How to Add Your Email Account to Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

When you first open your People, Mail, or Calendar apps, Windows 10 may ask you to enter your account names and passwords from your email services, as well as services such as Google. For years, you’ve heard people say, “Never tell anybody your user account name and password.” Now, it seems Windows wants you to break that rule.

It’s not as scary as you think, though. Microsoft and the other networks have agreed to share your information only if you approve it. And should you approve it, Windows connects to your accounts and imports information about your contacts, email, and calendar.

And, frankly, approving the information swap is a huge timesaver. When you link those accounts to Windows, your computer automatically signs in to each service, imports your friends’ contact information, and stocks your apps.

To fill in Windows about your life online, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button. When the Start menu appears, open the Mail app.

    Click the Mail tile, found along the Start menu’s right edge, and the app opens. Click the Get Started button, if you see one, to move to the Mail app.

  2. Enter your accounts into the Mail app.

    When you first open the Mail app, it prompts you to add your email account or accounts, as shown here. If you signed up with a Microsoft account that also serves as a Microsoft email address — one ending in Live, Hotmail, or Outlook, for example — that email address is already listed and set up.

    The Mail app lets you enter email accounts from services such as Google, Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo!,
    The Mail app lets you enter email accounts from services such as Google, Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo!, and others.

    To add other accounts, click the Add Account button. Mail then lists the accounts you can add: Exchange (used mostly by businesses or people using the Office 365 online programs), Google, iCloud (for Apple), Other Account (which means accounts using POP or IMAP for access), or Advanced Setup, which lets you set up Exchange ActiveSync or web-based email.

    To add a Google account, for example, click the word Google. Windows takes you to a secure area on Google’s website, where you can authorize the transaction by entering your Gmail email address and password and then clicking Accept or Connect.

    To add new e-mail accounts from inside the Mail app, click the Settings icon (it looks like a gear) and choose Accounts from the Settings pane.

    Repeat these steps for any of your other listed accounts, authorizing each of them, if required, to share information with your Windows account.

After you’ve entered your accounts, Windows automatically fetches your email through your Mail app, fills the People app with your friends’ contact information, and adds any appointments in your Calendar app.

Although it might seem frightening to give Windows your coveted usernames and passwords, it enriches Windows in many ways:

  • Instead of typing in your contacts by hand, they’re waiting for you automatically, whether they’re from your Google, Hotmail, Outlook, or Windows Live account.

  • Windows apps work well with apps and programs from other companies. Your friends’ birthdays from your Google calendar, for example, show up on the Calendar app without your having to enter them.

  • Don’t like these new-fangled Windows apps? Then ignore them. You can always spend your time on the Windows desktop instead. There you can visit Facebook and your other accounts from your web browser the same way you’ve always done.