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Use Gmail with a screen reader

Introduction

Gmail is an email application with tools and features that allow you to securely take action on emails, connect with others, organize your inbox, and stay on top of everything important.

Use the tips on this page to get the best Gmail experience when you use a desktop screen reader.

Important: Our latest experience uses the feature-rich standard Gmail interface and is detailed in this article. If you use Gmail's basic HTML view, follow these tips.

This article is organized by topic with headings. Use the links below to jump to a specific heading.

Quick start

This article provides information to help you use Gmail. It can take time to read. If you want to get started quickly, these tips help you browse, reply to, and compose email.

Before you begin

Tips

  • To move focus among conversations in the Inbox or with a specific label, press Up or Down arrow or j or k.
  • To open a conversation and read messages, press Enter or o.
  • To read messages in the opened conversation:
    • Press the n key to read each unread message in the conversation, beginning with the oldest unread message.
    • Press the p key to read previous messages in the conversation.
    • To read by units, such as paragraph, sentence, word, or line: Use your screen reader's “virtual mode.”
    • Press semicolon to expand all messages so they all can be read with n and p.
  • To perform actions, enter:
    • u: Return to the Inbox and leave message as read.
    • a: Reply to everyone on the focused message.
    • r: Reply to the sender of the focused message.
    • e: Archive the conversation.
    • m: Mute the conversation.
  • To select one or more conversations in the Inbox’s list of conversations, press the x key. Once conversations are selected, you can use the actions listed above, except u.
  • These commands are also useful:
    • c: Compose a new message.
    • g then i: Go to the Inbox.
    • Shift + i: Mark as read. Returns to the Inbox when applied on an opened message.
    • Shift + u: Mark as unread. Returns to the Inbox when applied on an opened message.
    • plus or equals: Mark as important.
    • hyphen: Mark as not important.
    • b: Snooze.
    • Shift + t: Add to Tasks.
    • v: Move to.
    • l: Open label as.
    • y: Remove label. Similar to archive.
    • z: Undo the most recent action.

Get started

Configure your screen reader & Gmail

Recommended browsers & screen readers

Gmail works best with these browsers and screen readers:

  • Chrome with VoiceOver on Mac
  • Chrome with ChromeVox on Chromebooks
  • Chrome or Firefox with NVDA or JAWS on Windows

Use Gmail as a web application

Gmail is designed to be a web application with keyboard shortcuts to quickly perform actions and navigate the interface.

Important: To use Gmail as a web application, configure your screen reader to “focus mode” as follows:

  • JAWS virtual cursor should be off. Toggle with jaws + z.
  • NVDA should be in focus mode. Toggle with nvda + space.
  • ChromeVox should have sticky mode turned off. To toggle, press the Search key twice quickly.
  • VoiceOver should have QuickKeys turned off. To toggle, press the left and right arrow keys together.

The reverse toggle state is referred to as “virtual mode.”

Tip: By default, when Gmail opens, the JAWS screen reader is likely in “virtual mode.” Some screen readers offer the option to open certain sites or domains, like google.com or mail.google.com, in “focus mode.” If you want Gmail to automatically open in “focus mode,” consult your screen reader's documentation.

Turn on keyboard shortcuts in Gmail

Keyboard shortcuts to navigate the interface are only available in the default “Standard” view when enabled in Gmail settings. These navigation shortcuts aren’t available during composition and replying to messages. During message composition, there’s another set of common formatting shortcuts.

You can configure Gmail to allow keyboard navigation when your screen reader is in “focus mode.”

  1. Press the question key (Shift + slash) to open the Keyboard shortcuts dialog.
  2. Tab once to the link named: “Enable” or “Disable.”
  3. If the link is named “Enable,” press Enter to enable Gmail shortcuts.

Important: If the question key shortcut doesn’t work, navigate to the “Standard” link near the bottom of the page and activate it to match the view described in this article.

At any time, you can access the full list of keyboard shortcuts, or press the question key (Shift + slash) while in Gmail. Some of our keyboard shortcuts, like the question key, are punctuation keys. As you review them, you may find value in temporarily setting your screen reader to read most punctuation.

