Use a screen reader to chat in Microsoft Teams

Screen reader content 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 Microsoft Teams with your keyboard and a screen reader to chat with your contacts. 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 immediately hear an alert when someone sends you a message.

Notes: 

In this topic

Read chat messages

  1. Press Ctrl+2 to open the Chat view. The list pane now shows your Pinned and Recent chats.

  2. Press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear: "Chat list, tree view, chat," followed by the name of the currently selected chat.

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you find the chat you want to read, then press Enter. The chat opens in the content pane and the focus moves to the message compose box.

    Tip: If the chat you seek is not in your Pinned or Recent lists, press Ctrl+E to use the Search field to find it. For more information, refer to Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams.

  4. The chat messages are displayed in the content pane. To browse the messages, press Shift+Tab to move to the most recent message, and then use the Up and Down arrow keys to move between messages.

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

  1. Press Ctrl+2 to open the Chat view. The list pane now shows your Pinned and Recent chats.

  2. Press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear: "Chat list, tree view, chat," followed by the name of the currently selected chat.

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you find the chat you want to read, then press Enter. The chat opens in the content pane and the focus moves to the message compose box.

    Tip: If the chat you seek is not in your Pinned or Recent lists, press Ctrl+E to use the Search field to find it. For more information, refer to Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams.

  4. The chat messages are displayed in the content pane. To browse the messages, press the H or Shift+H keys to move between the different headings in the list. The heading levels are:

    • 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.

Start a private chat

  1. Press Ctrl+2 to open the Chat view, then press Ctrl+N to start a new chat.

  2. Type the name of the person you want to chat with. You hear the first search result, followed by: "Search results updated." Use the Down and Up arrow keys until you hear the name of the person you want to chat with, and press Enter to select.

  3. Press the Tab key. The focus moves to the message compose box. Type your message, and press Enter. The message is sent. You can read the chat messages as described in Read chat messages.

Start a group chat

You can add more people to a chat to make it a group chat.

  1. To have a chat with more than one person, first start a chat with one of them as described in Start a private chat. Then, while in that chat, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Add people button," and press Enter.

  2. Type the name of the person you want to add to the chat. You hear "Search results updated," followed by the first search result. Use the Down and Up arrow keys until you hear the name of the person you want to add, and press Enter to select. Repeat this step for all people you want to add to the group chat.

  3. To add all selected people to the chat, press the Tab key until you hear "Add button," and press Enter. The focus moves to the message compose box.

Add an attachment

  1. In the message compose box, press Ctrl+O. You hear: "OneDrive."

  2. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you find the location from where you'd like to add a file, and then press Spacebar.

    You can add files from a cloud or locally from your computer.

  3. To add files from a cloud:

    1. In the Documents dialog, press the Up or Down arrow key to move in the list of folders or files, and press Enter to open a folder.

    2. Press the Tab key until you find the file you'd like to attach, and press Enter. Press the Tab key until you find the Share button, and press Enter. The file is attached to your message.

    To add local files:

    1. In the Windows Open dialog, press the Tab key to navigate the main areas of the dialog, and use the arrow keys to move inside a main area.

    2. When you've moved the focus to the right file, press Alt+O. The file is attached to your message.

Add an emoji

  1. In the message compose box, press the Tab key once. Press the Right arrow key until find the Emoji button, and press Enter. The emoji list opens.

  2. Press the Tab key to move to the emoji list. Press the Left or Right arrow key to move in the list.

  3. When you hear an emoji you'd like to add, press Enter. The emoji is added to your message.

Add a sticker or meme

  1. In the message compose box, press the Tab key once. Press the Right arrow key until you find the Sticker button, and press Enter. The sticker and meme list opens.

  2. To move to the stickers and memes category pane, press Shift+Tab until you hear: "Popular." To move in the pane, press the Up or Down arrow keys. To select a folder, press Enter. The focus moves to the list of stickers and memes in the category.

  3. Press the Left or Right arrow key to move through the list. To select, press Spacebar.

  4. Edit the sticker or meme text to your liking, and when you're done, press the Tab key until you find the Done button, and then press Spacebar.

Pin or unpin a chat

You can pin a chat, which puts it at the top of the Recent tab.

