Demo: Using Windows Mail

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E‑mail is a fast and convenient way to communicate with others. This demo gets you started with Windows Mail, an e‑mail program included with Windows. You'll learn to view and sort the e‑mail messages in your Inbox, create and send new messages, attach files to messages, and delete messages that you no longer need.

Read the transcript

Windows Mail is a program that comes with Windows and gives you everything you need to send, receive, and manage e‑mail.

To get started, you'll first need an Internet connection and an e‑mail address. You can get both from most any Internet Service Provider, often called an ISP.

You can open Windows Mail from the Start menu. The first time you start it, you'll need to enter the information you got from your ISP.

After you've done that, you'll see your Inbox. The Inbox is where all of the e‑mail messages that you receive are displayed.

Before we look at the messages in your Inbox, let's write and send an e‑mail to someone. To start a new message, you click Create Mail. Any message you send needs an e‑mail address for the person you're sending it to. If you want to send your message to more than one person, you separate each e‑mail address with a comma...like this. Here in the Subject line, let's add a brief description of the message, and then here, in the message area, let's type what we want to say.

If you want to, you can also include files and pictures in your e‑mail. To attach a document or picture to your message, you click the "paper clip" button and select the file or picture you want to add. How about this one? Notice how the name of the picture appears here.

Once you've got everything you want in your message, you can go ahead and send it. If you want to make sure your message was sent, you can look here in your Sent Items folder. A copy of every message you send is saved here, just in case you need it later.

Windows Mail automatically checks for and updates your Inbox with new e‑mail. But you can check for new messages yourself anytime by clicking this button. Looks like a new message has just arrived.

See how it has the same subject line with the letters "RE?" That's how you can tell it's a reply to another message. And this paper clip lets you know that there's a file or picture attached to the message. To open the message, you double-click it. To reply to it, you'd click here.

Now let's take a look at the other messages in your Inbox and how you can organize them. You can click any column heading—From, Subject, or Received—to sort your messages by that category.

To see messages organized alphabetically by who sent them, you click the From button. To see your messages organized by the date you received them, you click Received. The newest messages are on top. Click Received again, and they'll be sorted from oldest to newest. See how this arrow changed direction?

Finally, to get rid of a message you no longer need, click the message, and then click the Delete button. All of the messages you delete get moved to your Deleted Items folder. Messages stay in this folder until you permanently delete them.

Now you know how to use Windows Mail to send, receive, and organize your messages.