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How to Read E-Mail with the Windows 8 Mail App

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When your computer is connected to the Internet, the Windows 8 Start screen tells you as soon as a new e-mail arrives. The Mail app's tile automatically updates itself to show the sender and subject of your latest unread e-mails.

To see more information than that — or to respond to the message — follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start screen's Mail tile.

    Mail opens to show the messages in your Inbox. Each subject is listed, one by one, with the newest one at the top.

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    To find a particular e-mail quickly, summon the Charms bar's Search pane by pressing Windows+Q and then type the sender's name or a keyword in the search box. (You can also search for e-mails directly from the Start screen's Search pane.)

  2. Click the subject of any message you want to read.

    The Mail app spills that message's contents into the pane along the window's right side.

  3. From here, the Mail app leaves you with several options, each accessed from the buttons along the e-mail's top edge:

    • Nothing: Undecided? Don't do anything, and the message simply sets up camp in your Inbox folder.

    • Respond: Click the Respond button in the top-right corner and choose Reply from the drop-down menu. A new window appears, ready for you to type in your response. The window is just like the one that appears when you first compose a message but with a handy difference: This window is preaddressed with the recipient's name and the subject. Also, the original message usually appears at the bottom of your reply for reference.

    • Reply All: Some people address e-mails to several people simultaneously. If you see several other people listed on an e-mail's To line, you can reply to all of them by clicking Respond and choosing Reply All from the drop-down menu.

    • Forward: Received something that a friend simply must see? Click Respond and choose Forward from the drop-down menu to kick a copy of the e-mail to your friend's Inbox.

    • Delete: Click the Delete button to toss the message into your Deleted Items folder. Your deleted messages sit inside that folder until you open the Deleted Items folder, click all the messages and click the Delete button again.

To print your currently viewed e-mail, summon the Charms bar, click the Devices icon, choose your printer from the list of devices, and click the Print button.

The Mail app works for basic e-mail needs. If you need more, you can find a more full-featured e-mail program, or you open Internet Explorer, go online to Hotmail, Outlook, or Google, and manage your e-mail from there.

If you ever receive an unexpected e-mail from a bank, eBay, or any other website involving money, don't click any of the e-mail's web links. A criminal industry called phishing sends e-mails that try to trick you into entering your name and password on a phony website.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.


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