Navigation fundamentals

Navigate, activate & select

Throughout this article, we use the terms navigate, activate, and select. When in “focus mode,” navigation is typically performed with the Tab, Shift + Tab, the Arrow keys, or many of the shortcuts listed in the full list of keyboard shortcuts.

In “virtual mode,” navigation is typically performed with the commands you use to browse other content in your browser. And activation is performed by a screen reader-specific shortcut.

In “focus mode,” navigation is typically performed with Tab, Arrows, or other application defined shortcuts. And activation is performed with Enter or Space.

When you use Gmail with a keyboard, giving focus to a conversation or message is one action. A separate action is to select that conversation or message.

When any conversation or message has focus, press x on the keyboard to select it. Press x again to deselect it. Your screen reader announces the new number of selected items when any conversation or message is selected or deselected.

To perform bulk selection, press asterisk and then one of the following keys, for example asterisk then a:

  • a: Select all conversations.
  • n: Deselect all conversations.
  • r: Select read conversations.
  • u: Select unread conversations.
  • s: Select starred conversations.
  • t: Select unstarred conversations.

Some conversation actions, such as archive or delete, are unavailable when no conversation is selected. Similarly, some actions, such as forward or reply, only apply to individual messages, not conversations.

Use keyboard shortcuts

Important:

  • Keyboard shortcuts for Gmail must be entered in “focus mode.”
  • Some keyboard shortcuts are written as a series of keystrokes, such as g then i, or asterisk then a. In such situations, the second keystroke must be entered within 3 seconds of the first keystroke.

In Gmail, if your screen reader is in “focus mode” and keyboard shortcuts don’t work, enter your browser’s refresh or reload command, usually Ctrl + r (⌘ + r on Mac).

Access the context menu

In addition to keyboard shortcuts, you can use the context menu to find available options when you work with conversations or messages.

On Windows, to access the context menu press:

  • The Applications key, which is 2 keys to the right of Space on most full-size keyboards and is often available through key combinations on smaller keyboards.
  • Shift + F10.

On MacOS, VoiceOver must be enabled to access the context menu. With VoiceOver enabled, press VO + Shift + M.

On ChromeOS press:

  • Shift + F10, if function keys are available.
  • Search + m, when ChromeVox is enabled.

Learn about the Gmail interface

There are 4 sections or panes in the Gmail interface. By default, here’s a list of common components and how you can identify the different sections:

  • Top header, presented by your screen reader in a banner landmark:
    • Main Menu: Show/Hide toggle button for the set of links to Inbox, Sent, Drafts, etc.
    • Gmail: Link to home screen.
    • Search edit field: Presented by your screen reader in a search landmark that also includes a “Show search options” button.
    • Status button: Set your status as “Active,” “Do Not Disturb,” “Away,” or create your own. Adjust Chat notification settings.
    • Support button.
    • Settings button.
    • Google apps button: Open other Google applications in a new tab.
    • Google Account button: Manage your account. Sign in and out of your accounts.
  • Left panel, presented by your screen reader in a navigation landmark:
    • Mail: Lists labels and folders. This article focuses primarily on Mail.
    • Chat: Lists contacts or groups with whom you converse.
    • Spaces: Create or find group conversations with the option to share files or tasks.
    • Meet: Create or join a meeting that opens in a new browser tab.

Tip: For more information on Chat, Spaces, and Meet, go to Using Chat with accessibility features.

  • Main area, presented by your screen reader in a main landmark
    • This is the largest and main section of the Gmail interface. Conversations, messages, or message content is displayed here. There’s a toolbar that you can access if you press the comma key. Toolbar functions are also available through keyboard shortcuts or the context menu. These methods are often faster than the toolbar. When Chat or Spaces are activated from the left panel, they’re displayed here in place of mail or as a condensed version in a pop-up chat window.
  • Right side panel, presented by your screen reader in a side panel complementary landmark
    • This panel is controlled by a toggle button labeled “Show side panel” or “Hide side panel.” In “virtual mode,” the button is at the end of your screen reader’s virtual or browse buffer.
    • When the side panel is shown, its contents are in a complementary landmark labeled “Side panel.”
    • When expanded, this area provides access to other Google products, such as Calendar, Keep, Tasks, and Contacts.

