Tip: See our Windows Live Mail Tutorial for OE's successor.
This introductory tutorial gives you a quick overview of Outlook Express 6, how it differs from Microsoft Office Outlook (2003), how close it is to its successor - Windows Mail. Outlook Express shipped with all versions of Windows, from Windows 98 to Windows XP: Meet Outlook Express! And here's to answer a FAQ: "What happened to Outlook Express in Vista" - Read about Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, and the fate of Outlook Express in our Outlook Express Vista or our Outlook Express download tutorial. (Windows 7 ships without email client, so you can install Windows Live Mail.)
Note: Windows Vista shipped with Windows Mail; Windows 7 came without a built-in desktop email client, but Windows Live Mail (also by Microsoft) can be downloaded for free; Windows 8 comes with Windows 8 Mail (touch-only email app), but Windows Live Mail is also available on the desktop for Windows 8 Pro users. Outlook Express version 6 was the last version of the program, and it shipped with Windows XP.
These tutorials will guide you through the process of setting up a standard (POP3 or IMAP) email account in Outlook Express, and test it. Alternatively, how to setup your Hotmail (or MSN) email account in Outlook Express.
Microsoft's Hotmail webmail service works much like an "IMAP" type of email account, but requires in Outlook Express a special email account setup. Also built by Microsoft, Outlook Express is designed to integrate MSN and Hotmail accounts, and work in pair with the webmail service.
Setup an Email Account in Outlook Express | Setup Hotmail in Outlook Express
Starting in June 2008, you will no longer be able to check your Hotmail emails from Outlook Express, and will instead need to setup Hotmail in Windows Live Mail, the free email program available for Windows XP and Windows Vista: Hotmail leaves Outlook Express.
The next set of tutorials will show you how to configure popular webmail services in Outlook Express: Yahoo! Mail, which is accessible with the Yahoo! Mail Plus service as POP3 email account in Outlook Express; AOL Mail also works in Outlook Express, and is setup as an IMAP email account; finally, an upcoming tutorial will explain how to setup Google's Gmail service in Outlook Express: Gmail can be setup as either a POP3 or IMAP account in various email clients - you will learn how to setup Gmail as an IMAP email account, which lets you manage folders on the mail server.
Setup Yahoo! Mail in Outlook Express | Setup AOL Mail in Outlook Express | Change password in OE
Instead of typing your professional or private signature every time you send an email, let Outlook Express do it for you. In this series of tutorials, you will learn how to create plain-text email signatures, as well as rich text ("HTML") signatures. We will also show you how to configure your email signature settings in Outlook Express.
Plain-text Email Signatures | Rich Text (HTML) Email Signatures | Email Signature Settings in OE
This series of tutorials will introduce you to Outlook Express' built-in Address Book tool. You will learn how to easily add a contact from an email you received, create contacts directly from the Address Book, and delete contacts.
Add a New Contact from an Email | Create New Contacts from the Address Book
While Outlook Express does not come equipped with junk mail filters, it nonetheless offers features that will help protect you from spammers. Content-blocking controls email content that could be used by spammers to determine if your email address is active; sender-blocking can be used to keep determined email senders away from your inbox.
Blocking Images And Linked Content | Blocking Email Senders
Like Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express comes with Email Rules functionality, built right in. Message Rules allow you to automate email management to a great extent, but defining actions for emails matching certain conditions. Learning how to use message rules (or filters) will save you quite some time everyday: the second tutorial will show you how to setup a special kind of filter: an out-of-office auto-responder that lets people know that you are away from your desk - including when you'll be back, and an alternate contact.
Creating and Using Email Rules in Outlook Express | Outlook Express Auto Reply
Outlook Express lets you request "read receipt" confirmations along with every email you send: these allow you to know, with reasonable success, if your emails were read by their recipient. Likewise, Outlook Express allows you to customize the way it handles incoming read receipt requests from email senders.
Manual Read Receipt Requests | Automatic Read Receipt Requests | Incoming Read Receipt Requests
Backing up Outlook Express is easy: backup your address book in only three clicks! To backup your messages, just copy the DBX files Outlook Express uses to store your emails. Both data files are stored separately: Outlook Express file location and OE Address Book location.
Restoring your Outlook Express emails and contacts after a backup is also very simple; a later tutorial will be devoted to restoring emails and contacts backed up from Outlook Express.
Backup Outlook Express Emails | Backup Contacts from Outlook Express' Address Book
Exporting your emails or exporting your contacts (or exporting your address books) from Outlook Express is done the same way you would backup the very same emails or contacts.
Once you have already backed up or exported your emails or contacts from Outlook Express, visit the Quick Email Backup tutorial, that will show you how to backup your emails faster in the future.
In order to export your contacts from Outlook Express to import them in another email program (like Mozilla Thunderbird), you need to export them as a text file; if you use a Microsoft Exchange Server, you can export your contacts as Microsoft Exchange Personal Address Books. The Address Book Export Tool helps you export contacts in these alternate formats.
This tutorial will show you how to make Outlook Express the default email program on Windows XP. This means that clicking an email link on a web page, for example, would automatically create a new blank Outlook Express email window.
Make Outlook Express the default email program on Windows XP