What is Windows Mail?
Windows Mail is the free, out-of-the-box program that Microsoft offers to users on all its computers, laptops and other technology.
It’s designed to manage one or multiple email accounts – and supports all the popular services, such as Outlook, Exchange, Yahoo, Gmail, iCloud.
You might have heard of Microsoft Outlook which is its own separate email program, but that is part of the Microsoft Office product range which you will need to buy.
Add your email credentials to populate Windows Mail
In Windows Mail, you will be prompted to add account.
You will need to add your email and password you use to login to that email.
If you have two or more emails, for instance, you have a Gmail and a Hotmail account, you can add both and toggle between the two (use the Shift - Tab key to select each inbox). To add another account, you will have to access settings, then manage accounts, add account then select the email service you would like to add (Gmail, Outlook, Exchange, Yahoo, iCloud).
Compose a new email
- Select new mail (Ctrl + N)
- To add recipients, type an email address in the to field.
- Underneath the to field, are the Cc and Bcc fields. Cc will send a copy of the email to the recipient, while Bcc will send a hidden copy without it showing who has also been sent the email.
- You can now start composing your email. Add any attachments by pressing Alt + I.
- Once you have finished you can send the email (Alt + S).
If you don't send or discard your email, it's automatically saved in your draft folder.
The good thing about Windows Mail is it has the capabilities of Word built in, so formatting an email is simple if you’ve used Word.
Note: When you compose a new email, it will open a new message with whatever email account you're currently viewing. You can pick your preferred email address by editing the from field.
Email quick actions – reply, forward, delete, mark as unread/read
To reply to an email:
- Select the email you would like to reply
- You can either reply (Alt + H, R + P) or reply all (Alt + H, R+A)
a. Note: Reply only replies to the sender, but reply all replies to all the emails included in the original email.
- Draft your email
- Select send (Alt + S) once you’re happy with your reply
When you reply, reply all, or forward a message, the original message is included.
Note: When you reply to a message, any attachments in the original message are not sent. If you forward the message, the entire message, including attachments, is sent to the recipient.
To forward an email:
- With the email open, select forward email (Ctrl + F). A new email will open with the same subject.
- In the to field, type your recipients.
- Type your message.
- Select send (Alt + S) to forward the message.
Note: When you move from one email to the next, Windows Mail it will automatically mark the message as read. To do this yourself, press Ctrl + Q. To mark as unread, press Ctrl + U.
To delete messages, press Alt + H + D.
To add an attachment to your email, like a Word document, photo or PDF, you can:
- Press Alt + I.
- Browse to the file you want to attach, and press Enter once you’ve found the attachment you’d like with your email.
To open an attachment in an email you’ve received:
- Open the email with the attachment.
- Press Shift + Tab. If using a screen reader, you will hear "message header, download," followed by the file name and size, and "attachment."
- To open the attachment, press enter.
Alongside Windows Mail, there is a separate calendar option. It is a good place to add any appointments and meetings, and is designed to help you manage your schedule. You can view your day, week or month. Calendar will remind you with prompts near to the appointment’s start time.
To switch to the calendar in Windows Mail, you can click CTRL + 2. To toggle back to mail, press CTRL + 1.
Keyboard shortcuts for navigating mail with a screen reader
Navigation quick steps
|Create a new email (from Mail view), new appointment (from Calendar view), or new task (from Task view)||Ctrl + N|
|Check for new emails||Ctrl + M or F9|
|Move down and up between emails||The down arrow and up arrow keys|
|Delete email||Alt + H + D|
|Reply to email||Alt + H, R + P|
|Reply all to email||Alt + H, R + A|
|Forward email||Alt + H, F + W|
|Print email||Ctrl + P|
|Add an attachment||Alt + I|
|Send email||Alt + S|
|Mark as read||Ctrl + Q|
|Mark as unread||Ctrl + U|
|Mark to download||Alt + S, M, and then T (mark to download) or C (mark to download copy)|
|Move down and up between messages||The down arrow and up arrow keys|
|Switch to Inbox||Ctrl + Shift + I|
|Switch to Outbox (sent items)||Ctrl + Shift + O|
|Create a new folder||Shift + F10, N|
|Go to a different folder||Ctrl + Y|
|Move message to a folder||Ctrl + Shift + V|
|Go to the Search box||F3 or Ctrl + E|
|Open the File tab, where you can change account settings and options||Alt + F|
|Jump to Tell Me||Alt + Q|
Navigate between Mail, Calendar, and other views
|To do this||Press|
|Switch to the Mail view||Ctrl + 1|
|Switch to the Calendar view||Ctrl + 2|
|Switch to the Contacts view||Ctrl + 3|
|Switch to the Tasks view||Ctrl + 4|
|Switch to the Notes view||Ctrl + 5|
|Open the Navigation pane with the Folder list||Ctrl + 6|
|Open the Shortcuts||Ctrl + 7|
|Switch to the Journal view||Ctrl + 8|
|Go back to the previous view||Alt + B or Alt + Left Arrow|
|Go forward to the next view||Alt + Right Arrow|
|Open the Address Book||Ctrl + Shift + B|
For more information on how to use Windows Mail with a screen reader, Microsoft has its own basics tutorial site.
Accessibility support is also available with Windows Mail.
Technology advice from Vision Australia
Vision Australia Access Technology (AT) team can help set up and teach you to use Windows Mail.
The team is available Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm (Eastern Standard Time) to troubleshoot your issues.
Contact the AT Helpdesk at Vision Australia:
Phone: 1300 84 74 66
Email: [email protected]