Windows Phone 7: Setting up your Windows Live ID and email accounts

Windows Phone email inbox

Windows Phone email inbox

Windows Phone 7 is slated to launch in the US starting November 8th. To help you navigate those first few days of ownership, we are going to cover topics that will help new Windows Phone users get started with their device. Earlier this week I discussed Windows Live ID, so today I am focusing on email – one of the first things you setup when you get a new WP7 smartphone.

Setting up your phone with Windows Live ID

Windows Live IDWhen you start your Windows Phone for the first time, you will be prompted to set up your Windows Live ID. At this stage, you can decide to use your Windows Live ID on your phone or go solo without Windows Live ID and the associated services. If you do not have a Windows ID and want one, you can set one up through the phone.

Choose the Windows Live ID carefully as you can not delete it once it is added to your phone. It is also your gateway into using XBOX Live and Zune on your handset. If you don’t use XBOX Live or Zune, you can still sign in with your Windows Live ID and use it for email alone.

If you are not sure what to do with your Windows Live ID, you can choose to skip this setup when the phone first starts. You always have the option to add a Windows Live ID to your phone are a later time. You can also add multiple Windows Live IDs but the first one is the only one that will pull down the XBOX Live and Zune account information.

If you chose not to set up your Windows Live ID when you started your phone, then you can always add one later by following these steps:

  1. When on the Live Tile homescreen, swipe left to view the list of applications. Scroll down to Settings, tap on Settings and then tap Email & accounts.
  2. Tap Add an account and select Windows Live
  3. Enter your Windows Live ID in the Windows Live ID box.
  4. Enter your Windows Live password in the password box.
  5. Tap Sign in.

If you entered you credentials in correctly, your Windows Live email, contacts, calendar, photos, and feeds will be synced to your phone. It will also pull down your Zune Tag and XBOX Live gamertag, if you use those services with your Windows Live ID.

Setting up additional email accounts on your Windows Phone

Email is auto-configured for a variety of services including Windows Live, Outlook/Exchange, Yahoo, and Gmail. With these services, all you have to do is enter your email and password and the phone will pull down the pertinent server settings.

If you have email on a personal domain or with an ISP, you can set up a standard IMAP and POP email account. An advanced setup process is also available for those who have unique server settings or problems with the auto-configuration process. Hit the topics below to set up these different types of email accounts.

Setting up pre-configured email accounts on your Windows Phone

WIndows Phone pre-configured emailMost people have at least one Gmail, Yahoo or Exchange email account that they use regularly. Windows Phone is designed with this mind and offers a set of pre-configured email services. All you need is your email username and password and Window Phone does the rest. Follow these directions below to get the ball rolling on these email account types:

  1. When on the Live Tile homescreen, swipe left to view the list of applications. Scroll down to Settings, tap on Settings and then tap Email & accounts.
  2. Tap Add an account and select the proper service (Google, Exchange, Yahoo, Windows Live, etc)
  3. Enter your email account user name in the email address box.
  4. Enter your email account password in the password box.
  5. Tap Sign in.

Your Windows Phone will contact the selected service, pull down the server settings and sync your content. The content that is synced varies according to the email service that you are using. Google will sync email, contacts, and calendar (only the primary calendar, not secondary). Yahoo will sync email and so on. You can have multiple email accounts for each service.

On rare occasions, the handset may not be able to automatically configure your email. If it fails to detect your settings, then you will have to set up your account manually using the advanced method described below in “What to do when it all goes wrong section”.

Setting up POP and IMAP email accounts on your Windows Phone

In addition to services like Google and Yahoo, many people have email accounts on a personal domain or with their ISP. These accounts use either POP or IMAP and must be setup differently than Google, Yahoo, or Windows Live. The steps to set up these personal accounts are as follows:

  1. When on the Live Tile homescreen, swipe left to view the list of applications. Scroll down to Settings, tap on Settings and then tap Email & accounts.
  2. Tap Add an account and select Other
  3. Enter your email address in the email address box.
  4. Enter your password in the password box.
  5. Tap Sign in.

If all goes well, then your handset should detect your server settings and configure your email automatically. If it fails to detect your settings, then you will have to set up your account manually using the advanced method described below in “What to do when it all goes wrong section”.