  1. In the Recent tab, press the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate to the chat you want to pin or unpin.

  2. To open the More options menu, press Spacebar.

  3. If the chat is currently unpinned, you hear: "Pin." Press Enter to pin the chat. If the chat is currently pinned, you hear: "Unpin." Press Enter to unpin the chat.

Pop out a chat

You can pop out a private or group chat into a separate window. This lets you do something else in the main Microsoft Teams window and quickly switch to the chat when you want to.

  1. Press Ctrl+2 to go to the Chat view.

  2. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: "Chat list."

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you find the chat you want to pop out.

  4. To open the More options menu, press Spacebar. You hear: "Pop out chat." Press Enter to open the chat in a new window and move the focus to the message compose box.

Tip: You can also pop out a chat from the Chat pane. In the message compose box, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Pop out chat, button," then press Enter to open the chat in a new window and move the focus to the message compose box.

Notify when a contact is available

  1. Press Ctrl+2 to go to the Chat view.

  2. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: "Chat list."

  3. Press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear: "Chat button menu."

  4. Press Enter to open the menu, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Contacts," and press Enter.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear "Contact list tree view," then press the Up and Down arrow keys until you find the contact you want to be notified about.

  6. To open the More options menu, press Spacebar. You hear: "Pop out chat." Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Notify when available," then press Enter.

    Your screen reader will now announce when the selected contact becomes available in Microsoft Teams.

    Note: To stop receiving the notifications, select Turn off notifications from the More options menu.

Mute or unmute a chat

You can mute a chat to stop receiving notifications. To start receiving notifications again, unmute it.

  1. Press Ctrl+2 to go to the Chat view.

  2. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Chat list, Tree view, Recent" and press Enter.

  3. In the Recent tab, press the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate to the chat you want to mute or unmute.

  4. To open the More options menu, press Spacebar.

  5. To mute a chat, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Mute," and then press Enter. To unmute a previously muted chat, press the Down arrow until you hear "Unmute," and then press Enter.

Filter your chats

You can filter the messages in the Chat view in Microsoft Teams by the name of a person to show only group chats, meetings, or private chats where that person is a participant. You can also filter the list to show only unread chats, meetings, or muted chats.

  1. In the Chat view, press Ctrl+Shift+F. You hear: "Filter by name."

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To filter chats by name, type the keyword.

    • To show only unread chats, meetings, or muted chats, press the Tab key until you hear "More options," press Enter to open the drop-down menu, press the Down arrow key until you hear the option you want, and press Enter.

  3. Use the Down and Up arrow keys to browse the filtered list of chats.

  4. To clear the filter, press Esc.

Turn off message previews

To provide you with even more privacy, you can now turn off desktop notification message previews for Microsoft Teams. Message previews are on by default.

  1. Press Ctrl+E to move the focus to the Search box, then press the Tab key. You hear: "Profile, app settings, and more." Press Enter.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Settings," and press Enter. The Settings dialog box opens.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Notifications tab," and press Enter.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Show message preview," then press Spacebar to turn off the toggle. You hear: "Not checked."

  5. To close the Settings dialog box, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Close Settings button," and press Enter.

Mark chats as urgent

Particularly important private chat messages can be marked as urgent. Urgent messages will send an alert to the recipient every two minutes for a period of twenty minutes.

  1. In the message compose box, press the Tab key to move the focus to the actions menu. Press the Right arrow key until you find the Set Delivery Options button, and press Enter.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Mark message as urgent," and press Enter to mark the message as urgent.

See also

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

Use a screen reader to check recent activity 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

Video: Start chats and make calls

Use Microsoft Teams on Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to chat with your contacts. You immediately hear an alert when someone replies to your message. Add attachments, emoji, and memes to you messages. Pin a chat to always keep it at the top of your recent chats. Mute a chat to stop receiving notifications.

Notes: 

In this topic

Read chat messages

  1. Press Command+2 to open the Chat view. The list pane now shows your Pinned and Recent chats.

  2. Press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear: "Entering chat list table," followed by the name of the currently selected chat and the last message in it.

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you find the chat you want to read, then press Return. The chat opens in the content pane and the focus moves to the message compose box.

    Tip: If the chat you seek is not in your Pinned or Recent lists, press Command+E to use the Search field to find them. For more information, refer to Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams.