Perform common tasks

Open Gmail

Go to gmail.com. The focus will be on your Inbox when the page loads.

Browse & read emails

Browse the Inbox

The Inbox should be navigated in “focus mode” with the Arrow keys. If you navigate away from the Inbox, to return, press g then i.

You can navigate among the conversations in the Inbox with:

  • Up arrow or the k key for newer conversations
  • Down arrow or the j key for older conversations

You can navigate the Inbox as a list or as a grid. When you navigate it as a list, multiple fields are verbalized as you navigate. When you navigate it as a grid, only one field is verbalized. To navigate as a grid, arrow to the right to move between columns. Then, if you arrow down, the verbalization is just the column you’re in, for example, sender.

Take action on selected conversations

To take action on selected conversations, you can use:

For example, with one or more conversations selected, use the keyboard shortcut, or use the context menu and choose to move the selected conversations to trash, archive them, or apply a label to them.

Tip: To undo your most recent action, press z immediately.

Inbox actions

Apply any of the following actions to selected conversations in the Inbox:

  1. To navigate among conversations, use the Up or Down arrow.
  2. To select one or more conversations, press the x key. You’ll hear the new number of selected conversations.
  3. Context menu:
    • To move through the list of available options, use the Up or Down arrow.
    • To choose the action you want to take, press Enter.
  4. Keyboard shortcuts:
    • Archive (e): Save selected conversations in the archive folder and remove the conversation from the list of conversations.
    • Mute (m): Remove selected conversations from your Inbox and archive the conversation.
    • Report spam (exclamation): Mark selected conversations as spam.
    • Delete (number sign): Move selected conversations to trash.
    • Mark as read (Shift + i).
    • Mark as unread (Shift + u).
    • Mark as important (plus or equals).
    • Mark as not important (hyphen).
    • Move to (v): Move selected conversations to another folder.
    • Labels (l): Attach preset or custom labels to selected conversations.
    • Remove label (y): Remove preset or custom labels from selected conversations.
    • Snooze (b): Delay any alerts for the selected conversations.
    • Add to Tasks (Shift + t): Creates a new task in “My Tasks” from the conversation.
Message actions

Actions available when a conversation is opened include:

  • Toggle star/cycle among stars you’ve enabled from Settings (s)
  • Add Shift to the following to work in a new tab, for example, Shift + r:
    • Reply (r)
    • Reply to all (a)
    • Forward (f)
  • Delete (number sign)
  • Report as spam (exclamation)
  • Remove label (y)
  • Move to a label (v)
  • Mark unread from here (underscore)
  • Expand entire conversation (semicolon)
  • Collapse entire conversation (colon)

Read an email

By default, email is presented as conversations with all replies to the same subject in one thread. When you first open the conversation, focus is on the subject. To navigate to the oldest unread message in the conversation, press keyboard shortcut n. To focus and hear each unread message until the last message is read, press n again.

Each message in the conversation also includes some common controls to “Star,” “Reply,” open the “More” menu, and “Show details.” To open a tabbable section that includes all the specific information about that message in the conversation, navigate to “Show details” and press Enter. This is especially useful to clarify the details of a recipient with a common first name.

To read previous messages, you can use keyboard shortcut p. When a conversation has only one message, the n shortcut navigates once, but p and n have no further effect.

When a conversation has previously read messages, they’re collapsed and a few may only be presented as short excerpts. To expand all messages, use the semicolon keyboard shortcut. Then, keyboard shortcuts p and n navigate previous and next messages in the conversation in chronological order. You can also collapse all but the last message with the colon keyboard shortcut.

