Everything You Need To Know About Emails & Windows Phone 8

Christian Cawley 15-05-2013

windows phone 8 emailHow do you use your Windows Phone? I know a lot of users who are purely addicted to a combination of WhatsApp and Xbox Live gaming How Xbox Live Users Can Benefit From A Windows Phone If you’re a fan of mobile gaming and also own an Xbox 360 console, you might well be aware of Xbox Live, Microsoft’s digital delivery service that also supports multiplayer and most importantly allows you... Read More . Others enjoy their Windows Phones purely due to the social networking options (which are admittedly impressive).


Then there are also those of us who take advantage of the various productivity tools. Email is of course one of these (along with the mobile Microsoft Office) and Windows Phone offers a wide selection of account support. Whether you use your phone with a corporate email system or you merely need to check your Hotmail/Windows Live/Outlook.com account, Windows Phone (and in particular Windows Phone 8) offers all the tools that you need to connect to your account and to sync any satellite data such as calendars, contacts and tasks.

Setting Up An Email Account

Most email accounts can be setup easily in Windows Phone.

Head to Settings > Email+accounts > Add an account and add your email address and password. Note that you can use the Show password check box to ensure that you have entered it correctly. Tap Next to continue – depending on the account type, you will have a choice of syncing Email only or Email, contacts and calendar.

In most cases the account will be set up automatically (the phone communicates with a remote server to check the incoming and outgoing mail server names), but if this doesn’t happen, don’t worry. Advanced tools are available to help you.

windows phone 8 email


Email accounts for Outlook.com, Exchange, Office 365, Hotmail, Google Mail, POP and IMAP can all be set up.

Once you have your account added, you should send it to the Start screen. This is done by visiting the Apps list, long-tapping and selecting Pin to start. The tile will then update you when new messages have been received.

Advanced Settings For Email In Windows Phone

If you find that you cannot automatically add your email account, you will need to enter settings manually.

windows phone 8 email setup


The way to do this is to scroll to the bottom of the Email+accounts > Add an account screen and select Advanced setup. You will then be able to add your email address and password as before, but can then choose between Exchange ActiveSync and Internet Email. Both options enable you to manually enter the data.  Exchange ActiveSync allows you to specify domain name, server name and choice of content to sync, while Internet Email (for specifying IMAP and POP account details) requires incoming and outgoing server names, SSL options and sync times/intervals.

Note that Sync settings can be edited via the individual inbox’s account settings as and when required.

The Google Mail Problem

With the initial release of Windows Phone 8 it was possible to connect to a Gmail account How To Setup Gmail Accounts On Windows Phone Due to a severe spam issue (and to take the storage load away from my PC) I decided to migrate my email accounts to Google Mail. This has had an interesting effect on my ability... Read More using Exchange ActiveSync. However, thanks to changes made by Google, from July 31st 2013 this will no longer be possible (an issue that extends to Windows 8). The reasoning is that Google wants to drop its reliance on EAS in favour of IMAP, using CalDAV and CardDAV frameworks for syncing contacts and calendar data.

Fortunately this particular issue (which was originally set to detonate in January 2013) should be overcome, with Microsoft given plenty of time to add these protocols to Windows Phone.


windows phone 8 email setup

There is, however, another problem with using Gmail. Windows Phone supports threaded conversations, but the way in which these are presented seems to conflict with Gmail. The result when replying to a group email (and my MakeUseOf colleagues can attest to this!) is a mess, with email conversations broken by header code that should remain unseen and barely a word of a reply.

Disabling Conversations in the email settings (Inbox > Settings) should stop this from happening.

Linking Inboxes Keeps Windows Phone Tidy

I’m a big fan of the implementation of Metro on Windows Phone 8 Windows Phone 8: The Complete Review Question: how do you improve on perfection? Answer: you wait for someone else to have a go. A quick look around the smartphone market reveals that Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems are top... Read More (an improvement on the previous version) but there is one thing that is obvious, and true of any mobile platform – having multiple email accounts can be tricky if there are tiles for them all.


The way to deal with this on Windows Phone is to use the Linked inboxes feature, which can be accessed via the menu in any inbox.

windows phone 8 email setup

By tapping one of the list of other inboxes you can create a group, all of which can be checked from a single inbox “view”. These linked inboxes can be renamed too (scroll to the bottom of the screen) or unlinked as required (tap > unlink).

Linked Inboxes enables you to reduce the number of inbox tiles on your Start screen, keeping things tidy.

Sending Attachments & Setting Signatures

Sending a new email message is as simple as you might expect – open the inbox, tap + and enter the recipient and the message (you can also send a message via People > [CONTACT NAME] and tapping any listed email address). When sending an email message you might want to add an attachment – this can be done by tapping the paperclip icon.