  4. The chat messages are displayed in the content pane. To browse the messages, press Shift+Tab to move to the most recent message, and then use the Up and Down arrow keys to move between messages.

Start a private chat

  1. Press Command+2 to open the Chat view, then press Command+N to start a new chat.

  2. Type the name of the person you want to chat with. You hear the first search result, followed by: "Search results updated." Use the Down and Up arrow keys until you hear the name of the person you want to chat with, and press Return to select.

  3. Press the Tab key. The focus moves to the message compose box. Type your message, and press Return. The message is sent. You can read the chat messages as described in Read chat messages.

Start a group chat

You can add more people to a chat to make it a group chat.

  1. To have a chat with more than one person, first start a chat with one of them as described in Start a private chat. Then, while in that chat, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Add people button," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  2. Type the name of the person you want to add to the chat. You hear "Search results updated," followed by the first search result. Use the Down and Up arrow keys until you hear the name of the person you want to add, and press Return to select. Repeat this step for all people you want to add to the group chat.

  3. To add all selected people to the chat, press the Tab key until you hear "Add button," and press Control+Option+Spacebar. The focus moves to the message compose box.

Explore message content

You can use your screen reader to open links included in messages or to open or save an attached file.

Open an attachment

  1. When reading messages in a conversation, your screen reader announces if the current message has an attachment.

  2. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "File attachment," followed by the file name.

  3. Press the Right arrow key until you hear: "More attachment options." Press Return to open the menu.

  4. Use the Right and Left arrow keys to pick one of the following options, and press Return to select it.

    • Open in Desktop App: Opens the attachment in the related app, such as PowerPoint, so you can read or edit it.

    • Download: Saves the file to your computer or a network drive, so you can get back to it later or attach it to an email, for example. The file is saved to your default download location, which is usually the Downloads folder.

Add an attachment

  1. In the compose box, press Command+O. The attachment picker opens.

  2. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you find the cloud location from where you'd like to add a file, and then press Return to select.

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key to move in the list of folders or files.

  4. When you find the file you'd like to attach, press Return. You hear: "Selected." Press the Tab key until you find the Upload button, and then press Return. The file is added to your message.

Attach a local file

  1. To attach a file from your computer to your message, press Command+O.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Upload from my computer," and then press Return. The dialog for selecting a file opens.

  3. Press the Tab key to navigate the main parts of the dialog, and use the arrow keys to move inside them.

  4. When you've moved the focus to the file you want, press Return. The file is added to your message.

Add an emoji

  1. In the compose box, press Option+Q.

  2. Press the Tab key to move to the emoji list. Press the Left or Right arrow key to move in the list.

  3. When you hear an emoji you'd like to add, press Control+Option+Spacebar. The emoji is added to your message.

Add a sticker or a meme

  1. In the compose box, press the Tab key until VoiceOver announces: "Attachment."

  2. Press the Right arrow key until you reach the Sticker button. Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the menu.

  3. To move to the stickers and memes category pane, press Shift+Tab. To move in the pane, press the Right or Left arrow keys. To select a category, press Return.

  4. To move to the list of stickers and memes in a category, press the Tab key. Then press the Left or Right arrow keys to move through the list. To select an item, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. If you want, you can edit the sticker or meme text. When ready, press the Tab key until you reach the Done button. Press Control+Option+Spacebar to select.

    The sticker or meme is added to your message in the compose box.

Pin or unpin a chat

You can pin a chat to keep it at the top of the list of your most recent chats in the Chat view.

  1. Press Command+2 to go to the Chat view.

  2. Press Command+F6 until you hear "Recent" and press Return.

  3. Press the Tab key once to move to the list of recent chats, and then press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to enter the list.

  4. Press the Down or Up arrow key to navigate to the chat you want to pin or unpin.

  5. Press Spacebar. The More options menu opens.

  6. If the chat is currently unpinned, you hear: "Pin." Press Return to pin. If the chat is currently pinned, you hear: "Unpin." Press Return to unpin.

Pop out a chat

You can pop out a private or group chat into a separate window. This lets you do something else in the main Microsoft Teams window and quickly switch to the chat when you want to.

