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How do I use Windows Live Mail?

How do I use Windows Live Mail?

Windows Live Mail is the latest free email client from Microsoft and can be downloaded from the live.com web site. It’s supposed to replace Windows Mail Vista and the popular Outlook Express on older Windows operating systems. However, the new program is much more than a simple email and news client.

The added features and utilities make it a great software to have on your system. This article provides a brief on how to use Windows Live Mail properly to accomplish several different tasks with one program.

FYI, I’ve used Windows Live Mail since the days of Windows Vista. I’ve found it stable and reliable.

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Windows Live Mail installer file is a small download of less than 2.5Mb and installs in a few minutes. The program is available for both Vista and Windows XP operating systems. For step by step instructions with helpful screenshots, please refer the links below:

Windows Live Mail – The initial and essential steps

The program is primarily an email and news client. So the first few steps I suggest are setting up Windows Live Mail for new email accounts and configuring them properly. Adding email accounts to this program is quite simple and the only problem you might face is sending emails which is NOT because of an issue with the software but rather your Internet Service Provider – If you do face this problem you can go through solutions to the problems of emails not being sent from my program.

Anyway, Windows Live Mail is a feature packed program – it’s nice to have a free and extremely useful software from Microsoft. Once you have setup email accounts in this email client, you can explore other functionalities. Though, a complete run down of the Windows Live Mail useful features can be found in another article, on this page I shall tell you how to use the program as a blogging tool, a messenger and an RSS reader in addition to an email client.

How to use Windows Live Mail client

The top row of icons on Windows Live Mail

The program opens with icons at the top for email management. Clicking on the New button would open an email composition window. However, if you click on the small arrow to the right of this button, the program offers you a selection – Email message, Photo email, Instant message, Mobile text message, Contact, Blog entry and new folder. The Reply and Reply all buttons open the email you were reading in a new window and await your inputs. The Forward buttons “forwards” the email message to the designated email address. Delete and Junk buttons move the message to the “Deleted items” and “Junk e-mail” folders, respectively.

Each email account you set up in Windows live Mail is added with five default folders – the Inbox, Drafts, Sent items, Junk e-mail and Deleted items.

Changing colors and layout of the program

Windows Live Mail interface is quite different from that of Outlook Express and Windows Mail Vista because it offers much more than the latter two. Furthermore, you can change the layout as per requirements and it doesn’t end here… you can also modify the colors of the interface to suite your mood.

Using different colors for Windows Live Mail layout

The colors of the layout can be quickly changed by clicking on the brush icon located near the top and selecting the color from the palette- refer image below. You are not restricted to 12 colors shown; the “More colors” link will open the full color palette of your system.

Important: As of now, you are not allowed to change the Windows Live Mail color to a dark shade. For instance, selecting deep red (maroon) will result in a pastel hue of red and not the exact color you picked. Click that link to know more.

Clicking on the “Show Menu” button located right beside the brush icon and selecting Layout would open the layout window via which you can choose the various options available for changing the interface and layout – refer images below.

The Show menu options in Windows Live Mail

How to change the Windows Live mail layout and interface

How to locate and use the quick link buttons on Windows Live Mail

For your convenience, there are 5 quick buttons located near the bottom left corner of the Windows Live Mail interface. These are Mail, Contacts, Feeds, Newsgroups and Messenger. Depending on how you have set the layout of the email program, the icons will either appear in their full form or minimized – refer image below. Clicking on these buttons would open that section. So if you click on the Feeds button the RSS reader of Windows Live Mail would open.

The quick link buttons of Windows Live Mail

Updating your Windows Live Spaces blog is so easy with the integrated blogging tool of Windows Live Mail. The “Blog” is located at the very top on the right.

Using the various options for the junk email filter on Windows Live Mail

Windows Live Mail has an automated junk email filter. It scans each incoming email message and automatically moves it to the junk folder (provided by default) if it identifies it as spam or a phishing attack. This filter is far from perfect – after all it’s only a set of algorithms that determine what is junk – and you can fine tune the various options so that it works well for you.

To open the options window, go to “Tools” and select “Safety Options…”. You’ll find six tabs on this window – Options, Safe Senders, Blocked Senders, International, Phishing and Security. Go through these well and modify the settings of you like by first clicking on the “Apply” button followed by the “OK” button.

the safety options in Windows Live Mail

Using Windows live Mail is easy but its various options might make it look overwhelming. But on the whole, I believe that Microsoft has done an excellent job on this program.

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