How to Use MSN or Hotmail

by A.J. Andrews

Microsoft consolidates MSN and Hotmail under the Windows Live platform, allowing business users access to unlimited email storage, integration with the MSN Messenger instant messaging service and the SkyDrive file hosting service. Microsoft’s Hotmail provides users with an easy-to-use interface to compose, save and receive emails, and also offers POP3 access, which allows you to access your account from most mobile devices, such as smartphones.

Account Creation

1

Navigate to the Windows Live account creation page (see Resources). Click “Sign up now.”

2

Enter your first name and surname in the “Name” fields. Enter your date of birth using the “Birth date” drop-down menus. Enter your gender using the “Gender” drop-down menu.

3

Enter the Hotmail name you choose in the “How would you like to sign in?” field. Alternatively, you can you enter your existing email address name. The name you enter will serve as your username.

4

Enter a password to use for your Hotmail account in the “Create a Password” field. Reenter it in the “Reenter Password” field. You have the option of creating a security question or entering your phone number to recover your password if you forget it. Enter a phone number in the “Phone Number” field if you want to retrieve a forgotten password by way of your mobile. Click “Or choose a security question,” and select one from the drop-down menu, if you want to retrieve a forgotten password by answering a question.

5

Enter the country you will use the Hotmail account in the “Country/region” field, using its drop-down menu to designate your location. Enter your ZIP code, if applicable, in the “ZIP Code” field.

6

Enter the CAPTCHA text in the CAPTCHA field. CAPTCHA ensures the user signing up for Hotmail is a human being as opposed to a web bot. Click “I Accept.” You have created an MSN/Hotmail email account.

Email Usage

1

Log in to Hotmail (see Resources) with the username and password you created.

2

Select a theme for your Hotmail account by hovering the cursor over the theme icons. The theme you choose will serve as a background after you log in to Hotmail.

3

Access your other email accounts by clicking the “Tools” icon, represented by an icon that represents a gear.

4

Click “Add your contacts” to add contacts to your list of email recipients and to open the Set Up Your Privacy Settings window. The Set Up Your Privacy Settings window offers three options: Private, Limited and Public. The Public option allows all users of MSN and Hotmail to see your activity and view your profile. Limited permits only MSN friends to view your activity, but any user can view your profile. The Private setting does not allow non-MSN users to view your activity or view your business profile. Check the radio button beside your choice and click “Save.”

5

Click “Inbox” to view received emails. Hover your cursor over “Hotmail” after you log in and select “Send email” to compose an email. Enter the recipient of the email in the “To” field and enter the subject of the email in the “Subject:” field. To insert an attachment in your email, click the type of attachment you will add. Options include Microsoft Office documents, emoticons, photos and Bing, which allows you to insert search results from the Bing search engine. You can change your font type and size by opening the font drop-down type and size menus and selecting your desired font. Click “Save draft” to save a copy of your email in your Drafts folder. Click “Send” to deliver your email.

Tips

  • check For quick and easy access, you may want to save www.hotmail.com as a favorite on your desktop or in the favorites inside your browser. This will save from having to re-type the address on every visit.
  • check It is good to have a hotmail or MSN address because you can keep it regardless of the Internet Service Provider you have.
  • check You can use this as a "junk" email address if you do not want to give out your private address online.
  • check Practice makes perfect! Practice sending emails to yourself until you gain comfort with the functions.

Warnings

  • close Do not save your username and password in the computer. Type it in each time to prevent outside parties from accessing your account. Be warned, they can do this remotely.
  • close Click "sign out" on the top at the end of each session.
  • close Realize that fonts and formatting may not transfer through to the recipient
  • close Always be absolutely sure before you send any email as there is no way to rescind once you click the send button.
  • close Add contacts to your address book as you need them. This is helpful if you are away from home and need to look something up. You can add more information for the added convenience of having all your information in one place.

About the Author

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.