computer, press the Windows logo key, and type Microsoft Teams.

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

  3. You hear: "Login to Microsoft Teams, Sign in." Type your email, phone, or Skype name.

  4. Press the Tab key. You hear: "Next button." Press Enter to select.

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

  6. Depending on the sign-in method, follow and act on the prompts as Narrator 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 hear "Sign in, button," and press Enter.

Join an existing public team

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Ctrl+3 to access the Teams tab.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Join or create a team button," and then press Enter to select.

  3. To search for a team to join, press the Tab key until you hear "Search for public teams, edit".

  4. Type the name of the team you'd like to join, and then press Enter to submit your search.

    Note: You can quickly find and join a team using the Search field. To quickly find a team, press Ctrl+E to move to the Search field. Type / join, press Enter, and type the team name. Press the Down arrow key and then press Enter or Shift+Enter.

  5. Press Tab until you hear the first result.

  6. Use the Right or Left arrow key to cycle through the search results.

  7. When on the team you want, press Enter to join.

  8. You are added to the team and the team can be found in your list of teams found under the Teams tab.

Find and read new messages in a channel

  1. To go to a team channel, press Ctrl+3. You hear: "Conversation, selected."

  2. Microsoft Teams selects the latest message by default and loads the 20 newest messages. To display older messages, navigate backwards in the message list.

  3. With Narrator, to navigate the message list, press the Up and Down arrow keys.

    With JAWS, to navigate the message list, press the H or Shift+H keys to move between the different headings in the list. The headings are structured in the following way:

    • 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.

Tip: You can quickly go to your unread messages using the Search field. To move to the Search field, press Ctrl+E. Type /unread and then press Enter.

Navigate and read threaded conversations

  1. If the conversation you're in is a threaded conversation, you hear: "Threaded conversation from," followed by the sender name. 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.

Post messages to channels

  1. In the Conversations tab, press C. Focus moves to the message compose box.

    Tip: To expand the compose box to access more editing options, press Ctrl+Shift+X. To collapse the box, press Ctrl+Shift+X again.

  2. Type your message. You can also add attachments or even emoji, stickers, or memes.

  3. To send a message, press Ctrl+Enter.

    Tip: When the compose box is not expanded, you can send a message by just pressing Enter.

For more information on how to write group and private messages and attach files, images, emoticons, stickers, and memes, refer to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams.

Reply to a message

  1. In the Conversations tab, navigate to the message you wish to respond to. With Narrator, navigate the message list with the Up and Down arrow keys. With JAWS, navigate it by pressing Shift+H or H.

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

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

Use the Search field commands

In Microsoft Teams you can use the Search field to quickly do things by entering commands.

  1. To go to the Search field, press Ctrl+E.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Type / to open the list of available commands. Navigate the list using the Up and Down arrow keys until you hear the command you want and press Enter to select it.

    • If you know the command you wish to use, type the command in the Search field, and press Enter.

Sign out of Microsoft Teams

  1. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Search and new chat" to move the focus to the menu bar.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Profile, app settings, and more, button," and then press Enter.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Sign out of Microsoft Teams," and then press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to create new 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

Use Microsoft Teams on Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to work seamlessly with your team. Learn how to install, open and sign in and out of the app. Join teams, find, read, and post messages in a channel.

Notes: 

In this topic

Install, open, and sign in to Microsoft Teams

  1. In a browser on your Mac, go to https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads. In the Desktop Apps section on the page, navigate to the Mac download button, and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  2. When downloaded, locate the Teams disk image file using, for example, Finder. When on the file, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  3. Press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear "Microsoft Teams, application," and press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key. You hear: "In Microsoft Teams, application." Press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. If you get a dialog asking if you want to open Teams, press the Tab key until you hear "Open," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. A Sign in dialog opens. Type the email address of the account you want to sign in with. When done, press the Tab key to move to the Next button, and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  6. Your organization's sign-in page opens. The focus is in the Password field. Type your password. When done, press the Tab key until you hear "Sign in, button," and press Control+Option+Spacebar. Microsoft Teams opens on the Conversations tab.

Join an existing public team

  1. On opening the app, press Option+3 to access the Teams tab.

  2. Press Tab until you hear "Create a team or view suggested public teams".

  3. Press Enter.

  4. First check if the team you want to join is suggested.

    • Press Tab until you hear "Create a team".

    • Use the Right arrow key and Left arrow key to cycle through the suggested teams.

    • If you find a team you'd like to join, press Enter.

