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Mercedes Oliveira

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Play My Emails in Outlook
June 17, 2021

There’s a cool feature in Outlook for iOS and Android called Play My Emails, which will save you time each day.

This feature is designed for mobile experiences and is optimised for when you’re on the move and connected to an audio device.

If you’re connected to a bluetooth speaker, earbuds or headphones, you’ll see a pop-up that will allow you to play each message.

How do I start to use Play My Emails? 

  • Open Outlook for Mobile and open the side menu by clicking on ‘Inbox’ at the top-left of the screen.
  • Then click Settings icon (the cog shape, located in the bottom-left of the screen)
  • Scroll down and click on Play My Emails, then switch the toggle on on.

Once you’re connected to an audio device (wired or Bluetooth), select the Play icon in the notification that appears at the bottom of the screen. 

Image is not our own. Image courtesy of Microsoft, taken from Message Center email: Major Change Update Notification.


Which emails will Cortana read?
The first thing Cortana will do is read out any changes to your schedule that will occur over the next 24 hours. Then, it will read out the 30 most recent unread emails that you’ve received in the past 24 hours. For conversations within a single email thread, the oldest message will be read first. If you’ve enabled Focused Inbox, only emails in the Focused Inbox will be read.


Will my emails be marked as read after Cortana reads them out to me?
By default, emails are marked as read. You can use the voice command “Mark as unread” or use a custom swipe option to mark an individual message as unread.   

To customize how your messages are marked: 

1.  Open Outlook mobile Settings 

2.  Select Play My Emails

3.  Under Mark Emails As, select Unread or Read  


What voice commands are supported with Play My Emails?
At the end of each message, Cortana listens for voice commands. Or, at any time, you can say “Hey Cortana” or tap the mic button and take following actions: 

Reply, Next, Previous, Skip, Pause, Resume, Archive, Flag this email, Unflag this email, Mark as read, Mark as unread, Delete, Exit, Send Feedback


Can I reply to email messages?
Yes. By default, your response will be sent to all recipients of the email thread. If you only want to respond to the original sender, reply “No” when Cortana asks if you’re ready to send your response. Cortana will then offer to reply only to the original sender. 


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