Easy Computer Basics, Windows 10 Edition (2016)
Chapter 11. Communicating with Email
An email message is like a regular letter, except that it’s composed electronically and delivered almost immediately via the Internet. You can use email to send both text messages and computer files (such as digital photos) to pretty much anyone who’s online.
You can use a dedicated email program, such as the Windows Mail app, to send and receive email from your personal computer. Or you can use a web mail service such as Gmail or Yahoo! Mail to manage all your email from any web browser on any computer. Either approach is good and lets you create, send, and read email messages from all your friends, family, and colleagues.
Windows Mail App
Viewing Your Inbox and Reading Messages
Windows 10 includes a built-in Mail app for sending and receiving email messages. By default, the Mail app manages email from the Outlook.com or Hotmail account linked to your Microsoft Account. This means you’ll see Outlook and Hotmail messages in your Mail Inbox and be able to easily send emails from your Outlook or Hotmail account. Launch the Mail app from the Start menu.
When the Mail app launches, you see two panes within the window. The pane on the left is the navigation pane. Select Inbox from the navigation pane on the left to display a list of all your current messages in the Messages pane.
Click the Maximize button to maximize the Mail window and display a third pane on the right.
Note: Read and Unread
The headers for unread messages are displayed with a blue line on the left. Messages you’ve read display normally.
Tip: Tile Info
If you pin the Mail app to the Start menu, it becomes a “live” tile. Your most recent unread messages scroll across the face of the tile, and the number at the bottom left indicates how many unread messages you have.
Click a message to view it in the content pane on the right. (If you haven’t maximized the Mail window, the content of the selected message replaces the messages list.)
If a message includes a photograph, that photo’s thumbnail image displays beneath the message text. (You might have to click the placeholder thumbnail to view the image.)
If the message has a photo or another file attached, right-click the item and click Save to download the file to your computer.
Caution: Beware Attached Viruses
Beware of receiving unexpected email messages with file attachments. Opening the attachment could infect your computer with a virus or spyware! You should never open email attachments that you weren’t expecting—or from senders you don’t know.
Moving a Message to Another Folder
New messages are stored in the Mail app’s Inbox, which is actually a folder. Mail uses other folders too; there are folders for Drafts, Sent Items, Outbox (messages waiting to be sent), Junk (spam), Deleted Messages, and Stored Messages. For better organization, you can easily move messages from one folder to another.
To view a list of folders, click More.
Right-click the message you want to move and click Move. This displays the Move To pane.
Click the destination folder.
Note: Drafts and Flags
A draft message is one you’ve started but not yet sent. You flag a message (by clicking the Flag button in the options bar) when you want it to have increased importance.
Replying to an Email Message
Replying to an email message is as easy as clicking a button and typing your reply. The bottom of your reply “quotes” the text of the original message.
From an open message, click Reply at the top of the screen.
Enter your reply at the top of the message; the bottom of the message “quotes” the original message.
Click the Send button when you’re ready to send the message.
Composing a New Email Message
Composing a new message is similar to replying to a message. The big difference is that you have to manually enter the recipient’s email address.
Click + New Mail at the top of the navigation pane to display the new message screen.
Click within the Subject area and type a subject for this message.
Click within the To box and begin entering the name or email address of the message’s recipient.
Mail displays a list of matching names from your contact list; select the person you want to email.
Tip: Formatting Your Message
When you’re composing a message and you want to apply formatting to your text, click to select the Format tab. You can then use the Bold, Italic, Underline, and other buttons to format your message.
Tip: Copying Other Recipients
You can also send carbon copies (Cc) to additional recipients. (With a blind carbon copy, recipients cannot see the names of the Bcc recipients.) Click the Cc & Bcc link to display the Cc and Bcc boxes, and enter recipient names accordingly.
Click within the main body of the message area and type your message.
To attach a picture or another file to this message, click to select the Insert tab.
Click the Attach button to select the file you want to attach.
When you’re ready to send the email, click the Send button at the top of the message.
Tip: Attaching Files
One of the easiest ways to share a digital photo or another file with another user is via email, as an attachment to a standard email message. When the message is sent, the file travels along with it; when the message is received, the file is right there, waiting to be opened.
Caution: Large Files
Be wary of sending extra-large files (2MB or more) over the Internet. They can take a long time to upload—and just as long for the recipient to download when received.