    • You will be added to the team and it will be added to your list of teams found under the "Teams" tab. Also accessible by Option+3.

  5. If you need to search for a team to join, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Search, search for public teams".

  6. Type the name of the team you'd like to join.

  7. Press Enter to submit your search.

  8. Press Tab until you hear "Create a team".

  9. Use the Right arrow key and Left arrow key to cycle through the search results.

  10. Press Enter on the team you want to join.

  11. You will be added to the team and it will be added to your list of teams found under the "Teams" tab. Also accessible by Option+3.

Find and read new messages in a channel

  1. In Microsoft Teams, to access the latest messages, press Command+1. The Activity tab opens.

  2. Press the Tab key until VoiceOver reads the latest message in your feed. To hear the previous message, press the Down arrow key.

Navigate and read threaded conversations

  1. To access threaded conversations, press Command+3. The Teams tab opens.

  2. To go to threaded conversations, press the Tab key until VoiceOver announces a tab. If you did not land on the Conversations tab, press Option+Left arrow key until VoiceOver announces "Conversations, tab," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  3. Press the Tab key repeatedly to move to the threaded conversations. The focus moves to the latest action or the Reply field in the latest conversation. VoiceOver announces the location.

  4. To navigate the separate messages in the conversation, press Return, and then press the Down or Up arrow keys. To navigate away from the conversation, press Esc.

Post messages to channels

  1. On the Conversations tab, press C. The focus moves to the message compose box. VoiceOver announces: "Start a new conversation. Type @ to mention someone. Edit text."

    Tips: 

    • To expand the compose box and access more editing options, press Command+Shift+X.

    • The box is automatically collapsed when the message is sent, but you can also collapse it by pressing Command+Shift+X again.

  2. Type your message.

    Tip: You can add attachments or even emoji, stickers, or memes to your message. To navigate to the emoji and stickers menus, press the Tab key once, and then press the Right arrow key until you hear the menu you want to open. Press Return to open the menu, and type what you want to search for, or press the Tab key to go straight to the gallery. To navigate the options in the gallery, use the Right or Left arrow keys. To select, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  3. To send the message, press Command+Return.

    Tip: When the compose box is not expanded, you can send a message by just pressing Return.

For more information on how to write group and private messages and attach files, images, emoticons, stickers and memes, refer to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams.

Sign out of Microsoft Teams

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear "Profile, app settings, and more," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  2. The menu opens. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Sign out of Microsoft Teams, menu item," and press Control+Option+Spacebar to sign out.

See also

Use a screen reader to create new 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

Use Microsoft Teams for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader for iOS, to work seamlessly with your team. Learn how to install and open the app, sign in and out. Find, read, and post messages in a channel.

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

Install and open Microsoft Teams for the first time 

  1. If not already installed on your phone, download and install the Microsoft Teams app from App Store.

  2. On your phone, navigate to the home screen where the app is, swipe right until you hear VoiceOver announce it, and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Account field, Sign-in address," and double-tap the screen.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Microsoft Teams opens on the Activity tab.

Sign in to Microsoft Teams

  1. Open the Microsoft Teams app on your phone.

  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.

    Microsoft Teams opens on the Activity tab.

Find and read new messages in a channel

  1. In Microsoft Teams, swipe right or left until you hear "Activity tab," and double-tap the screen. The Activity tab opens.

  2. To browse to the activity feed, swipe left. VoiceOver announces the latest activity as you move. Messages are announced as: "<team member> <activity> in <channel name>."

  3. To open a conversation, when on the message you want, double-tap the screen. To read a new message, swipe right until VoiceOver reads the message for you. You hear: " <team member>, <action>, <message>."

  4. To close the Conversation, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen.

Navigate, read, and reply to threaded conversations

  1. In Microsoft Teams, to go to a team channel, swipe right or left until you hear "Teams tab," and double-tap the screen. The Teams tab opens. To browse the channels, swipe right. As you move, VoiceOver announces the channel names followed by "Button."

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

  3. To view the latest threaded conversation, make sure the Conversations tab is open. To open the Conversations tab, swipe right until you hear "Conversations tab," and double-tap the screen.

  4. To go to the latest threaded conversation, swipe right. VoiceOver announces the latest threaded conversation. Conversations are announced as: "Message from <team member>, <message>, <timestamp>." To browse to older conversations, swipe left.

  5. To open a conversation, when on the message you want, double-tap the screen. The Conversation opens.

  6. To reply to the conversation, swipe right until you hear "Reply, text field," and double-tap the screen. Using the on-screen keyboard, type your message. To go to the keyboard, swipe right until you hear: "Q." To send the message, swipe left until you hear "Send, button" and double-tap the screen.

