Use a screen reader to explore and navigate OneDrive

Decorative icon. Screen reader content

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

OneDrive is built into Windows. It appears automatically in Windows File Explorer as a location where you can save files. Files that you save to OneDrive are available online at OneDrive.com and offline on your PC, so you can use them anytime—even when you’re not connected to the internet. When you reconnect, OneDrive syncs the online files with the files on your computer.

Notes: 

In this topic

Navigate to OneDrive and to a OneDrive folder in File Explorer

Because OneDrive is integrated with Windows File Explorer as a location where you can save files, OneDrive is listed as a drive in the navigation pane tree view in File Explorer.

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

  2. If needed, you can check if the navigation pane view is on.

    1. In File Explorer, press Alt to move the focus to the app bar.

    2. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "View, app bar button," and press Spacebar.

    3. Press the Up arrow key until you hear "Show, menu item collapsed," and then press the Right arrow key once. If you hear "Navigation pane, menu item, checked," the pane view is on. If you hear "Navigation pane, menu item," the pane view is off. Press Spacebar to turn the pane view on.

  3. Press F6 until you hear: "Navigation pane."

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

  5. With the focus on OneDrive, press the Right arrow key once to expand the contents list.

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

    Tip: If the folder name is followed by "Collapsed," the folder has subfolders. To expand the folder, press the Right arrow key once.

Navigate the OneDrive main content area

  1. Navigate to and select a OneDrive folder as instructed in Navigate to OneDrive and to a OneDrive folder in File Explorer.

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

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

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

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

See also

Basic tasks using a screen reader with OneDrive

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use OneDrive for the web at OneDrive.com with your keyboard and a screen reader to explore and navigate the different views and move between them. We have tested it with Narrator in Microsoft Edge and JAWS and NVDA in Chrome, but it might work with other screen readers and web browsers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

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.

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

  • When you use OneDrive, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your browser. Because OneDrive runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not OneDrive.

In this topic

Navigate the OneDrive main view

The OneDrive main view contains the following main elements:

  • The toolbar at the top of the screen

  • Navigation pane on the left

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

To navigate between the elements in the main view, press the Tab key to go forward or Shift+Tab to go backward until you reach the element you want.

Navigate the OneDrive toolbar

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

  1. To navigate to the toolbar, press the Tab key until you hear with Narrator: "Banner, App launcher." With JAWS, you hear: "Banner region, App launcher." With NVDA, you hear: "App launcher, menu button."

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

Navigate the navigation pane

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

  1. To navigate to the navigation pane, press the Tab key until you hear with Narrator "Link," followed by the name of the category currently in focus, for example "Link, My files." With JAWS, you hear "Navigation regions," followed by the name of the category, and then "Link." With NVDA, you hear "Navigation landmark, list," followed by the name of the category.

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

Navigate the main content area

The main content area shows the folders and files in the selected category. Depending on the selected category, the main content area might also show a taskbar at the top of the area.

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

  • To browse menus and lists, press the Right, Left, Up, or Down arrow key.

  • To move to the taskbar, press the Tab key until you hear with Narrator "Command bar," followed by the command in focus, for example, "Command bar, New." With JAWS, you hear "Menu, command bar, menu," followed by the command in focus. With NVDA, you hear the command in focus.

  • To move on the taskbar, press the Up, Down, Left, or Right arrow key.

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

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

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

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

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

See also

Basic tasks using a screen reader with OneDrive

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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