Read and respond to email in Windows 10 using Narrator

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

Mail for Windows 10 helps you read and respond to email quickly. Narrator reads the messages and command buttons aloud, and you can reply to senders or forward the message with a keyboard shortcut. To complete this module, play the video and try out the steps.

Read and respond to an email message

  1. Start Narrator (Windows key + Enter) and the Mail app (Windows key for Cortana search).

  2. Use the Down Arrow to browse messages, and Enter to select one.

  3. Reply to the sender by pressing Ctrl+R.

  4. Type your reply.

  5. Send the message by pressing Alt+S.

Want more?

Get help for using a screen reader with Mail for Windows 10

Use a screen reader to add an attachment to an email message in Mail for Windows 10

Keyboard shortcuts in Mail and Calendar apps for Windows 10

Let’s explore using the Windows 10 mail app with Narrator. We’ll take it a step at a time, and we’ll pause frequently to explain what’s happening.

Remember, in real life, you can pause Narrator by pressing the Control key.

First, let’s start Narrator by holding the Windows key and pressing Enter.

Next, I’ll start Mail. It’s built into Windows 10, so I don’t need to install anything.

I’ll press the Windows key to open the search box….

Type the word “mail”… And press Enter.

Once we start the mail app, we hear this from Narrator:

This means we’re in the inbox…

…our mail account is called Contoso93

…and the application is called Mail.

Next, Narrator immediately starts to read the preview information for the first message in our inbox. This includes the sender’s name, subject line, and a preview of the message.

It sounds like this:

Narrator also tells me if the message is flagged important, or if it’s an invitation.

If I want to move to the next message in my inbox, I can press the Down Arrow.

Each time I press the down arrow, I jump to the next message in my Inbox.

To delete a message, I just press the Delete key while the message has focus.

Currently, Narrator doesn’t tell me that a message is Deleted. When I delete the message, Narrator will immediately start reading the next message in my inbox.

If I want to read an entire email, I put focus on that message, and then press Enter.

This opens the message in the Reading pane, and puts focus on the body of the email.

As you can hear, Narrator lets you know focus has changed.

Screen readers don’t start to read the message automatically. You can use Narrator’s read commands to read the message contents when you’re ready:

CapsLock and M reads everything…

CapsLock and I reads the next paragraph

Caps Lock and O reads the next line

And CapsLock and P reads a single character.

We'll use CapsLock M

ALT: Use your screen reader’s reading commands to read the mail. With narrator, I’ll use CapsLock and M.

ALT: Use your screen reader’s keyboard commands to read the mail. With narrator, I’ll use CapsLock and M.

When I finish reading this email, I press Escape to go back to the Message list. Once again, Narrator reads the preview text.

Now let’s learn how to reply to an email using Narrator.

I’ll go down to the next message in my list, and press Enter to open it.

In the Mail app, the Reply, Reply all, and Forward buttons are all in the toolbar, above the reading pane.

Press the Alt key to put focus on the toolbar, and the Tab key to move from one button to the next.

Narrator names the buttons as I select them.

Depending on the size of my window, I can find other actions in the toolbar and in the Actions menu on the far right.

I can open the Actions menu by pressing Enter. I press the Tab key to move through the menu buttons…

…and I can close the menu by pressing Escape.

To put focus back on the reading pane, I press the Alt key.

Once again, Narrator tells me the focus changed back to the message.

The fastest way to reply to a message is pressing Control and R. This opens a message addressed only to the sender and puts focus on the body of the reply, so I can type.

Narrator lets me know that my focus is in the Message, and that I’m Editing.

I’ll type a quick reply, sign it, and then send it by pressing Alt and S.

The mail app sends the message, and then moves focus back to the message list. It lands on the same message we just replied to, and reads the preview text.

In the next video in this series, we’ll learn how to search in Mail using Narrator.

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×