Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

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This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use the email in Outlook with Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to do the essential basic tasks. You can create and send new emails, read and reply to received emails, search, filter, and print emails, work with attachments, and more.

Notes: 

In this topic

Read and reply to or forward email

Use your screen reader and keyboard shortcuts to read and respond to emails. You hear a sound when a new email has arrived.

Open and read an email

  1. In Inbox, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear the first mail in the message list. Your screen reader announces the sender, subject, received date and time, and indicates if the email is unread.

    • To browse the message list, press the Up or Down arrow key.

    • To open an email, press Enter.

    • To read the email from top to bottom, press Caps Lock+M.

    • To stop reading, press Ctrl.

    • To move to the next email, press Alt+5.

    • To move to the previous email, press Alt+4.

  2. When you are finished reading the email, to return to Inbox, press Esc.

Reply to an email

  1. In an email or on an email in Inbox, do one of the following:

    • To reply to just the original sender, press Ctrl+R. You hear: "Re, <the message subject>."

    • If the message has multiple recipients and you want to reply to all, press Ctrl+Shift+R.

  2. A new email opens with the same subject and set to reply to either just the sender or everyone included in the original email. The focus is on the body of the message. Type your message.

  3. When you are finished composing the message, press Alt+S to send the email.

Forward an email

  1. In an email or on an email in Inbox, press Ctrl+F. You hear: "Fw, <the message subject>."

  2. The focus is on the To field. Type the names of the recipients.

  3. If you want to include a message, press the Tab key until you hear "Fw, <the message subject>, message editing," and then type your message.

  4. When you are finished composing the message, press Alt+S to send the email.

Create and send email

  1. In Inbox, press Ctrl+N. You hear: "Untitled, message, <message format>, window, To, editing."

  2. The focus is on the To field. Type the names of the recipients.

  3. To send a copy, press the Tab key. You hear: "Cc, editing." Type the names of contacts who receive a copy.

  4. To send a hidden copy, press the Tab key. You hear: "Bcc, editing." Type the names of contacts who receive a copy.

    If you don't hear "Bcc, editing," the Bcc field is hidden. To unhide it, press Alt+P, B.

  5. To add a subject for the email, press the Tab key until you hear "Subject, editing," and then type your message.

  6. To add your message, press the Tab key until you hear "<Subject of the email>, message, editing," and then type your message.

  7. When you are finished composing the message, press Alt+S to send the email.

Use search and filter to find email

Waste no time excavating through lists or archives for that important email. Use search and filter to quickly find what you're looking for.

Search for an email

  1. In Inbox, press Ctrl+E. The focus moves to the Search text field. You hear: "Search query, editing, search current mailbox."

  2. To change the folder which you want to search, press the Tab key until you hear "Current mailbox," and then press Spacebar. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the option you want, and then press Enter.

  3. Type your search words.

  4. To browse through the suggestions, press the Down arrow key. To select a suggestion, press Enter. The search results are displayed in the message list.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear the first message. To browse through the list, press the Down arrow key. To open an email, press Enter.

  6. To clear the search results list, press Esc.

    To return to Inbox from an open email and clear the search results list, press Esc twice.

Use a filter to find an email

  1. In the Inbox, press Alt+H, L. The focus moves to the first item in the filter options list.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the option you want, and then press Enter. You hear: "Table view has finished loading."

  3. To move to the list of emails matching the filter, press the Tab key until you hear first message. To browse through the list, press the Down arrow key. To open an email, press Enter.

  4. To clear the results list and the filter, press Esc.

    To return to Inbox from an open email and clear the search results list, press Esc twice.

Open or add attachments

You can open and add attachments in your emails in Outlook.

Open attachments

When you receive an email, your screen reader announces if the email has attachments and the number of attached files.

  1. Open an email with an attachment. The focus is on the message body.

  2. Press Shift+Tab until you hear the attachment details, including the file name and type.

  3. To open the attachment, press Enter. The file opens in a compatible application.

Add attachments

You can send files like resumes, newsletters, or pictures as copies or as OneDrive files.

  1. In an email, press Alt+N, A, F. A context menu opens.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To attach a recent file, press the Down arrow key until you hear the file, and then press Enter.

    • To attach a file from a web location, press W. You hear the first online location, for example, "OneDrive." To select, press Enter. The Insert File dialog opens. Press the Tab key and the arrow keys until you hear the file you want, and then press Alt+S.

    • To attach a file from local storage, for example, your hard drive, press B. The Insert File dialog opens. Press the Tab key and the arrow keys until you hear the file you want, and then press Alt+S.

Print an email

You can print your email on paper or to a file.

  1. In an email or on an email in Inbox, press Ctrl+P. The Print dialog opens.

  2. To print using the default settings, press Alt+F, P, P.

Turn visual or audio notifications on or off

Sound or visual effects can notify you when a new email message arrives. If you need to work uninterrupted, you can turn the notifications off.