Note that attachments are limited to images – to share a saved document on your phone, open it in Microsoft Office, tap the menu and select Share…

windows phone 8 email

You can also dictate your email message using the Speak button, while priority flags and Cc/Bcc can be set by tapping the menu button.

One last note for any Windows Phone owner using email – set a custom signature! This can be configured in the Settings screen, in the lower half of the screen. All you need to do is tap the field and enter your new signature. Note that you might have trouble replicating your usual desktop or browser-based email signature, so keep it as simple and effective as possible.

Conclusion: Windows Phone 8 and Emails

I wouldn’t advocate anyone relying on a Windows Phone as a complete productivity solution for daily office use, but the email application is particularly impressive.

Support for different email account types, syncing calendar and contact data and functional tools for adding attachments, setting signatures and linking inboxes (a feature that was available in the previous version of Windows Phone) makes sending an email a quick, enjoyable task that doesn’t leave you caught up in the drudge of emailing reply after reply that can often cloud the desktop experience.

Related topics: Desktop Email Client, Email Tips, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8.

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  1. tia
    July 23, 2016 at 5:02 am

    My boyfriend has an old windows phone that somehow lost his email credentials and cache. T mobile just told him he needed to do a factory reset to reinstate his email, why would that be necessary? Tia

    • Christian Cawley
      July 23, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Seems wholly unlikely! Best option would be to try and retrieve the same credentials through the corresponding email service's website.

  2. Marius MP
    May 27, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Hi. How can I forward/reply to an email and than edit or remove the body of the mail that I forwarded/replied it, plus add an attachment other than pictures in that email body (without having to exit composing)? Another matter is the where/how I can see the downloaded documents from email? It seems that file manager.from MS doesn't work. Docs are not there. Thank you!

  3. M
    March 30, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Does anyone know how to manage contacts when email such as AOL or Yahoo are used through the phone? I need to get rid of many, and am having no luck.


  4. kaylin
    February 15, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    When I try to look at images sent to me on my Google it says the image cannot be viewed Is there A setting I can change on my Google account to where I can view images

    • Christian Cawley
      February 19, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      You should be able to enable images at the top of the email message.

  5. Mike
    January 17, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Nice article. There is one caveat when editing "Sync Settings" that you did not mention; the login username cannot be changed. For whatever reasons, an admin/webhost may require changing the use of "+" or "%" instead of "@" for the login username. (eg. user%domain.com) In order to change a login username, the account must be deleted and a new account set up.
    NOTE: To delete an account, go to Settings, select "email+accounts", press and hold the account/email you want to delete, and select delete.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 19, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks for adding that clarification, Mike, most useful.

  6. sankar
    November 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I have Nokia Lumia 820 WP8.
    When i am sync my email its giving the error code as 80070057 any solutins of this

  7. K
    September 26, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I have a question about images being displayed in Gmail accounts. I would like to change a setting so that when I open an email in my inbox, all the images are displayed automatically. At the moment I just have the option to click on display images which is a big nuisance and I cannot find any settings to change this. Any ideas on this? Can the settings regarding this even be changed?

  8. peter
    September 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I have one POP3 account and I would like to add another one with different POP3 server. Is it possible. When I press + button in settings and then other account it is asking me for email and password.

  9. IMAP
    August 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    impressive?? Where is the push download, message flags in IMAP? Standard feature of every free e-mail client. MicroShit happens! Anyone to buy my L820? Returning back to droid!

  10. bharat
    July 17, 2013 at 3:39 am

    is there a way in windows phone 8 to flag an email or put it in a todo area.?

  11. Rus yates-Aylott
    July 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Hi. One problem I have noted is that if you use Outlook.com on your WP8 and that is configured to receive emails from several different accounts and also has a number of aliases from which you can send emails, the latter do not appear on your WP8 device.
    In other words all my emails come tumbling in nicely into a number of outlook.com defined folders but when I reply I only have the default outlook.com email address as an account option, none of my aliases.

    Does anyone know of a way around this since you cannot reply to an email received by one account, using another. (not like you can in Outlook 2010)

  12. Ayush
    July 4, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Is there a way to get Outlook to confirm before sending emails? There's a lot of scope for error with the send button so close to the keypad.

    • Christian Cawley
      July 12, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      I can't say I've ever come across any problems with this - and there certainly doesn't appear to be any way of forcing Outlook to check that I can see...

  13. Dipankar Bose
    June 21, 2013 at 7:38 am

    gone through ur post. It's good and easy understanding. I'm facing a problem. Our corporate Email account is hosted with Gmail and i configured the same in my Windows 8 phone (IMAP). But the minimum synchronizing period is 15mins.
    Is there any way out to minimize this lag period.

    • Christian Cawley
      July 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      Further to Tina's question, 15 minutes is the minimum available. The only way around this would be to use Exchange email for real time sync.