Use Google Groups with a screen reader

You can use Google Groups with a screen reader and keyboard shortcuts. For example, you can create or join groups, post to a group, and read conversations.

This article has sections on recommended browsers for screen readers, navigating around Google Groups, completing group member tasks, completing common group owner and manager tasks, and related resources.

To jump to a specific task below, click an option.

For group members:

For group owners or managers:

Recommended browsers and screen readers

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

  • ChromeVox—You don't need to do any extra setup to use Google Groups with ChromeVox on Chrome OS.
  • NVDA—We recommend the Chrome or Firefox browser. For the best experience, use NVDA in focus mode.
  • JAWS—We recommend the Chrome or Firefox browser with the latest version of JAWS. For the best experience, use JAWS in forms mode or turn off the virtual cursor.
  • VoiceOver—We recommend the Chrome browser. If you use Safari instead, go to the advanced settings and turn on Press tab to highlight each item on a webpage. For the best experience, turn off VoiceOver's Quick Nav feature.

Navigate around Google Groups

You can move through Google Groups using the Tab key or standard screen reader keystrokes. Learn more about navigating Groups with Use keyboard shortcuts in Google Groups.

Google Groups contains the following parts:

  • Buttons and search–Search your groups, change your settings, or do things such as create a group or write a post.
  • Main content section:
    • Google Groups—This portion contains a list of your groups.
    • Open group—When you open a group, you find a list of conversations that members of the group posted.
    • Conversations—When you open a conversation, you’re met with a list of messages in the conversation
    • Messages—From an open message, you can press j or k to select the next or previous message.
  • Navigation tree—When you reach the navigation tree, your screen reader announces the Google Groups menu bar. From there, select where you’d like to go, such as Home, My groups, or Starred conversations. For example:
    • Go to the next or previous heading—Press Tab and Shift + Tab or your screen reader’s next and previous shortcuts.
    • Move within a section—Press the up and down arrow keys.
    • Expand or collapse the section under a section heading–Press Enter.

Complete common member tasks

Search for a group

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Navigate to the search filter and choose if you want to search:
    • Groups you joined—Select My groups.
    • All groups—Select All groups and messages.
  3. Complete these steps:
    1. Press Tab once to go to the search field.
    2. Enter the name of the group you want to find.
    3. Press Enter.
  4. Navigate to the Groups results list and find the group.

Next, you can join the group if you haven’t already, change your settings, read conversations, or start a new conversation.

Join a group

A group owner or member can invite you to join a group by email. You can also join a group in Google Groups:

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Navigate to the search filter and change the selection from My groups to All groups and messages.
  3. Complete these steps:
    1. Press Tab once to go to the search field.
    2. Enter the name of the group you want to join.
    3. Press Enter.
  4. Navigate to the Groups results list, find the group you want to join, and press Enter.
  5. Navigate to the Join group link and press Enter.

    If that option isn’t available, navigate to Ask to join group or Contact owners and managers and press Enter.

  6. If you were able to Join group, choose if you want to link your Google Account and how often you want to get emails from the group.

    If you choose not to get emails, you can still read conversations in Google Groups.

Read conversations in a group

You can get messages from your groups sent to your email. You can also read conversations in Google Groups:

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Find the group with messages you want to read and press Enter to open it.

    The main content section has a list of conversations.

  3. Find the conversation that you want to read and press o or Enter.

    The conversation opens and includes each message in chronological order.

  4. (Optional) Use keyboard shortcuts to make reading conversations easier:
    • Open or close a message—Press o, Enter, or Space.
    • Go to a different message in a conversation—Press n to go to the next (newer) message or p to go the previous (older) one.

      Note: To open and read a message, press Enter, turn on the virtual cursor or browse mode, then press the arrow keys.

    • Go to a different conversation—Press j to go to an older conversation or k to go to a newer one.

Post to a group

You can post to a group in Gmail by sending an email to the group email address or replying to an email sent to the group. You can also post to a group in Google Groups:

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Find the group with messages that you want to read and press Enter to open it.
  3. To start a new conversation:
    1. Navigate to New conversation and press Enter.

      A message composer window opens to the subject line.