Adding Other Accounts to the Mail App
By default, the Mail app sends and receives messages from the email account associated with your Microsoft account. You can, however, configure Mail to work with other email accounts, if you have them.
From within the Mail app, click the Settings button (at the bottom of the navigation pane) to display the Settings pane.
Click Accounts to display the Accounts pane.
Click + Add Account to display the Choose an Account window.
Tip: Switching Accounts
To view the Inbox of another email account in the Mail app, click the right arrow next to the current account in the navigation pane and then select the other account.
Click the type of account you want to add.
When the next screen appears, enter your email address and password.
Click the Sign-In button when done.
Tip: Account Types
The Mail app lets you add Outlook.com, Exchange, Google (Gmail), Yahoo! Mail, iCloud, and other POP/IMAP email accounts.
Managing Your Contacts from the People App
The people you email regularly are known as contacts. When someone is in your contacts list, it’s easy to send her an email; all you have to do is pick her name from the list instead of entering her email address manually. All your Windows contacts are managed from the People app; this app connects to the Microsoft account you used to create your Windows account, so all the contacts from your main email account are automatically added. Launch the People app from the Start menu.
To search for a specific contact, enter that person’s name into the Search box then press Enter.
Click or tap a person’s name to view that person’s contact information.
Click the person’s email address to send this person an email in the Windows Mail app.
To add a new contact, click the + to display the New Contact screen.
Note: Social Contacts
The People app centralizes all your contacts in one place, so you’ll find not only email contacts but also Facebook friends and the people you follow on Twitter. So if a given person is a Facebook friend and is also in your email contact list, his Facebook information and his email address appear in the People app.
Note: First-Time Use
The first time you launch the People app, you’re prompted to add your Microsoft Account to the app. Do so, by entering your email address and password. You can later add other email accounts to the app.
Enter the person’s full name into the Name box.
Optionally, enter the person’s mobile phone number into the Mobile Phone box.
Optionally, enter the person’s email address into the Personal Email box.
Click Save when done.
Note: More Info
To include additional email addresses, phone numbers, street addresses, or other information for this person, click + Email, + Phone, + Address, or + Other and enter the necessary information.
Reading Web-Based Email with Gmail
Google’s Gmail is one of the most popular free web-based email services. Anyone can sign up for a free Gmail account and then use any web browser to access his email from any computer with an Internet connection. Create a new Gmail account and access Gmail from mail.google.com.
On Gmail’s main page, click the Inbox link.
Click the header for the message you want to view.
The selected message now appears; scroll down to read the entire text, if necessary.
Note: Other Web-Based Email
Other popular web-based email services include Microsoft’s Outlook.com (www.outlook.com) and Yahoo! Mail (mail.yahoo.com).
Note: POP/IMAP Versus Web-Based Email
Most Internet service providers assign you an email account using the POP or IMAP protocols, which require the use of a separate email program, such as Microsoft Outlook. Web-based email doesn’t require any new software programs, and you can use a web browser to access it from any computer or mobile device.
Replying to a Gmail Message
It’s easy to reply to any message you receive. Just click Reply and then enter your new message!
From the open message, click Reply.
Enter your reply text in the message window.
Click the Send button to send your reply to the original sender.
Note: Quoted Text
The text of the original message is automatically “quoted” at the bottom of the reply message.
Composing a New Gmail Message
Composing a new message is similar to replying to a message, but you do it in a separate new message pane. The big difference is that you have to manually enter the recipient’s email address.
Click the Compose button from any Gmail page to display the new message pane.
Enter the email address of the recipient(s) in the To box and then enter a subject in the Subject box.
Move your cursor to the main message area and type your message.
When your message is complete, send it to the recipient(s) by clicking the Send button.
Tip: Send to Multiple Recipients
You can enter multiple addresses in the To box, as long as you separate the addresses with a semicolon, like this: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tip: Cc: and Bcc:
Gmail also lets you send carbon copies (Cc:) and blind carbon copies (Bcc:) to additional recipients. (With a blind carbon copy, recipients of the email cannot see the names of the Bcc recipients.) Just click the Cc or Bcc links to add these addresses.
Sending a File via Gmail
Like all other email programs and services, Gmail lets you attach photos and other types of files to your outgoing email messages.
Start with a new message and then click Attach Files.
Navigate to and select the file you want to send.
Complete the message as normal and then send it by clicking the Send button.