10 tips for better email management in Windows Live Mail

10 tips for better email management in Windows Live Mail

Discover 10 great ways to manage your email more effectively in Windows Live Mail

Email is such an integrated part of our lives that it’s easy to become blasé about how you handle it. Windows Live Mail, which comes preloaded on your Advent PC, is one of the best tools out there for managing your mail, but are you using it to its full potential? Check out our top 10 tips for ensuring your mailing experience is an efficient, tidy and – above all – safe one.

1. Customise your view

You can set up Windows Live Mail’s interface however you want it

Don’t like the way your messages are displayed in Windows Live Mail? Switch to the View tab on the ribbon to tweak what’s shown. You can customise most aspects of the messages window, and even create views where only those messages meeting a specific condition – such as being unread – are shown.

2. Get organised

Windows Live Mail has a comprehensive search tool, but you can speed things up by filing important emails into specific folders. If you want to store messages offline to free up space in your inbox, then drag them to folders you create in the Storage section of Windows Live Mail – right-click ‘Storage’ and choose ‘New Folder’, then give your folder a suitable name.

3. Use Filters

Message rules let you file emails quickly according to contact, subject or some other criteria

Filters let you quickly file emails by automatically moving them into folders as they arrive in your mailbox. Set one up by switching to the Folders tab on the ribbon and clicking ‘Message Rules’, then set conditions to trigger the rule, and actions that occur as a result. Note that message rules don’t work with web-based email accounts such as Gmail or Hotmail.

4. Prune your mailbox regularly

As the emails start to pile up in your mailbox, so Windows Live Mail starts to slow down due to their combined weight – particularly if some of those messages contain large file attachments. Speed things up by regularly going through the list and deleting those messages you don’t need to save.

5. Detach attachments from your mailbox

Next, save the file attachments you wish to keep by placing them in a folder on your hard drive. You can then delete the original message or – if you want to keep it – open the message and click ‘Forward’. Select all of the attachments ([Ctrl]-click on each) and then right-click and choose ‘Remove’ to exclude them from the email. Type your own email address into the ‘To…’ box and click ‘Send’. When the attachment -less email arrives, delete the original.

After saving attachments, forward the original email without the attachments to yourself

6. Purge deleted items automatically

Dragging messages to the Deleted Items folder won’t delete them permanently until you right-click the folder and choose ‘Empty Deleted Items Folder’. Save time by clicking the ribbon’s File tab and choosing ‘Options’ > ‘Mail…’ Switch to the Advanced tab and click ‘Maintenance’. Tick ‘Empty Messages From The Deleted Items Folder On Exit’ to instruct Windows Live Mail to automatically purge the folder every time you close the program.

7. Change your storage folder

Got a second hard drive? Move your storage folder to it for a performance boost

Another way to improve performance – and add a bit of protection to your mailboxes – is to store them on a second hard drive if you have one. To do this, open the Mail… Options dialogue box again (see above) and click ‘Maintenance’ on the Advanced tab as before. This time, click the ‘Store Folder…’ button followed by ‘Change…’ to select or create a folder on your new hard drive. Click OK and then restart Windows Live Mail to complete the move.

8. Verify who sent that email

Not convinced an email is from the person listed as the sender? Right-click the message in the message list and choose ‘Properties’, then switch to the Details tab. The actual sender of the message will be listed under ‘Return path’ or ‘Received’. If it’s a fake, choose the ‘Delete And Block’ option to prevent them contacting you again.

9. Manage the spam

The unknown sender alert allows you to vet an email before its full content is downloaded

Windows Live Mail’s default junk mail settings should filter out most unwanted mail, but when starting out you’ll find it will flag all ‘unknown’ senders. Taking the time to block or approve senders as requested will quickly help ensure you don’t miss any legitimate email while blocking unwanted junk mail too.

10. Restrict email to safe senders

If you’re only interesting in receiving email from people in your Contacts list as well as those you’ve previously flagged as safe, click the File tab and choose ‘Options’ > ‘Safety Options’. Choose the ‘Safe List Only’ option, then switch to the Safe Senders tab and verify ‘Also Trust Email From My Contacts’ is ticked underneath the list of individual email addresses you want to trust. Also consider ticking ‘Automatically Add People I Email To The Safe Senders List’ too, to allow new people you contact to reply to your messages.