  1. In Inbox, press Alt+F, T. The Outlook Options window opens, the focus is on the General tab.

  2. Press M. The Mail tab opens.

  3. Press the Tab key, and then press P. You hear either: "Checked" or "Unchecked" followed by "Play a sound, checkbox." To select or deselect this option, press Spacebar.

  4. To go through the other notification options, press the Tab key. To select or deselect an option, press Spacebar. When you hear "Browse, button" there are no more notification options to select.

  5. To confirm your selections and exit the Outlook Options window, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and then press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for navigating mail in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Outlook using accessible features

Use the email in Outlook 2016 for Mac with VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to do the essential basic tasks. You can create and send new emails, read and reply to received emails, search, filter, and print emails, work with attachments, and more.

Notes: 

In this topic

Read and reply to or forward an email

Read an email

By default, the Outlook app lists emails with the newest first.

  1. In Outlook, press Command+1 to open the Mail main view. In the Mail view, to move the focus to the message list, press the Tab key until you hear: "Message List Outline View table."

  2. To browse the message list, press Control+] (Right bracket) to go to the next message, or Control+[ (Left bracket) to go to the previous message.

  3. VoiceOver reads info about the emails in your Inbox as you move. You hear, for example, the following:

    • The name of the sender

    • The subject of the email

    • The sending date

    • If there are attachments

  4. To open a single email or an email conversation with several messages, press Command+O. The message window opens, and you hear: "Open message. Now in <message subject>."

    To quickly move to the next email, press Control+Left bracket ([). To move to the previous email, press Control+Right bracket (]).

  5. To read an email or messages in a conversation, press the Right or Left arrow keys. VoiceOver reads the message fields as you move.

  6. When you are finished, to close the message window, press Command+W. The message windows closes and the focus moves to the Inbox message list.

Read an email from the Notification Center

Go to the Notification Center on your Mac to read the most recent emails from Outlook.

  1. To go to the menu extras in the menu bar, press Control+Option+MM. You hear: "Menu Extras."

  2. To go to the Notification Center, press the Right arrow key until you hear "Notification center, menu extra," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  3. To go to Notifications in the Notification Center, press Control+Option+Right or Left arrow key until you hear "Notifications, radio button," and then press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key.

  4. To browse the notifications list, press the Right or Left arrow key. As you land in an Outlook notification, VoiceOver reads the notification as "Microsoft Outlook, <time>, <subject>, <sender>, <message body>." To open the email, press Enter.

Reply to an email

  1. In an email message, do one of the following:

    • To reply to the sender of the message, press Command+R.

    • To reply to all, press Shift+Command+R.

  2. A new email opens with the same subject and set to reply to either just the sender or everyone included in the original email. The focus is on the body of the message. Type your message.

  3. When you are finished composing the message, to send the email, press Command+Enter.

Forward an email

  1. In an email message, press Command+J.

  2. The focus is on the To field. You hear: "To, edit text." Type the name of each recipient.

  3. If you want to include a message, press the Tab key until you hear "Document text," and then type your message.

  4. When you are finished composing the message, press Command+Enter to send the email.

Create and send email

  1. In Outlook, press Command+1 to open the Mail main view.

  2. To create a new email, press Command+N. A new message window opens with the focus on the To field. You hear: "Untitled (...) window, To edit text."

  3. In the To field, type the name of each recipient.

  4. To send a copy, press the Tab key to go to the Cc field. You hear: "CC, edit text." Type the names of contacts who you want to receive a copy.

    To send a hidden copy, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Messages, selected tab," then press the Right arrow key and you hear "Options tab." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the Options tab, press the Tab key until you hear "BCC unchecked checkbox," and then press Spacebar. The Bcc field is added to the message. Press the Tab key until you hear "BCC, edit text," and then type the contact names.

  5. To type a subject for the email, press the Tab key until you hear "Subject, edit text," and then type the subject you want.

  6. To type your message, press the Tab key until you hear "Document text," and then type the message you want.

  7. When you are finished composing the message, press Command+Enter to send the email.

Use search and filter to find an email

Waste no time excavating through lists or archives for that important email. Use the search and filter options to quickly find what you're looking for.

Search for an email

  1. In the Mail view, press Option+Command+F to search the current folder. You hear: "Search, search text field." Type your search words, and then press Enter.

  2. To go to the list of search results, press the Tab key until you hear: "Message List Outline View table."

  3. To browse through the search results, press the Up or Down arrow keys. As you move, VoiceOver announces the messages as "<subject>, sent by <sender>, <date>."

  4. To open an email, press Command+O. To close the email window and return to Mail view, press Command+W.

  5. When done, in the Mail view, to exit the Search, press Shift+Tab until you hear "Search, search text field," and then press Esc.

Use a filter to find an email

  1. In the Mail view, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear "Filter email, menu button."

  2. To open the filtering list of options, press Control+Option+Shift+M. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the filtering option you want, and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. The focus moves to the message list containing emails matching the filter.

