Searching for Messages in Outlook 2016 and Later

Are you overwhelmed by the contents of your mailbox? I think we all probably are at this point! There are ways to search your mail so you can easily find something you need. This works only if you have Outlook installed on your laptop.

To search for a message containing specific text from your Inbox:

  1. Press Control + E to navigate to the search bar and type your query. It can be a word, series of words, or a name.

  2. You will need to press Tab a series of times (most likely four times). At this point, you will hear your screen reader say “list box” and read the first result in the search. If you do not hear your screen reader say “list box”, press Tab until you do.

  3. Use arrows until you find the message you are looking for and press Enter to open and read it. When finished, press Escape to close the message. You will be focused in the results list, from which you may repeat this step as often as needed until you are ready to exit the search results.

  4. To clear the search results Escape. You will need to press Tab to navigate to your list box from your folder pane.

  5. If at any point you are not sure where you are in Outlook (for example, if you accidentally wind up in another folder or in the calendar section of Outlook), you can go to the Inbox by pressing Control + Shift + I. If this does not work, you can press Tab until you hear “list box”. Alternatively you can close Outlook by pressing Alt + F4 and reopen it if you feel completely lost.

Why not give this handy tip a try (remember that these key commands work whether or not you are using a screen reader and are generally quicker than using the mouse once you get into the habit of utilizing them).