First an introduction to Windows Mail. Windows Mail comes pre-installed with Microsoft Windows Vista. It replaces Outlook Express which was included in previous versions of Windows. Set up of Windows Mail, Outlook Express, or Microsoft Office’s, Outlook, is virtually, if not totally the same. I have used all 3 programs in my time as a Windows user, and that’s been since Windows 95.
You will need some information before you can begin setting up your mail accounts. You can add any POP (Post Office Protocol) email accounts so long as you know their POP address. POP3 (3 being the version) is what a local email client uses to retrieve mail from their servers. It’s usually pretty easy to find or determine if your email has a POP3 address. If you have free email accounts such as Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo, you will not be able to retrieve email from those accounts with your Windows Mail program. If you have an email account from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) then you more the likely will be able to get your messages through Windows Mail, without ever having to go to any page online or entering passwords. An internet service provider is someone like, Verizon, Comcast, Epix, Frontier, Netscape, Juno, etc. There are some free POP email accounts out there. One that I used to use was called HotPop. Rather then having to login to their site, you can get all your POP emails delievered to one inbox, in Windows Mail.
To get the information you need, you may need ton contact your ISP. Your ISP may have already given you this information, perhaps you just don’t know what you’re looking for. Here’s an example. POP3 may be something like this: in.yourISPname.com or mail.yourISPname.com or pop.yourISP.com. So for example, HotPop used to be pop.hotpop.com but frontier mail is in.frontier.net. Make sense? A good rule of thumb is, if your email address ends in .com, so will your POP3 address. If your email address ends in .net, so will your POP3 address. As far as I know, in, mail, and pop are the only 3 possibilities for the first part of the POP3 address. So if you don’t know, and can’t ask, or don’t want to ask your ISP, just try one of them.
Another piece of information you need before we can open Window Mail, is we need the outgoing mail address. This is called the SMTP address (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). Again, your ISP may have provided this already, or you can ask them or just guess, it is usually only smtp.yourispname.com or mail.yourispname.com or out.yourispname.com. Again, for example, smtp.hotpop.com and out.frontier.com. If none of those 3 choices work, then you’ll have to investigate with your ISP. Often times it’s listed right in their FAQ (frequently asked questions) section on their website, or in their technical support section, otherwise you can email or call them and ask.
Let me mention here that normally if your POP3 is in your SMTP will be out. If your POP3 is pop, your SMTP will likely be smtp, etc. So now that you have the information you need, or are just going to try one of the 3 options I gave you for each, let’s open windows mail. Find your start menu at the bottom left corner of your screen, click it. Windows Mail may be featured right at the top of that box, or you can locate it by clicking ALL PROGRAMS and it should be in the list. Click on Windows Mail to open it. Once open, you will see a tool bar at the top, a column to the left, and open space to the right. In the left column is where you can navigate through Windows Mail. You’ll have an Inbox, Outbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items, Junk E-Mail and Drafts folders. You need not worry about these right now. Let’s get your e-mail account entered so Windows Mail can begin checking and receiving your e-mail from your ISP server.
Go to the TOOLS menu, at the very top, above where you see Create Mail, Reply, etc. In the drop down list select ACCOUNTS. A new box will open. This will be blank. On the right side, click on ADD. A new box opens, just select Email. Select your display name. This will be the name that people will see when you send them an email message. I use my real name, but you can choose a nickname, or you can use the first part of your email address, whatever you like. Next, enter your email address, for example, email@example.com . Next you will be entering your POP3 and SMTP addresses. If your not sure of them, just try one of my choices, if it doesn’t work, you can always come back and edit and try another one. So for example, under POP3, I will enter, in.myisp.com, and under SMTP I will enter out.myisp.com.
Under SMTP you will see a box that says, “Outgoing server requires authentication” . This is something you may need to check with your ISP. Some may require this others may not. My particular ISP does, so for this example, I will check the box by clicking in it. If yours doesn’t you can skip the step to set that up. So after you click Next, you will need to enter your e-mail username and password. This is what you would use to check mail on your ISP’s website. Mine for example uses the entire e-mail address for the username, so I would enter, firstname.lastname@example.org and then my password. Once you entered that and click next you can check the box to download mail or not. It doesn’t really matter if you check this or not, you can manually check the mail once you click finish. After you click finish you see your box with your POP mail listed. You can verify or change information by highlighting that address and clicking on properties. If you only have one, it will choose that as the default e-mail address. If you have more then one, you can choose which is the default. The default one will be the one that it will use to send mail when you click on create mail, send.