    Tip: You can also find the keyboard by exploring the screen. To explore, place a finger on the screen and drag it around. VoiceOver announces the items as you land on them. To select an item, lift your finger and double-tap the screen.

  7. To close the Conversation, swipe left until you hear "Back button" and double-tap the screen.

Post messages to channels

  1. Go to the channel where you want to post a message, and open the Conversations tab. Swipe right until you hear "New conversation, text field," and double-tap the screen.

  2. Type the message using the on-screen keyboard. To go to the keyboard, swipe right until you hear: "Q."

  3. When done, swipe left until you hear "Send, button," and double-tap the screen to send.

For more information on how to write group and private messages and attach files, images, emoticons, stickers and memes, refer to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams.

Sign out of Microsoft Teams

  1. In Microsoft Teams, swipe left or right until you hear "More menu, button," and double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Settings," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Sign out, button," and double-tap the screen.

  4. A Sign out confirmation dialog opens. Swipe right until you hear "Sign out, button," and double-tap the screen to finish signing out.

See also

Use a screen reader to work with files in Microsoft Teams

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

Use Microsoft Teams for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to work seamlessly with your team. Learn how to install and open the app, sign in and out. Find, read, and post new messages in a channel.

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

Install and open Microsoft Teams for the first time

  1. If not already installed on your phone, download and install the Microsoft Teams app from Play Store.

  2. 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.

  3. The sign-in screen opens. 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 to move to the Sign in button, and double-tap the screen.

  4. Your organization’s sign-in page opens. Swipe right until you hear "Edit box," and double-tap the screen. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your password. When done, swipe right until you hear “Sign in, button,” and double-tap the screen.

  5. 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 tab.

Sign in to Microsoft Teams

  1. Open the Microsoft Teams app on your phone. If you've signed in previously on the same device, that sign-in account is already filled in and TalkBack announces it.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To accept the suggested account, swipe right to the Sign in button, and double-tap the screen.

    • To change the account, double-tap the screen to open the on-screen keyboard. Use the on-screen keyboard to delete the suggested account, and type the one you want to sign in with. When done, swipe right to the Sign in button, and double-tap the screen.

  3. If you have more than one account associated with your email, you may need to choose the account to use. Swipe right until you hear the account you want to use, and double-tap the screen.

  4. Your organization’s sign-in page opens. Swipe right until you hear "Password, edit box," and double-tap the screen. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your password. When done, close the keyboard, swipe right until you hear “Sign in, button,” and double-tap the screen.

    Microsoft Teams opens on the Activity tab.

Find and read new messages in a channel

  1. In Microsoft Teams, swipe right or left until you hear "Activity tab," and double-tap the screen. The Activity tab opens.

  2. To browse to the latest activity feed, swipe left. TalkBack announces the latest activity as you move. New messages are announced, for example: "Unread, <team member>, <activity> in <channel name>, <timestamp>."

  3. To open a conversation, when on the message you want, double-tap the screen. You hear: "Conversation." To read the new message, swipe right until TalkBack reads the message to you.

  4. To close the Conversation, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen.

Navigate and read threaded conversations

  1. In Microsoft Teams, to go to a channel, swipe right or left until you hear: "Teams tab." Double-tap the screen to select. The Teams tab 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 left until you hear a message. To browse to older conversations, swipe left. 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 opens.

  5. To reply to a conversation, swipe right until you hear "Reply," 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.

  6. To close the Conversation, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen.

Post messages to channels

  1. In the channel where you want to compose your message, swipe right until you hear: "New chat button." Double-tap the screen.

  2. Double-tap the screen to open the on-screen keyboard and type the message.

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

For more information on how to write group and private messages and attach files, images, emoticons, stickers and memes, refer to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams.

Sign out of Microsoft Teams

  1. In Microsoft Teams, swipe right or left until you hear “Open hamburger menu,” and double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear “Open Settings,” and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear “Sign Out, button,” and double-tap the screen.

  4. A Sign Out confirmation dialog opens. Swipe right until you hear “OK, button,” and double-tap the screen to finish signing out.

See also

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

Use a screen reader to like and save messages in Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Use Microsoft Teams with Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to work seamlessly with your team. Learn how to install and open the app, and sign in and out. Join teams, find, read, and post messages in a channel.

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?.

  • You can easily access the keyboard shortcuts list from within Microsoft Teams. Press Ctrl+E to go to the Search field, type /keys, and then press Enter.

