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How Do I Get My New Email to Be the Default Email in Windows?

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This is complicated for me to put into print: I have a Windows Live email, which according to Microsoft, was hacked and unusable. I opened an Outlook.com email. Everything that has a right-click (such as Send To) goes to that old Live email. How can I right-click on an item, click Send To, and have it go to my Outlook.com email?

This is actually a surprisingly complicated and confusing scenario because we’re talking about two completely separate things.

I’ll try and clarify.

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Programs versus accounts

You changed your email account. Along with it, you simply created a new email address and that new email address is at Outlook.com.

You need to realize that the email address, or account, is different and separate from the email program that you actually use to access your email.

Now, email can be accessed one of two different ways:

  1. Via a web interface (firing up your web browser, going to a website like Outlook.com, and logging in),
  2. Via an email program on your PC (you literally run an email program that runs on your computer, which accesses and downloads your email to your computer)

That program is then configured to access your email account. Remember, Windows Live Mail is a program; your Windows Live account is your email account. Two very different things with confusingly similar names.

Confusion over Outlook

Email EnvelopeWe end up with the same confusion in Outlook. Outlook is a program. It’s part of Microsoft Office. Outlook.com is an email service on which you have your email account. That’s your email address and your account.

You might use Outlook, the program, to access your Outlook.com email address … or not. You may instead go to a website like http://outlook.com to access your Outlook.com email.

As you can see, it gets very confusing pretty quickly – but the one thing I want to stress here is this fundamental difference between the email program that you may be using to access your email and your email account.

So far, you’ve changed one, but not necessarily the other.

Reconfiguring your default email program

Now, Windows has what it considers to be a default email program configuration. That’s the program that runs when you right-click and select Send To. When you have a new email account, it sounds like your email program has not yet been reconfigured to access that new account.

I suspect that you have the Windows Live Mail program, and it’s still set as the default email program in Windows.

In that program, you can click the Tools menu  and change that configuration from your old email account to your new Outlook.com account.

Now, what makes this even worse is Microsoft’s choice of names over the years. Windows Live Mail is a program. Windows Live Hotmail was an account. But you could get email accounts off the Live.com domain; they were Windows Live email accounts but not Windows Live mail, the program.

As you can see, it’s pretty messed up.

And it can actually get much worse. The bottom line here is that you  need to update the configuration of the current default email program on your PC  to be able to send mail using your Outlook.com email address.

3 comments on “How Do I Get My New Email to Be the Default Email in Windows?”

  1. I use Windows 7, and somehow (I do not know how) my system is set up to use gmail and yahoo webmail to service mailto: links. A small dialog pops up and asks me which I want to use.

  2. I have had my e-mail @hotmail.com hacked so I added 2 stage authentication system via Outlook, but on my Windows 7 desk computor I have tried to add 2 more @hotmail.com accounts but keeps aking for the password I keep imputing my password but keeps on not accepting ,but it does accept my password at outlook orginal microsofts account online. I have tried adding “Verify” security code on my phone but that does not work ethier, and using the authentification softwear that I downloaded from google and copied the accounts barcodes and used a number that came still does not work for my ipne emails X 2 any ideas, this systen is driving me nuts, many thanks for any help, kind regards, Richard, madrid,Spain.

  3. im using nokia c5 whn im trying to set up email idont it it write. Im nt sure whether imst set it via google bt wht i want is email.

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