Did you know that Outlook 2010 can manage all your email accounts? It can and when you set it up to do so, this gives you a single interface for working with all your mail. If you have a lot of accounts, this can be a huge time and energy saver.
There are two sets of tasks you must complete if you want to manage your mail in Outlook. The first is configuring Outlook for Gmail or Comcast or whichever mail services you are using.
There's no way I can cover this part of the project here, as it would take many articles this size to address all the common email services. That's why I've provided the link at the end of this article. It takes you to a site that has detailed instructions for setting up many of the most common email services.
The second part of this is knowing how to work with the different accounts once you have them set up. The rest of this article addresses that subject.
What To Do When You Receive Messages
Once you have everything in the first part of the process set up, Outlook will automatically check each email account for you, based on the settings in your Send/Receive groups.
When they come into Outlook 2010, messages get stored in different spots depending on the messaging protocol used by the service. For example, messages from Gmail or Hotmail accounts typically end up in their own set of folders, while messages from most other services end up in the regular Outlook Inbox.
That begs the question of how you know which messages are associated with which accounts? The messages that end up in their own special folders are easy to figure out. For messages from other services, you can always check the To: field of the message. The email address the message was meant for will appear there.
What To Do When You Are Sending Messages
When sending messages, you can always control which account Outlook 2010 uses. Outlook always has a default account for sending messages, but you can tell Outlook to use a different account like this:
* When you create a new message, Outlook 2010 assumes that you want to send the message from the email account you are working in right now. This is a significant change. In previous versions, Outlook assumed you wanted to send messages using the default account.
* When you are replying to a message, Outlook assumes you want to use the same account the message was sent to. You can override this if necessary.
* When you forward a message, Outlook once again assumes you want to use the same account the message was sent to. You can override this if necessary.
Wondering exactly how you tell Outlook 2010 to use a different account? It's easy once you open the message in its own window. Look for the "From" button. It is located next to the "Send" button, and only appears if you have Outlook set up to work with more than one account. Click From and select the account you want to use.
Set The Default Account
You can easily change Outlook's default account if that will make things easier for you. Follow these steps:
1. Click the File tab in the ribbon. This takes you to Outlook's new Backstage area.
2. Click Info in the menu on the left side of the Backstage window. This opens the "Account Information" screen.
3. Click Account Settings, then click Account Settings... in the menu that appears. This opens the "Account Settings" dialog box to the "E-mail" tabbed page. You will see a box containing a list of the email accounts Outlook is configured to use right now.
4. Select the account you want to use as the default account (the current default account will be checked already). This activates the "Set as Default" option.
5. Click Set as Default to change the default account.
6. Click Close to return to the Outlook window.