Organizing Your Inbox in Gmail using JAWS, NVDA or Chromevox

Image of email with inbox of 179 unread emails.

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Written By Cody Laplante

Cody M. Laplante is a certified Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments located in the capital region of the United States. With a Master’s Degree and Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology, Cody founded eye.t to provide live and asynchronous training options to children, adults, professionals and parents to ensure that all people with visual impairments can have access to a computer.

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Published on

February 22, 2022

Wow, can you believe we are already in March? That means that this is the LAST Screen Reader Tidbit on navigating Gmail with a screen reader.

Today, we will be talking about how to organize your inbox all with those Google-specific key commands. Remember, this works with any computer-based screen reader. JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, Chromevox; because all of the key commands here are Google-specific, they will be the same with every screen reader.


We all have had that moment where we are overwhelmed by just how many emails are in our inbox. And when that happens, what do we do? We start to clear it out. You go through your emails and decide, ‘am I trashing this, or reporting this as spam?’ With a screen reader, this process is not too hard either. 

Step 1: Choose an email

In your inbox, move through your emails using those j, and k keys that we talked about earlier this month and select an email to open. Once you press enter, you are now in the conversation page

Step 2: Delete or Spam

Once you are in the email’s conversation page you can do one of the following actions.

Delete Email: #

Report as Spam: !

Archive: e

Mute Conversation: m

Step 3: Move On

Once you have dealt with one email, Depending on the action, Gmail may put you back in the inbox. You can then jump to the next email in your inbox and repeat the process. If you did not get thrown back in the inbox, you can use those j, and k keys to move through your emails without having to jump back to the inbox.


Labels are a useful tool when organizing your emails because it allows you to place specific tags on emails that are related. For instance, here at eye.t we tag all “open customer request” emails so that if a staff member goes into our inbox, they can see any customer request that has still been unresolved. Another example is a label like “urgent” so that when you go back to your inbox the next day you can begin by looking through all of the emails that you have marked as “urgent”.

Let’s learn how to use labels with a screen reader.

Adding Labels

  1. Start in the conversation page of an email.
  2. Open the “labels” menu with the key command l (l for label).
  3. Type the label you want to use OR use the down arrow key to select from the list.
  4. Select the correct label with Enter.

Using Labels

  1. From anywhere in the Gmail app, use the key command g l (for go to label).
  2. You will be able to search for the label that you want to see or use the arrow keys to select from the drop down menu.
  3. Select the label with Enter and you will be taken to a mailbox with all of the emails with that specific label.

Remember, if you like these emails and want to see them in video form, check out our Tech Tip Tuesday series on our Facebook Group AT for VI Professionals

And next month, stay tuned as we begin our series on using Google Drive with a screen reader!

See you next week!

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