Get started using TalkBack with Outlook for Android

Outlook for Android works with TalkBack, the built-in screen reader on Android devices. UseOutlook to connect to your email accounts from different providers and then access all of your email and calendar events on your Android mobile device.

Notes: 

  • If you don’t already have it, download and install the Outlook for Android app from Google Play

  • The keyboard shortcuts and navigation in the Outlook for Android app may differ from those in Outlook on the web, which you use in your device’s web browser.

  • To navigate and enter information and commands, you can use gestures, an external keyboard, or dictation.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, refer to Get started on Android with TalkBack.

In this topic

Start Outlook for Android for the first time

After installing, the first time you start Outlook for Android, a startup screen opens and you’re prompted to add your primary email account.

  1. Open Outlook for Android for the first time. The startup screen opens.

  2. Slide down until you hear “Get Started button,” and double-tap. The Add Account screen opens.

  3. Slide down until you hear “Enter your primary work or personal email address.” Slide down a little further until you hear “Edit box, Editing,” and double-tap.

  4. Type the address of the email account that you want to use in Outlook, slide down to the Continue button, and then double-tap.

  5. If prompted to do so, sign in. To finish adding the email account, follow the instructions you hear.

Tip: You can add more than one email account, and you can also add storage accounts, like OneDrive or Dropbox.

Start Outlook for Android and sign in

After you’ve added your first email account, you can use Outlook for Android.

  1. Open Outlook for Android.

  2. If you have more than one Outlook account, the default account opens.

  3. To switch to a different account, in the upper-left corner of the screen, move to the Open Navigation Drawer button and double-tap. Slide down the menu until you hear the name of the email account you want to open, and double-tap. Slide down to the Inbox for the account, and double-tap.

Explore the Outlook for Android user interface

When you start the app, Outlook for Android presents a heading at the top, the main content in the middle, and a menu bar at the bottom of the screen. On the left side of the Outlook heading is the Open Navigation Drawer button and the name of the current view, for example, Inbox or Files. On the right side of the Outlook heading are the Search and Settings commands.

At the bottom of the screen, a menu bar contains the following four commands:

  • Mail goes to the Inbox.

  • Calendar goes to the Calendar view.

  • Files goes to the Files view, where you can browse files from your email accounts, those stored on OneDrive, and more.

  • People goes to the People view, which shows your contacts.

Outlook typically starts showing the Inbox.

Between the heading at the top and the menu bar at the bottom is the main content for the screen: the Inbox of emails, the calendar, the list of your files, or your list of people or contacts.

Work with the TalkBack screen reader

Outlook for Android works with the built-in screen reader TalkBack. When Android TalkBack is on, you hear a spoken description of whatever you touch, select, or activate on your device. This includes commands, locations, alt text, and the contents of Outlook screens, menus, and pop-up windows.

Turn TalkBack on

  1. On the home screen of your mobile device, tap Settings.

  2. Tap Accessibility.

  3. Tap TalkBack.

  4. Tap the slider to the On position.

  5. Tap OK.

Navigate with TalkBack by using gestures

When TalkBack is on, you slide your finger along the screen to find commands, locations, and content. To select or activate a command or other screen element, double-tap. To scroll up, down, left, or right, use two fingers to swipe in that direction.

Set TalkBack preferences

  1. To return to the home screen, tap and then double-tap the Android Home button.

  2. On the home screen, move the focus to the Settings button and double-tap.

  3. Move down the screen to the System area until you hear “Accessibility,” and double-tap.

  4. On the Accessibility screen, move the focus to TalkBack, which is usually the first command. You hear “TalkBack, On.” Double-tap.

  5. On the TalkBack screen, near the upper-right corner of the screen, move the focus to the Settings menu and double-tap. You hear something like “TalkBack settings, Showing items thirteen of thirty.”

  6. Slide down the screen to hear about available options. Following are some of the available options:

    • Speech volume

    • Use pitch changes

    • Keyboard echo

    • Shake to start continuous reading

    • Sound feedback

    • Explore by touch

    • Show Context Menu as list

    • Manage gestures

    • TalkBack suspend and resume shortcut

  7. To get more information about an available option, double-tap. To turn an option on or off, move to the On/Off switch and double-tap.

Turn TalkBack off

  1. To return to the home screen, tap and then double-tap the Android Home button.

  2. On the home screen, move the focus to the Settings button and double-tap.

  3. Move down the screen to the System area until you hear “Accessibility,” and double-tap.

  4. On the Accessibility screen, move the focus to TalkBack, which is usually the first command. You hear “TalkBack, On.” Double-tap.

