Use Magnifier in Mail for Windows 10

Learn how to use Magnifier in the Windows 10 Mail app (this app comes pre-installed on Windows 10 devices).

Turn on Magnifier

With a keyboard

Press the Windows logo key  + Plus sign (+). To turn off Magnifier, press the Windows logo key  + Esc.

Using a mouse or touch

Select Start > Settings  > Ease of Access > Magnifier > Turn on Magnifier.

Navigate Mail with Magnifier

Use the tips below to learn how to move in the different parts of Mail. You’ll also learn how to optimize Mail to easily navigate the app with Magnifier.

When you open Mail, you land in the main view with the currently selected inbox open.

  • The navigation pane is displayed on the left side of the screen. From here you can create a new mail, access your folders, account info, and app settings, or switch to Calendar. To move in the navigation pane using the keyboard only, press the Tab key, Shift + Tab, or the Up or Down arrow keys.

Tip: If you need more space for viewing and working with other regions in Mail, you can minimize the navigation pane. For instructions, refer to the section Expand or collapse the navigation pane.

  • The message list on the right side of the navigation pane contains the emails and meeting invitations in your current inbox. To browse the messages in the list using the keyboard only, press the Up or Down arrow key. Consider using the full screen or docked view when browsing the message list.

Tip: By default, messages are listed by conversation. To simplify the view, you can change the way the messages are listed. For instructions, refer to the section Arrange messages.

  • The reading pane opens to the right of the message list when you select a message in the message list or start a new message. This is where you compose a new email or read received mails.

Tip: If the default reading pane feels too confined to work effectively with Magnifier, you can open the new or received message in a new window to maximize the view. For instructions, refer to the section Open a message in a new window.

For detailed instructions on how to navigate in Mail using a screen reader and a keyboard, refer to Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Mail.

Open a message in a new window

To give yourself plenty of room to work, it might help to open messages you're reading or composing in a new window. 

If you’re using a mouse or touch gestures:

  1. Select a message from the message list or select New mail  . The reading pane opens to the right of the message list.

  1. In the message, select (Open message in a new window). The message opens in a separate window.

  1. To maximize the separate window, select Maximize  in the top right corner of the window. Now you can use, for example, the Magnifier full screen view to read or compose your message.

  1. Once you’re done reading the received message, press Close  to exit the window. If you’re composing a new message, the window closes automatically once you’ve sent the message.

If you’re using a screen reader and a keyboard:

  1. Press Ctrl + N to create a new message or navigate to the mail you want to read, and press Enter. The reading pane opens to the right of the message list.

  1. In the message, press Ctrl + O. The message opens in a separate window.

  1. To maximize the separate window, press Alt + Spacebar, then X.

  1. Once you’re done reading the received message, press Esc to exit the window. If you’re composing a new message, the window closes automatically once you’ve sent the message.

Expand or collapse the navigation pane

To give the message list and reading pane some extra space and make it easier to navigate and work in Mail with Magnifier, you can minimize the pane.

  • If you’re using a mouse or the touch gestures, select  (Expand/Collapse) to expand or collapse the navigation pane.

  • If you’re using a screen reader and a keyboard, to minimize the navigation pane, press the Tab key until you hear “Navigation, button expanded, tool tip, collapse,” and press Enter. To expand the pane, press the Tab key until you hear “Navigation, button collapsed, tool tip, expand,” and press Enter.

Create and send an email

If you’re using a mouse or touch gestures: 

  1. In the Mail main view, select New mail . A blank email opens in the reading pane.

  2. If you want to maximize the working area for Magnifier, open the message in a new window as instructed in Open a message in a new window.

  3. In the To: field, type the names or email addresses of the recipients. The list of matching contacts updates as you type. Select a contact you want to add.

  4. In the Subject field, type a subject for the email.

  5. In the main content area, type your message.

  6. When you've finished composing the message, select Send to send it.

If you’re using a screen reader and a keyboard, refer to Create and send email with a screen reader in Mail for detailed instructions.

Open and read an email

You can use Magnifier reading to have Magnifier read the text on your screen aloud in addition to making it appear larger. This way you don’t have to use another app to hear the content on the screen.

Alternatively, if you’re already using a screen reader with Magnifier, just open the email and Narrator starts reading the message automatically. If you’re using a screen reader that doesn’t automatically start reading the content when you open the mail, try using Magnifier reading.

Using Magnifier reading:

  1. In the message list, select the message you want to read.

  2. If you want to maximize the reading area for Magnifier, open the message in a new window as instructed in the section "Open a message in a new window" above.

  3. Use the following keyboard shortcuts to read the email:

    • To start reading from the current text cursor location, press Ctrl + Alt + Enter. The same keyboard shortcut also pauses and resumes reading.

    • Another way to start reading is to press Ctrl + Alt and click the left mouse button where you want to start.

    • To stop reading, press any key.

    • To read only the next sentence, press Ctrl + Alt + K. To read only the previous sentence, press Ctrl + Alt H. If you prefer using a mouse, to read only the next sentence, select Play next . To read only the previous sentence, select Play previous .

  4. When you've finished reading the message, press Esc. The focus returns to the message list.

Using a screen reader and a keyboard:

  1. Press the Tab key until you hear the first message in the message list.

  1. In the message list, press the Down arrow key to browse the messages.

  1. To open an email, press Enter. Narrator starts reading the email automatically. To stop reading, press Ctrl.

  1. When you've finished reading the message, press Esc. The focus returns to the message list.

Reply to or forward an email

If you’re using a mouse or touch gestures:

  1. In the message list, select the message you want to reply to or forward.

  2. If you want to maximize the working area for Magnifier, open the message in a new window as instructed in Open a message in a new window.

  3. In the message, select Reply, Reply all,or Forward.

  4. If you’re forwarding the message, add the name or email address of each recipient to the To: field.

  5. In the main content area, type your message.

  6. Select Send.

If you’re using a screen reader and a keyboard, refer to Read and reply to or forward an email with a screen reader for detailed instructions.

Arrange messages

By default, Mail groups messages by conversation. If you prefer listing your emails one at a time in chronological order instead, you can change the way your messages are arranged. You might find it easier to navigate the message list with Magnifier when the emails are listed in chronological order.

If you’re using a mouse or touch gestures:

  1. In the navigation pane, select Settings .

  1. In the Settings pane, select Message list > Individual messages.

  1. To close the Settings pane, click or tap anywhere outside the pane.

If you’re using a screen reader and a keyboard, refer to Arrange messages with a screen reader for detailed instructions.

Hide the Focused inbox

If you’re using Mail with an M365, Outlook.com, or Exchange account, Mail shows you two inboxes by default: Focused and Other. 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. To simplify the message list into one single list of messages, you can hide the Focused inbox. This way you can effectively browse all your messages in one place, for example, using the Magnifier docked view.

If you’re using a mouse or touch gestures:

  1. In the navigation pane, select Settings .

  1. In the Settings pane, select Focused inbox.

  1. Toggle the Sort messages to Focused and Other switch to Off.

  1. To close the Settings pane, click or tap anywhere outside the pane.

If you’re using a screen reader and a keyboard, refer to Work with Focused inbox with a screen reader for detailed instructions.

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