Setting Outlook Express to Check for E-Mail

Normally, when you launch Outlook Express, the program doesn't automatically tell you when you have new email. You have to click the Send/Recv button on the toolbar. If you want, you can have Outlook Express automatically inform you of new email anytime you open the program.

If you don't have your computer already connected to the Internet, Outlook Express dials out, connects, and retrieves your mail at this set interval.

To set up this automatic email check, follow these steps:

1. Launch Outlook Express either by clicking the Launch Outlook Express button on the Windows taskbar or by choosing Start Outlook Express.

You need to launch Outlook Express in this way because you can't change any of the program's settings from a New Message window.

2. Choose Tools Options on the Outlook Express menu bar.

The Options dialog box appears with the General tab selected.

3. Select the Check for New Messages Every 30 Minute(s) checkbox.

4. In the associated text box, replace 30 with the new number of minutes that you want, or use the spinner buttons to select the interval value that you want.

When you enable the Check for New Messages Every "So Many" Minutes check box, Outlook Express automatically checks your mail server for new messages whenever you launch the program and then continues to check at the specified interval as long as you have the program running.

5. (Optional) To have Outlook Express play a chime whenever it downloads new email messages while you have the program running, select the Play Sound When New Messages Arrive check box.

6. Click Apply.

7. Click OK.

The Options dialog box closes, you return to Outlook Express, and the automatic email checking goes into effect.

After the automatic email checking goes into effect, Outlook Express informs you of the delivery of new email by placing an envelope icon on the Outlook Express status bar (and "dinging" if you enable the Play Sound When New Messages Arrive check box).

This option is very nice for those times when you're spending a great deal of time working in Outlook Express. However, don't expect to get this kind of indicator when you're browsing the Web with Internet Explorer. The only way to know whether you have any new email working in Internet Explorer is by clicking the Mail button on the toolbar and then choosing the Read Mail command.

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