  3. To browse through the emails matching the filter, press Control+] (Right bracket) to go to the next message, or Control+[ (Left bracket) to go to the previous message. VoiceOver reads the message details as you move through the list.

  4. To open an email, press Command+O.

  5. To remove the filtering option, in the Mail view, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab, until you hear "Filter email, menu button," and then press Control+Option+Shift+M. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Clear all filters," and then press Spacebar.

Open or add attachments

You can open and add attachments in your emails in Outlook 2016 for Mac.

Open an attachment

VoiceOver announces if a received email has attachments.

  1. Open the email with one or more attachments.

  2. Press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear "Attachment" and "<file name and size>," and then press Spacebar. The attachment opens in the supported app.

Add an attachment

You can send files like resumes, photos, or meeting invitations as attachments.

Attach a file

  1. When you're composing a message, in the new email window, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear "Attach file, button," and then press Spacebar. A dialog opens and you can browse for the file you want to attach, for example, from your Documents or iCloud.

  2. Browse to the file you want, and then press Control+Option+Spacebar to select it.

  3. The file is attached to your email and focus moves back to the new email window.

Insert an image or picture

  1. When you're composing a message, in the new email window, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab until you hear "Pictures menu button," and then press Spacebar to expand the Pictures submenu.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Picture from File," and then press Spacebar. A dialog opens and you can browse for the image file you want to attach.

  3. Browse to the image you want, and then press Control+Option+Spacebar to select it.

  4. The image or picture is inserted in the message body.

Print an email

You can print your email on paper or to a file.

  1. In Outlook, select the email you want to print.

  2. Press Command+P to open the Print dialog. To print the email, press the Tab key until you hear "Print, default button," and then press Enter to send the document to your default printer.

Turn visual or audio notifications on or off

You can quickly turn notifications on or off.

  1. In Outlook, press Command+Comma (,) to open Outlook Preferences. You hear: "Preferences, show all button."

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Notifications and sounds button," and then press Spacebar. The Notifications and Sounds window opens.

  3. To turn on or off all notifications, press the Tab key until you hear "Display an alert on my desktop," and then press Spacebar to turn the setting on ("checked") or off ("unchecked").

  4. To turn on or off audio notifications, press the Tab key until you hear "New message" or "Reminder," and then press Spacebar to turn the audio notifications for new messages or reminders, on ("checked") or off ("unchecked").

See also

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook for Mac

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Outlook using accessible features

Use the email in Outlook for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to do the essential basic tasks. You can create and send new emails, read and reply to received emails, search and filter emails, and work with Focused messages and attachments.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

  • This topic assumes that you are using an iPhone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an iPad.

In this topic

Read and reply to or forward an email

Read an email

By default, the Outlook app lists newest email first.

Tip: When you are in the message list and on an email, swipe up or down to hear message-related actions you can take. To take an action, double-tap the screen as soon as you hear the option.

  1. To hear VoiceOver read the emails in your Inbox, in the message list, swipe right or slide your finger down through the list. You hear, for example, the following:

    • The name of the sender

    • The subject of the email

    • The sending date

    • Attachments (if any)

    • The first few lines of the email message

    • The number of messages in a conversation

  2. To open a single email or an email conversation containing several messages, double-tap the screen.

  3. To read an email or messages in a conversation, swipe right or slide your finger from the top of the screen down the list of emails. You hear the subject, sender name, the message, and how many messages there are in a conversation.

  4. If the conversation is long, you may need to open the full message to hear it. After the first message is read, swipe right. If you hear "Open full message button," there is more text to the conversation. To open, double-tap the screen.

    To return to the collapsed message view, swipe left until you hear "Close button," and then double-tap the screen.

  5. To quickly move to the next email, swipe left until you hear "Next message, button," and then double-tap the screen. To move to the previous email, swipe left until you hear "Previous message, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. When you are finished reading the message, to return to the Inbox, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and then double-tap the screen.

Reply to an email

  1. In an email, swipe left or right until you hear "Reply button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. You hear: "Alert, Reply button." To reply to just the original sender, double-tap the screen. If the message has multiple recipients and you want to reply to all, swipe right until you hear "Reply all button," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. A new email opens with the same subject and set to reply to either just the sender or everyone included in the original email. The focus is on the body of the message, and the on-screen keyboard is on the bottom half of the screen. Type your message.

  4. When you are finished composing the message, swipe left until you hear "Send button," and then double-tap the screen.

Forward an email

  1. In an email, swipe right until you hear "Forward button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. You hear: "To, text field, is editing." The focus is in the To field, and the on-screen keyboard is in the bottom half of the screen. Type the name of each recipient.

  3. If you want to include a message, swipe right until you hear "Multiline text field," and then double-tap. Type your message.

  4. When you are finished composing the message, swipe left until you hear "Send button," and then double-tap the screen.

Work with Focused messages

Focus on the emails that matter most to you. By default, Outlook creates a Focused inbox and an Other inbox. Your most important emails are sorted into the Focused inbox while the rest remain easily accessible, but out of the way, in the Other inbox.

