Exploring Windows Live Mail 2011

If you are using Windows Live Mail and have not upgraded to the new version now out of beta, you may want to upgrade.  As always, it is advisable to make a backup of your mail before you upgrade.

However, before you do upgrade, you need to know the new WLM (Windows Live Mail 2011) looks quite a bit different and will take a bit of a learning curve to find your way around. That's because WLM 2011 now has what is known as the 'ribbon' instead of the old style menus.

The Ribbons (Screenshots)

Underneath the interface though, most things still work the same way, it just takes a bit of time to search for the things you are looking for. This is true even if you are using Outlook Express on Windows XP. The actual screens for adding email properties have not changed. The views have pretty much stayed the same, but accessing the different views is a lot different.

When you first install WLM 2011and open it, the new email account dialog opens.  Screenshot  It is basically the same as Outlook Express, Windows Mail and the older Windows Live Mail.

Things to note: What happens when you install WLM 2011 depends on what email program you currently have installed.

WLM 2011 acts like an upgrade if you have the first Windows Live Mail.  Everything is imported including messages and account settings. If you need to add an account, click the WLM button and select 'Email Accounts'. Click the 'Add' button and then select Add Email.

If your current email is Windows Mail, the email messages will be imported but you will probably have to add the account settings.

Customize your Windows Live Mail


If you change your ISP and delete the old ISP account from WLM, you will lose all of the messages received from the old ISP. To avoid losing messages, backup the messages BEFORE removing the old account information. (You should have backups anyway, in the event of system crashes or hard drive failure.)

Note: Windows Live Mail 2011 has been upgraded to Windows Live Mail 2012, still part of the download for Windows Live from Microsoft.