When you want to read longer messages with more detail, switch to your screen reader's “virtual mode” to read the message line by line with the Down arrow. Start with the subject, and continue through the header that includes the date and the sender and some other quick options before you get to the body. After the last message, there are buttons to reply or forward the conversation.

When the message includes multiple replies, the ones that you previously read are collapsed to make it easier to only read any new messages. To easily skip past the collapsed read messages in the thread, use your screen reader’s heading navigation to land on the person who sent the new reply. Then, you can read the message line by line or use other rich content navigation like links, headings, and tables. If there’s more than one new message on the same subject, they’re all expanded in the order they’re received. You can navigate to each with heading navigation.

If this sounds too complex, in Settings, you can turn off “Conversation view.” Your Inbox is then presented as single messages from each sender. This also makes it simpler to read an email, though it may be harder to follow conversations that include more than one message.

Search for messages

  • Press the slash key to navigate to the search field.
  • When you search, you can:
    • Enter your search criteria and press enter.
    • Use search operators to fine tune your results. To use a search operator, insert it prior to the term you’re searching for. Some examples would be:
      • “is:” To search for emails by a descriptive term regarding their status, such as: read, unread, starred, flagged, or important. For example: “is:unread”
      • “from:” or “to:” To search for emails that are to or from a certain contact. For example: “from:david”
    • You can combine operators to further filter search results. A full list of available search operators can be found in Search operators you can use with Gmail.
  • Search results are displayed in the main area and can be navigated or acted upon like other lists of conversations, such as the Inbox.

Use Advanced search options

  1. Press the slash key to navigate to the search field.
  2. To navigate to the “Show search options” button, press the Tab key. To display a search criteria dialog, press Enter.
  3. This dialog has the following fields: From, To, Subject, Has the words, Doesn’t have, Size, Date within (entered range), Search (specified folders). There also is a “Has attachment” checkbox.
  4. To close the dialog and update your mail to show only the matching messages, press Enter.
  5. To return to the Inbox, use the browser back button or the g then i keyboard shortcut.

Create a filter

Follow the previous instructions to perform an advanced search, but instead of pressing Enter, tab to and activate Create filter button. This displays a filter options dialog with a checklist of options for actions that may be taken “When a message is an exact match for your search criteria.”

You may select from the following checkboxes with the Spacebar:

  • Skip the Inbox (Archive it).
  • Mark as read.
  • Star it.
  • Apply the label. Choose label from dropdown.
  • Forward it. To select this option, you must have one or more forwarding addresses in settings.
  • Delete it.
  • Never send it to Spam.
  • Send template.
  • Always mark it as important.
  • Never mark it as important.
  • Categorize as. You must choose category from the dropdown.
  • Also apply filter to matching conversations.

Navigate to and activate the Create filter button.

You may also apply a filter to selected or open conversations. When you select a conversation from the Inbox, use the comma shortcut to navigate to the toolbar in order to navigate to and activate the More button. To navigate to the “Filter messages like these” menu item, use the Up or Down arrow keys. To activate the filter, press Enter. This displays the filter options dialog, with a search criteria field already filled in.

Use labels to organize mail

In Gmail, labels are used to organize emails. If you apply a label to a message, it doesn’t result in a copy of the message specifically for the label. Multiple labels may be applied to your copy of a message. If you delete the message, it’s removed from each of its associated labels. If you remove a label from a message, the message isn’t deleted. However, that message isn’t presented with other messages with that label. When you move a message to a label, the label is added and other labels, like “Inbox,” are removed.

For a full explanation of the philosophy behind labels, read Create labels to organize Gmail.

Explore labels

To navigate to a list of all mail with a specific label, use the g then l keyboard shortcut. You should hear information about a list that will change as you type a label name. You can arrow down that list or keep typing until you hear the label you want and press Enter. You can return to the Inbox with the g then i shortcut or use your browser back shortcut.

You can move to the list of labels by pressing the Left arrow from the conversations. Focus will be on the label of the currently shown conversations. If the “Main menu” button is collapsed, press the Left arrow from the conversations to focus the Mail navigation link, where you can then press the Right arrow to access the labels.

