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Free Email TutorialsHotmailThe New Hotmail: "Windows Live Hotmail"

The New Hotmail: "Windows Live Hotmail"

Throughout 2007, Microsoft has progressively migrated its Hotmail users' accounts from the classic Hotmail service to the new, Windows Live Hotmail service. While many of us still regret the webmail system we have gotten accustomed to over the past 10 years or so, the new Hotmail ("Windows Live Hotmail") brings many features to the old Hotmail experience. This series of tutorials will help you make the most of the new Hotmail, and hopefully help you grow to like it as much as the old one! (Or learn a bit more about Hotmail.com in history…)

The old (Classic) Hotmail interface

Clearing Some Confusion: Windows Mail vs. Windows Live Mail vs. Windows Live Hotmail vs. Hotmail vs. Windows Live Hotmail Plus

Before diving into our Hotmail tutorials, let us start by clarifying the differences between closely-named, email-related services currently offered on- and offline by Microsoft.

Windows Mail - Windows Mail is the desktop email program that ships with Windows Vista; it is the successor of Outlook Express, and is only available to Windows Vista users (and presumably bundled in future versions of Windows.) You can use Windows Mail with standard email accounts (POP3 or IMAP), but not with the Windows Live Hotmail service. Windows Mail was a short-lived replacement to Outlook Express, and only shipped with Windows Vista; but this tutorial will show you how to run Windows Mail on Windows 7.

Windows Live Mail - Part of Microsoft's "Windows Live" initiative, Windows Live Mail is a downloadable, desktop email program. Like Vista's Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail is free; but it is available to both Windows Vista and Windows XP users. Windows Live Mail does let you setup your Hotmail accounts; it also supports "RSS feeds", unlike Windows Mail or Outlook Express. (What is RSS?)

Windows Live Hotmail Windows Live Hotmail - Like Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Hotmail is part of Microsoft's Windows Live offerings. Windows Live Hotmail is the web-based email service ("webmail"), successor to Hotmail. These tutorials will cover Windows Live Hotmail, or "Hotmail", as most people will keep calling it. (The Hotmail original name was kept because of its widespread recognition - read a bit of history with our Hotmail.com tutorial.)

Hotmail, or "MSN Hotmail" - Hotmail is the old name of Microsoft's webmail service; it is now called Windows Live Hotmail. At the risk of irritating Microsoft's branding department, we will call "Hotmail" the new Windows Live Hotmail service, for short.

Tip: the word "Hotmail" was originally spelled "HoTMaiL", in reference to "HTML", the markup language in which web pages are written. Before the service was purchased by Microsoft in 1997, it was one of the first "webmail providers" - i.e., an online email service that didn't require having an email program installed on your computer!

Windows Live Hotmail Plus - Windows Live Hotmail Plus (or "Hotmail Plus", for short) is the paid version of Windows Live Hotmail, which we'll cover in a later tutorial. Hotmail Plus, as we'll call it, includes more storage space, no account expiration (even if you never check its emails), no ads, and the capacity for larger email attachments. Because flashing banners are so distracting, and add so much download time for every email checked, Hotmail Plus is well worth the $20 per year it currently costs. The biggest advantage of Hotmail Plus, in our opinion, is that it completely gets rid of the ads!

Using the New Hotmail

Much more than the old, the new Hotmail heavy relies on the JavaScript web scripting language (that power features like menus, drag-and-drop functionality, etc.) JavaScript is enabled by default in modern browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

Let's now get started with the basics: sign up with Hotmail to create a new email account.

Hotmail Tutorial The new Hotmail Hotmail.com Create a Hotmail account Hotmail sign in Hotmail sign out Read your Emails Read your emails Show images and content Download attachments Delete email messages Delete all emails from a person Unsubscribe from mailing lists Mark emails as Unread / Read Hotmail Instant Actions Unflag / Flag email messages Hotmail Quick Views Compose & Send Emails Hotmail email Reply to emails Forward emails Compose a new message Formatting emails Send attachments File attachment size limits Add pictures to your emails Create a signature Sending emails Send mail from other accounts Send plain text emails Change importance of emails Select multiple emails Spam & Junk Mail Filtering Mark spam email as junk mail Spam and junk mail settings Block email senders Unblock email senders Report phishing scam emails Standard Hotmail Folders The standard folders Hotmail Inbox Hotmail Junk folder Hotmail Drafts folder Hotmail Sent folder Hotmail Deleted folder Show or hide email folders Custom Hotmail Folders Create a new folder Rename a folder Empty a folder Delete a folder Mark an entire folder as "Read" Hotmail Contacts Hotmail Contacts Add a sender as contact Create a new contact Edit contacts' information Delete a contact Remove duplicate contacts Import contacts into Hotmail Export Hotmail contacts Contact categories Copy / transfer Hotmail contacts Add picture to contacts Block emails from non contacts Add Safe Senders to Hotmail Hotmail Tips and Tricks Hotmail Tips View email headers X-Originating-IP Show / hide basic headers View emails full screen Check for new emails Print email messages Hotmail Help Add another email account Check another email account Sort your emails Find emails with "Search Tool" Create email filters Automated vacation replies Use Hotmail as default email Hotmail account start date Configure Hotmail Settings Customize Hotmail Options Hotmail Login Hotmail accountCheck last Hotmail accessChange "From" name in emails Change password Reset your Hotmail password Change security question Forward emails to other account Skip "Hotmail Today" Change Reply-to email address Disable sent email confirmation Show conversations / threads Disable conversation grouping Disable photo / video previews Change Hotmail language Hotmail.com in English Hotmail.com en Español Change country setting Change birthday / birth date Keyboard Shortcuts Delete your Hotmail account Reading Pane Settings Change Theme Switch back to the old Hotmail Save / delete sent messages Change Hotmail address Change profile picture Change Hotmail account Other Products & Services Hotmail Messenger Hotmail Messenger Download Hotmail Plus Cancel Hotmail Plus Hotmail Customer Service Hotmail Live Hotmail Kids Set Hotmail as homepage in IE Hotmail as homepage in Firefox POP & Mail Server Settings POP3 settings IMAP Settings Incoming Mail Server Setup Hotmail on iPhone Hotmail Outlook settings You've reached the daily limit Outlook Connector Hotmail Gmail Hotmail Yahoo!
Tutorial last updated on February 19, 2012
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