How To Play With Outlook.com Without Giving Up On Gmail

outlook.com intro   How To Play With Outlook.com Without Giving Up On GmailOutlook.com is the new kid in town. Or let’s say, it’s an oldie who went to the big city and got a wardrobe upgrade. Outlook.com feels like a revamped and re-tooled Hotmail – they share quite a few common features – but I am not complaining because the finished product does look appealing. What first strikes you about Outlook.com is the absolutely clutter-free interface which is very easy on the eyes. There are a few features under the hood – like social integration and SkyDrive which should make it hold its ground against Gmail.

I don’t think you will be changing over from Gmail to Outlook.com too soon. Definitely not brand loyalty, but certainly our email habits which makes that change just a future prospect. Gmail is great by every stretch of the imagination. But even then, you can take Outlook.com for a drive around town without making Gmail feel like a partner you left for a new lover.

Have You Got Your Outlook.com Account?

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Just sign-in and get your new Outlook.com email ID and clean inbox with a welcome message.

Alternatively:

You still might have your old Hotmail account which you don’t use anymore. Then again, you might be using your Gmail ID to log-in to Microsoft services like SkyDrive or Xbox Live. You can use the same credentials to get yourself a new Outlook.com inbox. You will get a message that will say that your Hotmail has been upgraded to Outlook.com.

Using Good Ol’ Email Forwarding

We have to visit Gmail first and tell it to be pally with its new rival across town. Email Forwarding is a feature you would be well advised to use between multiple accounts (even if you don’t use Outlook.com) because it always helps to keep a backup of all your emails incase the primary account gets blocked or is hacked (a more than common occurrence these days). Email forwarding is the easiest way to connect any two email accounts or to upgrade from the old to the fresh like Outlook.com.

1. Open Gmail. Click on the Gear icon and go into your mail Settings. Select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.

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2. Click the Add a forwarding address button and add your Outlook.com email address in the field.

3. Gmail sends a verification email to Outlook.com. Open the email and click on the confirmation link. Now, Gmail can forward email to your Outlook.com account.

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Set Up Outlook.com to Use Your Gmail ID for Sending Emails

If you signed up in the beginning with your Gmail account, Outlook.com automatically allows you to select your Gmail account for sending emails. If you are using a fresh Outlook.com ID, you need to add the Gmail account in this step and let Outlook.com know about it.

1. In Outlook, click on the Settings icon in the upper right corner. Click on More mail settings.

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2. Under the head Managing your account, select Sending/receiving email from other accounts.

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3. Add the Gmail ID which you want to use to send emails by clicking on Add another account to send mail from as shown in the screenshot. Add the email account from which you want to send an email from.

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4. Outlook will send a verification email to the Gmail ID entered. Go back to Gmail and verify the address by clicking on the link. You can set your Gmail ID as the default.

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The recipient sees that the email has been sent on behalf of the Gmail ID by Outlook.com.

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Now, when you write a fresh email, or reply, you can select your Gmail address in the “From” drop-down menu. But if the email comes forwarded from Gmail, Outlook automatically picks your Gmail ID for the reply.

Bring All Your Gmail Contacts into Outlook.com

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When you connect Outlook.com to a Gmail ID, your People page automatically is populated with contacts from your Gmail account. To go to the People page, hover near the Outlook logo on the top left, and click the dropdown arrow to reveal the red icon for the People page on Outlook.com.

Now, with Outlook.com set up with your Gmail emails and contacts, you can experience it fully. Creating two parallel accounts also helps in case a doomsday scenario strikes and you lose access to one of your email accounts. Fresh email may not come in, but you will have a copy of all your old emails and contacts. Please bear in mind that Outlook.com could do a few tweaks here and there as the product matures, but it shouldn’t be too drastic. What do you think of Outlook.com? Do you love the spartan blue (or the color you chose) look? Have you tried it out so far? Give us your first impressions.

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31 Comments -

ReĂ˝ Aetar

one thing i miss in these services is opening several mails side by side in different tabs within the same window and sending huge files, which i get in YAHOO

Henree Arriola de Garcia

that’s about the ONLY thing I love about Yahoo.

Zain Dar

exactly…that is about the only NICE thing in Yahoo. Otherwise GMail all the way.

AriesWarlock

outlooks looks very cool. I hope Gmail has some new improvements in the works because it’s feeling a little stale.