  1. Press Command+2 to go to the Chat view.

  2. Press Command+F6 until you hear "Recent" and press Return.

  3. Press the Tab key once to move to the list of recent chats, and then press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to enter the list.

  4. Press the Down or Up arrow key to navigate to the chat you want to pop out.

  5. Press the Up and Down arrow keys until you find the chat you want to pop out.

  6. To open the More options menu, press Spacebar. You hear: "Pop out chat." Press Return to open the chat in a new window and move the focus to the message compose box.

Tip: You can also pop out a chat from the Chat pane. In the message compose box, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Pop out chat, button," then press Return to open the chat in a new window and move the focus to the message compose box.

Notify when a contact is available

  1. Press Command+2 to go to the Chat view.

  2. Press Shift+Tab until you hear: "Chat, pop up button."

  3. Press Return to open the menu, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Contacts," and press Return.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Favorites."

  5. To open the More options menu, press Spacebar. You hear: "Pop out chat." Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Notify when available," then press Enter.

    Note: To stop receiving the notifications, select Turn off notifications from the More options menu.

Mute or unmute a chat

You can mute a chat to stop receiving notifications. To start receiving notifications again, unmute it.

  1. Press Command+2 to go to the Chat view.

  2. Press Command+F6 until you hear "Recent" and press Return.

  3. Press the Tab key once to move to the list of recent chats, and then press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to enter the list.

  4. Press the Down or Up arrow key to navigate to the chat you want to mute or unmute.

  5. Press Spacebar. The More options menu opens.

  6. To mute a chat, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Mute," and then press Return. To unmute a previously muted chat, press the Down arrow until you hear "Unmute," and then press Return.

Filter your chats

You can filter the messages in the Chat view in Microsoft Teams by the name of a person or a keyword to show only group chats, meetings, or private chats where that word occurs. You can also filter the list to show only unread chats, meetings, or muted chats.

  1. In the Chat view, press Command+Shift+F. You hear: "Filter by keyword."

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To filter chats by keyword, type the keyword.

    • To show only unread chats, meetings, or muted chats, press the Tab key until you hear "More options," press Return to open the drop-down menu, press the Down arrow key until you hear the option you want, and press Return.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear the filtered list of chats.

Turn off message previews

To provide you with even more privacy, you can now turn off desktop notification message previews for Microsoft Teams. Message previews are on by default.

  1. Press Command+E to move the focus to the Search box, then press the Tab key. You hear: "Profile, app settings, and more." Press Return.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Settings," and press Return. The Settings dialog box opens.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Notifications tab," and press Return.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Notification style," then press the Tab key once to move the focus to the Show message preview toggle. Press Spacebar to turn off the toggle. You hear: "Unticked, tick box."

  5. To close the Settings dialog box, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Close Settings button," and press Return.

Mark chats as urgent

Particularly important private chat messages can be marked as urgent. Urgent messages will send an alert to the recipient every two minutes for a period of twenty minutes.

  1. In the message compose box, press the Tab key to move the focus to the actions menu. Press the Right arrow key until you find the Set Delivery Options button, and press Return.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Mark as urgent," and press Return to mark the message as urgent.

See also

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

Use a screen reader to check recent activity 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

Use Microsoft Teams for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to chat with your contacts. You immediately hear an alert when someone replies to your message.

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 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

Start a group chat

  1. In the channel where you want to compose your message, on the Posts tab, place your finger on the screen, slide it to the bottom of the screen until you hear "New post button," and double-tap the screen.

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

  3. After typing, to send the message, swipe right or left until you hear "Send button," and then double-tap the screen.

    Tip: You can also send a message that includes a photo saved on your phone. To send a photo, while typing your message, swipe right or left until you hear "Image," and double-tap the screen. Swipe right until you hear "Photo library," and double-tap the screen. Then select a photo from your Photos library.

Start a private chat

  1. Swipe left or right until you hear "Chat tab," and double-tap the screen. You hear: "Selected, Chat tab." The list pane shows your recent conversations, if any.

  2. Place a finger on the screen, drag it to the top-right corner until you hear "New chat button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Enter a name, email, group, or tag." The New Chat window opens and the focus is on the To field.

