Troubleshoot problems with Windows Mail

If you are having trouble configuring your e‑mail accounts with Windows Mail, you might consider using Windows Live Mail instead. All you need to do is enter your e‑mail address and Windows Live Mail will automatically enter the correct settings for e‑mail servers used by many popular e‑mail services, including Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo!, AOL, and Gmail.

Windows Live Mail includes the familiar features of Outlook Express, the mail program included in Windows XP, and Windows Mail, the mail program included in Windows Vista. To download Windows Live Mail, go to the Windows Live Mail website.

Here are solutions to some common issues with Windows Mail.

Hiển thị tất cả

I don't know how to set up Windows Mail for my e‑mail account.

Windows Mail allows you to send and receive messages from one or more e‑mail accounts. You can set up Windows Mail to work with many types of providers, from the biggest, most popular e‑mail services all the way down to the smallest Internet service provider (ISP).

Managing multiple e‑mail accounts is simplified because each account in Windows Mail is organized in its own folder. You can check for messages from all your e‑mail accounts at once by clicking a single button. But first, you'll need to set up each e‑mail account one at a time in Windows Mail.

Before you set up Windows Mail, start by collecting the following information for each e‑mail account. You will need to enter this information during the setup process:

  • Your e‑mail address and password.

  • The type of e‑mail server your e‑mail service uses.

  • The address of the incoming and outgoing e‑mail servers used by your e‑mail provider.

Most people know their e‑mail addresses and passwords, but many get confused when asked to enter information about e‑mail servers. Your e‑mail provider should be able to give you this information.

Here are the addresses of the incoming and outgoing e‑mail servers for some of the most popular e‑mail services:

  • Yahoo!: pop.mail.yahoo.com (incoming server) and smtp.mail.yahoo.com (outgoing server)

  • AOL: imap.aol.com (incoming server) and smtp.aol.com (outgoing server)

  • Gmail: pop.gmail.com (incoming server) and smtp.gmail.com (outgoing server)

For more information about the different types of e‑mail servers you can choose from in Windows Mail and how to set up a new account, see Windows Mail: setting up an account from start to finish.

If you are having trouble configuring your e‑mail accounts with Windows Mail, you might consider using Windows Live Mail instead. All you need to do is enter your e‑mail address and Windows Live Mail will automatically enter the correct settings for e‑mail servers used by many popular e‑mail services, including Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo!, AOL, and Gmail. To download Windows Live Mail, go to the Windows Live website.

Once you have collected the required information for each e‑mail account, you can start setting up Windows Mail. Here’s how to add an e‑mail account in Windows Mail:

  1. Open Windows Mail by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Mail.

  2. Click the Tools menu, and then click Accounts.

  3. Click Add.

    Picture of the Select Account Type screen in Windows Mail
    After you click Add on the Internet Accounts screen, Windows Mail will ask what type of account you want to add
  4. Click E‑mail Account, click Next, and then follow the instructions.

After you have entered all the information for one e‑mail account, repeat the process for each e‑mail account you want to set up.

I can't receive e‑mail.

There are several possibilities for this issue:

  • Ensure that your computer is properly set up to connect to the Internet by starting your web browser and trying to open a webpage. If you can't connect to the webpage, your Internet connection might not be working properly. For information about resolving Internet connection difficulties, see Troubleshoot Internet connection problems.

  • If this is your first time trying to receive e‑mail from this e‑mail account on this computer, Windows Mail might not be properly set up to access your account. You should check your e‑mail account properties to ensure that your account information is correct.

    To verify your e‑mail account information

    1. Open Windows Mail by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Mail.

    2. Locate the account information you were given by your e‑mail service provider. If you need help finding this information, see Where to find your e‑mail account information.

    3. Click the Tools menu, and then click Accounts.

    4. Under Mail, click your e‑mail account, and then click Properties.

    5. Click the Servers tab. Check that the various entries under Server Information and Incoming Mail Server match the account information from your e‑mail provider.

      Note

      • If all of your account information is correct, your password authentication settings might be incorrect. Select the Log on using Secure Password Authentication check box, or, if the check box is already selected, clear it.

    6. After making changes, click OK, and then click Close to close the Internet Accounts dialog box.

    7. Click Send/Receive to try to retrieve your e‑mail again.

  • If your account information is correct and you still can't send or receive e‑mail, you might need to set Windows Mail to use a secure connection to your e‑mail server.

    To enable a secure connection to your e‑mail server

    1. Open Windows Mail by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Mail.

    2. Click the Tools menu, and then click Accounts.

    3. Under Mail, click your e‑mail account, and then click Properties.

    4. Click the Advanced tab.

      • If you're having problems receiving e‑mail, under Incoming mail, select the This server requires a secure connection (SSL) check box.

      • If you're having problems sending e‑mail, under Outgoing mail, select the This server requires a secure connection (SSL) check box.

      Note

      • If the setup information from your e‑mail provider states that you need to change the port numbers for a secure connection, enter the port numbers provided by your e‑mail provider in the Incoming mail box for the incoming port, and the Outgoing mail box for the outgoing port.

    5. To close the Internet Accounts dialog box after making changes, click OK, and then click Close.

    6. Click Send/Receive to try to retrieve your e‑mail again.

  • If you're connected to a corporate network, the company's firewall could be blocking access to your e‑mail provider. Check with your system administrator to see if your firewall settings can be adjusted, or if firewall client software is available that will allow you to access your e‑mail.

I can receive, but not send, e‑mail messages.

