Unlike previous versions of Windows where you’ve had to install a mail program, such as Windows Live Mail on Windows 7 or the older Outlook Express, Windows 8 comes with the Mail App built in.
By default it’s found as the first App on the Start Screen with a live tile that will show the number of unread emails. If you’ve created your Windows 8 profile using a Live account it will automatically set the corresponding email account up for you and your mail should be there the first time you open the App.
Using Windows Mail
The default view shows your list of folders on the left, with your inbox next and the selected email displayed on the right. When opened the most recently received email will be displayed automatically.
Windows Mail will automatically filter your incoming mail to move emails that it detects as either newsletters or social updates (such as Facebook activity reports and Twitter updates) into separate folders so that your main inbox is not cluttered up by them. Its detection isn’t 100% as some newsletters do make it through but once you manually move these to the correct folder they should be picked up in future.
Frequently used contacts will appear beneath the folder list allowing you quick access to your email conversations with them, as well as a link to the People App which acts as your contact list.
Accessible either from within Mail or the Start Screen, the People App can be accessed by a number of Windows 8 Apps and will have all the information for your contacts. From here you can select to call contacts through Skype, send an email (which links back to the Mail App), send an instant message or locate them on the map. You can also link your Facebook and other accounts to the People App and sync your contacts with multiple accounts.
Above the inbox is the search function, which allows you to find email addresses, subjects or even words within an email. Above the email will be buttons for reply, new email and delete, these will change when writing an email to add send and attach functions.
When you begin writing an email reply, this appears instead of the email from the inbox and will show your reply inline with the original email.
Using the Charms Bar, you can access the options for Windows Mail. As well as adding more email accounts, which I’ll come back to in a moment, you can also access a number of options to change how mail is displayed, such as not automatically showing previous emails in a reply or having to manually mark a message as read and finally changing your font, size and colour for any text you write.
Right clicking on an email from your inbox will bring up the bottom toolbar, which allows you to perform a number of actions such as manage your folders, select all items in the inbox, move, delete or flag specific emails.
The sweep button will allow you to remove all emails from that sender, such as deleting them outright, blocking them or having them automatically deleted after 10 days. This allows you to instantly purge your inbox of newsletters that come through too often for example.
Adding Additional Accounts
Clicking on Accounts on the settings panel will bring up the list of all accounts currently recognised by the App. You can add extra accounts by clicking add an account. Some of the more popular accounts are automatically recognised and the correct settings for them are applied automatically.
Adding an Outlook, Exchange, Google or Yahoo account is quite straightforward. Simply select the type of account you would like to add and you’ll be taken to the login screen for that type of account.
Once you’ve entered your account details you’ll be asked to accept the App permissions - as it will require access to certain information you need to tell the App that it is allowed to do so. Clicking cancel at this point would return you to the login screen.
On accepting the permissions your account will be added to the Mail App and once ready you then can select your different accounts from the bottom of the menu bar.
Clicking on the account from the accounts screen allows you to change options specific to that account, and you can have different settings for each such as a custom signature on one account. It is also from here that you can choose to remove any accounts that you no longer wish to use, though you can’t remove your active Live account.
You aren’t just limited to these types of accounts though, and can add other types of email account such as one that comes with your internet service provider or a work email address. Selecting ‘other account’ for the type of email account will allow you to manually enter the account details.
Firstly you’ll be asked what type of account you’re wanting to add, either EAS or IMAP, though it doesn’t currently support POP3 accounts.
You’ll then need to manually enter the account and connection details for the email account. If using an ISP email these details should be supplied to you by them. Once added, these accounts are selectable from the bottom of the menu the same as with the Hotmail and Gmail accounts.