Windows Live Mail is one of the free programs in the Windows Live Suite and you can download it from www.windowslive.com. Live Mail is the new email client for Windows XP, replacing the old out-moded Outlook Express. With Live Mail you can manage as many email addresses as you like and take advantage of improved security for protection from phishing and emails that could contain malware. As well, you’ll be able to keep up to date when your family and friends on your Messenger contact list update their Live Space with a new text entry or photo album.
The only requirement for running Live Mail is a Windows Live ID so you can sign in. If you’ve got more than one Live ID, choose which one you’ll use for signing in to Live Mail. So the first time you run Live Mail you’ll be asked for this Live ID:
If you haven’t got a Live ID, go to mail.live.com or use the link on Live Messenger to create a new Live ID.
Once you’ve signed in, you might get a dialogue that tells you Live Mail can’t get your mail. This will happen if you haven’t set up your Live Hotmail account. If you’ve already got a Live Hotmail account, then you can skip the following screenshots. However if you later create a new Live ID for yourself, remember to go to Live Hotmail to have it create the appropriate folders so you can get your mail through Live Mail.
Then you’ll be asked if you want to set Live Mail as your normal desktop email client so tick the box to agree. Note that the username of the Live ID in the screenshots below has been hidden.
At this stage don’t panic – you won’t see any mail from your new account but Live Mail has made an entry and is ready once you’ve gone to mail.live.com, signed in with your new Live ID and let Live Hotmail set up its folders.
After you’ve signed in to mail.live.com, you’ll need to chose the classic or full version of Live Hotmail – choose classic if you’re on a dialup line.
Then Live Hotmail will open and show you the folders it’s set up, along with a welcome email in your inbox.
Now bring Live Mail back to the front of your desktop (click its tab on the taskbar) and you’ll be asked to lick the download button to create your Hotmail folders in Live Mail.
Hover the mouse over the Download button to get the full message of what’s going to happen when you click.
After a few moments you’ll have the folders for your next Live Hotmail account set up in Live Mail (colour coded by the way). As well you can read the welcome email that you saw a few moments ago in your Live Hotmail inbox.
At this stage you’ll want to add other email accounts, including the one you have with your Internet service provider, other Live Hotmail accounts or accounts from other providers such as GMail or Yahoo.
Live Hotmail accounts are simple to add – click on Add an e-mail account and fill in your Live ID and password and it’s done. GMail and Yahoo accounts should be just as easy. When adding your Internet service provider email, enter your email address and password and Live Mail will do its best to get other settings from the mail server so you shouldn’t have to enter any other information. However, if Live Mail can’t get other settings (SMTP and POP3 mail server addresses) you’ll have to find them on your ISP’s web site.
Another little job you’ll want to do is set up how you want your layout. You can stay with the layout shown in the screenshot above or, like webDotWiz, you might like to have your reading pane to the right of the message list. So click the button to the left of the help icon.
Then make your choice from the dialogue box.
webDotWiz prefers to leave his list of folders in the left-hand pane, his message list in the second column and use the right-hand pane to display the content of the message currently highlighted in the message list.
You’ll find Live Mail easy to use and, because it can handle all your email addresses, it’s extremely convenient.
Another useful feature is being able to email photos taking into account the speed of your receiver’s connection; if you want to be creative, you can make a slide show of your photos.
webDotWiz mainly uses Live Mail as an RSS reader (that’s how he knows when other webDotWizards have updated their Live Spaces) but we’ll leave that for another post. When you start, though, you won’t have to do anything except to click on Unread feeds to see what your Live Messenger contacts have added to their Live Spaces.
Note: this post is also available for reading at webDotWiz Online – Dec 13 2007 column.