Use a screen reader to manage Microsoft Teams meetings

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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 Microsoft Support home.

Use your keyboard and a screen reader to manage meetings in Microsoft Teams for Windows. We have tested it with JAWS and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. You'll learn how to mute all participants, prevent participants from unmuting their microphones, and spotlight a video during a meeting. 

Notes: 

In this topic

Mute all participants in a meeting

To avoid any confusion as to who’s speaking and reduce noise, you can mute all participants simultaneously.

Microsoft Teams will show the Mute all option in a meeting with three or more participants. Additionally, in meetings with more than five members, anyone joining the meeting will join as muted.

  1. While in a Microsoft Teams meeting, press the Tab key until you hear "Call controls regions," press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear "Show participants, button," and press Enter.

  2. The list of participants opens. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Attendees, Tree view, In this meeting."

  3. Press Shift+F10 to open the context menu. You hear: "Mute all." Press Enter. You hear: "Mute everyone?" Press the Tab key until you hear "Mute, button," and press Enter.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode. In JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode.

  1. While in a Microsoft Teams meeting, press B until you hear "Show participants, button," and press Enter.

  2. The list of participants opens. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Attendees, Tree view, In this meeting."

  3. Press Shift+F10 to open the context menu. You hear: "Mute all." Press Enter. You hear: "Mute everyone?" Press the Tab key until you hear "Mute, button," and press Enter.

Prevent participants from unmuting their microphones 

If you're organizing a large meeting where you can't take questions from the participants or want to avoid random noises and distractions, you can keep the participants from unmuting their microphones. You can stop attendees from unmuting during a meeting or before the meeting.

Prevent unmuting during a meeting 

  1. While in a Microsoft Teams meeting, press the Tab key until you hear "Call controls regions," press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear "More actions, menu button," and press Enter.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Meeting options," and press Enter.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "Allow attendees to unmute, check box, checked," and press Spacebar. You hear: "Not checked."

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Save button," and press Enter.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode. In JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode.

  1. While in a Microsoft Teams meeting, press B until you hear "More actions, menu button," and press Enter.

  2. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear "Meeting options," and press Enter.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "Allow attendees to unmute, check box, checked," and press Spacebar. You hear: "Not checked."

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Save button," and press Enter.

Prevent unmuting before the meeting

  1. In the Microsoft Teams Calendar view, navigate to the invitation of the meeting where you want to prevent the participants from unmuting, and press Enter.

  2. The meeting details page opens. Press Shift+Tab until you hear: "Cancel meeting."

  3. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Meeting options," and press Enter. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "More options," and press Enter.

  4. The Meeting options page opens in your browser. Press the Tab key until you hear "Yes, Allow attendees to unmute," and press Spacebar.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear "Save," and press Enter. You can now return to the meeting details. To close the details page, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Close," and press Enter.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode. In JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode.

  1. In the Microsoft Teams Calendar view, navigate to the invitation of the meeting where you want to prevent the participants from unmuting, and press Enter.

  2. The meeting details page opens. Press Shift+Tab until you hear: "Cancel meeting."

  3. Switch to virtual mode, then press B until you hear "Meeting options," and press Enter. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "More options," and press Enter.

  4. The Meeting options page opens in your browser. Press B until you hear "Yes, Allow attendees to unmute," and press Spacebar.

  5. Press B until you hear "Save," and press Enter. You can now return to the meeting details. To close the details page, press Shift+B until you hear "Close," and press Enter.

Spotlight a video

Spotlighting a video is like pinning or highlighting it for everyone in the meeting. As an organizer or presenter, you can choose anyone's video, including your own, to be the main video in the meeting.

Notes: 

  • You can spotlight a video only in the Gallery view mode.

  • If you record a meeting in which someone's video is spotlighted, the video won't be spotlighted in the recording. This is just a temporary limitation, though—stay tuned for updates.

  • Currently, you can only spotlight one video at a time.

  1. While in a Microsoft Teams meeting, press the Tab key until you hear "Call controls region," press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear "More actions, menu button," and press Enter. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Gallery," and press Enter.

  2. Press the Left arrow key until you hear "Show participants, menu button," and press Enter.

  3. The list of participants opens. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Attendees tree view, In this meeting."

