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HomeTechnical Support:  Outlook Express Tutorial


Well, now that you have Outlook Express set up for your email, what do you do with it???  This section will assist you in sending, receiving and forwarding email, among many other tasks.

Before we begin with the tutorials, please note:  These tutorials are based on Outlook Express version 5.0 .  If you have OE 4, everything should be pretty similar, but there may be slight differences.  The same goes for OE 5.5 or 6.  Outlook Express can be set up to look many different ways.  To ensure the best results from these tutorials, please take a second to check your layout configurations.  From the Outlook Express menu bar, click 'View', then select 'Layout'.  Click here to compare your settings.  If you are missing any check marks, please make sure you check them and press the 'Ok' button before going on.  Thank you.

Now, The Tutorials:

  1. Checking and Reading your Email

  2. Composing a New Message

  3. Replying to an Email

  4. Forwarding an Email

  5. Deleting Email

  6. The Address Book

  7. Managing Folders

Checking and Reading your Email
By default, Outlook Express will automatically check for new Email right when you start the program.  When new mail appears, simply click the email header to read the message.  Click here for a brief overview of the Outlook Express window.  To check for new email while Outlook Express is open, click the 'Send/Receive' button as shown above.  Outlook Express will download any new mail you may have so you can read it.  You can also set OE to automatically check for new messages at set intervals.  To do this, click on 'Tools', then select 'Options'.  In the 'Send/Recieve Messages', place a check mark in the 'Check for New Messages Every' box and set the interval.  Click here for a picture of the Options box.  Outlook Express must be kept open to automatically check your Email.

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Composing a New Message
The 'New Mail' button along the top of your Outlook Express window allows you to compose a new message to send to someone.  When you click the 'New Mail' button a blank email window will pop up.   You need to fill out the appropriate information such as the email address of the person you are sending the email to, the subject and of course the message itself.  Click here for an example of an email being sent to '' .  When you are finished composing a new message, all you do from there is press the 'Send' button at the top right of your window and the Email will be on it's way!

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Replying to an Email
When somebody sends you an email and you want to reply to it, all you have to do is simply press the 'Reply' button as shown here, type your message and hit the 'Send' button.  You don't have to fill out the email address or subject, they will be taken care of automatically when replying to a message.

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Forwarding an Email
People often times like to pass jokes and stories around through Email.  This is usually done by what's called 'Forwarding Email'.  Let's say for example you get a funny joke from a friend in your Email and you would like to send that joke to a different friend so they can read it.  All you have to do is find the email you would like to forward and click the 'Forward' button at the top of your window.  This will take the original message and 'paste' it into the new message for you to send to other people.  All you have to do from here is decide who you want to send the message to and fill out the appropriate email address.

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Deleting Email
Deleting your unwanted Email is a simple task, though can be quite painful if the wrong thing is deleted!  The first thing to do to delete an email is of course find the email to be deleted.  Make sure it is highlighted and press the 'Delete' button as shown above.  Abra cadabra, it's gone!  Well, almost gone anyway.  By default, Outlook Express will store a deleted message in a folder called 'Deleted Items'.  Think of it like a trash can, first you throw the trash into the trash can, and sooner or later you have to take the trash can out to empty it.  Well, by pressing 'Delete', you have successfully thrown the trash into the trash can.  Now to empty the trash can, simply find your 'Deleted Items' folder on the left hand side of your screen (should be there, but some configurations may not have it there), right - click on it once and select 'Empty Deleted Items Folder'.  Click here to see a picture of this step.  That will permanently take out all of your Email trash until you Delete something else.  You should always check your Deleted Items folder before emptying it, just to make sure there isn't something that was accidentally deleted.  Also, it is a good thing to empty it on a regular basis.

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The Address Book

Luckily we don't have to always type somebody's email address everytime we want to send them an email.  That's what the address book is for.  You can store all the email addresses you want in the address book for quick retrieval.  To enter an address in your address book, first open the address book by clicking the 'Address Book' button in your Outlook Express program as shown above, or click 'Tools' from the OE menu bar and select 'Address Book'.  When the address book opens, click the 'New' button and then select 'New Contact'.  The next window is where you enter the information such as first name, last name and email address.  When those are filled in, click the 'Add' button, then click the 'OK' button.  Click here for a picture.  Once you have done that, the email address you entered will remain in your address book for you to use at your leisure, or until deleted.


Now, to send a message to somebody already in your address book, simply start a new message as directed in 'Composing a New Message' by clicking the 'New Mail' button.  Now, instead of manually entering each email address you would like to send this email to, simply click the 'To:' button as shown here in this picture.  This will open your address book and from there you can easily select who you would like the email to be sent to.  Highlight the person's name, and click the 'To:->' button as shown in this picture, and that person's address will be added to the message recipients.  When all recipients are added, click the 'Ok' button and fill out a subject, type your message and you're done!


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  Managing Folders
  It's very easy to let our Inbox become over crowded with unnecessary email.  Making folders and storing email in those folders keep the clutter out of your Inbox.

In this instance, we are going to make a new folder for any email that comes from family members, and we will simply call the folder 'Family'.  From Outlook Express, along the left hand side of your screen in your Folder List, find your 'Inbox' and click on it once with your right-hand mouse button, just like shown in this picture.  Then select 'New Folder'.  A window will pop up asking you for the name of the new folder, go ahead and type 'Family' (or you can call it whatever you prefer) and press the 'OK' button as shown in this picture.  You will now notice your new folder hanging under the 'Inbox' in your Folder List.

Now, to start storing email in your new folder, simply find an email you would like to store, click on it with your left mouse button and hold your mouse button down, drag it to the folder you want to store it in and release your mouse button, as shown in this picture.  That's it!  Now you can click on your new folder and view the email you just stored in the new folder.

This really helps to organize your email and keep your Inbox clean of clutter. 


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