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Windows Live Mail Inbox

Windows Live Mail Inbox

I installed Windows Live Mail and imported all my e-mail accounts. Now I have folders for every single account on the left hand side. How do I get rid of them or hide them? I want a make it look as close as possible to OE or Windows Mail so I want one Windows Live Mail inbox to collect all email. Thanks
Robert Bahna

The layout of Windows Live Mail, the default email program on Windows 7 computers, is somewhat different from Outlook Express (XP) and Windows Mail (Vista). For instance, instead of a single inbox, Windows Live Mail gives one to each email account that’s configured in the program. Now this may not be a big deal when you have only one email address.

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But in case of multiple accounts, the incoming messages are automatically sorted and placed in their own inboxes. This is one of the pet peeves of former users of Outlook Express and Windows Mail who have always worked from a single inbox… and pretty used it.

FYI, each email account set up in Windows Live Mail gets a set of five default folders – the Inbox, Drafts, Sent items, Junk e-mail and Deleted items. You can create more if you want.

Single inbox in Windows Live Mail

There are two methods of putting all incoming email in one Windows Live Mail inbox folder instead of several. The first is a little cumbersome but gets exactly what is desired. This is what will be detailed in this post – please follow the steps below.

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  1. Start the email program – [Slide 1].
  2. Make sure the top menu is visible, else you need change the layout and unhide it. Refer how to get the Windows Live Mail toolbar – [Slides 2 and 3].
  3. The “Storage Folders” would probably be visible in the left panel, if not, click the “Menus” icon (Alt-M) and choose, “Layout” -> “Folder Pane“. Put a check mark in front of “Show Storage folders” and apply these changes – [Slides 4 and 5].
  4. You’ll now see the “Storage folders” on the left – [Slide 6].
  5. Right click on “Storage folers” and select “New folder” – [Slide 7].
  6. Enter a name for this new folder. It can be anything you want – [Slide 8 and 9].
  7. Now choose “Tools” -> “Message rules” -> “Mail” – [Slide 10].
  8. Select the “For all messages” condition and “Move it to the specified folder” action – [Slide 11].
  9. Click the blue colored “specified” link and pick the new folder you’ve added under the “Storage folders“. You can also provide a name for this message rule if you want. Click “OK“- [Slide 12 and 13].
  10. The new message rule is created. Close the pop-up by hitting “OK” – [Slide 14].

All incoming messages from all email accounts that have been set up in Windows Live Mail will now arrive at one ‘Inbox’, the one you’ve created under “Storage folders“.

The other way to collect email in one folder in Windows Live Mail is to add the “All Inbox” option under “Quick Views“; please click that link to know more. However, this method lets you check email from a single inbox and does not ‘move’ the messages per se.

Finally, the only way to hide (all) folders in Windows Live Mail is to deselect the option to show the left panel. Click the “Menus” icon (Alt-M) and select “Layout“. Under the “Folder pane” section, put a check mark in front of “Use compact view for Folder pane“. This will, however, not hide the left panel completely; the accounts will still be visible… but now only as icons. The same can be achieved by dragging the folder panel to the left edge.

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Your comments
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  • Bianca on July 8th, 2010 4:29 pm

    Q: I am on WIN7 and using WIN LIVE to receive mails and have/had a great folder structure underneath. I also worked extensively with Drafts – esp. as I often send on mails and notes to help others.

    I accidentally REMOVED my account (TOOLS) for receiving mails.

    A System Restore did not remedy, so I quickly set up the account again and I do receive mails HOWEVER: all the former folders and notes under Inbox and Drafts respectively are completely gone. Cry!

    I am being told they should not be lost if I reset up the account as before; so what else should I do?

    Thank You for ANY help!

  • Manish on July 10th, 2010 8:43 am

    Bianca, unfortunately all folders under Inbox and the saved messages (Drafts) and gone! Windows Live Mail does warn you before you remove / delete an account. Anyway, once the account is set up in the email program again, email will be downloaded without problem… in fact, you might be able to get old messages if you opted to leave a copy on the server.

  • Dan Davis on July 14th, 2010 3:20 am

    How do I get the subject line in the inbox pane to show more characters? It’s currently so small that I’m lucky to see two words!

  • Manish on July 20th, 2010 8:04 am

    Dan, have you tried increasing the width of the pane? Click and drag the separator to the right. Note: you may have to decrease the width of another column first… to get more ‘space’.

  • Martin on November 28th, 2010 3:32 pm

    I have Windows 7 using Windows Live Mail with 2 email accounts. Problem is that all incoming mail arrives in both inboxes instead of sorted between the two. Incidentally, the top box in quick views, shows all unread messages in all e-mail accounts cannot be unticked. I only want to see one copy of each message and in the correct inbox.

  • Manish on December 1st, 2010 10:22 am

    Windows Live Mail has a ‘Quick views’ feature. I assume you are referring to that. The Quick views can be turned off via the layout settings.

  • Rachela on May 27th, 2012 3:58 am

    Hello! I have been experiencing a problem with my INBOX-Windows live Mail for the last two days. It tells me that my password is incorrect or that I have no Internet access. All other sites work but Windows live. Also I cannot log into Windows live Messenger either! Is there a problem with it or is it my computer? Thanks for your help.

  • Manish on June 4th, 2012 9:34 am

    Based on what you wrote, the computer seems to be working fine and so is the Internet connection. I have a strong feeling that the password is incorrect. How about trying to login from another computer. You can then be sure about this.

  • chris on June 9th, 2012 9:38 pm

    Every time I click sign in button to get to my inbox I get a blank screen. What should I do?

  • Manish on June 14th, 2012 3:09 pm

    You need to troubleshoot the problem:
    1. Check the Internet connection speed
    2. Try accessing the account from another computer.
    3. Use a different web browser
    4. Check the different settings in your chosen web browser – try the HTTP 1.1 options. Refer Hotmail sign in problem for details.

    Hope this helps.

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