Outlook.com allows for customization of appearance, junk email restrictions and reading and writing email. However, there is a specific place to perform account management.
Open your Outlook.com email and click the white “sprocket” symbol located at the top-right, next to the name of your account. A menu pops up that first allows you to change the color of your Outlook.com appearance. Go ahead and rest your cursor on a color and you can see what it will look like before it is changed. To make the change, just click the color once.
Next, you can choose the position of your reading pane if you prefer to use it. If you haven’t used the reading pane before, go ahead and select “Bottom.” Your Outlook.com will refresh. Click an email message in your inbox. You will see a preview of the message appear underneath your emails. To open the message fully, just double-click the message. You can also choose to have your reading pane display on the right side of your messages.
Underneath the reading pane option, click “More mail settings.” This will open a new window showing “Managing your account,” “Writing email,” “Reading email,” “Preventing junk email” and “Customizing Outlook.” Let’s go into the first one and click the subheading “Account details.” When you first go into these settings, because these are the most important options located in your account, you will be required to input your password again. Click “Sign in” when you are ready.
Here you can edit your display name, password and manage notifications. You can also set up security measures to retrieve your password if you happen to forget it. Click “Security info” to enable this feature. Input your phone number (one with texting capabilities works well) and if you forget your password, Microsoft will text you a temporary one so you can get back into your email. I’ve used this feature several times with customers and it works extremely well.
You can also input an alternate email address. If you don’t have more than one, use your spouse’s, child’s or friend’s email address. If you need to reset your email, a temporary password will be emailed to the alternate address.
You can also use “Authenticator app,” which will send a code to your smart phone, or lastly, you can set up a security question so that if you have to call Microsoft by phone, they can use this to identify you and your account.
Click “Overview” at the top left and then click “Permissions.” Here, you can manage other Microsoft accounts, choose what your children share with others online and manage apps that can access your information. These are applications such as Twitter, Linked In and others that you may have authorized. After your choices are made, just close the window and your changes are saved.
Many of you will be happy to know Microsoft announced that in the first major update coming to Windows 8 in the next few weeks, it will restore the “Start” button, where you can access your programs. Be sure your computer is set to receive Windows Updates automatically so you don’t miss this release.
Next week, I’ll cover more Outlook.com options, such as adding a signature to your emails, sending automated vacation replies and how to upgrade to an “ad free” Outlook.
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.