If you have not read this page before continue reading it, from top to bottom, as normal. Otherwise you can click on a subject below to get near/on the subject you was reading before.

TABs  -  Read         Receipts         Send         Compose         Signatures         Spelling         Connection         Advanced         Security

In this section I am not going to explain every single setting of Windows Live Mail or show a Before and After picture of each tabbed window that I might of changed. Instead I am going to show you what the normal settings are for each tabbed window, with or without my changes, and also explain certain settings in terms of why you should or should not switch them off or on.

After launching Windows Live Mail the first thing you need to do is click on its MENUS drop-down menu and then select the OPTIONS menu-item (Fig 1.0) in order to display the Options window (Fig 1.1).

Fig 1.0  Click on the OPTIONS menu-item to display the Options window

Fig 1.1  The Options window contains nine TABs (small windows within the main window)

Just like internet explorer's Options window the windows live mail Options window also contains many Tabbed windows, which is normal for a settings (options) window due to there being too many settings to fit on one main window. Do not let this put you off though as many of the settings can be totally ignored. And the settings I will explain to you are almost self-explanatory.

The settings on the General TAB (window) do not really need touching or explaining because they are just basic settings. If you are not interested in Newsgroups (specific topic websites/forums with information/help) you could untick the Newsgroup settings altogether, but it will not make any difference to the performance of windows live mail.

SEND AND RECEIVE MESSAGES AT STARTUP means windows live mail will receive and more importantly send out any e-mails you have in your OUTBOX folder when it starts up. This is good if you could not send out e-mail earlier, perhaps because your internet connection was out-of-order and/or your ISP's e-mail server was not working. However. If you do not want to automatically receive and send out e-mail when windows live mail starts up, perhaps because you prefer to manually receive and send e-mail from a specific e-mail account for example (i.e. you are sharing windows live mail with friends/colleagues), you should untick this setting.

CHECK FOR NEW MESSAGES EVERY [30] MINUTES should be left alone unless you are in business, or impatient!!, and need to check for e-mail every 2 minutes for example. In which case you should click inside the MINUTES edit box, or on the UP/DOWN arrows of the MINUTE edit box, to change the receiving interval (the number). Remember. Checking too often (i.e. every 2 minutes) can put a strain on your ISP's e-mail server and/or on your computer's resources.

The IF MY COMPUTER IS NOT CONNECTED AT THIS TIME drop-down menu relates to the CHECK FOR NEW MESSAGES EVERY [30] MINUTES setting. It means that when windows live mail checks for new e-mail it should not connect to your isp's e-mail server automatically - DO NOT CONNECT to the isp's e-mail server and DO NOT CONNECT (do not dial-up) to the internet in order to connect to the isp's e-mail server. If you click on the drop-down menu it will give you two more options - CONNECT ONLY WHEN NOT WORKING OFFLINE and CONNECT EVEN WHEN WORKING OFFLINE. WORKING OFFLINE means you have told windows live mail, via the FILE menu > WORK OFFLINE menu-item, not to disturb you with Internet Connection/ISP E-Mail Server activity while you are composing a new e-mail for example. The two other DO NOT CONNECT options in relation to this decide whether or not to keep receiving e-mail, in the background, as you are typing your OFFLINE e-mail for example.


Fig 1.2  The settings in the Read TAB (window) can be left alone

The settings in the Read TAB (window) can be left alone. They are to do with the Reading of an e-mail but have no settings that need to be changed for the normal user.


Fig 1.3  The settings in the Receipts TAB (window) can be left alone

The settings in the Receipts TAB (window) are to do with a mail account, either yours and/or the senders, wanting a Receipt for each e-mail it sends. For example. If you put a tick next to the REQUEST A READ RECEIPT FOR ALL SENT MESSAGES setting you are asking the recipient to acknowledge that they have received your e-mail. When they receive and then open your sent e-mail they will be informed that you require a receipt for it (Fig 1.4 below), but whether or not they oblige you is a different story - Many people simply read Receipt Required e-mails but never click on the YES button. If they do click on the YES button you will receive an automated e-mail, from them, stating they have received and displayed (opened) your e-mail.

Fig 1.4  Click on YES to acknowledge you have received this e-mail

When someone is asking you to acknowledge their sent e-mail you will be notified in the same way as described above. This is because the default setting for receiving Receipt Required e-mail is NOTIFY ME FOR EACH READ RECEIPT REQUEST, located in the Returning Read Receipts section of this TAB. If you want to automate this setting you can do so by either selecting NEVER SEND A READ RECEIPT or ALWAYS SEND A READ REQUEST. With security reasons in mind though I would leave this setting on its default setting, as you would not want to ALWAYS SEND A READ REQUEST to a Virus Infected e-mail or Junk e-mail for example.


