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Preventing JAWS® and Fusion® from speaking MS Outlook® group headings

Preventing JAWS® and Fusion® from speaking MS Outlook® group headings

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Since installing the March 2020 Update, JAWS and Fusion are announcing navigational information when you go to emails grouped by days of the week. For example, you may hear “group by, expanded day, yesterday.”

This default behavior will be stopped in the April 2020 update, but until then, you have two ways that you can stop this information from being spoken.


The first solution is to change the speech verbosity in JAWS so that help balloons are not spoken. However, the April 2020 JAWS and Fusion updates will include a new Quick Setting to toggle the verbosity for group headings without affecting the verbosity for help balloons. To change the help balloon verbosity setting in JAWS:

  1. Open MS Outlook.
  2. Press INSERT+6 to open the Settings Center.
  3. Press the DOWN ARROW to navigate to Speech Verbosity in the tree view, then open it by pressing the RIGHT ARROW.
  4. Press the DOWN ARROW once and listen to which level you are currently using (Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced). Do not change it.
  5. Press the DOWN ARROW to navigate to Configure Verbosity Levels, then press RIGHT ARROW to open it.
  6. Press the DOWN ARROW to the verbosity level you are currently using, then press the SPACEBAR to open it.
  7. Press the DOWN ARROW until you reach Help Balloons, then use the SPACEBAR to uncheck it.
  8. Select OK, which returns you to the Settings Center tree view.
  9. Select OK to close the Settings Center.

The other option is to prevent group headings from displaying in your MS Outlook folder, such as your Inbox, by doing the following:

  1. Open the MS Outlook Inbox.
  2. Press ALT+V, A, B, W. This series of keystrokes disables the Show in Groups option for your Inbox. You can repeat these keystrokes while in any other folder.

Note: An alternate version of step 2:

  1. Open the View menu (ALT+V).
  2. Navigate to the Arrange by submenu and press ENTER.
  3. Press the DOWN ARROW to navigate to the Show in Groups option.
  4. If Show in Groups is checked, press ENTER to uncheck it and close the submenu.
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