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How to set up and use Mail in Windows 10

Tom Morgan
24 Jul 2015
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Windows 10's Mail client is powerful and has some useful extra features - here's how to set it up

Many people now rely purely on webmail for their email, but Windows 10's new email client is so easy to use that it's a viable alternative.  You also get the benefit of Live Tiles in the Start Menu, and optional notifications in the Action Centre. Like Calendar, Mail should be in the 'Life at a glance' section of the Start Menu by default, but you can find it quickly by pressing the Windows key and typing Mail.

<blockquote><a href="/software/operating-systems/1403607/date-announced-for-windows-10-anniversary-update-plus-all-the">Find out about all the best Windows 10 features and how to use them</a></blockquote>

The good news is that if you used your Microsoft account when setting up Windows 10, your Hotmail, Live mail or Outlook.com email accounts will already be set up when you first log in. If you want to use Mail for your other accounts, however, you’ll need to set them up. Mail makes this easy by prompting you to add new accounts when you first open the application.

Setting up a mail account

Windows 10 Mail - add Exchange account

You can click ‘Ready to Go’ straight away if you only plan on using your Microsoft account, but you should click ‘Add Account’ if you have any other email accounts you’d like to use. Mail supports Outlook.com, Exchange, Google, Yahoo! Mail and iCloud accounts by default, and you can also configure POP and IMAP accounts if you have one, such as the one from your ISP.

If you try to set up a webmail account such as Gmail, a new window will open and ask you to sign in with your Google account. You can then authorise the app to access your account information, and it will take care of all the details for you.

For Exchange accounts, things are a little more complicated. You’ll need to know your email address and password, and depending on the Exchange server settings you may also need to provide a username and domain. If you don’t know these, your network administrator or IT department should be able to help you. Once you’ve put in the correct details, the account will be activated and Mail will begin synchronising your inbox.

Using mail

Windows 10 Mail - inbox

Now that all your accounts have been added, you can start sending and receiving email. If you’re moving across from Outlook or Microsoft’s webmail services, you might find navigation a bit alien, but essentially everything you need can be found in the menu on the left side of the screen.

Accounts and folders are hidden by default, but you can click the menu icon in the top left corner (three horizontal lines) to reveal all your accounts and a selection of pinned folders. Clicking More at the bottom of this list will open a new pop-out menu containing all your mail folders; if you would prefer these to be always visible, you can right click on each one and select ‘add to favourites’. You can also make these folders appear when the menu is minimised, by clicking the silhouetted folder icon. The Calendar icon at the bottom-left will open the Calendar application and the Cog icon opens the Settings pane on the right of the screen. See, how to use the calendar in Windows 10 for more information.

Mail settings

Windows 10 Mail - signature

The Settings pane lets you add more accounts, and you can dive into the Options sub-menu to set Out of Office replies, add a signature to your emails and toggle Action Centre notifications. It’s also here you can fix some of the annoyances we’ve encountered in our time with the application.

For example, by default, Mail won’t highlight the next message in your inbox when you delete, move or archive the currently selected email. Instead, the entire preview pane is filled with a generic cloud image. If you open Options at the bottom left (the cog icon) and click Reading, you can toggle Auto-open next item if you prefer. You can also change the background picture if you like, by clicking ‘Background Picture’ in the Settings menu. 

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