Fig 1.5  Most of these settings are self-explanatory

The settings in the Send TAB (window) are another set of settings that can be left alone. Most of them are self-explanatory so I will just explain those I feel need explaining for clarity.

The SEND MESSAGES IMMEDIATELY setting, when ticked, sends a newly created e-mail as soon as you click on its SEND button. If for some reason you do not want this to happen, for example you want to create a few e-mails before sending them in one go, you can untick this setting. This will put all newly created e-mail into the OUTBOX folder as normal. The e-mail will not be sent until you click on the SYNC button or until you CLOSE (eXit) and then reopen windows live mail. For the latter to send e-mail the SEND AND RECEIVE MESSAGES AT STARTUP setting, in the General TAB, must be ticked.

AUTOMATICALLY PUT PEOPLE I REPLY TO IN MY ADDRESS BOOK AFTER THE THIRD REPLY puts the recipient's Display Name and E-Mail Address into the windows live mail Contacts List (Address Book) when you reply to their e-mail three times.

INCLUDE MESSAGE IN REPLY, when ticked, means you want to include the original e-mail's message in your reply message. The original message is intended as a reminder to the sender of what you were talking about previously. It is very easy to forget what you was last discussing with someone in an e-mail when you send out many e-mails per day or per week, either to the same person or to different people, especially when you or the sender have the Include Message In Reply setting switched off (unticked). And although on the rare occasion you might accidentally include someone in your reply who is not supposed to see the original message (see the Reply To E-Mail section) it is best overall to keep this setting switched on (ticked). You can always edit the original message.

REPLY TO MESSAGES USING THE FORMAT IN WHICH THEY WERE SENT, when ticked, means you wish to reply to an e-mail in exactly the same format as it was written in. So if an e-mail was written in the Plain Text format you will be replying in the Plain Text format as well, which means you will only be allowed to use Plain Text - no Font Styling or Graphics. And if an e-mail was written in the HTML format you will be able to reply to it using font styling and graphics.

If you look at the MAIL SENDING FORMAT setting, underneath the main settings, you will see that HTML is the default format for sending e-mail. You were probably unaware of this and only wrote e-mail using plain text, even though you could of used font styling and graphics. In order for people to reply to your e-mail in the HTML format you must first create an e-mail using that format (Fig 1.6 below) and the recipient must also have the REPLY TO MESSAGES USING THE FORMAT IN WHICH THEY WERE SENT setting switched on (ticked) when they reply to your e-mail.

Fig 1.6  Create a new e-mail in the HTML format, using Font Styles and Graphics.

If you need to switch between formats, when creating a new e-mail, use the FORMAT menu >> PLAIN TEXT menu-item. Switching between formats will display a Warning message requester (not shown here) informing you that you will lose all, HTML, formatting if you proceed with the switching of formats.

Fig 1.7  Switch between the HTML format and the Plain Text format using the FORMAT menu


The next TAB is the Compose TAB. It allows you to setup the appearance for your HTML formatted e-mail. For example. You can change the default (standard) font used for e-mail messages and create standard stationery for all your e-mail messages.

Fig 1.8  Click on the FONT SETTINGS button to change the default font

Fig 1.9  Change the font settings and then click on OK to continue

Choose your default font carefully - Using a font you always use in Microsoft Word 2007 for example might not look too good in an e-mail. Note well. This font is for e-mails composed without stationery. Meaning. If you use stationery in your e-mail that e-mail will be forced to use that stationery's font. With stationery in place you can still change its font, temporary, by using the format tools.

To use stationery with all of your e-mail messages first put a tick next to the MAIL stationery setting (Fig 1.10 below) and then click on the SELECT button to continue.

Fig 1.10  Put a tick next to MAIL and then click on SELECT to continue

Fig 1.11  Select the stationery you want and then click OK to continue

After clicking on the SELECT button (Fig 1.10 above) you will be presented with the Select Stationery window, which is really a customized file requester that allows you to search for your own stationery file(s) if necessary, but for this example I will keep it simple by selecting one of windows live mail's already made stationery files - The Garden.htm file.

When you first use this window you will more than likely want to select each stationery file in turn in order to preview it. However. In reality the preview pane (window to the right) is too small so you might be better off just selecting a stationery file in order to try it out. So after selecting a stationery file, regardless if you are going try it out or use it, click on the OK button to continue.