The list of labels functions substantially like a tree, where Left arrow and Right arrow collapse or expand labels which have children, and Up arrow and Down arrow move to labels that are links. Once you’ve found a label you want to view, press Enter to move to the list of conversations with that label.

Gmail has these types of labels:

System labels

System labels are associated with actions that are built into the system that you may apply to a message, which include:

  • Inbox
  • Starred
  • Snoozed
  • Important
  • Sent
  • Drafts

You can show email with each of these system labels with the shortcut g then l, and then Down arrow to the system label of interest. For direct shortcuts to the system labels you frequently use, consult the keyboard shortcut list.

Categories

Google automatically applies Categories to incoming messages to help you organize your Inbox. These Categories include Social, Updates, Forums, and Promotions. These categories are presented as tabs above the Inbox. And you can cycle among categories enabled for your account with the tilde key.

You can select whether specific Categories are displayed if you navigate to the “Inbox” tab in Use Gmail Settings and check the Categories you want to include. Make sure you activate the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page.

Labels

You can show all emails with a specific label when you use the shortcut g then l, and then enter part of the label. Press Down arrow to the label of interest. Tip: You may also create and apply your own customized labels.

Apply & create labels

  1. With one or more conversations selected, or while reading messages, to apply a label, use the keyboard shortcut l. Your screen reader says: "Label-as menu open."
  2. Use the Up or Down arrow to select an existing label and press Enter to apply it.
  3. Enter a label name. If other labels exist with characters you enter, the first matching label is highlighted and applied if you press Enter. To create a new label, enter the name of a new label and press Enter.
  4. You’ll be placed in the dialog to create a new label with the name you entered. This dialog offers a checkbox to nest the created label inside an existing label and a dropdown to select the label beneath which to nest the created label. Choose any options you like, then activate OK.
  5. Once any label is applied, focus returns to the labels button in the Gmail interface. Press Enter to apply, remove, or create another label.
  6. To return to the Inbox, use the g then i shortcut.

Remove labels

In the “label as” menu, labels are presented as checked or unchecked. Labels whose status is checked are applied to selected conversations. To toggle the status of a label between checked and unchecked, press Enter. After any label is checked or unchecked, focus returns to the labels button in the Gmail interface. To return to the Inbox, use the g then i shortcut.

When you navigate messages that have a given label, to remove the label, select one or more and press the y shortcut.

All mail

When a message or conversation gets mislabeled or archived, to find it, review “All mail” with the g then a shortcut. By default, the advanced search dialog searches in “All mail” to find mislabeled messages.

Compose & reply to emails

Use these keyboard shortcuts to compose a new message or a reply:

  • Compose a new message (c), in a new tab (d).
  • Reply to the sender (r), in a new tab (Shift + r).
  • Reply to all recipients of a message (a), in a new tab (Shift + a).

Once a compose or reply is started, you can press Tab to the available fields, which include:

  • To, Subject, and Message body.
  • You can also use the keyboard shortcuts for the CC (Ctrl + Shift + c) and BCC (Ctrl + Shift + b) fields.

When in the to, CC, or BCC field, enter part of a name or email until the match is announced or arrow down the list of suggestions and press Enter to select. To confirm you found the correct match for names with multiple matches, press Left arrow to the contact. Then, to open the contact card, press Alt + Right arrow. Since most of those contents can’t be focused, use your screen reader “virtual mode” to review. After review, press Escape, and if you want to remove that recipient, press Delete.

Additional actions for a contact are presented in the context menu. More shortcuts for message composition can be found in the keyboard shortcut list.

When you reply to a message, the “Recipients” and “Subject” are populated based on prior messages in the conversation. If you use a work or school account, you can enter a plus character followed by a contact name or email address in the body of the message. This adds the email into the message and adds it to the recipients list. You also can enter an at sign character followed by a contact name or address to mark the message as “Important” to that person.

As you draft the message, Gmail automatically saves a draft each time you stop for 3 seconds. So a draft will be saved if you close the dialog with Escape, or close the browser tab with Ctrl + w (⌘ + w on Mac). To discard and close the draft, press Ctrl + Shift + d (⌘ + Shift + d on Mac). To access drafts, press g then d.