  • 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.

In this topic

Install and open Microsoft Teams for the first time

If not already installed on your computer, you can download and install the Microsoft Teams app from Microsoft Store.

  1. On your computer, press the Windows logo key, type apps: Microsoft Teams, and press Enter.

  2. Press the Tab key twice, and then press the Down arrow key to move to the list of results. When you hear “Microsoft Teams, Search for apps in the Microsoft Store,” press Enter.

  3. Microsoft Store opens. The focus is on a combo box for filtering the contents. Press Enter to open the list. Press the Down arrow key until you hear “Apps,” and press Enter.

  4. The focus is on the first result. If you hear “Microsoft Teams for Windows 10 S,” press Enter. If needed, navigate the results by pressing the arrow keys.

  5. The focus is on the Get button. To download and install the app, press Enter.

  6. The Use across your devices dialog opens. If you want to use Microsoft Teams on all your compatible devices, press Enter, and sign in with the account you want to use for Teams. If you want to use it on this device only, press Shift+Tab to move to the No, thanks button and press Enter.

  7. When the download and installation is finished, the focus lands on the Launch button. Press Enter to open the app.

  8. If you didn't sign in already, the Let’s get you signed in dialog opens. Type the email address you want to sign in with. When done, press the Tab key until you hear “Next, button,” and press Enter.

  9. The sign-in page of your organization opens. To navigate the page, press the Tab or Shift+Tab key. To enter information in a field, type. To select, press Enter.

  10. If you get the Add this account to Windows? dialog, press Enter to accept it, or press Shift+Tab to move to Skip for now, and then press Enter.

  11. In the following dialogs, you’re asked to grant or deny access to the microphone, camera, and running Teams at login. To switch between the Yes and No or Enable and Disable buttons, use the arrow keys. To select an option, press Enter. When done, Microsoft Teams opens.

Sign in to Microsoft Teams

  1. To open Microsoft Teams, press the Windows logo key and type Microsoft Teams for Windows 10 S and press Enter.

  2. The Let's get you signed in dialog opens, and you hear: "Sign in to your account. Work or school account." Type your email address and press Enter.

  3. The sign-in page of your organization opens. To navigate the page, press the Tab or Shift+Tab key. To enter information in a field, type. To select, press Enter.

  4. If you get the Add this account to Windows? dialog, you can press Enter to accept in or press Shift+Tab to move to Skip for now, and then press Enter.

    Microsoft Teams opens.

Join an existing public team

  1. To go to the Teams view, press Ctrl+Shift+3. You hear: "Banner, Conversations button."

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To quickly find teams to join, press Ctrl+E. The focus moves to the Search field. Type /join and press Enter. Type the name or the code of a team you wish to join and press Enter to join it.

    • Press Shift+Ctrl+F6. You hear: "Teams and channels. Join or create a team, button." Press Enter. You hear: "Create a team, button." To check if the team you want to join is suggested, press the Tab key until you hear the team you want. With the focus on the team you want to join, press Enter. You will be added to the team and the team will be added to your list of teams in the Teams view.

Find and read new messages in a channel

When a new message arrives, Narrator reads the text and message details. You can also browse for messages in a channel's Conversations tab.

  1. In a channel, press the Tab key until you hear: "Conversations, one of three."

  2. Microsoft Teams selects the latest message by default and loads the 20 newest messages. To display older messages, navigate backwards in the message list.

  3. To navigate the message list, press the H or Shift+H keys to move between the different headings in the list. The headings are structured in the following way:

    • 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.

Tip: You can quickly go to your unread messages using the Search field. To move to the Search field, press Ctrl+E. Type /unread and then press Enter.

Navigate and read threaded conversations

  1. If the conversation you're in is a threaded conversation, you hear: "Threaded conversation," followed by the number of replies and the sender's name. 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. 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.

Post messages to channels

  1. On the Conversations tab, press C. The focus moves to the message compose box. You hear: "Start a new conversation. Type @ to mention someone, editing."

    Tip: To expand the compose box to access more editing options, press Ctrl+Shift+X. To collapse the box, press Ctrl+Shift+X again.

  2. Type your message. When done, press Enter to send it.

    Tip: If you expanded the compose box in the previous step, pressing Enter creates a new row. To send the message while the compose box is expanded, press Ctrl+Enter.

For more information on how to write group and private messages and attach files, images, emoticons, stickers, and memes, refer to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams.

