Use a screen reader to configure mail flow rules in the Exchange admin center

Screen reader content Screen reader content

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

Use the Exchange admin center (EAC) with your keyboard and a screen reader to create mail flow rules (also known as transport rules) to look for specific conditions in messages that pass through your organization and take action on them. The main difference between mail flow rules and Inbox rules you would set up in an email client application (such as Outlook) is that mail flow rules take action on messages while they're in transit as opposed to after the message is delivered. Mail flow rules also contain a richer set of conditions, exceptions, and actions, which provides you with the flexibility to implement many types of messaging policies.

We have tested it with Narrator in Microsoft Edge and with JAWS in Chrome, but it might work with other screen readers and web browsers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

Notes: 

  1. On the EAC dashboard, press the Tab key until you hear: “Left navigation hamburger, expanded.” If you hear "Collapsed" instead of "Expanded," press Spacebar to expand the menu before continuing.

  2. With Narrator, press the SR key+Right arrow key until you hear: "Mail flow, expanded." With JAWS, press the Down arrow key instead. If you hear "Collapsed" instead of "Expanded," press Spacebar to expand the menu before continuing.

  3. With Narrator, press the SR key+Right arrow key until you hear: "Transport rules." With JAWS, press the Down arrow key instead. Then press Enter. The Rules list view opens, listing rules in a table.

  4. To create a new rule, press the Tab key until you hear "New, button," and press Enter. Then press the Tab key until you hear "Create a new rule," and press Enter. The focus moves to the Name text box in the new rule pop-up window. You hear: "New rule, Name, Edit."

  5. Type the name of the new rule.

  6. Press the Tab key. You hear: "Asterisk, Apply this rule if, select one." Press the Down or Up arrow key until you hear the condition you want to select. Press Enter. A pop-up window opens for the selected condition, and the focus moves to its first user interface (UI) element. You hear the name of the pop-up window, followed by the name of the first UI element in the window. The following table gives you an overview of the UI elements in each condition's pop-up window.

    Condition

    UI elements in the condition pop-up window

    The sender is

    The recipient is

    The sender is a member of

    The recipient is a member of

    Search, Refresh, and More buttons.

    Display Name and Email Address column headers.

    List of names and email addresses.

    Add button and text box that includes the selected names.

    Check names button and text box in which you type the name you want to check.

    OK and Cancel buttons.

    The sender is located

    The recipient is located

    Drop-down menu that opens a list of locations.

    OK and Cancel buttons.

    The subject or body includes

    The sender address includes

    The recipient address includes

    Any attachment's content includes

    Edit and Remove buttons.

    Text box in which you type words, and an Add button to add each entry.

    OK and Cancel buttons.

    [Apply to all messages]

    No pop-up window opens.

    Tip: To move the focus to each setting that's listed in a pop-up window, press the Tab key. As you select each setting, you hear information about it. To move between and select options in drop-down menu lists, press the Down and Up arrow keys. To choose an option, press Enter. To select or clear the selection for check boxes, press Spacebar.

  7. After you've selected your condition settings in the appropriate pop-up window, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and press Enter to close the pop-up window.

  8. Press the Tab key until you hear "Asterisk, Do the following, select one." Press the Down or Up arrow key until you hear the action you want to select. Press Enter. A pop-up window opens for the selected action, and the focus moves to its first user interface (UI) element. You hear the name of the pop-up window, followed by the name of the first UI element in the window. The following table gives you an overview of the UI elements in each action's pop-up window.

    Action

    UI elements in the action pop-up window

    Forward the message for approval to

    Redirect the message to

    Bcc the message to

    Search, Refresh, and More buttons.

    Display Name and Email Address column headers.

    List of names and email addresses.

    Add button and text box that includes the selected names.

    Check names button and text box in which you type the name you want to check.

    OK and Cancel buttons.

    Reject the message with the explanation

    Text box in which you type the reason for the rejection.

    OK and Cancel buttons.

    Delete the message without notifying anyone

    No pop-up window opens.

    Append the disclaimer

    No pop-up window opens, but an Enter text link and a Select one link are inserted after the drop-down menu.

    If you select the Enter text link, a pop-up window opens that includes a text box in which you type the disclaimer, and the OK and Cancel buttons.

    If you select the Select one link, a pop-up window opens that includes a drop-down menu that opens a list of fallback actions in case the disclaimer can't be inserted, and the OK and Cancel buttons.

  9. After you've selected your action settings in the appropriate pop-up window, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and press Enter to close the pop-up window.

  10. Press the Tab key. You hear: "Audit this rule with severity level, Check box," followed by "Checked" or "Unchecked," depending on whether the box is selected or not. To select or clear the selection for the check box, press Spacebar. You hear "Checked" or "Unchecked." Do one of the following:

    • If you selected the Audit this rule with severity level check box, press the Tab key to move the focus to a drop-down menu that lists severity levels (Not specifiedLowMedium, or High). To move between the severity levels in the list, press the Up or Down arrow key. You hear the name of each severity level. After you have found the severity level you want, continue to the next step.

    • If you didn't select the Audit this rule with severity level check box, just continue to the next step.

  11. Press the Tab key. The focus moves to the first of three available modes for the rule, and you hear: "Enforce, radio button." To browse the mode options, use the Down and Up arrow keys. When you have found the mode you want, press the Tab key. You hear: "Link, More options."

  12. If you want to add more options for the rule, press Enter. New buttons, check boxes, drop-down menus, and a Comments text box are added to the pop-up window. You can navigate to them and interact with them just like you've done with the default rule options described previously. Make any changes you want and continue to the next step.

  13. To save the new rule, press the Tab key until you hear "Save button," and press Enter. The focus moves back to the New button in the Rules list view, and you hear: "Rules, New button." The new rule is turned on by default.

    Tip: To turn off a new rule, press the Tab key to go to the list of rules, use the Up and Down arrow keys to select a rule, and then press Spacebar. To hear the settings for the currently selected rule, press the Tab key. Your screen reader reads out the details for the rule.

See also

Use a screen reader to open the Exchange admin center

Use a screen reader to define rules that encrypt or decrypt email messages in the Exchange admin center

Permissions in Exchange Online

About admin roles

Feature permissions in Exchange Online

Keyboard shortcuts in the Exchange admin center

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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