  3. To search for a contact, swipe right until you hear the first character on the on-screen keyboard.

  4. To type your search words, slide one finger on the keyboard until you hear the character you want, and then double-tap the screen. The character is added in the To field.

  5. The search results are listed as you type. To go to the results, swipe left or right until you hear a contact name. To select a contact, double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe right until you hear "Type a new message," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Text field, is editing, insertion point at start."

  7. Type your message using the on-screen keyboard as instructed above.

  8. To send the message, swipe left until you hear "Send button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Message sent."

    When the person replies to your message, VoiceOver announces a new or an unread message.

Mark chats as urgent

Particularly important private chat messages can be marked as urgent. Urgent messages will send an alert to the recipient every two minutes for a period of twenty minutes.

  1. When composing a new chat message, swipe left or right until you hear "Choose from more options," and double-tap the screen.

  2. You hear: "Priority button." Double-tap the screen to select.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Urgent button," and double-tap the screen. The message is marked as urgent. You can continue composing the message with the on-screen keyboard or swipe right until you reach the Send button, and then double-tap the screen to send the message.

See also

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

Use Microsoft Teams for Android with Talkback, the built-in Android screen reader, to chat with your contacts. You immediately hear an alert when someone sends you a message.

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 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

Start a group chat

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

  2. Type the message using your on-screen keyboard. To go to the keyboard, place a finger on the screen and drag it around until you hear a keyboard element.

  3. After typing, to send the message, swipe right or left until you hear "Send message button" and double-tap the screen.

    Tip: In your message, you can also send an emoji, a gif, or a photo saved on your phone. While typing your message, swipe right or left until you hear the option you want. Then double-tap the screen to select the option.

Start a private chat

  1. Swipe right until you hear "Chat tab," and then double-tap the screen. You hear the first item in the recent conversations list that's shown in the list pane.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "New chat button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Edit box, To, Search for contacts here." The on-screen keyboard is shown in the bottom half of the screen.

  3. To type your search words, slide one finger on the bottom half of the screen until you hear a character you want, then lift your finger, and then double-tap the screen. The character is added in the To field.

  4. The search results are listed and announced as you type. The focus moves to the first search result. To move in the list, swipe left or right until you hear the contact name. To select the contact, double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear "Type a message here, edit box," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Type your message using the on-screen keyboard as instructed above.

  7. To send the message, swipe left or right until you hear "Send message button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Message sent successfully."

  8. When the person replies to your message, you hear: "Message received, showing items <number of the current item and its position in the list of items>."

Explore message content

You can use your screen reader to open or save an attached file.

  1. When reading messages in a conversation, your screen reader announces if the current message has an attachment. You hear "File," followed by the file name.

  2. Swipe right until you hear: "File options, button." Double-tap the screen to open the menu.

  3. Swipe right or left to pick one of the following options, and double-tap the screen to select it.

    • Open in app: Opens the attachment in the related app, such as PowerPoint, so you can read or edit it.

    • Download: Saves the file to your phone, so you can get back to it later or attach it to an email, for example. The file is saved to your default download location.

Mark chats as urgent

Particularly important private chat messages can be marked as urgent. Urgent messages will send an alert to the recipient every two minutes for a period of twenty minutes.

  1. When composing a new chat message, swipe right until you hear "Choose from more options," and double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Priority," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Message marked as urgent," and double-tap the screen.

See also

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

Use Microsoft Teams on the web with your keyboard and a screen reader to chat with your contacts. 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. You immediately hear an alert when someone sends you a message.

Notes: 

In this topic

Start a group chat

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+2 to open the Chat view. The list pane now shows your Favourites, if any, Recent contacts, and Suggested contacts.

  2. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear “New Chat button,” and press Enter. Search for at least 2 contacts you want to chat with, and add the contacts. Press the Tab key until you hear: “Type a new message.”

  3. Type your message. You can also add attachments or even emoji, stickers, or memes to spice up your message. For more information, see Add an attachment, Add an emoji, and Add a sticker or meme.

  4. To send a message, press Enter.

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

  1. Press F until you hear: "New conversation button," and press Enter. The focus moves to the message compose box.

  2. Type your message. You can also add attachments or even emoji, stickers, or memes to spice up your message. For more information, see Add an attachment, Add an emoji, and Add a sticker or meme.

