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Understanding SC 2.4.1:Bypass Blocks (Level A)

In Brief

Users can more easily navigate by keyboard.
What to do
Provide a means of skipping repeating content.
Why it's important
Users reliant on the keyboard interface can move around pages efficiently.


The intent of this Success Criterion is to allow people who navigate sequentially through content more direct access to the primary content of the Web page. Web pages and applications often have content that appears on other pages or screens. Examples of repeated blocks of content include but are not limited to navigation links, header content, and advertising frames. Small repeated sections such as individual words, phrases or single links are not considered blocks for the purposes of this provision.

Users who navigate sequentially through content will generally have to navigate through repeated content on each page. This is in contrast to a sighted user's ability to ignore the repeated material either by focusing on the center of the screen (where main content usually appears) or a mouse user's ability to select a link with a single mouse click rather than encountering every link or form control that comes before the item they want.

It is not the intent of this Success Criterion to require authors to provide methods that are redundant to functionality provided by the user agent. Most web browsers provide keyboard shortcuts to move the user focus to the top of the page, so if a set of navigation links is provided at the bottom of a web page providing a "skip" link may be unnecessary.


Although this Success Criterion deals with blocks of content that are repeated on multiple pages, we also strongly promote structural markup on individual pages as per Success Criteria 1.3.1.

Although the success criterion does not specifically use the term “within a set of web pages”, the concept of the pages belonging to a set is implied. An author would not be expected to avoid any possible duplication of content in any two pages that are not in some way related to each other, and are not "Web pages that share a common purpose and that are created by the same author, group or organization” (the definition of set of web pages).


Even for web pages that are not in a set, if a web page has blocks of text that are repeated within the page it may be helpful (but not required) to provide a means to skip over them.


When this Success Criterion is not satisfied, it may be difficult for people with some disabilities to reach the main content of a Web page quickly and easily:

  • Screen reader users who visit several pages on the same site can avoid having to hear all header content and dozens of navigation links on every page before the main content is spoken.
  • People who use only the keyboard or a keyboard interface can reach content with fewer keystrokes. Otherwise, they might have to make dozens of keystrokes before reaching a link in the main content area. This can take a long time and may cause severe physical pain for some users.
  • People who use screen magnifiers do not have to search through the same header content or other blocks of information to find where the main content begins each time they enter a new page.
  • People with cognitive limitations as well as people who use screen readers may benefit when links are grouped into lists


  • A news organization's home page contains a main story in the middle of the page, surrounded by many blocks and sidebars for advertising, searching, and other services. There is a link at the top of the page that jumps to the main story. Without using this link, a keyboard user needs to tab through approximately 40 links to reach the main story; the screen reader user has to listen to 200 words; and the screen magnifier user must search around for the location of the main body.
  • An e-commerce website includes a long list of filters prior to the search results listing. A link above the list enables users to skip the filters and get to the product results quickly.

Related Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.


Each numbered item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques that the WCAG Working Group deems sufficient for meeting this Success Criterion. However, it is not necessary to use these particular techniques. For information on using other techniques, see Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria, particularly the "Other Techniques" section.

Sufficient Techniques

Advisory Techniques

Although not required for conformance, the following additional techniques should be considered in order to make content more accessible. Not all techniques can be used or would be effective in all situations.

Key Terms

assistive technology

hardware and/or software that acts as a user agent, or along with a mainstream user agent, to provide functionality to meet the requirements of users with disabilities that go beyond those offered by mainstream user agents


Functionality provided by assistive technology includes alternative presentations (e.g., as synthesized speech or magnified content), alternative input methods (e.g., voice), additional navigation or orientation mechanisms, and content transformations (e.g., to make tables more accessible).


Assistive technologies often communicate data and messages with mainstream user agents by using and monitoring APIs.


The distinction between mainstream user agents and assistive technologies is not absolute. Many mainstream user agents provide some features to assist individuals with disabilities. The basic difference is that mainstream user agents target broad and diverse audiences that usually include people with and without disabilities. Assistive technologies target narrowly defined populations of users with specific disabilities. The assistance provided by an assistive technology is more specific and appropriate to the needs of its target users. The mainstream user agent may provide important functionality to assistive technologies like retrieving Web content from program objects or parsing markup into identifiable bundles.


satisfying all the requirements of a given standard, guideline or specification


process or technique for achieving a result


The mechanism may be explicitly provided in the content, or may be relied upon to be provided by either the platform or by user agents, including assistive technologies.


The mechanism needs to meet all success criteria for the conformance level claimed.


series of user actions where each action is required in order to complete an activity

relied upon

the content would not conform if that technology is turned off or is not supported


mechanism for encoding instructions to be rendered, played or executed by user agents


As used in these guidelines "Web Technology" and the word "technology" (when used alone) both refer to Web Content Technologies.


Web content technologies may include markup languages, data formats, or programming languages that authors may use alone or in combination to create end-user experiences that range from static Web pages to synchronized media presentations to dynamic Web applications.

user agent

any software that retrieves and presents Web content for users

web page

a non-embedded resource obtained from a single URI using HTTP plus any other resources that are used in the rendering or intended to be rendered together with it by a user agent


Although any "other resources" would be rendered together with the primary resource, they would not necessarily be rendered simultaneously with each other.


For the purposes of conformance with these guidelines, a resource must be "non-embedded" within the scope of conformance to be considered a Web page.

Test Rules

The following are Test Rules for certain aspects of this Success Criterion. It is not necessary to use these particular Test Rules to check for conformance with WCAG, but they are defined and approved test methods. For information on using Test Rules, see Understanding Test Rules for WCAG Success Criteria.

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