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Send and Receive E-Mail on Your Surface

The Mail app does a no-frills job of sending and receiving e-mail on your Surface. It’s free, pre-installed, includes a spell checker, and, it’s already filled with the e-mail addresses of your friends.

In fact, you don’t even need to open the Mail app to see what’s new. The Mail app includes a live tile, meaning it constantly updates with the latest information. When you glance at the Start screen, your Mail tile behaves like a mini-billboard, displaying the first few lines of your unread e-mails and their senders’ names.

The Mail app sends and receives e-mail only from the accounts listed in the Accounts pane, which includes e-mail from Outlook.com, Exchange (used by some businesses), Google’s Gmail, America Online, and Yahoo!.

If you want to access mail from other accounts, you can launch Internet Explorer with a tap of its Start screen tile. Then visit your mail server’s website to send and receive e-mail online. This trick bypasses the Mail app, but it’s an easy solution.

Owners of a Surface RT or Surface 2 can also use the built-in version of Outlook on the desktop, which handles POP accounts.

But if you’d rather stick with the Mail app for its finger-friendly interface, follow these steps to add unsupported e-mail accounts to the Mail app:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, visit Outlook, and either log in with your Microsoft account or sign up for an Outlook.com e-mail address.

  2. Open Settings area on Outlook.com and then add your unsupported e-mail addresses.

    On Outlook.com, click the Settings icon (the little gear) and choose More Mail Settings from the drop-down menu. On the More Mail Settings page, find the setting for adding other e-mail accounts. There, you need to enter your unsupported mail account’s username and password as well as its type of mail servers, which usually contain the cryptic words POP3 and SMTP. Save your changes.

  3. In the Mail app, select Outlook as your e-mail program and enter your Outlook e-mail addresses name and password.

    Then, Outlook.com automatically grabs e-mail from your unsupported POP accounts and routes them to your Outlook.com account in the Mail app, letting you read everything in one place.

You can also call your ISP and ask when it plans to support IMAP. (IMAP is pronounced just like it sounds.) The Mail app works fine with IMAP accounts, sparing you from jumping through this sidebar’s admittedly uncomfortable hoops.

Also, Surface RT and Surface 2 owners can also use the Outlook desktop program for their e-mail. Being more powerful than the Mail app, Outlook can handle POP and SMTP accounts.

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