Fig 1.12  Click on the OK button to apply the changes

After clicking on the Select Stationery window's OK button (Fig 1.11 above) you then need to click on the Compose TAB's OK button (Fig 1.12 above) to apply your changes so far and to exit the Options window. If you do not like the stationery file, and/or font, you chose you can always come back to the Options window using windows live mail's MENUS drop-down menu >> OPTIONS menu-item.

At this point it is worth noting that when you choose to try/use stationery, meaning you have the MAIL stationery setting ticked, you cannot use the changed font. In other words. The changed font is for use when you are not using stationery, as stated earlier/above. When you are using stationery it uses its own font styles, which you can change using the standard HTML font styling tools. Either way, you must create an e-mail in order to see what your new font or stationery will look like. Here are two examples.

Fig 1.13  An e-mail that is using the Garden.htm stationery file.....with my temporary font changes.

Fig 1.14  An e-mail that is using the new, changed default, font only....with no stationery.


Fig 1.15  The Signatures TAB can be left alone if you wish

The settings on the Signatures TAB allow you to create a Signature for your e-mail, in Plain Text format. The signature can be Hand Typed or taken from a Plain Text file (such as a NotePad .txt file). To create a signature click on the NEW button (above). After doing that you will see the wording Signature #1 Default Signature inside the SIGNATURES edit box (below). Underneath the SIGNATURES edit box is the EDIT SIGNATURE edit box. This is where you need to type the text for your signature. In this example I have used the signature to promote this website, but your signature could contain any text you like. Promotion of your Business and/or Website, A Catchphrase, A Joke or whatever.

Fig 1.16  Type the text for your signature inside the EDIT SIGNATURE edit box

When you have filled in the EDIT SIGNATURE edit box tick the ADD SIGNATURES TO ALL OUTGOING MESSAGES E-MAILS setting. This will ensure that each outgoing (sent) e-mail contains your signature inside its message. The DON'T ADD SIGNATURES TO REPLIES AND FORWARDS setting, if ticked, ensures that your signature is not added to the message of any e-mail you reply to or forward.

Fig 1.17  It is a good idea to RENAME a signature

The next thing to do, which is optional, is to rename your signature. Select it by clicking on Signature #1 and then click on the RENAME button (above). It is good idea to rename each signature, if you have more than one of course, so you know what they contain. For example. If you have two signatures, one for Business and one for Friends, you are better off calling them Business and Friends as opposed to Signature #1 and Signature #2. Mistakes can happen whereby you send someone your Friends signature instead of your Business signature and vice versa. All because your signatures were called #1 and #2 instead of Business and Friends. And even if you are only using the default signature (Signature #1) I would still say rename it.

If you click on the OK button, on the Options window, to apply (create) your signature everyone who you send e-mail to will see your signature at the bottom of your e-mail message (Fig 1.19 below) - This is regardless of which mail account you use, if you have more than one mail account of course. To set particular e-mail accounts to use a particular signature select a signature and then on the ADVANCED button, either before clicking on the OK button or by coming back to the Signatures TAB after clicking on the OK button. From there select which e-mail account(s) will use your selected signature. Remember. The APPLY button only applies your settings, but the OK button applies your settings and then exits (closes) the Options window.

Fig 1.18  Select the e-mail account(s) that can use this signature

Another thing to remember is that an e-mail account must be the default mail account when using the signature you have assigned to it. For example. might use signature #1 and might use signature #2, but would have to be the default mail account before it could use signature #2. Otherwise it will use the default signature (signature #1).

So to recap. Set up all your signatures as described above. By default (normal behaviour) the default (normal) e-mail account will use the default (normal) signature. If you want a specific e-mail account to use a specific signature you use the ADVANCED button to set everything up. You then make an e-mail account the default mail account in order to use its specific signature, otherwise it will use the default signature.

Fig 1.19  The default signature has automatically been added to the end of this e-mail's message

Even when a signature has been added to an e-mail's message you can always delete it or edit it before sending the e-mail. After all, it is only text.

If you want to make a signature from a Text File simply click on the FILE radio button, as opposed to the TEXT radio button, and then click on the BROWSE button (Fig 1.20 below). The BROWSE button will open up a file requester so you can select a text file. Once selected the file's name will appear in the FILE edit box. From there simply click on the OK button to apply your changes and exit the Options window.

Fig 1.20  BROWSE for a text file to use as a signature

To avoid the closing and reopening of the Options window (and Windows Live Mail in general) simply do all your changes in one go, if you can, and then click on the Options window's OK button. Do not get into the habit of changing the settings in one TAB and then clicking on APPLY or OK. Instead, do all your changes in one go and then click on OK to apply them.


