Sit down, rest your eyes, and listen to your emails instead of reading them. With Read My Email in Microsoft Outlook on iPhone, iPad, and Android, Cortana will happily read your messages aloud to you.

You can use Read My Email for multiple accounts, customize the emails you hear, act on a message, and more. So if Outlook is your favorite email app on iPhone, iPad, or Android, you’ll appreciate the flexibility and options. Let’s walk through all of this so you can stop reading your emails after a long, hectic day and listen to them instead.

To note: At the time of writing, all customization settings described below may not be available on Android. Additional features are still being rolled out and may change over time.

Enable Read my emails in Microsoft Outlook

Open the Outlook app on your iPhone, iPad, or android device and tap your profile icon in the upper left corner. At the bottom of the menu, tap the gear icon to open Settings.

Tap Profile, Settings in Outlook

In the Mail section of the Settings menu, select “Read my mail”.

Choose an email account at the top under Email Accounts. Next, enable Read my emails.

Enable Read my emails

You can use the feature for multiple Outlook accounts if you want.

Under Read emails from, select the messages you want to hear. You can choose the targeted inbox, favorite people or favorite folders.

Read emails from

Under What To Play, choose whether you want to hear only unread emails or all emails from the last 72 hours.

what to play

Tap the arrow in the upper left corner to return to the Read my email settings. You can then customize additional options for the feature.

Personalize Read my emails

If you connect your smartphone to your vehicle, you can activate “Autoplay” from the same Settings menu. Next, choose the action for the Previous and Next options. You can automatically read previous and next emails or summon Cortana.

Enable and customize autoplay

To note: At the time of writing, not all of these settings are available for Android.

Then you can make read emails appear as read or unread in your inbox. This is handy if, for example, you always want to physically read messages again later. You can select the Unread setting here so that you don’t miss any emails.

Mark read emails as

Do you have a preference for the sound of Cortana? Tap “Voice of Cortana” to choose a male or female voice.

Select a voice for Cortana

Finally, you can set up daily reminders to listen to your emails. This is handy if you want to use Play My Emails before bed each night. Enable “Daily Reminders”, then select the time of day. You can also customize the days of the week for the notification. Touch the initial of each day to highlight it.

Play my email reminders

If you have Do Not Disturb or Automatic Replies enabled on your device, you will not receive the reminder.

When you’re done customizing the Read My Email options, tap the back arrow in the top left corner to go back, then select the “X” button to close the menu and return to your inbox.

Use Read My Email in Outlook

When you’re ready to use Read My Email in Microsoft Outlook, tap your profile icon in the upper left corner. In the menu, you will see a “Play” button, so go ahead and tap it.

Press Read to hear the emails

Outlook will enter Read My Email mode while Cortana checks for new email. You’ll then see how many emails you have and how long it will take Cortana to read them all to you.

Read my email splash screens

As you hear each email read aloud, you’ll see the sender and subject line on the screen. You can perform various actions on each message:

  • Press pause at any time to temporarily stop playback, then press play to resume.
  • Select the flag icon to flag the email or the box icon to archive it.
  • Swipe right to left to move to the next message.
  • Tap the microphone icon to give Cortana an audio command. You can say things like “Ignore”, “Delete”, “Archive”, “Mark as read” and similar actions.

Actions to play my emails

When Cortana finishes reading your emails, you’ll see and hear that you’re all caught up. You can then tap the “X” icon in the upper left corner to return to your inbox.

Whether your eyes aren’t open enough in the morning or you’re just too tired at the end of the day, try listening to your emails instead of reading them with Read My Emails in Outlook. And to make it easier on your eyes, you can also enable dark mode in Outlook on iPhone, iPad, and Android.