To send your message and close the draft, press Ctrl + Enter (⌘ + Enter on Mac). To send your message later, Tab to the “More send options” menu button, press Enter and then Down arrow to “Schedule send.” Then select a predefined time, or specify your own preference and press Enter.

Format messages

Formatting text in Gmail is similar to other editors you use. To format text as you write, press the keyboard shortcut and then enter the text you want formatted.

To add or remove formatting of existing text, select the text and press the keyboard shortcut.

Common formatting shortcuts

  • Undo (Ctrl + z), or (⌘ + z).
  • Redo (Ctrl + y), or (⌘ + y).
  • Bold (Ctrl + b), or (⌘ + b).
  • Italic (Ctrl + i), or (⌘ + i).
  • Underline (Ctrl + u), or (⌘ + u).
  • Numbered list (Ctrl + Shift + 7), or (⌘ + Shift + 7).
  • Bulleted list (Ctrl + Shift + 8), or (⌘ + Shift + 8).
  • Available font selection from dropdown:
    • Previous font (Ctrl + Shift + 5) or (⌘ + Shift + 5).
    • Next font (Ctrl + Shift + 6) or (⌘ + Shift + 6).
  • Font size:
    • Smaller (Ctrl + Shift + hyphen) or (⌘ + Shift + hyphen).
    • Larger (Ctrl + Shift + plus) or (⌘ + Shift + plus).
  • Indent less (Ctrl + left bracket), or (⌘ + left bracket).
  • Indent more (Ctrl + right bracket), or (⌘ + right bracket).
  • Insert link (Ctrl + k), or (⌘ + k).
    • This opens an “Edit Link” dialog with text inputs to enter the text to display and the address of the link. It also contains radio buttons to specify whether the link points to a URL or an email address. If you change the selection of these radio buttons, it automatically sends focus to the text input to enter the address.
  • To remove all formatting from selected text, press Ctrl + backslash, or ⌘ + backslash.

Check spelling & grammar

As you enter text

Gmail automatically corrects errors as you enter text and highlights errors it didn’t correct. Your screen reader alerts you when Gmail has corrected an error and of errors as you review text you entered. When text that contains an error has focus, press Tab to open the “Spellcheck options” dialog with focus on the suggested correction. To accept the suggestion, press Enter or press Tab for additional options. Focus then returns to the point where you were editing.

Next misspelling shortcut

While you review your text:

  • To move focus to the next error, press Ctrl + single quote.
  • To move focus to the previous error, press Ctrl + semicolon.

The spelling or grammar error is announced. To review the suggestion, press Tab to open the “Spellcheck options” dialog with focus on the suggestion.

Use Smart Compose

Gmail can help you write emails faster. The Smart Compose feature is powered by machine learning and offers suggestions as you enter text.

Smart Compose is on by default. Under “General Settings,” you can:

  • Toggle “Writing Suggestions” on or off
  • Have Gmail automatically personalize suggestions based on your writing style if you toggle “Personalization” on or off

When a suggestion is available, your screen reader announces it after one second of inactivity. To accept and insert the suggestion, press Tab.

Attach a file to the message

From your computer

  1. While you compose a message or reply, navigate to and activate the “Attach Files” button to display an “Open” dialog.
  2. To upload the attachment to your message, locate and select the file in the “Open” dialog and activate the “Open” button.

Attached files are at the end of the message. To remove an attached file from a message draft, place focus in the message body and navigate to the file you intend to remove. When focus is on the correct file, press the Delete key.

From clipboard

If you clipboard copy a file with Ctrl + c (⌘ + c on Mac) from either your computer or Google Drive, you can attach the file with clipboard paste Ctrl + v (⌘ + v on Mac). By default, if the copied file is an image, it’s copied inline in the body. To attach the file, activate the “Attach Files” button before clipboard paste.