By default, Outlook opens the Focused inbox. To switch to the Other inbox:

  1. Swipe left or right until you hear "Other, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. To move back to the Focused inbox, swipe left or right until you hear "Focused, button," and double-tap the screen.

To move an email from the Other inbox to the Focused inbox:

  1. Navigate to the message you want to move, and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "More conversation actions," and then double-tap screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Move to focused inbox, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. You hear an alert. Swipe right until you hear the option you want, and then double-tap the screen.

To disable the Focused inbox and work with a single list of messages:

  1. Swipe right until you hear "Settings, tab" and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Focused inbox, switch button, On," and then double-tap the screen. Outlook now presents a single inbox.

Create and send email

  1. In the message list, swipe left or right until you hear "Compose button, and then double-tap the screen.

  2. The New Message window opens, the focus is on the To field, and the on-screen keyboard is at the bottom half of the screen. Type the names of the recipients.

  3. To send a copy or hidden copy, swipe right until you hear "Cc/Bcc button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Cc text field, is editing." Type the names of contacts who receive a copy.

    To send a hidden copy, swipe right. You hear: "Bcc, zero with space, text field." Double-tap the screen and then type the contact names.

  4. To type a subject for the email, swipe right until you hear "Subject, text field," double-tap the screen, and then type your message.

  5. To type your message, swipe right until you hear "Multiline text field," and then double-tap the screen.

  6. When you are finished composing the message, swipe left until you hear "Send button," and then double-tap the screen.

Use search and filter to find an email

Waste no time excavating through lists or archives for that important email. Use search and filter to quickly find what you're looking for.

Search for an email

  1. In the message list, swipe left or right until you hear "Search button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. The focus moves to the Search Mail field. Start typing your search words. The search results list updates as you type.

  3. To browse through the search results, swipe right. VoiceOver reads the details and the message as you move through the list.

  4. When you hear an email you want to open, double-tap the screen.

  5. To exit Search, swipe left until you hear "Cancel button," and then double-tap the screen.

Use filter to find an email

  1. In the message list, swipe left or right until you hear "Filter button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear the filtering option you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  3. To browse through the emails matching the filter, swipe right. VoiceOver reads the details and the message as you move through the list.

  4. When you hear an email you want to open, double-tap the screen.

  5. To remove the filtering option, in the inbox, swipe left or right until you hear "Cancel filter button," and then double-tap the screen.

Open or add attachments

You can open and add attachments in your emails in Outlook for iOS.

Open an attachment

VoiceOver announces if a received email has attachments.

  1. Open the email with one or more attachments.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "<Attachment file type>, attachment, <file name and size>," and then double-tap the screen. The attachment opens in a supported app.

Add an attachment

You can send files like resumes, photos, or meeting invitations as attachments.

Attach a file

  1. When you're composing a message, swipe right until you hear "Attach a file or a photo, button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Attach file." Double-tap the screen.

  2. Browse to the file you want, and then double-tap the screen to select.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Attach file," and then double-tap the screen.

Attach a photo

  1. When you're composing a message, swipe right until you hear "Attach a file or a photo, button," and then double-tap the screen.

To take photo with device camera to attach:

  1. Swipe right. You hear: "Take photo, button."

  2. Double-tap the screen. The camera activates.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Take picture, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Use photo," and then double-tap the screen.

To attach the last photo taken, swipe right until you hear "Use last photo taken," and then double-tap the screen.

To attach an image from Photos:

  1. Swipe right until you hear "Choose photo from library," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Browse for the image you want, and then double-tap the screen.

Attach a meeting invitation

  1. When you're composing a message, swipe right until you hear "Attach meeting, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. You hear: "Send availability, button." To send your first available time slot for a meeting, double-tap the screen.

    Alternatively, to create a new invitation, swipe right until you hear "Create invitation, button" and then double-tap the screen. A new Outlook Calendar event window opens. For instructions on how to create meeting invitations, refer to Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook.

  3. When you're done scheduling the meeting, in the Calendar event window, swipe left or right until you hear "Done button," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Outlook using accessible features

Use the email in Outlook for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to do the essential basic tasks. You can create and send new emails, read and reply to received emails, search and filter emails, work with Focused messages and attachment, and more.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with an Android phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an Android tablet.

In this topic

Read and reply to or forward an email

Read an email

By default, newest emails are listed first.

  1. In the message list, swipe left or right or slide your finger down to listen to TalkBack read the emails. You hear information about each email, including:

    • The sender name

    • The date or time the message was received

    • The subject

    • The first few lines of the email contents

  2. To open an email, double-tap the screen. TalkBack automatically starts to read the message from the beginning.

    Alternatively, to listen TalkBack read an email message from top to bottom, swipe down-and-right. The Global Context Menu opens. Swipe right until you hear "Read from top," and then double-tap the screen.

    To quickly skim through the message, slide your finger down from the top of the screen.