What to do when it all goes wrong

Windows Phone advanced emailSometimes the email setup does not go smoothly and server settings are not configured properly by the handset. In these rare instances, you will have to manually setup email on your handset. To make the process easier, you will need the following information:

  • The email account type (POP or IMAP)
  • The incoming email server address
  • The outgoing (SMTP) email server address
  • Server authentication settings
  • SSL requirements for incoming email and outgoing email
  • Domain (for Exchange accounts)

The above information can be obtained from your ISP, email provider, or work place if you are trying to set up Exchange. Once you are armed and ready with this information, follow these instructions below to manually setup your email:

  1. When on the Live Tile homescreen, swipe left to view the list of applications. Scroll down to Settings, tap on Settings and then tap Email & accounts.
  2. Tap Add an account and select Advanced Setup.
  3. Enter your email address in the email address box.
  4. Enter your password in the password box.
  5. Tap Next.
  6. Select Exchange ActiveSync if you are setting up an Exchange account or select Internet email account if you are setting up a personal or ISP email.
  7. Fill in the text boxes with the email information compiled above. Fro Exchange accounts, you can select the items to sync including email, contacts, and calendar.
  8. Tap Sign in to set up your email.

By the time you are done, your email should start syncing from your personal and ISP accounts. Exchange accounts should be grabbing your contacts and calendar data in addition to your email. If you are still unable to configure your email on your Windows Phone handset, then you need to contact your ISP, email provider, or work place to confirm that you have the correct settings.

Tweaking your email settings

Windows Phone email account detailsOnce your email is set up, you can visit your account to tweak its settings. To access these granular settings, follow the steps below:

  1. When on the Live Tile homescreen, swipe left to view the list of applications.
  2. Scroll down to Settings, tap on Settings and then tap Email & accounts.
  3. Tap on an email account to get access to its settings.
  4. In this section, you can change
    1. the account name
    2. download frequency (as they arrive, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc)
    3. set the timeframe for downloading old messages (last 3 days, last 7 days, etc)
    4. select the items to sync including email, contacts, or calendar
    5. the email username, password, or server settings
    6. settings for logging which is turned off as the default, recommended setting
  5. Once you have made your changes, click the check button to apply the changes.

The email and accounts section of the settings determines which email accounts are linked to your handset and how often information is pulled down. Notifications, another important aspect of email, are configured in the ringtones & sound settings. Unfortunately, Windows Phone is not as flexible as BlackBerry when it comes to assigning ringtones to accounts. You can only assign one notification for all email accounts. Different ringtones can not be assigned to different email accounts.

The above information should help you setup and manage your email accounts on your Windows Phone handset. Check back tomorrow for the next installment in which we discuss customizations and detail what you can do to make your Windows Phone handset a bit more personal.

Make sure you check out our Windows Phone 7 review here, our Top 7 Things To Love About Windows Phone 7 guide here, and our Top 7 Things to Hate About Windows Phone 7 guide here.

REVIEW: Windows Phone 7 – WP7 is sexy, but is it good enough to compete?
Top 7 Things To Love About Windows Phone 7
Top 7 Things To Hate About Windows Phone 7

  • Ksdfhks

    If you enter a windows live account into your phone, it automatically puts all the calendar info and contacts online. I do NOT want this to happen, it did not warn me that this was going to happen and there is no setting to control it.

  • Birdbrain

    “Choose the Windoes Live ID carefully as you can not delete it once it is added to your phone.`

    So…who was the fucking retard who thought THAT was a good idea?
    Stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of.  Fucking MicroShit…

  • J4fg

    If I can’t get this Live ID removed, I’m taking a hammer to this phone.  This is a 1984 move that people should lose their jobs over.

  • Andres

    I’m thinking about moving from Blackberry to WP7, but I really need true push email for my Yahoo! and Gmail accounts (4 in total); do you know if Mango has true push email like Blackberry does? Also, are there any limitations about how many emails the phone can hold (like the 100 emails limitation the iPhone had), etc. I really need to be able to receive and answer to emails really quick.

    Thanks in advance

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004017618087 Adem Jashari

    How can I delete or change accounts in the 1rst windows LIVE account.It,s not in options.Just synchronize is in my nokia lumia 800.

Back to top ▴