Accessibility with the new Microsoft Edge

Applies to: Microsoft EdgeWindows 10

 

We’re excited to walk you through the accessibility enhancements we’ve added to the 

new Microsoft Edge 

and show you how to use your screen reader and keyboard to make sure that you’re using the very latest version, so you can enjoy the smoothest possible browsing experience. If you’ve used an older version of Microsoft Edge, you’ll notice that some things have changed, but we’ve got you covered. Keep checking back on this article to find out about new accessibility features and more!

We’ve tested the instructions with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

What’s new in Microsoft Edge accessibility


We try to make browsing with assistive technologies as easy and intuitive as possible. Check out the accessibility enhancing features we’ve added in the new Microsoft Edge:

  • Microsoft Edge supports the Windows high contrast theme and improved text scaling.
  • The Windows Ease of Access features are now integrated to Microsoft Edge with closed captions and appearance enhancements.
  • You can navigate Microsoft Edge using the same keyboard shortcuts that you know from Windows. For the list of shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Edge.
  • Tooltips appear on keyboard focus and include keyboard shortcuts.  
  • You can select text with your keyboard by turning on caret browsing (F7).
  • Menus now support underline access keys on Windows.  
  • For more info on accessibility, refer to Accessibility features in Microsoft Edge.

Check for a new version and update to the latest one


We’re constantly adding new enhancements, improvements, and features to Microsoft Edge, so keep your browser up to date to enjoy the latest additions. To make sure that you’re always using the latest Microsoft Edge version, follow the steps below to check if there’s new version of Microsoft Edge available, and if needed, update your Microsoft Edge to the latest version.

  1. Turn off Scan mode or equivalent, and press Alt+F to open the Settings and more  menu.
  2. Press Down arrow until you hear “Help and feedback,” and press Enter.
  3. Press Down arrow until you hear “About Microsoft Edge,” and press Enter. You hear: “Search settings, edit” or similar.
  4. Turn on Scan mode or the equivalent, and then navigate by landmarks until you hear: “Main landmark.”
  5. To check if there’s an update ready to be installed, navigate by buttons until you hear: “Update now.” To install the update, press Enter. If you don’t hear “Update now,” you already have the latest version of Microsoft Edge.
  6. To finalize the update, navigate by buttons until you hear “Restart,” and press Enter.

New keyboard shortcuts


With the new Microsoft Edge comes a handful of new keyboard shortcuts. Check out the list below for some of the new keyboard shortcuts. For the complete list of keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Edge, see Keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Edge.  

  • To submit feedback or report an issue, press Alt+Shift+I
  • To open Favorites, press Ctrl+Shift+O.
  • To cycle the focus between different panes in the browser window including notifications, press F6.
  • To open a new InPrivate window, press Ctrl+Shift+N
  • To open the system print dialog, press Ctrl+Shift+P.
  • To open a file in Microsoft Edge, press Ctrl+O.

Customize the tabs at the first use


The first time you use the new Microsoft Edge, you can choose what type of content the browser tabs show you when you open a new tab.

If you have an Office 365 subscription, you can select either Office 365 or Microsoft News as your preferred feed and then select a Focused, Inspirational, or Informational page layout type. Otherwise, Microsoft News is used automatically.

The Office 365 feed shows your recent Office files so you can quickly access them from Microsoft Edge. The Microsoft News feed offers you a selection of news articles to keep you up to date with what’s going on around the world.

The page layout types determine how the selected feed is displayed on a tab. The Focused layout type shows a minimalistic view of the feed, the Informational type contains more tools to stay productive, and the Inspirational type is the most decorative page layout type with a motivating image of the day and easy access to your selected feed content.

  1. Launch the new Microsoft Edge. You will hear the Microsoft Edge welcome message, followed by “Get started.” 
  2. Press Enter. You will hear “Pick the feed you’d like to see.” The focus is on the feed menu in the tab customization window.
  3. Press the spacebar to expand the menu, press Down arrow until you hear the feed you want, and press Enter to select.
  4. Press Tab or Shift+Tab until you hear the tab type you want (for example: “Inspirational radio button, not selected). Press Enter to select.
  5. Once you’re happy with your selections, press Tab until you hear “Next,” and press Enter
  6. The focus is on the Confirm button. To apply the tab customization settings and start using Microsoft Edge, press Enter.

Troubleshooting


If you’re running into trouble when using the new Microsoft Edge, first check if there’s an update available for Microsoft Edge or your screen reader. For instructions, see Check for a new version and update to the latest one.

If they’re both up to date, try changing the UI Automation feature flag. For more, see Control the UI Automation flag.

If you've changed your mind and would like to go back to the previous version of Microsoft Edge, follow the instructions in Go back to the previous version of Microsoft Edge.

Control the UI Automation flag


  1. In Microsoft Edge, press F6 until you reach the address bar.
  2. Type edge://flags and press Enter. The Experiments page will open, with the focus in the Search flags field.
  3. Type Native UI automation and press Enter.
  4. Press Tab until you hear “Native UI automation,” followed by “Default.”
  5. Press the spacebar to expand the menu. Press Down arrow until you hear the desired value, and then press Enter. The possible values for the feature state are Default, Enabled, and Disabled
  6. To restart Microsoft Edge and apply the changes, press Tab until you hear “Restart,” and press Enter.

Go back to the previous version of Microsoft Edge


  1. Select Start  > Settings  > Apps  > Apps & features.
  2. Press Tab until you hear "Search box, search this list, edit" or something similar.
  3. Search for "Microsoft Edge."
  4. Press Tab until you hear "Microsoft Edge."
  5. Press Tab once more to bring focus to the Uninstall button, press Enter, and confirm that you want to uninstall. 
    1. Depending on your version of Windows 10, you may find two installed apps called “Microsoft Edge.” The "Uninstall" button won't be active for the previous version, so you'll only be able to uninstall the new Microsoft Edge.
  6. Restart your device, and your Microsoft Edge app will now be the previous version. 

Future improvements


We want to keep improving Microsoft Edge and making sure that you enjoy using Microsoft Edge for both work and play. In a future release, we’ll be adding features to the immersive reader that can help improve reading comprehension and fluency by breaking words into syllables, highlighting nouns, verbs, and adjectives, increasing text spacing, narrowing focus to a few lines at a time, and providing Irlen color themes. We’ll also continue to improve the PDF reader, including screen reader access for forms and tagged PDF documents, as well as enabling text to be selected using the keyboard.

Send feedback


We’d love to hear your thoughts on the new Microsoft Edge. Was there something that you really liked? Did you find anything that we could do better to improve your browsing experience even more? Please, let us know!

Submit your feedback through Microsoft Edge

  1. In the new Microsoft Edge, press Alt+Shift+I. The Send Feedback window opens. The focus is in the feedback text field.
  2. Type your feedback.
  3. Your account email address is included in the feedback by default. If you want to send your comments without your email address, press Tab until you hear “Include email address checkbox checked,” and press the spacebar.
  4. If you don’t want to send diagnostics data with your feedback, press Tab until you hear “Send diagnostic data, checkbox checked,” and press the spacebar.
  5. To send your feedback, press Tab until you reach the Send button, and press Enter.