Reply to a message

  1. In the Conversations tab, navigate to the message you wish to respond to by pressing Shift+H or H.

  2. To move the focus to the reply field, press the H key until you hear "Heading level 5, button, reply," and press Enter.

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

Use the Search field commands

In Microsoft Teams, you can use the Search field to quickly do things by entering commands.

  1. To go to the Search field, press Ctrl+E.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Type / to open the list of available commands. Navigate the list using the Up and Down arrow keys until you hear the command you want and press Enter to select it.

    • If you know the command you wish to use, type the command in the Search field, and press Enter.

Sign out of Microsoft Teams

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press Shift+Tab key until you hear "Profile, app settings and more, button," and press Enter.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Sign out of Microsoft Teams, menu item," and press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to create new 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

Use Microsoft Teams on the web with your keyboard and a screen reader such as JAWS or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to work seamlessly with your team. Learn how to open the app, sign in and out. Join teams, find, read, and post messages in a channel.

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?.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams.

  • You can easily access the keyboard shortcuts list from within Microsoft Teams on the web. Press Ctrl+E to go to the Search field, type /keys, and then press Enter.

  • 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 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 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.

  • If you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser, use Narrator as the screen reader. With the Chrome web browser, use JAWS.

In this topic

Open Microsoft Teams and sign in

  1. On your computer, open Edge, 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.

Join an existing public team

  1. On opening the app, press Ctrl+Shift+3 to access the Teams tab.

  2. Press Tab until you hear "Create a team or view suggested public teams".

  3. Press Enter.

  4. First check if the team you want to join is suggested.

    • Press Tab until you hear "Create team".

    • Use the Right arrow key and Left arrow key to cycle through the suggested teams.

    • If you find a team you'd like to join, press Enter.

    • You will be added to the team and it will be added to your list of teams found under the Teams tab. Also accessible by Ctrl+Shift+3.

  5. If you need to search for a team to join, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Search, edit".

  6. Type the name of the team you'd like to join.

    Tip: You can quickly find and join a team using the Search field. To quickly find a team, press Ctrl+E to move to the Search field. Type / join, press Enter, and type the team name. Press the Down arrow key and then press Enter or Shift+Enter.

  7. Press Enter to submit your search.

  8. Press Tab until you hear "Create team".

  9. Use the Right or Left arrow key to cycle through the search results.

  10. Press Enter on the team you want to join.

  11. You will be added to the team and it will be added to your list of teams found under the Teams tab. Also accessible by Ctrl+Shift+3.

Find and read new messages in a channel

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

  1. In a channel, press the Tab key or Alt+Left or Right arrow key until you hear: "Conversations, 1 of 4."

  2. Microsoft Teams on the web selects the latest message by default and loads the 20 newest messages. To display older messages, navigate backwards in the message list.

  3. With Narrator, to navigate the message list, press the Up and Down arrow keys.

    With JAWS, to navigate the message list, press the H or Shift+H keys to move between the different headings in the list. The headings are structured in the following way:

    • 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.

Tip: You can quickly go to your unread messages using the Search field. To move to the Search field, press Ctrl+E. Type /unread and then press Enter.

Navigate and read threaded conversations

  1. If the conversation you're in is a threaded conversation, you hear: "Threaded conversation from <sender name>." 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. 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.

Post messages to channels

  1. On the Conversations tab, press C. The focus moves to the message compose box. You hear: "Compose new message, editing."

    Tip: To expand the compose box to access more editing options, press Ctrl+Shift+X. To collapse the box, press Ctrl+Shift+X again.

  2. Type your message. You can also add attachments or even emoji, stickers, or memes.

  3. To send the message, press Ctrl+Enter.

For more information on how to write group and private messages and attach files, images, emoticons, stickers and memes, refer to Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams.

Reply to a message

  1. In the Conversations tab, navigate to the message you wish to respond to. With Narrator, navigate the message list with the Up and Down arrow keys. With JAWS, navigate it by pressing Shift+H or H.

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

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

Use the Search field commands

In Microsoft Teams, you can use the Search field to quickly do things by entering commands.

  1. To go to the Search field, press Ctrl+E.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Type / to open the list of available commands. To navigate the list, press Ctrl+Up or Down arrow key until you hear the command you want and press Enter to select it.

    • If you know the command you wish to use, type the command in the Search field, and press Enter.

Sign out of Microsoft Teams

  1. In Microsoft Teams, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear "Profile, app settings and more, button," and press Enter.

  2. Press the Down arrow key repeatedly until you hear "Button, Sign out," and press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to create new 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

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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