How to use Windows Live Mail


Windows Live Mail is the latest free email application from Microsoft that enables you to send and receive emails and set up webmail accounts within it, along with many other enhanced features. You may find that its features and menus are similar to those of Windows Mail or Outlook Express, if you’ve used these in the past. This guide explains how to use its key features.
You’ll need:
Follow these step-by-step instructions to use Windows Live Mail
Step 1: Open Windows Live Mail from the shortcut icon on your desktop or the option on your ‘Start’ menu.
Step 2: You’ll need to add your email account – either your webmail or other account if you have one – to start receiving or sending emails. Click Accounts at the top of the window.
Windows live mail accounts
Step 3: Choose Email from the options at the top of the screen.
Windows live email
Step 4: Add your email account information in the boxes provided, including your email address and account password and the name that you’d like recipients to see when they get an email from you.
Step 5: If you want to make this account your default so that it always opens in this inbox, tick ‘Make this my default email account’ – otherwise leave blank.
Step 6: When you’ve completed the information, click Next.
Add email accounts to windows live
Step 7: If you’re adding a webmail account, you may be advised (in Step 4) that you need to enable some settings in your webmail account so that you can access your email through Windows Live Mail.
Enable settings in windows live mail
In this case, the webmail account is a Gmail account, so go to the Gmail website to enable the settings as instructed. Once these have been set up, you can continue as in Step 4.
Enable settings via gmail
Step 8: Now that your email account has been added, click Finish to go back to your Windows Live Mail inbox.
Windows live mail finish
Step 9: Click Home. Your account will now be shown on the left-hand side, in the ‘Folders’ section. Any emails received will be shown in the centre.
Windows live mail folders
Step 10: To see all the folders – such as ‘Sent Mail’, etc. – in your account, click on the small arrow to the left of the name of each main folder.
All folders in windows live mail
Step 11: To send an email, click Email message at the top left-hand corner of the screen.
Windows live mail email message
Step 12: Insert the recipient’s address, the subject and your message. You can format the font or attach a photo at this point, as shown.
Windows live mail formatting
Step 13: When you’ve completed your email, click Send.
Windows live mail send
Step 14: To reply to an email, highlight the email you’re replying to from the list in your inbox. Then click Reply at the top of the screen.
Windows live mail replying
Complete your message and click Send.
Step 15: To delete an email from your inbox, highlight it in the list in your inbox, click Delete at the top of the screen, next to the ‘Reply’ button.
Step 16: To view your calendar or other features on the screen, click View at the top of the screen.
Windows live mail features
Choose which features you wish to view from the list by clicking on them to enable or disable.
Windows live mail enabling or disabling features
This guide shows some steps to using Windows Live Mail.  For more information, you can also get help from Microsoft.
Karen Maxwell is a Digital Unite tutor and assessor/trainer of computer accessibility.


Helen Few's picture

By Helen Few on 25th January 2013

I have just had Windows Live Mail installed and have sent three emalls but they do not appear in my Sent folder. Where can I find them? HELEN FEW
Paulette's picture

By Paulette on 13th February 2013

I have the same problem. I also have a gmail account and that shows Sent mail.... you would think that if the account is set up it would have something as simple as Sent mail. Is it a default thing?? I would like this info also... thanks
DU Community Manager's picture

By DU Community Manager on 25th January 2013

Dear Helen, We have posted your question in the Q&A section of our community, where it is likely to get more responses. To see it, visit this link: Thanks
molly's picture

By molly on 22nd February 2013

I cannot find spell check on windows live mail
Donna's picture

By Donna on 8th January 2014

I can't find it either ...where is the spell checker?
DU Community Manager's picture

By DU Community Manager on 25th February 2013

Dear Molly, We have posted this on our Q&A message board so you should receive an answer here (to see your question and any answers, click on this link: Best wishes
dalestuart's picture

By dalestuart on 7th April 2013

I used to see a list of emails, now only the current one. What setting do I need to adjust?
DU Community Manager's picture

By DU Community Manager on 8th April 2013

Dear Dale, We have posted this on our Q&A message board so you should receive an answer here (to see your question and any answers, click on this link: to see your question and any answers.
barbourofthehill's picture

By barbourofthehill on 1st May 2013

I use Windows Live Mail. My email address is * I cannot send or receive email. The error msg. says that the "server" or my "internet" connection is not functioning. Who/what has the "server?" I can access the internet. Does this mean that the problem is not my internet connecton
CKMcK's picture

By CKMcK on 31st May 2013

Mu windows live mail stopped getting email with no error statement or number