Create, reply to, or forward email messages in Outlook.com

Creating a message in Outlook.com is as easy as selecting New, composing your message, and then selecting Send. Respond to an email message you receive by selecting Reply or Reply All, or forward it to others by selecting Forward.

Note: If you can't send email from your Outlook.com account, see Outlook.com won't let me send an email.

Choose your version for instructions

The instructions are slightly different depending on whether or not you're using the Outlook.com beta. Choose which version of Outlook.com you're using to see the instructions that apply to you.

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

A screenshot of the top left corner of the Outlook.com beta mailbox

See Instructions for the Outlook.com beta.

A screenshot of the top left corner of the classic Outlook.com mailbox

See Instructions for classic Outlook.com.

Instructions for the Outlook.com beta

Create and send an email message

  1. At the top of the page, select New message.

    A screenshot of the New message button

  2. On the To line, enter the name or email address of the person who will receive the message.

    Note: When composing a new email and clicking the To or Cc buttons, some customers will not see their list of contacts. This is a known issue. To be able to select names, simply start typing on the To or Cc line, and your related contacts will be shown. 

  3. On the Add a subject line, enter a brief description of what your message is about.

  4. To attach a file to your message, select Attach.

    For more information about attaching files to your message, see Attach files in Outlook.com.

  5. Type your message and then select Send.

Forward an email message

Note: You can forward only one message at a time.

  1. In your message list, choose the message that you want to forward.

  2. At the top right corner of the message pane, select Forward , or select Message actions and then select Forward.

  3. Type your message and then select Send.

Reply to an email message

  1. In your message list, choose the message that you want to reply to.

  2. At the top right corner of the message pane, select Reply or Reply all , or select Message actions and then choose Reply or Reply all.

  3. Type your response and then select Send.

    Note: By default, the original email and its history will not be displayed when you're replying to a message. To show the original email or change the email subject, select Show message history at the bottom of the message pane.

Add recipients to the Cc or Bcc lines

  • To add recipients to the Cc or Bcc lines, select Cc or Bcc on the right side of the To line.

    Note: The names of people on the Bcc line are hidden from other recipients of the message.

    A screenshot of the Cc and Bcc buttons

Discard a draft of an email message

  • To discard a draft of a message, select Discard at the bottom of the message pane.

    A screenshot of the Discard button

Instructions for classic Outlook.com

Create and send an email message

Note: If the undo send option is turned on and you close your browser during the waiting period before the message sends, the message won't send. To change your message sending options, select Settings > Options > Mail > Automatic processing > Undo send.

  1. At the top of the page, select New.

    A screenshot of the Write a new message button

  2. On the To line, enter the name or email address of the person who will receive the message.

  3. On the Add a subject line, enter a brief description of what your email is about.

  4. To attach a file to your message, select Attach.

    For more information about attaching files to your message, see Attach files in Outlook.com.

  5. Type your message, and then select Send.

Forward an email message

Note: You can forward only one message at a time.

  1. In your message list, choose the message that you want to forward.

  2. On the right side of the message pane, select More actions and then choose Forward.

    A screenshot of the More actions button

  3. Type your message, and then select Send.

Automatic forwarding

To set up auto forwarding, select Settings > Options > Forwarding.

Reply to an email message

  1. In your message list, choose the message that you want to reply to.

  2. On the right side of the message pane, select More actions and then choose Reply or Reply all.

    A screenshot of the More actions button

  3. Type your response, and then select Send.

    Notes: 

    • By default, the original email and its history will not be displayed when you're replying to a message. To show the original email, select Show message history in the editor.

      A screenshot of the Show message history button.

    • You can change the default button from Reply all to Reply. To do that, choose any message, select More actions and select Change default.

Add recipients to the Cc or Bcc lines

  • To add recipients to the Cc or Bcc lines, select Cc or Bcc on the right side of the To line.

    Note: The names of people on the Bcc line are hidden from other recipients of the message.

    A screenshot of the Cc button.

Discard a draft of an email message

  • To discard a draft of a message, select Discard at the bottom of the message pane.

    A screenshot of the Discard button.

Tips about using reply, reply all, and forward

  • Reply and Reply all
    When you reply to a message, you'll see RE: added to the subject line. The original message is added below the new message.

    Note: Files attached to the original message aren't included when replying.

  • Forward
    When you forward a message, the prefix FW: is added to the subject line to alert the recipient they're receiving a forwarded message. The original message is included in the forwarded message, along with any files attached to the original message. You can edit the text of a forwarded message or add and remove any attachments before you send.

  • Change subject line
    When replying to or forwarding an email message, you can change the subject line of the message. Simply delete the existing subject line, and type the new one.

Still need help?

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See Also

Send email from an alias or different address

Organize email by using inbox rules in Outlook.com or Outlook on the web

Insert pictures in email messages or calendar events in Outlook.com

Attach files to email messages and calendar events in Outlook.com or Outlook on the web

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