    To scroll down the message, swipe up with two fingers. To scroll up, swipe down with two fingers.

  3. When you've finished reading the message, to return to the inbox, swipe left or right until you hear "Navigate up button," and then double-tap the screen.

Reply to an email

  1. With the email open, do one of the following:

    • To reply to just the original sender, swipe left or right until you hear "Reply button," and then double-tap the screen.

    • If the message has multiple recipients, if you want to reply to all, swipe right until you hear "Reply all button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. A new email opens with the same subject and is set to reply to the sender or everyone included in the original email. The focus is on the body of the message, and the on-screen keyboard is in the bottom half of the screen. Type your message.

  3. When you've finished composing the message, swipe left until you hear "Send," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Sent, Outlook, keyboard hidden."

Forward an email

You can easily forward an email using TalkBack.

  1. With the email message open, swipe left or right until you hear "Forward button," and then double-tap the screen. A new email opens with the same subject. The focus is on the To field and the on-screen keyboard is in the bottom half of the screen.

  2. Type the name of each recipient.

  3. To type a message, swipe right until you hear "Message body," and then double-tap the screen. Type your message.

  4. When you've finished composing the message, swipe left until you hear "Send," and then double-tap the screen.

Work with Focused messages

Focus on the emails that matter most to you. By default, Outlook creates a Focused inbox and an Other inbox. Your most important emails are in the Focused inbox while the rest remain easily accessible, but out of the way, in the Other inbox.

By default, Outlook opens the Focused inbox. To switch to the Other inbox:

  1. Swipe left or right until you hear "Toggle to Other mails, switch," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. To move back to the Focused inbox, swipe left or right until you hear "Toggle to Focused mails, button," and double-tap the screen.

To move an email from the Other inbox to the Focused inbox:

  1. Navigate to the message you want to move, and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Selected, <the message details>."

  2. Swipe left until you hear "More options button," and then double-tap screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Move to focused inbox, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. You hear an alert. Swipe right until you hear the option you want, and then double-tap the screen.

To disable the Focused inbox and work with a single list of messages:

  1. Swipe right until you hear "Settings" and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe left or right until you hear "Focused inbox, On," and then double-tap the screen. Outlook now presents a single inbox.

Create and send email

  1. In the message list, swipe right until you hear "Compose button," and then double-tap the screen. The New message window opens, with the focus on the To field and the on-screen keyboard in the bottom half of the screen.

  2. Type the names or email addresses of the recipients. The list of matching contacts updates as you type.

    Note: Depending on the device, you may have to swipe right until you hear "Search directory," and then double-tap the screen to look for a contact.

  3. To select a contact, swipe right until you hear the name you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  4. To send a copy of the message to other recipients, swipe right until you hear "Cc field," and then double-tap the screen. Add the recipients as instructed in the previous step.

  5. To send a hidden copy to other recipients, swipe right until you hear "Bcc field," double-tap the screen, and add the recipients.

  6. To add a subject for the email, swipe right. You hear: "Subject, edit box." Double-tap the screen, and type a subject.

  7. To type your message, swipe right. You hear: "Message body." Double-tap the screen, and type your message.

  8. When you've finished composing the message, swipe left until you hear "Send," and then double-tap the screen.

Use search and filter to find email

Waste no time excavating through lists or archives for that important email. Use search and filter to quickly find what you're looking for.

Search for an email

  1. In the message list, swipe left or right until you hear "Search," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. The focus moves to the Search Mail text field, and the on-screen keyboard is in the bottom half of the screen. Start typing your search words. The search results list updates as you type.

  3. To browse through the search results, swipe right. TalkBack reads the details and the message as you move through the list.

  4. When you hear an email you want to open, double-tap the screen.

  5. To exit Search, swipe left until you hear "Collapsed button," and then double-tap the screen.

Use filter to find an email

  1. In the message list, swipe left or right until you hear "Filters button," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear the filtering option you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  3. To browse through the emails matching the filter, swipe right. TalkBack reads the message details as you move through the list.

  4. When you hear the email you want to open, double-tap the screen.

  5. To remove the filtering option, and view all emails in the message list, swipe left or right until you hear "Clear messages filter button," and then double-tap the screen.

Open or add attachments

You can open and add attachments in your emails in Outlook for Android.

Open an attachment

TalkBack announces if a received email has attachments.

  1. Open the email with one or more attachments.

  2. Swipe left until you hear the file type, name, and size, and then double-tap the screen. If you hear "Open with following applications," swipe right until you hear the option you want, and then double-tap the screen to select.

  3. To open the attachment in the selected app, double-tap the screen.

Add an attachment

You can send files like resumes, photos, or meeting invitations as attachments.

Attach a file

  1. When you're composing a message, swipe right until you hear "Attach files," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Choose from files."

  2. To add a file from Outlook, double-tap the screen. To add a file from your device, swipe right until you hear "Choose from device files," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Browse to the file you want, and then double-tap the screen to select and attach it.