If your server requires authentication you will need to click on the Servers tab (under the properties of your POP mail). Make sure the check is in the box, and click on settings (under outgoing mail server). You may be fine to leave the first option selected, “Use same settings as my incoming mail server” or you may need to select option 2, “Log on using”. Once you select option 2 you will need to enter your username and password again. I recommend selecting remember password otherwise you will need to enter this every time you check for mail. Once that’s done you can click OK and then close the Internet Accounts window if you are done entering accounts. Now click Send/Receive at the top and see if it works. If you get an error, then either your POP3 or SMTP address is wrong or both. You have no mail to send, so it should only have checked for incoming mail. so your POP may be the only one wrong, you would have to test the outgoing mail server by creating a mail message and entering someone’s e-mail address in the the TO field.
So that’s it, your accounts have been set up and Windows Mail will now check and deliver your mail to your computer. Windows Mail does have an e-mail junk feature, which is very nice. Look around through the toolbar, read different options to customize your Windows Mail experience. Windows Mail makes it easy to flag a message as junk, you can block that person from sending you any more messages. I don’t recommend blocking the domain name unless you know for certain that no one you know uses that domain. It’s a good idea to never open any attachments from anyone you don’t know. I go one step further and never open any in chain letters even if it’s from someone I know. You can’t know for certain if there is spyware or a virus attached, even if it came from someone you know, doesn’t mean it didn’t affect their computer. Windows Mail has nice security features and if you have an Anti-virus program is should synch up with Windows Mail to check all your incoming mail for viruses, I use AVG Free and it included an email scanner. If Windows Mail suspects a message as Phishing (this is a form of spam) it will move that message to your Junk folder for your review. You will have to click on an options in the email messages themselves on whether or not you want pictures to be shown. Remember these can also contain viruses.
These are the basics of using Windows Mail. There are some stationeries you can use to create messages. I personally don’t use them. You can create message rules, you can create your own folders for you left column, like any emails you want to save. You can save an email to send later, and that will be placed into the Drafts folder. You can view your sent items folder. I recommend deleted all unwanted, unneeded emails on a daily basis, this includes the sent folder. You can set up Windows Mail to auto-delete mail that is located in your Deleted items folder and it will do this upon exiting the program. Go to TOOLS, Options for many things that you can do. You can have Windows Mail auto-check and deliver mail every 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes or whenever.
You can save all your email addresses in the Contacts folder located next to your Send/Receive button. Sending a message is simple. Click on Create Mail. Type your message in the open space. Type in a subject in the subject line. In the TO field type the email of the person to whom you are sending your message, you can choose more then one person, use a semi-colon to separate addresses. Windows Mail has memory and will likely give you name options as you begin typing the email address once you start using the program regularly. Having the names and addresses in the Contacts folder enhances that feature. If you have names in the contact folder, rather then typing the name or email address of a person you can click on TO and a box will pop up, just choose who you want to send the message too. CC means carbon copy and BCC means blind carbon copy. What this means is, if you don’t want all your contacts to know all your contacts email addresses put all your contacts into the BCC section, except for one, which you’ll need to put into the TO section. If you put them all in TO, or CC, then everyone will know everyone else’s address. Use BCC for privacy if sending to multiple people.
Another tip: when you get an email message, if you want to add that person to your contact list, just highlight the message (you will see your preview in the lower section) right click, and choose add to contacts. Another note, you can read email in your preview window, or you can double click on the message to open into it’s own window. Replying is easy. Click reply, type your message. Click send. Be careful of Reply All. If you were one of several in the TO or CC field and you click Reply All, your message will go to everyone, even if you only intended on one person. To forward a message is not unlike sending a new message. Click forward, type a message if you like, your forwarded message will be below, and then enter the names to which you want to send.
By the way, setting up Windows Mail to check your email accounts will remove those messages from your ISP server. So if you log in to your account via the web, those messages will not be there, they are now stored on your computer, within Windows Mail. You still will be able to check your messages anywhere on any computer, but as soon as you open Windows Mail and those messages download, they will not be in your web account. A note about Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail…at this time they are not able to be checked by any other mail client (Windows Mail is a mail client), you have to log in to their sites and check you mail. I believe that Hotmail and Yahoo do have that feature if you don’t have a free account. All 3 of them I believe say that you can check other email accounts within your hotmail, yahoo, or gmail account, but in my experience, you can not check Yahoo mail in Hotmail and vice versa. You may be able to check your ISP mail with them if you wanted.