Get Started with NVDA

NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a free Windows-only screen reading software for blind and vision impaired users. NVDA can read text from most applications.


  1. Click to download NVDA.
  2. Run the downloaded file (nvda-20174-win.exe).
    Note: NVDA will begin reading aloud during the installation process.
  3. Press Tab to move to the I agree check box.
  4. Press Space bar to check the box.
  5. Press Tab to Install NVDA on this computer.
  6. Press Enter to accept the license agreement.
  7. Tab to the Continue button in the Install NVDA dialog box.
  8. Click OK or press Enter after NVDA has been installed.
  9. In the Please Donate dialog box, select Donate or Not Now.
  10. Choose to Download and install any updates.
  11. The keyboard layout, default key and startup options can be selected in the Welcome to NVDA dialog box.

Using NVDA

Note: The Insert key (main or numpad) is the default NVDA key. 

  • The first time a PDF is opened in Adobe Reader while NVDA is running, the Accessibility Setup Assistant will open to set up preferences for reading PDFs.
  • WebAIM's Keyboard Shortcuts for NVDA include shortcuts for voice rate and for reading text, headings, lists, tables, forms and links. Learn more about WebAIM shortcuts for NVDA.
  • NVDA reads aloud Windows with keystroke and mouse navigation through the Windows desktop, Start menu and File Explorer, and can read aloud from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDFs and most browsers. 
  • NVDA can convert text to braille and load onto a USB drive for portability.

For more information and instructions, visit the NVDA User Guide