Use Hangouts with a screen reader

On a computer, Hangouts is organised with headings and landmarks to make it easier to navigate with a screen reader. Here are some tips for getting the best experience.

Screen readers that work best with Hangouts


  • On Windows: Use JAWS or NVDA
  • On Mac: Use VoiceOver
  • On Chromebook or Linux: Use ChromeVox


  • On Android: TalkBack
  • On iPhone or iPad: Use VoiceOver

Using VoiceOver on a Mac

Use the following settings so that Tab key navigation reaches all messages in Hangouts:

  1. On your Mac computer, open System Preferences.
  2. Click Keyboard.
  3. Open the 'Shortcuts' tab.
  4. At the bottom, under 'Full Keyboard Access', select 'All controls'.
  5. Open your browser.
    • Chrome: Click More More. Click Settings. At the bottom, click Advanced. Under the 'Appearance' section, turn on Pressing Tab on a web page highlights links, as well as form fields.
    • Safari: Select Safari and then Preferences and then Advanced. Next to 'Accessibility', tick the box next to 'Press Tab to highlight each item on a web page'.

Using ChromeVox on a Linux

ChromeVox is a browser extension, so it does not work with the Hangouts Chrome extension. To use ChromeVox, go to Hangouts on your browser at, in Gmail, in Inbox or in Google+.

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