Fig 1.21  Switch the Spell Checker on by ticking ALWAYS CHECK SPELLING BEFORE SENDING

The Spelling TAB allows you to spell check the text inside your e-mail's message. By default the spell checker is switched off, so to switch it on put a tick next to ALWAYS CHECK SPELLING BEFORE SENDING. The rest of the spelling settings are self-explanatory.


Fig 1.22  The Connection TAB can be left alone

The Connections TAB can be left alone. The only setting of real interest is the STOP SIGNING IN button, which allows you to stop windows live mail from automatically signing you into your Hotmail or Live e-mail account. By default windows live mail does not automatically sign you into your e-mail account, hence why the STOP SIGNING IN button is faded out, but once you do sign into your Hotmail or Live e-mail account it becomes the default to automatically sign you in.....all the time.....until you click on the STOP SIGNING IN button.


Fig 1.23  The Advanced TAB can be left alone

The Advanced TAB can be left alone as it does not have any settings of real interest. The RESTORE DEFAULTS button does not restore all of the Windows Live Mail settings, only these advanced settings. If you click on the MAINTENANCE button it will open the Maintenance window where you can set (tick) EMPTY MESSAGES FROM THE DELETED ITEMS FOLDER ON EXIT - It empties the Deleted Items (Deleted E-Mails) folder when you exit/close windows live mail. Hence the title Maintenance.

Fig 1.24  Tick EMPTY MESSAGES FROM THE DELETED ITEMS FOLDER ON EXIT to delete your Deleted E-Mails upon exit of windows live mail

Ideally you go through each TAB setting or unsetting certain options/settings and then click on the OK button. Do everything in one go in other words. However. You can, if you want to, just set or unset certain options/settings in one TAB and then click on the APPLY button before going to the next TAB. The reason being that you might want to see what a particular option/setting does, if it allows the change(s) to be seen immediately.

The OK button applies any changes made to the options/settings and then exits the Options window, whereas the APPLY button only applies any changes made to the options/settings. It does not exit the Options window.


The Security TAB can be found on the Safety Options window. You need to click on the MENUS drop-down menu and then select the SAFETY OPTIONS menu-item as opposed to the OPTIONS menu-item. From there click on the Security TAB.

Fig 1.25  The Security TAB can be left alone if you wish

When you first look at the Security TAB you might think "I'm not touching any of those settings - They look complicated". If this is your first impression I would say "Do not be put off". There are four major settings on this TAB - Two of them need to be kept switched ON and the other two can either be switched OFF or ON.

The first setting should always be set to RESTRICTED SITES ZONE (MORE SECURE) and not set to INTERNET ZONE, as you need to be using the most secure Internet Zone. Internet Zones are used by Internet Explorer as well. They govern the behaviour of websites and downloads amongst other things. In this case you are telling windows live mail to use the rules as found in the Restricted Zone.

The second setting, WARN ME WHEN OTHER APPLICATIONS TRY TO SEND MAIL AS ME, should always be switched ON (ticked). It prevents other applications (programs) from sending e-mail, using your e-mail address, to people in your address book. Applications such as Virus programs hell bent on sending out virus infected e-mails as you to your friends - The application will have previously been downloaded onto your computer, either in an e-mail or as a normal file for example.

The third setting, DO NOT ALLOW ATTACHMENTS TO BE SAVED OR OPENED THAT COULD POTENTIALLY BE A VIRUS, which is more or less self-explanatory can be switched off (unticked) or switched on (ticked). If it is ticked windows live mail will block any attachment (attached file) it thinks is a virus or a threat to your computer. However. Sometimes windows live mail is either stupid or overprotective. Meaning. It sometimes blocks good attachments. For this reason, and depending on whether or not you are worried about future e-mails with an attachment being classed as bad, you may sometimes need to temporarily switch this setting off (untick it) in order to be reassured that any e-mail with an attachment will be downloaded and be viewable. Saying this, it is rare to have this setting switched off. It is recommended that you leave it switched on.

The fourth setting, BLOCK IMAGES AND OTHER EXTERNAL CONTENT IN HTML E-MAIL, is another setting that can be switched off (unticked) or on (ticked) depending on your judgement. The setting, when switched on, means you would like windows live mail not to download any images and/or other content that it classes as bad. This is referring to Junk E-Mail and so on whereby the content could contain offensive material for example. Like the third setting above though windows live mail sometimes gets it wrong and blocks the contents of a perfectly good e-mail. In these situations you may need to temporarily switch this setting off for the reasons explained for the third setting above. Basically, keep this setting switched on.