Attach a photo

  1. When you're composing a message, swipe right until you hear "Attach files," and then double-tap the screen.

To take a photo with the device camera to attach:

  1. Swipe right. You hear: "Take a photo, button."

  2. Double-tap the screen. The camera activates.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Shutter button," and then double-tap the screen. The photo is captured.

  4. If you hear "Shutter button is now enabled, done," double-tap the screen to attach the photo.

    If you don't hear "Shutter button is now enabled, done," swipe left or right until you hear "OK, button," and then double-tap the screen to attach the photo.

To attach an image from Photos:

  1. Swipe right until you hear "Choose from photos," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Browse to the image you want, and then double-tap the screen.

    Depending on the device, you may need to browse to the location where the photo is saved first.

Attach a meeting invitation

  1. When you're composing a message, swipe right until you hear "Attach meeting," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. You hear: "Send availability." To send your first available time slot for a meeting, double-tap the screen.

  3. To create a new invitation, swipe right until you hear "Create an invitation," and then double-tap the screen. The Outlook Calendar opens. For instructions on how to create meeting invitations, refer to Schedule a new appointment or meeting.

  4. When you're done scheduling the meeting, in the Calendar event window, swipe left or right until you hear "Done," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Use a screen reader to insert a picture or image in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with email in Outlook

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Outlook using accessibility features

Use Outlook Mail with Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to do the essential basic tasks. You can create and send new emails, read, arrange, and reply to received emails, search and filter emails, work with attachments, and more.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a Windows phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a tablet or PC.

In this topic

Read and reply to or forward an email

Read an email

By default, newest emails are listed first.

  1. In the message list, swipe left or right or slide your finger down to listen to Narrator read the emails. You hear information about each email, including:

    • The sender name

    • The date or time the message was received

    • The subject

    • The first lines of the email contents

  2. To open an email, double-tap the screen. You hear: "Reading pane, message."

    To hear Narrator read the message from top to bottom, swipe up with three fingers.

    To scroll down the message, swipe up with two fingers. To scroll up, swipe down with two fingers.

    To quickly move to the next email, swipe right until you hear "Newer button," and then double-tap the screen. To move to the previous mail, swipe right until you hear "Older button," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. When you've finished reading the message, to return to the inbox, swipe right until you hear "Back button, collapsed," and then double-tap the screen.

Reply to an email

  1. With the email message open, swipe left or right until you hear "Respond, button, collapsed" and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Respond, menu."

  2. To reply to just the original sender, swipe right. You hear: "Reply button." Double-tap the screen. If the message has multiple recipients and you want to reply to all, swipe right until you hear "Reply all button," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. A new email opens with the same subject and is set to reply to the sender or everyone included in the original email. You hear: "Outlook mail window." The focus is on the message body, and the on-screen keyboard is in the bottom half of the screen.

  4. Type your message.

  5. When you've finished composing the message, swipe right until you hear "Send button," and then double-tap the screen.

Forward an email

  1. With the email open, swipe left or right until you hear "Respond, button, collapsed" and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Respond menu."

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Forward button," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. A new email opens with the same subject. The focus is on the To text field, and the on-screen keyboard is in the bottom half of the screen.

  4. Type the name of each recipient.

  5. To type a message, swipe right until you hear "Message, editable text," and then double-tap the screen. Type your message.

  6. When you've finished composing the message, swipe right until you hear "Send button," and then double-tap the screen.

Arrange messages

By default, Outlook Mail groups messages by conversation. If you prefer listing your emails one at a time in chronological order instead, you can easily change the way your messages are arranged.

  1. In the inbox, swipe right until you hear "More options button, collapsed," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "More options, menu."

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Settings button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Settings, Manage accounts button."

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Reading button," and then double-tap the screen. The Reading window opens.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "On, Show messages arranged by conversation, toggle switch" and then double-tap the screen.

  5. To exit the Reading window, slide one finger at the bottom of the screen until you hear "Navigation bar, Back button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Settings, Reading button."

  6. To exit the Settings window and return to the inbox, slide one finger at the bottom of the screen until you hear "Navigation bar, Back button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen.

Create and send email

Let your screen reader help you create a new email and get your message out there.

  1. In the inbox, swipe right until you hear "Command palette, New button," and then double-tap the screen. A new window with a blank email opens, with the focus on the To field and the on-screen keyboard in the bottom half of the screen.

  2. Type the names or email addresses of the recipients. The list of matching contacts updates as you type. To select a contact, slide your finger down until you hear "Suggestions list>" followed by the contact name you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  3. To add a subject for the email, swipe right. You hear: "Subject, editable text." Double-tap the screen, and type a subject.

  4. To type your message, swipe right. You hear: "Message, editable text." Double-tap the screen, and type your message.

  5. If you want to send a copy or hidden copy of the message, swipe right until you hear "More options button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen.

    Swipe right until you hear "Show Cc and Bcc button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Addressing, Cc editing." Add the recipients of a copy.

