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How to Add E-Mail Accounts to Outlook on Your Surface

If you think that the Start screen’s Mail, People, and Calendar apps on your Surface don’t have enough features, Outlook might be a welcome replacement. Whereas the Start screen’s app offers a skeletal approach to basic communication tasks, Outlook is the full beast, writhing with options to handle your mail, calendar, and contacts.

For most people, however, Outlook is overkill on a tablet.

  • Outlook’s power adds extra layers of complications to what should be quick and simple tasks.

  • Outlook requires a commitment to the desktop, defeating the purpose of a tablet.

  • Desktop programs don’t communicate well with Start screen apps. Unless you log into both your tablet and Outlook with the same Microsoft account, your contacts won’t sync between Outlook and the People app.

For simplicity’s sake, you should probably choose between either Outlook or the Start screen’s Mail, People, and Calendar suite of programs, but not both.

If you still want to give Outlook a try, follow these steps to open Outlook for the first time and add your e-mail account:

  1. From the Start screen, tap the Outlook 2013 tile.

    If you don’t spot the Outlook 2013 tile on the Start screen, look in the All Apps area by sliding your finger up from the middle of the Start screen. When the All Apps area slides into view, scroll to the Microsoft Office 2013 group near the screen’s right edge and then tap the Outlook 2013 tile.

  2. When the Welcome to Microsoft Outlook 2013 window appears, tap Next.

    The program immediately asks whether you want to set up an e-mail account.

    If the program doesn’t ask whether you want to set up an e-mail account, tap the File tab in its upper-left corner and tap the Account Settings button. Choose Account Settings from the drop-down menu. When the Account Settings window appears, tap the New icon on the E-Mail tab. Then jump to Step 4.

  3. Tap the Yes button and then tap the Next button.

    The Add Accounts window appears ready for you to add your e-mail account’s information.

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  4. Enter your name, e-mail address, and password in the Add Accounts window and then tap Next.

    When you tap Next, Outlook connects with the Internet and tries to discover your ISP’s mail settings, sparing you the trouble of entering them yourself. If Outlook succeeds, it tells you so, and you’re done. If it doesn’t succeed, move to Step 5.

  5. Tap the Manual Setup or Additional Server Types button and click Next.

    The Add Account window appears, this time ready for you to enter your own e-mail settings.

  6. Enter your mail server settings, tapping the Next button at each prompt.

    If you don’t have your mail server settings, you need to contact your e-mail provider and ask for these tidbits of technical information:

    • Your e-mail type: This is usually IMAP or POP3.

    • Your incoming mail server name: This is usually a bit of gibberish like pop.microsoft.com.

    • Your outgoing mail server name: Just like your incoming mail server name, this is something like smtp.microsoft.com.

  7. Tap Finish to complete setting up your account.

    Or, to set up another e-mail account, tap Add Another Account and return to Step 4.

When you finish, Outlook leaves you at your e-mail Inbox, where you can see the test message left by Outlook.

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