  5. Move to the On/Off switch, and double-tap. You hear “Alert, Stop TalkBack.”

  6. Move to the OK button, and double-tap.

For more information, refer to Get started on Android with TalkBack.

Work with other accessibility features

To make your work with your Android device more accessible, in addition to turning on TalkBack, you can set up other features on the Accessibility screen.

  1. Tap and then double-tap the Android Home button.

  2. On the home screen, move the focus to the Settings button and double-tap.

  3. Move down the screen to the System area until you hear “Accessibility,” and double-tap.

  4. On the Accessibility screen, move down the screen to the System area. Here are some of the available options:

    • Captions adds captions to the bottom center of all images. You can change the text size of captions. You can also set the caption style, for example, white on black or yellow on blue.

    • Magnification gestures enables the feature so you can zoom a screen in and out with certain gestures, which are explained.

    • Large text increases all text on your device to a larger point size.

    • High contrast text shows text, especially in buttons, in high contrast.

    • Speak passwords enables the feature so you can speak your passwords rather than type them.

You can also increase contrast in the Outlook for Android app.

  1. Open the Outlook app.

  2. In the Outlook heading area, move the focus to the Settings button and double-tap.

  3. To scroll down the screen, swipe up with two fingers. Under Preferences, move the focus to Accessibility and double-tap.

  4. On the Accessibility screen, move to the On switch next to the Increase Contrast command and double-tap.

Add an email account to Outlook for Android

Add email accounts from various email providers, like Office 365, Exchange Online, Exchange Online, Outlook.com (including Hotmail, and MSN), IMAP, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and more.

  1. Open Outlook for Android.

  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, move the focus to Settings and double-tap.

  3. Slide down toward the middle of the screen until you hear “Add Account,” and double-tap.

  4. With the focus on the Add an email account command, double-tap. The focus is in the Email Address text box.

  5. Type the email address that you want to add, and then slide down until you hear “Continue button.” Double-tap.

  6. In the next screen, type your password, display name, and any other information required by the type of email account you have. The screens that open depend on the type of email account you’re adding.

  7. To finish setting up your email account, work through the screens.

  8. To access your added email account, in the lower-left corner of the main Outlook screen, move the focus to the Mail button and double-tap.

Add a file storage account to Outlook for Android

You can add storage accounts from providers like OneDrive, One Drive for Business, Dropbox, and Box. After you add the account, you can work with your files from this storage account in the Outlook for Android Files view.

  1. Open Outlook for Android.

  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, move the focus to Settings and double-tap.

  3. Slide down toward the middle of the screen until you hear “Add Account,” and double-tap.

  4. With the focus on the Add a storage account command, double-tap.

  5. Slide across the list of available storage providers. When you hear the provider you want to add, double-tap.

  6. To sign in, on the next screen, type your user name and the account password.

  7. Move the focus to the Sign in button, and double-tap.

  8. Follow any additional instructions until the account is added.

  9. To access your storage account, at the bottom of the main Outlook screen, move the focus to the Files button and double-tap.

Change your Outlook for Android settings

  1. To change your Outlook settings, in the upper-right corner of the screen, move the focus to the Settings tab and double-tap.

  2. To hear the available settings, slide down the screen. To scroll down, swipe up with two fingers. To scroll up, swipe down with two fingers. To open and get more information about the setting you just heard, double-tap. To turn a setting on or off, move to the On/Off switch and double-tap. Following are some of the available settings:

    • Help & Feedback opens a screen you can use to contact support, suggest a feature, get answers to frequently asked questions, or troubleshoot a problem.

    • Accounts contains the list of email or storage accounts you’ve added to the Outlook app. To change any account settings, select an account. To add a new email or storage account, slide until you hear “Add Account” and double-tap.

    • Mail contains email-related settings you can use to set your notifications, the default email account, your signature, swipe options, and more.

    • Calendar contains event-related settings you can use to set your notifications, the default calendar, and the week start for your calendar.

    • Preferences contains accessibility settings.

    • More contains commands to invite others to use the Outlook app and to explore additional Microsoft apps for Android.

  3. When you’re done changing settings on a page, in the upper-left corner, move the focus to the Navigate Up button and double-tap.

Do more tasks with Outlook for Android and TalkBack

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or have 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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