Google Hangouts is being replaced by Google Chat. Learn about the switch from Google Hangouts to Google Chat.

Use Google Chat with accessibility features

You can use Google Chat with a screen reader or keyboard shortcuts. For example, you can send a 1:1 message, create or join spaces, or reply to a message or conversation.

Use a screen reader

On your computer, Chat works best with these browsers and screen readers:

  • ChromeVox: You don't need to do any extra setup to use Chat with ChromeVox on Chrome OS.
  • NVDA: Chrome and Firefox are the recommended browsers. For the best experience, NVDA should be in focus mode.
  • JAWS: Chrome and Firefox are the recommended browsers with the latest version of JAWS. For the best experience, JAWS should be in forms mode or the virtual cursor should be turned off.
  • VoiceOver: Chrome is the recommended browser. If you use Safari instead of Chrome, go to the advanced settings and turn on Press tab to highlight each item on a web page. For the best experience, turn off VoiceOver's 'Quick Nav' feature.

Review your screen reader’s documentation for the most up-to-date details, instructions and shortcuts.

Use Chat keyboard shortcuts

To show a full list of keyboard shortcuts in Chat, press ? (Shift+/). Learn how to use Google Chat keyboard shortcuts.
Navigate around Chat
  • Use the up and down arrows to go to the conversation or space that you want. To open it, press Enter.
  • By default, the focus is on the message or conversation box. To read messages in a 1:1 conversation or space, press Esc to exit the box, then use the up arrow to go through the messages.

Spaces have two levels:

  • Level 1 is the list of conversations.
  • Level 2 is messages within a conversation.


  • Use the up and down arrows to move through the level.
  • Use the left and right arrows to change the level.
Start a conversation
  1. On Chrome OS and Microsoft Windows, press Ctrl+P. On macOS, press ⌘+S.
  2. To move through the suggestions:
    • Enter the username.
    • Use the up and down arrows, then press Enter.
  3. Enter your message.
  4. To send your message, press Enter or Tab until Send "" is highlighted and then press Enter.
Create or find a space
  1. On Chrome OS and Windows, press Ctrl+O. On macOS, press ⌘+O.
  2. To create a space, enter the name, then press Tab and then Enter.
  3. To find and join an existing space:
    • Use the up and down arrows to move through the list of spaces.
    • Press Tab to highlight "" or Preview, then press Enter.
Start a new conversation or message in a space
  1. On Chrome OS and Windows, press Ctrl+S. On macOS, press ⌘+S.
  2. A new thread or message box opens.
  3. Enter your message, then press Enter.

Google, Google Workspace and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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