  3. To send a message, press Enter.

Start a private chat

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+2 to open the Chat view.

  2. With JAWS, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: "Chat list." With NVDA, you hear: "Chat."

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the name of the contact you want to chat with, followed by their availability information.

    Tip: If the contact you seek is not in your Favorites, Recent, or Suggested lists, press Ctrl+E to use the Search field to find them. For more information, refer to Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams.

  4. Press Enter, type your message, and press Enter again. The message is sent.

  5. When the person replies to your message, you hear "Message from," followed by the person's name and the text in the message.

    Note: If you receive a message from someone other than the person you're currently chatting with, or if you receive a message while in another view, you hear the sender's name, followed by the text in the message.

The chat messages are displayed in the content pane. To browse the messages, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you find the most recent message, and then use the Up and Down arrow keys.

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

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+2 to open the Chat view.

  2. With JAWS, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: "Chat list." With NVDA, you hear: "Chat."

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the name of the contact you want to chat with, followed by their availability information.

    Tip: If the contact you seek is not in your Favorites, Recent, or Suggested lists, press Ctrl+E to use the Search field to find them. For more information, refer to Use a screen reader to search for a conversation, person, or file in Microsoft Teams.

  4. Press Enter, type your message, and press Enter again. The message is sent.

  5. When the person replies to your message, you hear "Message from," followed by the person's name and the text in the message.

    Note: If you receive a message from someone other than the person you're currently chatting with, or if you receive a message while in another view, you hear the sender's name, followed by the text in the message.

The chat messages are displayed in the content pane. To browse the messages, press the H or Shift+H keys to move between the different headings in the list. The heading levels are:

  • 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.

Explore message content

You can use your screen reader to open links included in messages or to open or save an attached file.

Open an attachment

  1. When reading messages in a conversation, your screen reader announces if the current message has an attachment.

  2. Press Enter to open the context menu, then press the Tab key until you hear "File attachment," followed by the file name.

  3. Press the Tab key once. You hear: "More attachment options." Press Enter to open the menu.

  4. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to pick one of the following options, and press Enter to select it.

    • Open in Desktop App: Opens the attachment in the related app, such as PowerPoint, so you can read or edit it.

    • Download: Saves the file to your computer or a network drive, so you can get back to it later or attach it to an email, for example. The file is saved to your default download location, which is usually the Downloads folder.

Add an attachment

  1. In the message compose box, press Ctrl+Shift+O. You hear: "OneDrive."

  2. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you find the location from where you'd like to add a file, and then press Spacebar.

    You can add files from a cloud or locally from your computer.

  3. To add files from a cloud:

    1. In the Documents dialog box, press the Up or Down arrow key to move in the list of folders or files, and press Enter to open a folder.

    2. Press the Tab key until you hear the file you'd like to attach, and press Enter. Press the Tab key until you find the Share button, and press Enter. The file is attached to your message.

    To add local files:

    1. In the Windows Open dialog box, press the Tab key to navigate the main areas of the dialog, and use the arrow keys to move inside a main area. Press Enter to open a folder.

    2. Press the Tab key until you find the right file, and press Alt+O. The file is attached to your message.

Add an emoji

  1. In the message compose box, press the Tab key once. Press the Right arrow key until you reach the Emoji button, and press Enter. The emoji list opens.

  2. Press the Tab key to move to the emoji list. Press the Left or Right arrow key to move in the list.

  3. When you hear an emoji you'd like to add, press Enter. The emoji is added to your message.

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

  1. In the message compose box, press the Tab key once. Press B until you reach the Emoji button, and press Enter. The emoji list opens.

  2. Press the Tab key to move to the emoji list. Press the Left or Right arrow key to move in the list.

  3. When you hear an emoji you'd like to add, press Enter. The emoji is added to your message.

Add a sticker or meme

  1. In the message compose box, press the Tab key once. Press the Right arrow key until you reach the Sticker button, and press Enter. The emoji list opens.

  2. To move to the stickers and memes category pane, press Shift+Tab. To move in the pane, press the Up or Down arrow keys. To select a folder, press Enter. The focus moves to the list of stickers and memes in the category.

