Welcome to Outlook.com

Use Outlook.com to access email, contacts, calendars, and tasks from anywhere. All you need is internet access.

Sign in to Outlook.com by using a Microsoft account, including any Outlook.com, Live, Hotmail, or MSN email account. Having trouble accessing your account? See How to sign in to or out of Outlook.com.

Note: Outlook.com is being currently being updated. Some people will still see the classic version until we complete the update, and others will see the new Outlook.com experience.

Which version of Outlook.com are you using?

The instructions are slightly different depending on whether you're using the new Outlook.com experience. Choose which version 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 new Outlook.com experience.

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

See Instructions for classic Outlook.com.

Instructions for the new Outlook.com experience

A screenshot of the Outlook tile in the app launcher

When you sign in to Outlook.com, you’ll go straight to your Inbox.

A screenshot of the Mail interface

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Description

Actions

1

Message

Create a new message by selecting New message.

2

Folders list

The list includes the folders in your mailbox. It may include other folders, such as Favorites and Archive folders.

Choose Expand Expand to show the Folders list, or choose Collapse Collapse to hide it.

Right-click an existing folder and select Create new subfolder.

See Working with message folders in Outlook.com to learn more about available folders.

3

Search box

In the Search box, type the name or email address of a person or a keyword you want to search for, and press Enter or click The Search icon .

A screenshot shows the Search query box in Outlook.com.

4

Message list

Messages in the current folder are listed. There might also be a visual alert that a message is unread, has an attachment, or is flagged.

At the top of the message list, you can choose how you want to view the list.

Select Filter and choose from the options All, Unread, To me, Flagged, or Sort by.

Each message also has a mini toolbar. For each message, you can Delete it, Mark as unread, Flag the message, or pin it to Keep this message at the top of your folder.

5

Reading pane

The message or conversation that you selected appears in the reading pane. Use the command bar above the reading pane to perform common actions such as deleting, archiving, sweeping, moving emails, or categorizing.

A screenshot shows the command bar that appears in the reading pane with options for common actions such as Delete, Archive, and Move to.

Select More More icon to see additional actions—for example, an option to Print a message. If you want to learn about printing, see Print emails and calendars in Outlook.com.

A screenshot of the Calendar tile in the app launcher

Keep track of appointments, meetings, or any other event from anywhere. Add, edit, or delete events using daily, weekly, or monthly views. For more information about working with calendars in Outlook.com, go to Using the calendar in Outlook.com.

Note: Currently, it isn't possible to search your calendar in the Outlook.com beta. An updated search experience is coming.

A screenshot of the Calendar interface

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Description

Actions

1

New event

Create a new event by selecting New event. Then, fill in information about the event.

2

My calendars

Under Calendars, My calendar is the default selection and displays the calendar in Month view. You can move forward or backward through calendar months using the arrows above the calendar.

You can add other calendars, for example a holiday calendar, by selecting Discover calendars in the left pane. After you add a new calendar, you can choose whether to display it by selecting or clearing the calendar option.

If you decide you don't want the calendar you created, right-click the calendar and select Remove > Delete.

3

Other calendars

You can view more than one calendar at a time, add other calendars and select which to display, and create new calendars.

4

View options

Choose your calendar view: Day, Work week, Week, or Month. To return to today's date, select Today on the left side of the command bar above the calendar.

5

Calendar pane

Select a specific day in the calendar, and any appointment or event scheduled for that day is listed in this area. You also can select a day or time slot and create a new appointment or event.

A screenshot of the People tile in the app launcher

Use the People page to find, view, create, and edit contacts and contact lists. To learn more about managing contacts in Outlook.com, go to Create, view, and edit contacts and contact lists in Outlook.com.

A screenshot of the People interface

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Description

Actions

1

Search box

Start typing in the search box to find a contact or contact list.

2

Toolbar

A screenshot shows the options available on the People command bar, including New contact, Edit, Delete, Add to favorites, and Manage.

  • Create a new contact by selecting New contact.

  • Create a new contact list by selecting the arrow next to New contact and then New contact list.

Add a contact to your Favorites by selecting a contact in the list, and then selecting Add to favorites. When you add someone as a favorite in People, they'll also show up under Favorites in Mail, and the other way around, provided that the contact has an email address.

To import contacts from other email services, export contacts, or clean up duplicate contacts, select an option from the Manage menu.

3

People overview in the left pane

All: Shows all your contacts and contact lists from all folders.

Favorites: Shows contacts you've added as favorites, either in People or in Mail.

Contacts: This is the default folder for contacts and contact lists. Select New folder to create more folders.

Contact lists: Shows your contact lists from all folders.

4

Middle pane with list of contacts

Shows contacts or contact lists depending on what you selected in the left pane. Select a contact or contact list to view details in the contact card on the right. You can also select multiple contacts—for example, to send an email to the selected contacts.

For contacts, you can select Filter in the upper right to select what to display in the list and how to sort.

5

Contact card

See or edit information about the contact or contact list.

Contact someone directly using Start chat or Send email.

Instructions for classic Outlook.com

Outlook

When you sign in to Outlook.com, you’ll go straight to your Inbox.

Major components of Mail

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Description

Actions

1

Message

Create a new message by selecting New button and down arrow .

2

Folders list

The list includes the folders in your mailbox. It may include other folders, such as Favorites and Archive folders.

Tips: 

  • Choose Expand Expand to show the Folders list, or choose Collapse Collapse to hide it.

  • Right-click an existing folder and select Create new subfolder.

See Working with message folders in Outlook.com to learn more about available folders.

3

Search box

In the Search Mail and People box, type who (name of a person) or what (a subject) you want to search for, and then select Search .

4

Message list

Messages in the current folder are listed. And there might be a visual alert that a message is unread, has an attachment, or is flagged.