    To send a hidden copy, swipe right until you hear "Bcc editable text," and then double-tap the screen. Add the recipients.

  6. When you've finished composing the message, swipe left until you hear "Send button," and then double-tap the screen.

Use search and filter to find email

Waste no time excavating through lists or archives for that important email. Use search and filter to quickly find what you're looking for.

Search for an email

  1. In the inbox, swipe left or right until you hear "Search button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Search, editing."

  2. The focus moves to the search text field, and the on-screen keyboard is in the bottom half of the screen. Start typing your search words. The search results list updates as you type.

  3. To browse through the search results, swipe left or right until you hear Narrator read the details of the messages as you move through the list.

  4. When you hear the email you want, to open it, double-tap the screen.

  5. To exit Search, swipe left until you hear "Close Search button," and then double-tap the screen.

Use filter to find an email

  1. In your inbox, swipe left or right until you hear "Filter, all, button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right until you hear the filtering option you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  3. To browse through the emails matching the filter, swipe right. Narrator reads the message details as you move through the list.

  4. When you hear the email you want to open, double-tap the screen.

  5. To remove the filtering option, and view all emails in the message list, swipe left or right until you hear "Filter, <current filter>, button collapsed," and then double-tap the screen. Swipe left until you hear "All, non-selected," and then double-tap the screen.

Open or add attachments

You can open and add attachments in your emails using Narrator.

Open an attachment

Narrator announces if a received email has attachments.

  1. Open the email with one or more attachments.

  2. Swipe left until you hear "Message header, Download <file name and size> attachment," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. When the download is complete, you hear: "Open <file name and size> attachment." To open the attachment, double-tap the screen.

Add an attachment

You can send files like resumes, photos, or meeting invitations as attachments.

Attach a file

  1. When you're composing a message, swipe right until you hear "Attach button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Choose an app."

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To attach a recent file, double-tap the screen.

    • To add a file from your device, swipe right until you hear "This device," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Browse to the file you want, and then double-tap the screen to select. To attach the file, swipe right until you hear "Done, app bar button," and then double-tap the screen.

Attach a photo

  1. When you're composing a message, swipe right until you hear "Attach button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Choose an app."

To take a photo with the device camera:

  1. Swipe right until you hear: "Camera," and then double-tap the screen. The camera activates.

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Take photo button," and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Done, app bar button," and then double-tap the screen.

To attach an image from Photos:

  1. Swipe right until you hear "Photos," and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Browse to the image you want, and then double-tap the screen to select.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Done, app bar button," and then double-tap the screen.

Turn visual or audio notifications on or off

You can quickly turn notifications on or off.

  1. In the inbox, swipe right until you hear "More options button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "More options popup, custom."

  2. Swipe right until you hear "Settings button," and then double-tap the screen. You hear: "Settings, Manage accounts button."

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Settings, Notification button," and then double-tap the screen. The Notifications window opens.

  4. To turn on or off all notifications, swipe right until you hear "Show notifications in the action center," and double-tap to toggle the setting on or off.

  5. To turn on or off separate notifications types, turn on all notifications as instructed in the previous step, and then swipe right until you hear the options you want to select or deselect, and double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to format text in your email in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Learn how to navigate in Outlook using accessible features

Use Outlook on the web with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to work with Mail. You can create new emails, read and reply to received emails, search, filter, and print emails, and work with attachments.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in Outlook on the web.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

  • This topic assumes that the Reading pane is off.

  • When you use Outlook on the web, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because Outlook on the web runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Outlook on the web.

In this topic

Read and reply to or forward an email

Use your screen reader and keyboard shortcuts to read and respond to emails. You hear a sound when a new email has arrived.

Read an email

Navigate to an email in the message list in Mail, and hear your screen reader read the email and its details.

  1. In the Mail main view, press the Tab key until you hear the first new mail in the message list: "Unread, <email details and message>, non-selected."

  2. To open an email, press Caps Lock+Enter.

    Tip: To open the email in a separate window, on the mail in the message list, press Shift+Enter.

  3. To move in the message list, press the Up or Down arrow key.

  4. To read through the whole email , press Caps Lock+M.

  5. To hear the details of each field in the email, press Caps Lock+Left or Right arrow key.

Reply to an email

Use your screen reader to promptly respond to your emails in Outlook on the web.

  1. In the message list or in the opened email, on the email that you want to reply to, press Ctrl+R. If you want to reply to all, press Ctrl+Shift+R. You hear: "Message body, editing."

  2. Type your reply.

  3. To send the email, press Ctrl+Enter. You hear: "Message sent."

Forward an email

You can easily forward an email using keyboard shortcuts and your screen reader.

  1. In the message list or in the opened email, on the email that you want to forward, press Ctrl+Shift+F. You hear: "To, editing." The focus is on the To field of the email.

  2. Type the email address of the recipient. To add a recipient from your contacts, type the recipient name, and then press Ctrl+K.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "Message body" and then type your message.