  3. Press the Left or Right arrow key to move through the list. To select, press Spacebar.

  4. If there is a text field, you can edit the sticker or meme text. When you're done, press the Tab key until you reach the Done button, and then press Spacebar.

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

  1. In the message compose box, press the Tab key once. Press B until you reach the Sticker button, and press Enter. The emoji list opens.

  2. To move to the stickers and memes category pane, press Shift+Tab. To move in the pane, press the Up or Down arrow keys. To select a folder, press Enter. The focus moves to the list of stickers and memes in the category.

  3. Press the Left or Right arrow key to move through the list. To select, press Spacebar.

  4. If there is a text field, you can edit the sticker or meme text. When you're done, press B until you reach the Done button, and then press Spacebar.

Pin or unpin a chat

You can pin a chat, which puts it at the top of the Recent tab.

  1. In the Recent tab, press the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate to the chat you want to pin or unpin.

  2. To open the More options menu, press Spacebar.

  3. If the chat is currently unpinned, you hear: "Pin." Press Enter to pin the chat. If the chat is currently pinned, you hear: "Unpin." Press Enter to unpin the chat.

Notify when a contact is available

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+2 to go to the Chat view.

  2. With JAWS, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: "Chat list." With NVDA, you hear: "Chat."

  3. Press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear: "Chat button."

  4. Press Enter to open the menu, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Contacts," and press Enter.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear "Contact list tree view," then press the Up and Down arrow keys until you find the contact you want to be notified about.

  6. To open the More options menu, press Spacebar. You hear: "Remove from this group." Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Notify when available," then press Enter.

    Your screen reader will now announce when the selected contact becomes available in Microsoft Teams on the web.

    Note: To stop receiving the notifications, select Turn off notifications from the More options menu.

Mute or unmute a chat

You can mute a chat to stop receiving notifications. To start receiving notifications again, unmute it.

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+2 to go to the Chat view.

  2. Press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: "Chat list, Tree view, Recent chats."

  3. In the Chat list, use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate to the chat you want to mute or unmute.

  4. To open the More options menu, press Spacebar.

  5. To mute a chat, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Mute," and then press Enter. To unmute a previously muted chat, press the Down arrow until you hear "Unmute," and then press Enter.

Filter your chats

You can filter the messages in the Chat view in Microsoft Teams by the name of a person to show only group chats, meetings, or private chats where that name occurs. You can also filter the list to show only unread chats, meetings, or muted chats.

  1. In the Chat view, press Ctrl+Shift+F. You hear: "Filter."

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To filter chats by name, type the name.

    • To show only unread chats, meetings, or muted chats, press the Tab key until you hear "More options," press Enter to open the drop-down menu, press the Down arrow key until you hear the option you want, and press Enter.

  3. Press the Tab key until you reach the filtered list of chats.

Turn off message previews

To provide you with even more privacy, you can now turn off desktop notification message previews for Microsoft Teams. Message previews are on by default.

  1. In Microsoft Teams on the web, press Ctrl+E to move the focus to the Search box, then press the Tab key. You hear: "Profile." Press Enter.

  2. With Narrator, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Settings, button," and press Enter. The Settings dialog box opens.

    With JAWS, press the SR key+Down arrow key until you hear "Settings, button," and press Enter. The Settings dialog box opens.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Notifications tab," and press Enter.

  4. With Narrator, press the Tab key once, press the SR key+Right arrow key until you hear "Show message preview," then press Spacebar to turn off the toggle.

    With JAWS, press the Tab key until you hear "Show message preview," then press Spacebar to turn off the toggle.

  5. To close the Settings dialog box, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Close Settings button," and press Enter.

Mark chats as urgent

Particularly important private chat messages can be marked as urgent. Urgent messages will send an alert to the recipient every two minutes for a period of twenty minutes.

  1. In the message compose box, press the Tab key once. Press the Right arrow key until you reach the Set Delivery Options button, and press Enter.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Mark message as urgent," and press Enter to mark the message as urgent.

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

  1. In the message compose box, press the Tab key once. Press B until you reach the Set Delivery Options button, and press Enter.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Mark message as urgent," and press Enter to mark the message as urgent.

See also

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

Use a screen reader to check recent activity in Microsoft Teams

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Microsoft Teams

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Microsoft Teams

Video: Start chats and make calls

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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