Changing email accounts can seem like a difficult process, but following a few tips can make your transition smoother. If you don’t have a Microsoft email account, I fully recommend one simply because Windows 8 and subsequent Windows Operating Systems are using Microsoft email accounts for a variety of features.
If you have a computer that is running Windows 8, you’ll notice that when you first set it up, it asks you to sign in to your Microsoft account. This can be done with a Microsoft email account, such as MSN, Hotmail, Live or Outlook. You can also use your Xbox account. In doing so, you are given special features that are not available to users who sign in using a non-Microsoft account.
First, when you sign in using your Microsoft email, you have the opportunity to choose settings for your email and your personal files so when you access them anywhere you have an Internet connection, those settings and personal files will remain in sync and are the same everywhere, all the time.
Those with a Microsoft email account are given 7 gigabytes of free space to keep your pictures, documents and other personal files in what is called the SkyDrive. This cloud storage is kept on Microsoft’s servers (computers) and is secure and protected by your user name and password. You access your SkyDrive through your Microsoft email account using your desktop, laptop, tablet, phone or any other devices used to browse the Internet.
You also have access to all your contacts in the People folder and your calendar so you can keep track of important scheduling and events. Again, all these are kept in sync regardless of what device you use for access. This is what Microsoft is attempting to do — allow us mobility and connectivity having access to all our personal files regardless of where we are or what devices we are using.
To sign up for a free Microsoft account, go to www.Outlook.com and click the “Sign up now” link located at the bottom-right. Fill out the appropriate information and when completed, you will be taken to your Inbox. Be sure to remember your new email address and password.
Next, go into your old email and in most cases, it will offer the option to export your contacts. You can do this either by printing out physical pages of your contacts and in this case, you will need to enter them manually into your new email account in the People (formerly called Contacts) folder.
However, if you export your contacts to an Excel (CSV) file, save it on your desktop so you can find it easily. Then, from your Microsoft email, you can import them by going to your new Outlook email, clicking the arrow next to “Outlook” at the top-left, and then clicking “People.” From the People folder click “Manage” at the top and select “Add people.” Next, at the bottom click “Import from file.” Click “Browse” and locate your Excel (CSV) file, then click to import. Your contacts will then be added to your People folder.
Next, the easiest way I have found to transfer email messages from one account to another is to go into your old email and forward all those you want to move to your new email account. This may take a little time, but in this way you can save all the messages you find important to keep. It also gives you the chance to clean up unnecessary messages from your account.
Be sure to update all the places you use your email account for communication, such as those where you make purchases and have signed up for newsletters, etc. Be sure to send out a new email to all your contacts telling them about the change and invite them to update their contacts folder with your new email address. I would also recommend you keep your old email for a time just to make sure you don’t miss out on important messages that may come in the future.
Scott Lindsay actively promotes learning the computer, regardless of age, to better one’s life and circumstances and has helped thousands of people over the past 12 years to become better computer users. He can be reached at Scott@MicroScottPro.com.