If you can successfully receive e‑mail messages, but can't send messages, then Windows Mail is having problems connecting to the outgoing e‑mail server that's used to send messages. These are likely possibilities:

  • If you've never been able to send e‑mail successfully using Windows Mail, your e‑mail account is probably not set up properly. First, follow the steps to verify your e‑mail account information in the "I can't receive e‑mail" section of this help topic. If you verify that your e‑mail account information is entered properly, you might need to change your authentication settings so that when sending mail, you sign in using your e‑mail user name and password. Check with your e‑mail provider to see if it requires authentication for sending e‑mail.

    To use authentication when sending e‑mail

    1. Open Windows Mail by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Mail.

    2. Click the Tools menu, and then click Accounts.

    3. Under Mail, click your e‑mail account, and then click Properties.

    4. Click the Servers tab, and then, under Outgoing Mail Server, select the My server requires authentication check box.

    5. If the account information that you use to send e‑mail is not the same information that you use to receive messages, click Settings, click Log on using, and then enter the user name and password that you use to send e‑mail.

  • Many Internet service providers (ISPs) require you to be directly connected to their network to use their outgoing e‑mail servers. If you're using a mobile PC and connect to the Internet using a different ISP (such as when using a wireless connection in a hotel), you might be able to receive, but not send, e‑mail. Some ISPs will allow you to send e‑mail when connected to a different provider if you use authentication when sending. Follow the previous steps to use authentication when sending e‑mail. If your ISP doesn't allow this, you'll need to find out the name of the outgoing mail server for the ISP you're currently using, and then change the settings in Windows Mail to use it.

    To change the outgoing mail server settings

    1. Open Windows Mail by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Mail.

    2. Click the Tools menu, and then click Accounts.

    3. Under Mail, click your e‑mail account, and then click Properties.

    4. Click the Servers tab, and then enter the new mail server in the Outgoing Mail (SMTP) box.

    5. If the new outgoing mail server requires authentication, under Outgoing Mail Server, select the My server requires authentication check box.

    6. Click Settings, click Log on using, and then enter the user name and password for the outgoing mail server.

I can't view or save an attached file.

Windows Mail blocks access to certain types of attachments that can potentially be harmful to your computer. For instructions on how to access blocked files, see Why can't I view an attachment in Windows Mail?

If you receive an attached file that is not blocked but will not open, you probably need to install a program capable of opening the file. This can occur if someone sends you a file by e‑mail. Ask the sender what program opens the file and how you can install it. For more information, see File names and file name extensions: frequently asked questions.

The links don't work in a message I received.

If Windows Mail determines that a message might be a phishing e‑mail, it blocks access to all links in that message. If you're certain that the message is legitimate and you want to enable links in the message, open the message, and then, on the Information bar, click Unblock to enable links in the message.

I don't understand the difference between Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, and Outlook Express.

Windows Mail is the mail program included in Windows Vista. Outlook Express is the mail program included in Windows XP. Windows Live Mail includes the familiar features of both Windows Mail and Outlook Express, plus other features, including the ability to automatically enter the correct settings for e‑mail servers used by many popular e‑mail services.

Windows Live Mail is not included in Windows Vista or Windows XP. You can download Windows Live Mail from the Windows Live Mail website.

I have messages in my Outbox and I don't know how to send or delete them.

If a message stays in your Outbox after you have clicked Send/Receive, then Windows Mail is unable to send it. This could be due to an invalid e‑mail address for the recipient or a problem with your e‑mail account settings. For information on how to fix your account settings, see the section above titled I can't receive e‑mail.

Double-check that you typed the correct e‑mail address for the recipient. A valid e‑mail address consists of a user name, the @ sign, and the name of the ISP or web-based e‑mail provider—for example, someone@example.com.

If you still can't figure out why you are unable to send a message from your Outbox, try creating a new one to the same recipient and deleting the old one. To delete a message from your Outbox, right click the message and then click Delete.

I can't check spelling in my messages.

Before you can check the spelling in a message, you must select the language you want to use.

To set the language for the spelling checker

  1. Open Windows Mail by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Mail.

  2. Click the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Spelling tab.

  3. Under Language, in the drop-down list, click the language you want to use (English, French, German, or Spanish).

  4. Click Apply, and then click OK.

Note

  • Although English is displayed as the default language, you must select it if you want to use it.

When I click an e‑mail link in my web browser, it opens another e‑mail program instead of Windows Mail.

This means that another program is set as the default e‑mail program. If you want the message to open in Windows Mail instead, you need to set Windows Mail as the default e‑mail program.

To set Windows Mail as the default e‑mail program

  1. Open Windows Mail by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Mail.

  2. Click the Tools menu, and then click Options.

  3. Click Make Default next to This application is NOT the default Mail handler. If the Make Default button is not available, then Windows Mail is already set as your default e‑mail program.

When I search for e‑mail, not all of the messages matching my search show up in the results.

When Windows Mail downloads a message, it immediately adds the e‑mail addresses and message title to the search index. However, the body of the message is indexed along with all of your other Windows files, and might not be added to the index immediately. Wait a few minutes and try your search again. For more information on how Windows indexes files, see Improve Windows searches using the index: frequently asked questions.

Also, Windows Mail searches only the currently selected folder for messages. For example, if you select the Sent Items folder, messages in the Inbox, Outbox, and other folders won't be included in the search results.

You can also try running a troubleshooter to diagnose and fix common problems with search and indexing.

To run a search and indexing troubleshooter

  1. Click this button:

    Picture of a Fix it button
    Fix this problem

  2. In the File Download dialog box, click Run, and then follow the steps in the wizard.