Beginners Guide to Setting Up Windows Live Mail 2011

This tutorial will take you step by step through the process of installing and setting up Windows Live Mail email App.

Please note: This guide was initially published back in 2010 and since then Microsoft has stopped supporting (no more updates) Windows Live Mail. With that said, the steps in this guide are still accurate, the link to download Windows Live Essentials works – so there’s really no reason you can’t continue using Windows Live Mail.

If you’re moving from XP or Vista to Windows 7, you might be wondering where the Windows Mail app is. It’s actually part of the Live Essentials 2011 suite of utilities and here we’ll give you the beginners guide for setting it up and some basic functions.

1. The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Windows Live Essentials 2011 installer file (click the WINDOWS EXECUTABLE link in the DOWNLOAD OPTIONS section), right-click, and launch it as Administrator.

right-click an exe

2. A screen is displayed in Live Essentials 2011 that didn’t display in the older versions. It asks if you want to install all the apps in the suite or not. If you don’t want everything click on Choose the programs you want to install.

selecting Windows Live Essentials apps to install

3. For this tutorial we’ll just install the Windows Live Mail app. Check Mail then click the Install button.

selecting Mail from the list of Windows Live apps

4. Now you’ll see a progress screen while Live Mail is installed on your Windows 7 PC.

installing Windows Live Essentials

finished installing Windows Live Mail

5. If you only install Live Mail, a reboot shouldn’t be required. Click the Start Menu and you’ll find Live Mail listed under All Programs…just click on it to launch it.

the Windows start menu with Windows Live Mail highlighted

6. Windows Live Mail launches and you’ll need to enter in your Windows Live, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Plus, or other email accounts with the correct username and passwords. Make sure to check Remember this password so you don’t have to enter it in every time you want to check your email, then click Next.

adding an email account to Windows Live Mail

7. Click Yes when the dialog comes up to verify you want to sign in with your email address. In this instance we’re using a MS Live account.

finished setting up windows live mail

8. Success! Our email account was added. You can add additional accounts from here as well.

confirmation of Windows Live Mail setup completed

9. You’ll notice the user interface is different than previous version of Windows email clients. Like most other apps in Windows 7, it introduces the Ribbon. By default the Reading Pane is to the right of the messages. You can change this by clicking the View tab >> Reading Pane and selecting a different view. In this example we’re going to put it at the bottom of the message list.

selecting a reading pane

10. To send an email, click on the Home tab then click on Email Message or use the Ctrl + N keyboard shortcut.

compose a new message in Windows Live Mail 2011

11. Now you can compose your message like normal by entering in the recipients address. Notice on the right you can show or hide the CC and BCC fields to include other contacts. When you’re finished simply click the send button.

sending a new email with windows live mail

12. To see if you have new email and to make sure all of your messages are sent out, you’ll find the Send / Receive button under the Home tab in the Tools section of the Ribbon…or you can use the F5 button as well.

an arrow pointing at the send receive button in windows live mail

13. Windows Live Mail 2011 also includes a calendar which is similar to the one in Outlook. To access it, click on Calendar in the navigation pane in the lower left corner and choose the view you want under the Home tab and the View section. You can select Day, Week, and full month views.


14. To schedule an event in your Calendar, double click on the day of the event. The New Event screen opens and you can enter in the subject field, the time of the event, add any notes to it, then click the Save and Close button.

scheduling a calendar event

15. Then you will see the event listed in your Calendar.

new calendar event listed in a calendar

If you’re looking for an easy to use free email client to manage your email, contacts, and activities in the Calendar, Windows Live Mail 2011 is a great choice for your new Windows 7 PC. This beginner guide should get you started, and in the coming days, we’ll be taking a look a more in depth features such as adding multiple accounts, using it as an RSS reader, and a lot more…so stay tuned!

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