There is certainly a great deal to be said in favor of web-based email services such as Outlook.com, Gmail and the like, but that does not mean you should limit yourself to accessing your email account through your web browser. 

There are numerous reasons why you might want to consider using a desktop app to send and receive emails – just as you do on your phone – and it should come as little surprise that Windows 10 includes its own email client.

Called simply Mail, the app can handle any of the major webmail services such as Yahoo, iCloud and Gmail, and you can use it to work with a single email address or several. In fact, this is one of the reasons using an app for email makes so much sense – it is so simple to access all of your emails in one place, without having to go forward emails between accounts.

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So, if you’ve yet to delve into Mail, join us as we take you on a guided tour and reveal what this app can do for you.

1. Setting up an email account

The first time you launch Mail, you will be prompted to add one or more email accounts – click Add Account to get started. In the case of webmail accounts, things are very simple. Select the service you use and enter your email address and password when prompted. Use the Other Account option to add POP and IMAP accounts, and you’ll be prompted to enter server details.

2. Adding more accounts

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It’s likely that you have more than one email account. One of the benefits of using the Mail app is that you can access them all in the same place, so it makes sense to add more than one account. If you decide to add more at a later time, you can click the Accounts label to the left-hand side of Mail, and then click Add account before entering the necessary details as before.3.

Image Credit: Microsoft

By default, Mail keeps emails from different accounts separate – and you can flit between their inboxes using the menu in the left-hand pane. You may prefer to see everything in one place, however. To do this, click the Accounts link to the left and then ‘Link inboxes’ to the right. Select two or more email accounts, enter name for the combined inbox and click the Save button.

4. Change mailbox sync settings

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Jargon Buster

Focused Inbox: A feature of Mail, which organises your messages into two categories: Focused and Other. The messages deemed to be most important appear in the Focused section.

 Click Accounts (left), then click an account on the right. As well as changing an account’s label, you also can change how mail is synchronised. Click ‘Change mailbox sync settings’ and use the drop-down menus to choose how often Mail should check for new messages, and how far back it should download messages from your inbox. You can also sync your calendar and contacts.

5. Show or hide navigation bar

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The left-hand navigation bar is handy if you have multiple email accounts, or if you are constantly jumping between mail folders. You can declutter the interface, however, by clicking the three-line icon to the upper left of the app window. This collapses the pane to give you more space; clicking the icon again brings it back. Even with the menu collapsed, you can still navigate.

6. Send, receive and reply to mail

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Sending a new email is as simple as clicking ‘New mail’ in the left-hand pane. Dealing with emails you receive is also simple. As new mail arrives, click the relevant inbox and select a message to view in the preview pane on the right – unread messages are highlighted in bold. At the top of the preview pane are buttons for replying to messages, deleting them, flagging them and more.

7. Opening multiple messages

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There may be times when you want to see two emails side by side, but the preview pane only shows one message at a time. To get around this, select an email you want to view and click the ‘Open message in new window’ button, which appears to the right of the From field. Now choose another email and repeat the process before repositioning the windows as necessary.

8. Email quick actions

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There is no need to open an email to perform certain actions. If you hover your mouse over an email in the central inbox column, three pop-up icons appear. Use these to archive, delete or flag an email. This latter is handy if you want to be reminded about an email later. You can also right-click an email and use the context menu to perform other actions.

9. Favourite folders

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Folders are a great way to keep your inbox organised. Your inbox is likely divided into a number of folders by default, but you can create more. Click ‘Folders’ in the left-hand pane, then click the ‘+’ button in the menu that appears. Enter a name for the folder you’re creating and press [Enter]. To make a folder into a favourite, right-click it and select ‘Add to Favourites’.

10. Handy email options

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There are other settings for Mail you might want to explore. In Settings > Personalisation, for instance, you can change the colour and background image used in the app, while the Font section lets you tweak the appearance of email sent through each of your accounts. And in the Signature section you can customise the text that is added to the end of all your outgoing emails.

Find more great content like this in Windows Help & Advice magazine. It is bursting with handy Windows tutorials for getting more from your PC. You can buy the latest issue or subscribe.



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