    2. Enter your subject and press Tab to move to the message body.
    3. Enter your message.
    4. To post the message, press Tab to move to the Post button and press Enter.
  4. To reply to a conversation:
    1. Find the conversation that you want and press o.
    2. Find the message that you want to reply to and press r.

      A composer window opens to the message body.

    3. Enter your message.
    4. To post the message, press Tab to move to the Post button and press Enter.

Change your settings or leave a group

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Find the group that you want to change settings for and press Enter to open it.
  3. Navigate to the navigation tree.
  4. When you get to Conversations, press the down arrow 3 times to get to My membership settings.
  5. Press Enter to open the membership settings.

    The settings open in the main content section, including an option to leave the group.

Complete common owner and manager tasks

Create a group

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Navigate to Create group and press Enter.
  3. In the Create a group box, enter group details, choose privacy settings, and optionally add members.

    For more information about group settings, review the Settings reference.

  4. Navigate to Create group and press Enter.

    Wait a few minutes for your new group to become active before sending a message to it. Otherwise, you might get a notification that your message couldn't be delivered.

  5. (Optional) Choose advanced settings for your group:
    1. Open the group.
    2. In the navigation tree, navigate to the section that starts with Conversations and press the down arrow to get to Group settings.
    3. Press Enter to open the settings.
    4. To edit settings:
      1. Press the down arrow to get to the section that has the setting you want to edit. You can also tab through the entire settings list.

        For details about the settings, see your group’s Advanced settings.

      2. After you make your changes, navigate to Save changes and press Enter.

Find all the groups you own or manage

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Navigate to the search filter and make sure My groups is selected.
  3. Press Tab to get to the search field.

    A menu opens with search options.

  4. Press Tab to get to Groups I own/manage and press Enter.

    The list of groups now includes only groups that you own or manage.

Add group members

If you own or manage a group, you can add members directly to the group or send them an invitation to join.

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Find the group you want to add members to and press Enter to open it.
  3. In the navigation tree:
    1. Navigate to the section that starts with Conversations.
    2. Press the down arrow 3 times to get to Members.
    3. Press Enter to open the members list.
  4. Navigate to the main content section, find Add members, and press Enter.

    A dialog opens with several text fields where you can add members, managers, and owners to the group.

    You can also enter a welcome message.

  5. Choose an option for adding members:
    • Add members directly and skip sending an invitation—Leave the Directly add members setting turned on. Choose this option if you want to add managers or owners.
    • Send an invitation to new members—Turn off Directly add members.
  6. Navigate to Add members and press Enter.

Remove or ban members

You can prevent people from participating in your group by removing or banning them. If you remove a member, they still might be able to ask to join or rejoin, depending on how the group is set up. If you ban a member, they can’t join the group or participate until you unban them.

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Find the group you want to remove or ban members from and press Enter to open it.
  3. In the navigation tree:
    1. Navigate to the section that starts with Conversations.
    2. Press the down arrow 3 times to get to Members.
    3. Press Enter to open the members list.
  4. To search for a specific member:
    1. Navigate to the search bar.
    2. Enter the member’s username or email.
    3. Press Enter.
  5. Navigate to the group members list.

    Your focus is on the Select All box.

  6. Press the right arrow to go to the Member column and press the down arrow to find the member.
  7. When you find the member, press the left arrow then Enter to get to the check the box for that member.
  8. Press Space to check the box.
  9. Press the up arrow until you reach the Select all checkbox to exit the member list.
  10. To remove the selected person from the group, press Tab to go to Remove member and press Enter.
  11. To ban a person from the group, press Tab twice to go to Ban member and press Enter.

Change group settings or delete a group

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Find the group you want to change settings for or delete and press Enter to open it.
  3. In the navigation tree, navigate to the section that starts with Conversations and press the down arrow to get to Group settings.
  4. Press Enter to open the settings.
  5. To edit settings:
    1. Press the down arrow to get to the section that has the setting you want to edit. You can also tab through the entire settings list.
    2. After you make changes to settings, navigate to Save changes and press Enter.
  6. To permanently delete the group:
    1. Press Tab until you get to Delete group.
    2. Press Enter.
    3. In the confirmation box that opens, press Tab twice to get to OK, then press Enter.

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