How to navigate the menu bar and menus with VoiceOver on Mac

If you’re just starting to use VoiceOver on your Mac, then navigating the menu bar and the menus within it is one of those things you’ll need to become familiar with pretty quickly. While it’s not particularly difficult, it’s like many other VoiceOver gestures and commands, you simply need to get the hang of it.

To help you navigate the menu bar and the menus with VoiceOver on your Mac effectively, we’ll show what you need to know.

Note: All key presses for VoiceOver begin with VO which indicates your VoiceOver modifier keys.

Access and use the menu bar with VoiceOver

You can jump up to the menu bar on your Mac easily with VoiceOver. Simply press VO + M, or to go directly to the status menus (far right of the menu bar) VO + M + M.

Once you’re within the menu bar, use these key presses to navigate and select items.

VoiceOver Mac menu bar item command

Go to a particular menu: Press the first letter of its name. For example, you would press F for the File menu.

Move across the menu bar: VO + Right arrow and VO + Left arrow

Open a menu: VO + Space bar

Move up or down a menu: VO + Up arrow or VO + Down arrow

Move to a submenu: VO + Right arrow

Select a menu item: Space bar

Open a shortcut menu: VO + Shift + M

Exit the menu bar or a menu without taking an action: Escape

Open Spotlight search: Command + Space bar

Access Siri: Use the keyboard shortcut you have designated in System Preferences > Siri. Or if Siri is in the menu bar, use VO + M + M to access the status menus and select Siri.

Wrapping it up

Remember, you can always access the Help and Commands menus while using VoiceOver on Mac if you’re unsure of how to do something.

And for more, check out how to use VoiceOver Utility the feature or customize announcements and hints for VoiceOver.