Reducing Verbosity of New Teams Notifications

Accessibility Agony Aunt


With so many organisations moving from Classic Teams to New Teams, many users have been finding that although similar, the two versions are far from exactly the same. We have been contacted by a number of screen reader users who are finding the incoming chat notifications far too verbose and distracting in the New Teams asking if it is possible to reduce the verbosity. So, the question is: How do you reduce the verbosity without losing any of the key information such as the name of the sender and their message content?


Due to the differences between how various screen readers announce Teams notifications, this is really aimed at JAWS users, who will be most impacted by the changes between Classic and New Teams notifications.

Initially when we looked into how to amend the notifications with JAWS we could only either mute them entirely, or replace them with a piece of standard text; however, thanks to Nick, one of our amazing developers, we have managed to put together a set of instructions on how to remove the parts of the notification you don’t want and keep the relevant stuff. The notifications centre was added in JAWS 2022, therefore these instructions will work with any version of JAWS after and including JAWS 2022.

By default, when you get a message in New Teams, JAWS will announce something like: Good morning! Katherine Turner… - Blazie. Having spoken with so many users, the consensus is that people want to remove the email address and organization at the end and keep the message text and the sender’s name, so it would be: Good morning! Katherine Turner.

This solution uses regex which is a coding term meaning regular expressions and can allow you to get a little clever with how you create your rules. We won’t go into how this works exactly here, but the steps to do it are as follows. Note, these instructions contain specific punctuation which may not be automatically announced based on your verbosity settings, so it is best to read by character for the sections which outline what you have to type:

  1. Press Insert+Space to start a layered keystroke followed by N to open the Notification History.
  2. Focus will start in a list of notifications you have received over the past 24 hours (only notifications which were received while JAWS was running are shown). Arrow down until you find an incoming Teams chat notification. This will be easier if you have recently received a chat message notification.
  3. Either tab twice to the Create Rule… button and press Enter to activate it or press Alt+C to activate it from the list. The Create Rule dialogue will open.
  4. Focus will start in the Rule Type combo box. Arrow down to Matches Pattern in the list.
  5. Tab to the edit directly after the combo box which will contain the text for the notification you selected. Select the part you want to keep, so in our case, we want to keep the message text and the name of the sender, and replace it with the following punctuation (.*)
    Leave the rest of the text as it is. The edit should now say something like (.*)… - Blazie
  6. Tab to the Limit to notifications in msedgewebview2 checkbox and ensure this is checked. This will limit our rule to Teams notifications.
  7. Tab to the Speech Action combo box and arrow down to Shorten.
  8. Tab to the next edit field and type in \1 As an additional option here, if you want your notifications to start that the message is from Teams, type \1 – Teams.
  9. Tab to the Preview Results button and press Enter to hear how JAWS will announce notifications once we implement this rule. If it doesn’t sound right, go back and check the previous steps.
  10. Tab to the Braille Action combo box. If you use braille, you can amend this if desired. The default is to show the notification as a flash message on the braille, but you can change this to show no braille if you prefer.
  11. Tab a few times to the OK button and press Enter.
  12. You will be prompted with the Name Your Rule dialogue and focus will land in the Rule Name edit field. By default, this will contain the notification text, but it is best to change this to a meaningful name for the rule in case you need to find it again later. We have changed this to Teams Chat Notifications.
  13. Tab to the OK button and press Enter. The rule will be created and focus will move back to the Notification History window which you can close with Escape.

    You should note that if the way the Teams notifications are announced by default changes, you may have to create a new rule to allow for this.

    If you have any trouble with any of this, contact us at

    If you need a hand with your assistive tech, whether it is a screen reader, magnifier, speech to text system, mind mapping tool or anything else, you can ask the Accessibility Agony Aunt for help. Email your questions to - we aim to respond to all questions within 5 working days.