Basic tasks using a screen reader with OneDrive

This article is for people with visual or cognitive impairments who use a screen reader program such as Microsoft’s Narrator, JAWS, or NVDA with Microsoft 365 products. This article is part of the Microsoft 365 screen reader support content set where you can find more accessibility information on our apps. For general help, visit Microsoft Support home.

Use your keyboard and a screen reader with OneDrive for Windows to store, search for, and share your files across devices. 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 and appears automatically in File Explorer and as a location to save files. Files that you save to OneDrive are available online at OneDrive.com as well as offline on your computer, 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

Start OneDrive

With Windows, you can open OneDrive by using either Cortana or File Explorer. OneDrive opens as a folder in File Explorer.

Open OneDrive using Cortana

  1. To select the Cortana Search bar, press the Windows logo key. You hear: "Search box."

  2. In the Search box, type OneDrive. The window updates with a list of suggestions. You can browse the suggestions with the Up and Down arrow keys.

  3. When you hear “OneDrive desktop app,” press Enter. OneDrive opens with the focus on the Items view. To move to the folder or file you want, use the Up and Down arrow keys.

Open OneDrive from File Explorer

  1. To open File Explorer, press the Windows logo key+E. File Explorer opens with the focus in the Items view.

  2. Press Shift+F6 to move to the Navigation pane. You hear: "Tree view." Use the arrow keys until you hear “OneDrive,” and then press Enter.

  3. To return to the Items view, press the Tab key once.

  4. To move to the folder or file you want, use the Up and Down arrow keys.

Open an item

In File Explorer, move to the item you want to open, press Spacebar to select it, and then press Enter.

Upload an item to OneDrive

Upload an item from File Explorer

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

  2. Browse to and select the folder or file you want to upload to OneDrive, and press Shift+F10 or the Windows Menu key. The context menu opens, and you hear: “Context menu.”

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear “Move to OneDrive,” and then press Enter. The file is moved to your OneDrive folder in Windows File Explorer, and will be uploaded to your OneDrive online.

Save a file directly to OneDrive

When you work on a file in an Office app, you can save it directly to OneDrive, so you don't have to upload it separately.

  1. Open the file you want to upload.

  2. To select the Save As command, press Alt+F, A. You hear: “Save as.”

  3. To select OneDrive, press the Tab key, and then press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear: “OneDrive.” Press Enter. You hear: "Pick a folder."

    Tip: If you want to save the file in a specific location within your OneDrive folder, press the Tab key until you hear: "Items." Use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse the folders and files in OneDrive. Press Enter to select the folder you want, and then press Shift+Tab until you hear: "Pick a folder."

  4. To open the Save As dialog box, press Enter. The dialog box opens with the focus on the File name text field.

  5. Type a name for the file.

  6. To save the file, press the Tab key until you hear "Save," and then press Enter.

Download an item from OneDrive

By default, all items in your OneDrive folder are available both online on the web and offline on your computer, but you can also download an item separately.

  1. In File Explorer, navigate to the item you want to download in your OneDrive. When on the item, press Ctrl+C.

  2. Move to the folder where you want to save the item on your computer, and press Ctrl+V to paste it.

Share an item from OneDrive

Choose from the following scenarios for more information:

Share a view-only link to an item

  1. Select the folder or file you want to share, and then press Shift+F10 or the Windows Menu key. The context menu opens, and you hear: “Context menu, Open.”

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear “Share,” and then press Enter. The Share window opens.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "Copy link," and press Enter.

  4. To paste the link in a document or message, press Ctrl+V.

Anyone you send this link to will be able to open and view the file.

Manage permissions

If you have shared a file or folder with specific people, you can change whether they are permitted to edit the file or folder, or stop sharing it with them.

  1. Select the folder or file whose permissions you want to change, and then press Shift+F10 or the Windows Menu key. The context menu opens, and you hear: “Context menu, Open.”

