After you’ve signed up for a Hotmail or Outlook email address, you’ll see that using your new email account for basic functions, like sending and reading messages, attaching files, etc. is pretty straightforward business. Microsoft has done a great job making Outlook sleek, intuitive and highly functional, so it’s easy to figure out most things on your own. However, there are a few “secret” features of Outlook/Hotmail that you might find very useful. Here they are, our 5 tips for getting the most out of your Hotmail (or Outlook) account:
- You can re-name your Hotmail/Outlook email address
If you decide you don’t like the email address/Microsoft username that you picked out when you signed up for Hotmail, you can change it without deleting your account and creating a new one. As far as I know, Outlook/Hotmail is the only email service that lets you do this – after you change your email, you can choose to keep all you old emails in a separate folder, and everything you have in the cloud (SkyDrive, contacts, etc.) will automatically move to your new email address. To do this, go to “Options” in your inbox, and select “Rename your email address”. You can even switch from “@hotmail.com” to “@outlook.com” and vice versa.
- You can create multiple Hotmail email aliases
If you want a sort of temporary or burner email address, you can create an email alias in your Hotmail or Outlook account. This is great when you have to enter an email to register on some site that you’re really not that interested in. To make an alias, click on “Options” in your inbox and select “Create an Outlook alias”. You’ll be able to have messages sent to your alias email go to a separate folder.
- Sign into Hotmail securely on public computers
You never know what sorts of spyware has been installed on public computers (libraries, cyber cafes, college computer labs, etc.), so why risk having your email password stolen via a keylogger? If you provided your cell phone number at registration, you can use a single-use code to securely login to your Hotmail or Outlook email. This option will be available on the Hotmail/Outlook/Microsoft sign in page – when you select it, Microsoft will send the code to your mobile phone via text message, and it can only be used to access your account once.
- Recover mistakenly deleted Hotmail messages
Hotmail and Outlook allow you to recover emails that you may have deleted by mistake. This is also a relief if your email account was hacked and the hackers deleted all of your emails. You may have to turn this option on manually by going to “Options” in your inbox, and selecting “Advanced privacy settings”.
- Multiple email IDs pointing to your Hotmail account
You can streamline your email organization by using the multiple email IDs feature in Hotmail/Outlook. Create a new email ID by entering your regular username, followed by the “+” sign, then any combination of numbers or words, then “@outlook.com” or “@hotmail.com”, depending on your email address. For example, you could use “email@example.com” to make a unique email ID to create a Facebook account.