Using the Mail App

The Windows 8 Mail app is where you can manage and view your email messages. Learn more about using the app in this free lesson.

Using the Mail app

The Mail app offers a new way to view and manage your email messages. In many ways, the Mail app is very similar to other email applications like Outlook or Gmail, but its redesigned interface may feel a little confusing at first. In this lesson, you'll learn how to send, receive, and reply to email messages using the Mail app. You'll also learn how to organize your inbox, add multiple email accounts, and modify your account settings.

Getting started with mail:

Screenshot of Windows 8Opening the Mail app

If you have already connected an email service with the People app, such as Hotmail or Gmail, you will not need to connect to the account again.

Click the buttons in the interactive below to become more familiar with the Mail app interface.

labeled graphic

Switch Accounts

If you have multiple email accounts connected to the Mail app, click the desired account to switch to that inbox.

Shortcut Buttons

Use these buttons to create a new message, reply to a message, or delete a message.

Current Messages

Messages in the selected folder will appear in the center of the Mail app.

Unread messages will be marked in bold.

Click a message to view it in the Message pane.

Folders

Click to navigate between different folders.

The number of unread messages will be displayed beside each folder.

Current Account

The name of the current email account will be displayed in the upper-left corner.

Message Pane

The selected message will appear on the right-side of the screen in the Message pane.

Sending email:

You'll use the Compose pane to write and send messages from the Mail app. From here, you'll add the email address of the recipient(s), the subject, and the body of the email, which is the message itself.

To compose a new message:

  1. Locate and select the New Message button.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Clicking the New Message button
  2. The Compose pane will appear.


    Screenshot of Windows 8The Compose pane
  3. You'll need to add one or more recipients. There are two ways to add recipients: You can either type one or more email addresses, separated by commas, or select the word To to choose recipients from your contacts.


  4. If you choose to add a recipient from your contacts, the People app will open. Choose the desired contact(s), and then select Add.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Adding a recipient from the People app
  5. Type a Subject for the message.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Adding a Subject to the message
  6. Type the body of the message. If you want to attach a file, save a draft, or include special formatting, such as font styles, bolding, or italics, right-click to open a menu at the bottom of the screen.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Compose options with the right-click menu
  7. When you are satisfied, click the Send button. The message will be sent, and the inbox will appear.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Clicking the Send button

If a recipient is already one of your contacts, you can start typing that person's first name, last name, or email address, and the contact will appear below the To field. Press Enter to add the contact as a recipient.

Screenshot of Windows 8Adding an existing contact as a recipient

Reading and replying to messages

By default, any email you receive will go to your inbox. Unread emails are always bold.

Screenshot of Windows 8Unread emails in the inbox

To read and reply to a message:

  1. From the Mail app, locate and select the message you want to read.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Selecting a message
  2. The message will appear on the right side of the screen in the Message pane.
    Screenshot of Windows 8Viewing the selected message in the Message pane
  3. To reply to the message, click the Reply button, and then select your reply option from the drop-down menu.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Choosing reply options
  4. The Compose pane will appear. Type your message. When you are satisfied, click the Send button to send your message.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Replying to a message

Organizing your mail

After you've used the Mail app for a while, your inbox can start to become cluttered with old messages. You can keep your inbox organized by moving messages to folders or deleting messages you no longer need.

To move a message to a folder:

  1. Locate and select the message you wish to move.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Selecting a message to move
  2. Right-click and then select the Move button from the menu at the bottom of the screen.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Clicking the Move button
  3. Select the desired folder for the message.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Choosing the desired folder
  4. The message will be moved to the selected folder.


    Screenshot of Windows 8The message moved to the selected folder

To delete a message:

There are two ways to delete a message. You can either:

To delete messages permanently, you'll need to access the Deleted folder and then delete the messages again.

Screenshot of Windows 8Deleting messages permanently

Adding multiple accounts

If you use more than one email account—for example, one for personal email and one for work email—you can add multiple accounts to the Mail app, allowing you to read all of your messages from the same place.

To add an account:

  1. In the Mail app, hover the mouse in the lower-right corner to access the Charms bar, then select Settings.
    Screenshot of Windows 8Clicking settings
  2. The Settings pane will appear on the right. Select Accounts.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Clicking Accounts
  3. The Accounts pane will appear. Click Add an account.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Adding an account
  4. Select the service you wish to use. In our example, we'll add a Yahoo! account.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Selecting an account
  5. Enter your username and password, then click Connect.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Clicking Connect
  6. Your account will be connected, and email will appear automatically in your inbox. Any contacts from the account will also be imported into the People app.


    Screenshot of Windows 8The synced inbox

To switch between inboxes:

If you have multiple email accounts connected to the Mail App, you will need to switch between inboxes to view all your messages.

  1. Locate and select the desired account in the lower-left corner of the Mail app.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Switching between inboxes
  2. The selected inbox will appear.


    Screenshot of Windows 8The selected inbox

Modifying account settings

If you want to control how often email will be downloaded to the Mail app, change your email signature, or choose additional options for your connected email accounts, you'll need to modify your account settings.

To modify account settings:

  1. In the Mail app, hover the mouse in the lower-right corner to access the Charms bar, then select Settings.
  2. The Settings pane will appear. Select Accounts.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Clicking Accounts
  3. The Accounts pane will appear. Select the account you wish to modify. In our example, we'll choose Gmail.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Selecting an account
  4. The account settings will appear. You may have to scroll down to see all of the settings. Change the settings as desired.


    Screenshot of Windows 8Account settings for Gmail