At the top of the message list, you can set how you want to view the list.

Select the All down arrow, and then choose an option under Filter, Sort by, or View as.

Each message also has a mini toolbar Tag message as delete, mark as unread, flag, pin to top . You can Delete a selected message, Mark as unread, Flag the message, or pin it to Keep this message at the top of your folder.

5

Reading pane

The message or conversation that you selected appears in the reading pane. Use the command bar above the reading pane to perform common actions such as deleting, archiving, sweeping, or moving emails.

Outlook.com command bar that appears when a message is selected

And you can select More More icon to access additional actions—for example, an option to assign a message to a category or to Print a message. If you want to learn about printing, see Print email and calendars in Outlook.com.

Calendar

Keep track of appointments, meetings, or any other event from anywhere—as long as you have Internet access. Add, edit, or delete events by using daily, weekly, or monthly views. For more information about working with calendars in Outlook.com, go to Using the Calendar in Outlook on the Web.

Use the calendar to manage your meetings and other events.

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Description

Actions

1

Search Calendar

Begin typing the name of a person or an event to locate a meeting or appointment containing a particular contact or event title, and then select Search .

2

New event

Create a new event by selecting the New button and down arrow down arrow, and then selecting Calendar event. Then fill in information about the event in the Details form.

3

My calendars

Under My Calendar, Calendar is the default selection and displays the calendar in Month view. You can move forward Move forward (right arrow) or backward Move backward (left arrow) through calendar months.

In Month view, the current date is always highlighted—darkly shaded. But if you select another date in that view, it also is highlighted and lightly shaded.

And you can add a calendar under My Calendar. Right-click My calendar > New calendar and create a new calendar to use, for example, for a specific project or to track personal appointments. If you decide you don't want the calendar you created, select the calendar, right-click, and select Delete > Yes.

Or on the command bar, select the Add calendar down arrow, and then select a Birthday calendar, a Holiday calendar, or another calendar option. After you add a Birthday calendar, for example, its display can be turned on and turned off. Just select My calendars, right-click, and select your option.

4

Other calendars

You can view more than one calendar at a time. Add other people’s calendars and select which to display. You also can create new calendars or new calendar groups.

5

View options

Choose your calendar view: Day, Work week, Week, Month, or Today.

6

Calendar pane

Select a specific day in the calendar, and any appointment or event scheduled for that day is listed in this area. You also can double-click a day or time slot and create a new appointment or event.

Share a calendar

In Outlook.com, you can share a calendar or print a calendar. Start by selecting the action you want on the command bar.

Calendar command bar for Outlook.com

  1. Select Share, type the name of the person who you want to share the calendar with in the Share with box, and then select Share.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If the person is matched automatically as someone in your contact list, their email address appears and you can choose it.

    • If the person whose name you typed isn't in your contact list, type their email address , and then select Share

  3. When you're done identifying all the people you want to share the calendar with, select Done.

Each person you choose to share your calendar with will receive your email invitation. The recipient has the option to select the Add this calendar to view subject, location, availability, and notes link to get access to the calendar you want to share.

Options—such as format—available in the Print dialog box might vary based on the selected calendar view.

Print a calendar

In Outlook.com, you can share a calendar or print a calendar. Start by selecting the action you want on the command bar.

Calendar command bar for Outlook.com

  1. Select Print.

    Note: Whatever calendar view you have onscreen is previewed.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If the calendar previewed is what you want to print, select Print.

    • If you want a different calendar, in the View drop-down box, select a new calendar view, and then select Print.

Tasks

Keep track of things you need to get done, or view and track flagged messages in email that are associated with an action item. To learn more about managing tasks in Outlook.com, go to Using Tasks in Outlook on the web.

Manage your tasks.

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Description

Actions

1

Manage your tasks

Tasks command bar for Outlook.com

You can use the command buttons to help you carry out actions to manage your tasks. You can create a new task or delete an existing one, assign a task to a category, attach a charm (an icon) to a task, or mark a task as complete.

Select Create a new task to create a new task and then in the task form, fill in details as needed.

Task detail form for Outlook.com

2

My tasks

The first time you expand the default My tasks folder, you'll find two built-in folders:

  • Flagged items and tasks
    Lists tasks that you've created and flagged. Any email message that you flagged in your inbox is also is listed.

    Notes: 

    • You can Reply to—among other actions—to flagged email in your Flagged items and tasks list. Select the email and either select an action on the command bar or select the down arrow next to Reply all and select from the list of options.

    • Outlook.com command bar for tagged email in Flagged items and tasks list

  • Tasks
    Lists the tasks you create by selecting.

You can create new folders. Right-click My tasks > Create new folder, and then name the new folder. The new folder will appear below the Task folder.

Any folder you create you can rename or delete. Right-click the folder to do either.

3

Tasks list

Tasks that you've created are listed.

You can use a filter—All, Active, Overdue, or Completed—to decide how tasks are presented in the Tasks list. Select the down arrow next to the current FilterAll, Active, Overdue, or Complete. If you like, select a different Filter, and then choose Sort by and Order options.

Choose how to filter, sort, and ordert tasks in the Outlook.com Tasks list

If your task is nearing the date you set for completion, you'll see a small clock symbol next to the task. And if you don't tackle a task by the date you set, you'll find the task labeled as Overdue.

4

Task detail

In Tasks, select a task you created and view details about it. In the details pane, select Edit and change any detail you want about the task. Make sure you Save the changes you make.

If you select the down arrow next to Edit, you can Delete the task, Categorize it, add a Charm, or simply Open in a separate window.

See Also

Using the calendar in Outlook.com

Create, view, and edit contacts and contact lists in Outlook.com

Use Tasks in Outlook.com

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