If your attached files are greater than the limit for your account, Gmail automatically adds a Google Drive link in the email instead of including it as an attachment. Learn more about Google Drive attachment sharing settings.

From Google Drive

  1. While you compose a message or reply, navigate to and activate the “Insert files using Drive” button to open an “Insert files using Google Drive” dialog.
  2. Initial focus is on files or folders in “My Drive” in a grid. Navigate through the listed files and folders with the Arrow keys. Select one or more files and insert by pressing Enter to share with a link.
  3. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides documents will only be shared with a link.
  4. Other file types can be shared as an attachment. After selecting the file, Tab to the “Attachment” toggle button and press Space to select. Then Shift + Tab to the “Insert” button and press Enter.
  5. To choose a file in a different location of Google Drive, Tab to the “My Drive” tab. Then press Right arrow and press Enter to move focus to the files or folders in that location.

Files inserted as a link from Drive are placed in the message body at the point of focus before activating the “Insert files using Drive” button and may be deleted from the message with the Backspace key.

Add alt text to an image

  1. Once you add an inline image to your message, select the space that represents the image with Shift + Arrow.
  2. Tab past several sizing links. Important: "Best fit" is the default.
  3. Press Enter on the "Edit alt text" link.
  4. Type the alt text.
  5. To accept and close the dialog, press Enter.
  6. To move the cursor back to the message body, press Tab.

Remove an attached file

Attached files are presented at the end of your composed email after your signature. To put focus on attached files, move your cursor to the end of the composed email. To remove the attached file, press Delete.

Send as confidential

When you use confidential mode to send a message in Gmail, the intended recipient must enter a code to read your email.

After you send your message, the recipient receives an email that tells them they have a confidential message. Before they can read the email, they must verify their identity with a code sent either through email to the same account or SMS to a number you choose.

  1. To display a confidential mode dialog, Tab to the “Toggle confidential mode” button and press Enter.
  2. Set the expiration period for your message from the dropdown options.
  3. Choose passcode requirements from the “No SMS passcode” or “SMS passcode” radio buttons.
  4. Navigate to and activate the “Save” button.

Create a signature

  1. Open Gmail Settings.
  2. Under the “General” tab, navigate to the signature section.
  3. To open a “Name new signature” dialog, navigate to and activate the “Create a new signature” button.
  4. Enter the signature name and press Enter to “Create.”
  5. Compose your signature in the edit field that gets focus.
  6. Tab to the “FOR NEW EMAILS USE” combo box and select the signature name or “No signature.”
  7. Tab to the “ON REPLY/FORWARD USE” combo box and select the signature name or “No signature.”
  8. To save your changes, Tab through the remaining General Settings to the “Save Changes” button and press Enter.

Insert or change a signature

Tab to the end of your composed email to the “Insert Signature” button. This opens a menu that includes the named signatures and “No signature.” Press Enter to check the desired option. This is where you add a signature even when you don’t elect to have one automatically added.

Use Gmail Settings

  1. To open Gmail settings, navigate to the “Settings” button near the top of the interface: Press the slash keyboard shortcut to move to “Search,” and then press Tab 5 times to “Settings.”
  2. Press Enter to open a “Quick Settings” panel.
  3. Tab to the “See all Settings” button and activate to open tabbed “Settings” in the current browser tab.

Tip: While settings can be changed in “focus mode,” you can find more explanation, and perhaps faster navigation, when you use “virtual mode.”

Initial focus is on the “General” settings tab that has the most commonly changed settings. Additional tabs follow and can be activated. The settings for the activated tab are presented in a table following the tabs, and the settings topics are presented in the first column. After you navigate to the table, use table column navigation (down) to review the available settings, and row navigation (right) to review the setting options.

To change most settings, toggle back to “focus mode” to interact with the control.

To save or cancel any changes:

  1. Use your screen reader “virtual mode.”
  2. Go to the navigation landmark after the table to find a “Save changes” button and a “Cancel” button.
    Note: “Save changes” is only available when settings have been changed.
  3. When no changes were made, you can use the browser back navigation to leave Settings.
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