  4. To send the email, press Ctrl+Enter.

Create and send an email

Let your screen reader help you create a new email and get your message out there.

  1. In the Mail main view, press Ctrl+N. You hear: "To, editing." The focus is on the To field of the new email.

  2. Type the email address of the recipient. To add a recipient from your contacts, type the recipient name and press Ctrl+K.

  3. Press the Tab key. You hear: "Cc, editing." The focus moves to the Cc field. If needed, type the email address of the copy recipient. To add a recipient from your contacts, type the recipient name, and then press Ctrl+K.

  4. Press the Tab key. You hear: "Add a subject, edit." Type a subject for the email.

  5. Press the Tab key. You hear: "Message body, editing."

  6. Type your message.

    Tip: To move to the message formatting options, press the Tab key until you hear: "Unchecked font checkbox." To move on the formatting options menu, press the Left or Right arrow keys. To select or to expand submenus, press Spacebar.

  7. To send the email, press Ctrl+Enter.

Use search and filter to find an email

Waste no time excavating through lists or archives for that important email. Use search and filter to quickly find what you're looking for.

Search for an email

Use search to find specific emails in no time.

  1. In the Mail main view, press the Tab key until you hear: "Search mail and people." Alternatively, press Alt+Q (Outlook) or the Forward slash key (/) (Outlook.com).

  2. Type your search words, and then press Enter. The focus moves to a list of search results. You hear the number of found items.

    Tip: You can search by email subject, sender, or date.

  3. To navigate between search results, press the Up or Down arrow key. You hear the results as you move in the list.

  4. To refine your search results, press the Tab key until you hear: "Search, Refine and navigation pane." You can change the following search details:

    • The folder from which to display the results

    • The sender whose messages are displayed in the results

    • Whether to show only emails with attachments

    • The date of the items in the results

    To move between the details in the pane, press the Tab key. To move between options for a search detail, press the Up or Down arrow key. To select, press Spacebar.

  5. To return to the Mail main view, press Esc.

    Tip: You can also use the Microsoft Edge search to find specific text in an open email. In any view in Mail, press F3 or Ctrl+F. You hear: "Enter text to search, editing."

Filter your emails

To list your emails in a more purposeful way, you can filter or sort them, for example, by date, mentions, or sender.

  1. In the message list, press the Tab key until you hear "Filter button" and then press Spacebar. You hear: "Context menu."

  2. To move in the menu, press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the option you want to select. To expand menu options, press Spacebar. To select an option, press Spacebar.

  3. To remove a filter, press the Tab key until you hear "<The current filter>, button collapsed, disabled" and then press Spacebar.

Open or add attachments

You can open and add attachments in your emails in Outlook on the web.

Open an attachment

When your screen reader reads an email in the message list and in the reading pane, you hear an announcement if the email contains attachments.

  1. In the reading pane, on the email, press the Tab key until you hear the attachment name and size.

  2. Press the Tab key once. You hear: "More actions, button collapsed."

  3. To expand the button, press Spacebar. You hear: "Context menu."

  4. Press the Down arrow key. You hear: "View, menu item." Press Enter. The attachment opens.

Add an attachment

You can send files like resumes, newsletters, or cute kitty cat pics as copies or as OneDrive files.

Add a file from OneDrive

  1. When you're composing a new mail, press the Tab key until you hear "Insert button" and then press Spacebar. You hear: "Dialog, choose a file."

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Add a file, group." The focus is on your OneDrive folder.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear the OneDrive location option you want to select and then press Enter. You hear: "File list, contains <the number of items> items."

  4. In the file list, press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear the file name you want to attach. The file is automatically selected.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear "Next button" and then press Enter.

  6. To attach the file as a copy or as a file saved to the Email attachments folder on OneDrive, press the Tab key until you hear the option you want to select, and then press Enter.

Add a local file from your computer

  1. When you're composing a new mail, press the Tab key until you hear "Insert button" and then press Spacebar. You hear: "Dialog, choose a file."

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Group." The focus is on your OneDrive folder.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "Select files from computer button" and then press Enter. You hear: "Open dialog." The Windows Open file dialog opens.

  4. Navigate to the file you want to attach.

  5. With the file selected, press Alt+O.

Print an email

You can print your email on paper or to a file.

  1. In the reading pane, on the email, press the Tab key until you hear: "Reply all button."

  2. Press the Tab key once. You hear: "More actions, button collapsed."

  3. To expand the button, press Spacebar. You hear: "Context menu."

  4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Print, menu item" and then press Enter. You hear: "Print window, Printer." The print dialog opens.

  5. In the dialog, select printing options. To navigate between the options, press the Tab key. To expand options menus, press Spacebar. To select an option, press Enter.

  6. To print, press the Tab key until you hear "Print button" and then press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Outlook

Basic tasks using a screen reader with the calendar in Outlook

Keyboard shortcuts in Outlook on the web

Learn how to navigate in Outlook using accessible features

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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