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear “Share,” and then press Enter. The Share window opens.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "Manage access," and then press Enter. The Manage Access dialog box opens. It lists sharing links you have created for the item, and any people you have shared the item with.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "More options," and press Enter.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To stop sharing the item through a sharing link, press the Tab key until you hear the sharing link you want to remove. Press the Tab key again. You hear: "Remove link." Press Enter. To confirm removing the link, in the Remove link dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "Delete link," and then press Enter.

    • To modify permissions for a specific person you have shared the item with, navigate to the list of people. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Shared Users list." Use the Up and Down arrow keys to move to the person whose permissions you want to change, press the Tab key once, and then press Enter. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to select between "Allow edit," "Change to view only," and "Stop sharing," and then press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate OneDrive

Keyboard shortcuts for OneDrive for work or school

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use your keyboard and a screen reader with OneDrive in your web browser to store, search for, and share your files across devices. 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. 

Files that you save to OneDrive are available online at OneDrive.com.

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 for the web, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web 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

Start OneDrive

  1. Open your web browser and go to https://onedrive.com.

  2. If you're not already signed in to your Microsoft 365 account (whether through your organization or your Microsoft account), press the Tab key until you hear "Sign in," and press Enter. Sign in to your organization account or Microsoft account.

Upload a file

When you want to save a file from your computer to OneDrive, select the location in OneDrive and then upload it.

  1. With OneDrive open in your web browser, press the Tab key until you hear: “My files." Then press Enter until you hear "Enter table list of files, folders, or items," followed by "Toggle selection for all items unchecked."

  2. Press the Tab key until your hear "Command bar," followed by description. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Upload," and press Enter.

  3. To upload a file, press Enter again. You hear: "Upload Open dialog."

  4. A File Explorer window opens. The focus is in the File name field. Navigate to the file you want to upload using the Tab and arrow keys, or type the name of the file into the field (if the file is located in the folder that's currently open).

  5. Press Enter. The selected file or files upload to the location you selected in OneDrive and you hear “Uploaded," the number of items you uploaded, and the upload location.

Tip: To select multiple adjacent files, press and hold the Shift key when you select the first file, and then press the Down or Up arrow key until you select the last file. All files between the first and last file are selected.

Download a file

When you want to copy a file from OneDrive to your device, select it in OneDrive and download it.

  1. With OneDrive open in your web browser, press the Tab key until you hear: "My files."

  2. Use the Down or Up arrow key to move to the file you want to download. If you need to navigate into a folder, move to it and then press Enter.

  3. When you have moved to the file you want to download, press the Right arrow key until you hear “Show actions button collapsed,” and then press Enter.

  4. Press the Down arrow key until your hear: "Download menu item." Press Enter.

  5. Press the Tab key until your hear "Save" and then press Enter or Alt+S. When finished, you hear: “The download has completed. Press Shift+F6 to cycle to the downloads bar area.”

Search for a file or folder

  1. In OneDrive, press the Tab key until you hear: "Search box."

  2. Type all or part of the file or folder name you’re looking for. A list opens containing the files or folders which meet your criteria.

  3. Use the Down and Up arrow keys to browse the search results list.

  4. To open a folder or file in the search results list, press Enter. If you opened a file, the file opens in a new tab in your web browser. If an alert opens, press Alt+N and then to open the folder or file, follow the instructions.

Share a file or folder

  1. With OneDrive open in your web browser, press the Tab key until you hear "My Files," and then press Enter.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear the name of the first folder or file. Use the Down or Up arrow key to move to the file you want to share. If you need to navigate into a folder, move to it and then press Enter.

  3. When you have moved to the file or folder you want to share, press the Right arrow key twice. You hear: "Share the selected item with other people button." Then press Enter.

  4. The Send Link dialog box opens. The focus is in the email address field. Type the email address of the person you want to share with and press Enter. If you want to invite others, type another email address and press Enter.

Note: If you do not hear the Allow editing option, press the Tab key until you hear "Anyone with this link can view this item," and then press Enter.

See also

Keyboard shortcuts for OneDrive for work or school

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate 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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