April 30, 2013 in Tutorials
Recently, I replaced one of my home laptops with a new Acer Aspire V5 Ultrabook laptop. This laptop packs plenty of features including an LED backlit screen and keyboard, 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive and a touchscreen LCD with Windows 8. This is my first PC with Windows 8 and the touchscreen is a nice feature to have when using the Modern tile interface. The touchscreen is a bit awkward to use because of the physical keyboard below the screen. If this was a tablet, it’d be perfect.
Since this is my first experience with Windows 8, it took some time to get used to where things are and how this operating system works. I had to Google how to do simple things like how to turn off the laptop. It wasn’t very intuitive. But I’m past that now. Even the desktop interface has a few quirks that I’m still slowly getting used to. However, when it came to really putting this laptop to work and retiring my old Dell Studio 17, I ran into a few more issues.
Where Is Windows Mail?
One issue I ran into was getting my email on this laptop. Windows 8 comes with a Mail app in the tile interface. To set that up, I needed a Windows Live email account. I didn’t really want to do that but at the time, it was the only way I thought I could get mail on this computer. I didn’t have a current version of Outlook to install so I set up the Mail app. When I finally got it working, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. It was more like a web-based email client. I was used to the interface in Outlook and Windows Mail. The Mail app is great if I was on tablet but again, this isn’t a tablet.
On my old laptop, I was using the Windows Mail program that came free with Windows Vista. I kept searching the hard drive but there was no Windows Mail program. The good news is that after about a week of searching the internet, I finally found out how to get Windows Mail onto my Windows 8 laptop.
Where To Get Windows Mail For Windows 8?
I believe that Windows Mail and a few other familiar programs that came pre-installed in XP, Vista and Windows 7 were left out on Windows 8 because Microsoft wants people to really start adopting their tile interface instead of the desktop. This doesn’t really help people like me who want to use my computer as a traditional computer, not a tablet.
There were several solutions I found from different websites that were really technical and involved moving and renaming files and other things that I didn’t want to do with a brand new laptop. Now that I know how to do it, it’s really quite simple. However, Microsoft doesn’t make it easy to figure out. Now that I think about it, the answer I was looking for might’ve been in the owners manual (which by the way is still sealed) but I never looked.
Now one more thing before I get to the solution, the program that is equivilant to Windows Mail is now called Windows Live Mail. I think when you install it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that it is very similar to the old Windows Mail. And despite the name, you don’t need a Windows Live account to set it up or get started!
To download, you’ll need Windows Live Essentials 2012 bundle which is free from Microsoft. Here’s the link:
Just click “Download” and save the installer to your hard drive.
Then launch the installer and choose the recommended installation.
Here are the applications included in Windows Live Essentials 2012:
- Photo Gallery
- Movie Maker
- Microsoft SkyDrive
- Skype (Messenger)
- Family Safety
Launching Windows Live Mail
To be honest, the only program I needed was Windows Live Mail. This program is completely different than the app that is launched in the tile interface. Once you install Windows Live Essentials 2012, you can find Windows Live Mail on your computer by going to:
Windows C: > Program Files (x86) > Windows Live > Mail > wlmail
That’s quite a few steps just to launch an application. Because Windows 8 no longer has a Start button, you have to launch that way unless you create a shortcut on your Taskbar like I did.
A Faster Way To Launch Windows Live Mail
Without the familiar Windows Start button, access to applications isn’t quite as easy as it was with prior operating systems. Here’s how I created a shortcut on the Taskbar for easy launch.
All you have to do is right-click on the wlmail icon, click Create Shortcut.
Click “Yes” to create shortcut on Desktop.
You can simply leave it there or just drag the shortcut icon into the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. I like to have my main programs in the taskbar because I can launch programs with one click.
When you launch Windows Live Mail, you’ll have to enter your server information from your email account(s) before you can start using it. This is just the joy of owning a new computer! But the great thing is that you can use either POP or IMAP protocols with Windows Live Mail.
Starting Windows Live Mail From The Tile Interface
Here’s another timesaver you may want to use to launch the Windows Live Mail application, especially if you like to use the new Modern tile interface. You can actually have a tile that appears on the main Windows 8 icon screen (but don’t get it confused with the Mail app). Here’s how you do it.
Starting with the first step when we created a desktop short cut, right-click on wlmail in Windows Explorer. Click on Pin to Start.
Now when you go to the tile interface, you’ll see a shortcut for the newly installed Windows Live Mail!
One Last Thing So You Don’t Go Crazy
Once you get Windows Live Mail setup and running on your computer, you might think everything is great until you start reading your emails and find that images don’t load in HTML-based messages. Here’s the solution to keep you from yelling at your computer.
With Windows Live Mail open, click on File at the top left of the application window.
When the next window pops up, click on Options > Safety options.
After you click Safety options, a new window will pop up. Click on Security at the top of the window. Then in the section titled Download Images, uncheck “Block images”. Then check “Show images”. Make sure your settings look like mine.
That’s pretty much it! Hopefully this tutorial helps you get back on track with your emails on Windows 8.