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the name of the participant whose video you want to spotlight or your own name if you want to highlight your video.

  5. Press Shift+F10, and then do one of the following:

    1. To spotlight a participant's video, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Spotlight, Highlight this video for everyone in the meeting," followed by the participant's name, and press Enter.

    2. To spotlight your own video, press Enter.

Note: In NVDA this is called the browse mode. In JAWS it is called the virtual cursor mode.

  1. While in a Microsoft Teams meeting, press B until you hear "More actions, menu button," and press Enter. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Gallery," and press Enter.

  2. Press B until you hear "Show participants, menu button," and press Enter.

  3. The list of participants opens. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Attendees tree view, In this meeting."

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the name of the participant whose video you want to spotlight or your own name if you want to highlight your video.

  5. Press Shift+F10, and then do one of the following:

    1. To spotlight a participant's video, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Spotlight, Highlight this video for everyone in the meeting," followed by the participant's name, and press Enter.

    2. To spotlight your own video, press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule a meeting in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to join a meeting in Microsoft Teams

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Learning the layout of Microsoft Teams with a screen reader

Use your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in macOS screen reader, to manage meetings in Microsoft Teams on Mac. You'll learn how to prevent participants from unmuting their microphones and spotlight a video during a meeting.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 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 macOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

In this topic

Prevent participants from unmuting their microphones 

If you're organizing a large meeting where you can't take questions from the participants or want to avoid random noises and distractions, you can keep the participants from unmuting their microphones. You can stop attendees from unmuting during a meeting or before the meeting.

Prevent unmuting during a meeting

  1. While in a Microsoft Teams meeting, press the Tab key until you hear "Calling indicators region," press Control+Option+Left or Right arrow key until you hear "More actions," and press Spacebar.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Meeting options," and press Spacebar.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "Allow attendees to unmute, checked," and press Spacebar. You hear: "Not checked."

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Save button," and press Spacebar.

Prevent unmuting before the meeting

Note: Make sure you have either Firefox or Chrome web browser installed to your computer, and preferably set as the default browser. The Meeting options page is currently not available in Safari.

  1. In the Microsoft Teams Calendar view, navigate to the invitation of the meeting where you want to prevent the participants from unmuting, and press Return.

  2. The meeting details page opens. Press Shift+Tab until you hear: "Cancel meeting."

  3. Press Control+Option+Right arrow key until you hear "Meeting options," and press Control+Option+Spacebar. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "More options," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. The Meeting options page opens in your default browser. If the default browser is Safari, press the Tab key until you reach the Copy link button, and press Control+Option+Spacebar. Paste the link to the URL field in either Firefox or Chrome, and press Return.

    On the Meeting options page, press the Tab key until you hear "Yes, Allow attendees to unmute," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear "Save," and press Control+Option+Spacebar. You can now return to the meeting details. To close the details page, press Shift+Tab until you reach the Close button, and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Spotlight a video

Spotlighting a video is like pinning or highlighting it for everyone in the meeting. As an organizer or presenter, you can choose anyone's video, including your own, to be the main video in the meeting.

Notes: 

  • You can spotlight a video only in the Gallery view mode.

  • If you record a meeting in which someone's video is spotlighted, the video won't be spotlighted in the recording. This is just a temporary limitation, though—stay tuned for updates.

  • Currently, you can only spotlight one video at a time.

  1. While in a Microsoft Teams meeting, press the Tab key until you hear "Calling indicators region," press Control+Option+Left or Right arrow key until you hear "More actions, menu button," and press Spacebar. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Gallery," and press Spacebar.

  2. Press Control+Option+Left arrow key until you hear "Show participants," and press Spacebar.

  3. The list of participants opens. Press the Tab key until you hear "Entering attendees table, In this meeting" and then press the Down arrow key until you hear the name of the participant whose video you want to spotlight or your own name if you want to highlight your video.

  4. Press Shift+F10, and then do one of the following:

    1. To spotlight a participant's video, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Spotlight," followed by the participant's name, and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    2. To spotlight your own video, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

See also

Use a screen reader to schedule a meeting in Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to join a meeting in Microsoft Teams

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Learning the layout of Microsoft Teams with a screen reader

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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