Nick Bruce

For months, I have been looking for something to get me away from the Google-verse. Call it paranoia about the scanning of my emails for ads (I know its not dangerous, its just invasive to me), and Outlook might be able to do that. The interface is wonderful, the @outlook.com domain doesn’t make it sound like you are just waking up from 1998 and using email again, and there are features that Gmail doesn’t have (mailbox sweep being the best).

Tug Ricks

I’m kind of in the same boat as far as trying to ween myself from the Google machine. They offer great services, but I don’t like the feeling of my entire online identity being analyzed and sold for advertising purposes. The fact that Outlook doesn’t scan personal emails is a step in the right direction, and when you add that to the awesome interface, I feel it’s worth a shot.

Nick Bruce

There’s also that, at this point, Microsoft offers almost a complete replacement for Google. Google Docs – MS Office online (plus it ties in with Office on the desktop VERY nicely, which is important as a student). Google Calender – Windows Live Calendar (which I can only assume will get a facelift and feature bump soon). The list goes on. Though, Google still is king in a lot of ways, but that seems to be changing rapidly.

Scott

If only MS would do something to catch up with the competition (Gmail) in the ‘preventative security’ dept. (two-step authentication, longer passwords, etc.).

Saikat Basu

Here’s hoping that the interface stays as uncluttered as it is now.

96XJ

I gave it a try to see if it could better integrate Outlook 2010 on my desktop PC with my Android phone.

Pluses:
+ got the email address that I wanted
+ no Google calendar sync needed
+ no need to export contacts and then upload the contacts since it uses my Outlook 2010 contacts

Minuses:
– Hotmail interface on android
– unable to edit contacts on my phone
– unable to edit calendar events on my phone
– I didn’t care for the “sent on behalf of outlook.mail” when Gmail is able to send from other email accounts without advertising it
– my work computer is stuck with IE8, for some reason the new Outlook mail interface wouldn’t work so I was stuck using the Hotmail interface

Tug Ricks

I’m with you on the need for an updated Android app. Maybe after the new SkyDrive app comes out, they’ll be able to focus on that.

Denis Paley

I setup an Outlook account as soon as I could as Besides using Gmail as my main email I used Hotmail and Live as addresses for signing up to new newsletters and other to other websites where I didn’t want to use my Gmail account.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised by their new clean and uncluttered interface. They also made it easy to get a new address while switching my old addresses to a single folder within that account. Linking with Gmail was also very easy. So far I am quite impressed with Outlook.com

Saikat Basu

My sentiments exactly.

joseslepian

Is there a way to access your Outlook.com account from the Windows Live Mail Program?

Thanks

Saikat Basu

I think you can. You might have to manually enter the server address. Perhaps, in the next update of WLM, they will smoothen it out.

Saikat Basu

I am also using Outlook.com for my newsletters and other subscriptions.

Koh Ting Yew

well, thats cool. may look into outlook some other day

AP

Hope,Gmail picks some ideas from OUTLOOK and outlook from Yahoo.

Cary Dennis

I’ve been using Gmail forever and really am very happy with it. Just tried out outlook as I use SkyDrive anyway and thought, like you say, it’s useful to have a back up.

One problem is I have a couple of businesses so multiple email addresses with different signatures. I can’t seem to add different email signatures to each of the related email addresses. Does anyone know if this is possible?

Also it seems even the shortest of email signatures is longer than the maximum length.

If both these problems could be resolved I would consider using outlook rather than gmail.

Saikat Basu

From my initial look, I don’t think that’s possible. It seems to be a limitation right now. Maybe, you could put the question to our wider (and wiser) community out there in the Answers section – http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/

Maybe, someone will have a solution.

Edgar Meixueiro

I really like Outlook. It has a fresh look.

Ahmed Khalil

outlook.com is very good

Emmanuel Olalere

Nice tip, i already use Outlook.com regularly now

Scutaru Razvan

Awesome! Thank you!!!

venkatp16

Nice article.

ferdinan Sitohang

I like the interface of a new outlook email. nice, but still using gmail as a main email

VS Vishnu

gmail is still better..@

Vampie C.

I’d rather work in reverse.

Test outlook.com sometimes and forward those mails to my gmail, so that I keep all my mails in 1 place (gmail).

Thanks for the info

suks

nice thing to do, but is hotmail/outlook better than gmail?

kevin

How do you set it up so when you send an email, the email address is automatically added to your contacts?

Colleen

Have used Gmail for over 10 years. Have been trying Outlook.com for the last month. Have to say, I like it, especially some of the new features, such as “sweep”. Makes it much easier to clean up. I also like the clean, simple interface. Not sure yet if I could make the switch entirely, but am toying with the idea!