How to add email accounts to Windows 8's Mail app

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 23, 2012
Updated • Nov 30, 2012
Email, Windows 8

I have added an Outlook test account to the Windows 8 Mail app shortly after I have installed the Windows 8 RTM from TechNet on my second desktop PC. What I did not do however was to use the app and that has a number of reasons. First, I'm using Thunderbird which is superior to the app in any imaginable way. You can't for instance switch to a two column layout in the mail app interface, as email folders, messages and their contents are always displayed in columns next to each other.

This may not be an issue if you receive a few mails per day, but I do receive hundreds to various accounts, and basic features such as moving a mail into a different folder is way too complicated. You basically select the message, right-click on the screen, move the mouse all the way down to the move button of the bottom toolbar, then all the way up again to pick a folder.

But, there are certainly users who will use the mail app for all of their email accounts. It may work better on touch-enabled devices, or devices that are connected to smaller screens.

windows 8 mail app

One of the things that I had a hard time figuring out was how to add additional email accounts to the Windows 8 Mail app.. The mail screen does not display any options to do so, and the right-click toolbar does not either.

How to add email accounts to Windows 8's Mail app

What you need to do is open the Charms bar either with Windows-C (that is Windows-key and the C-key), or by moving the mouse cursor to the upper or lower right corner of the screen. Select Settings here and you will notice Mail settings displayed at the top of the new page.

mail settings

I do not really like the approach that Microsoft is taking here, as it feels too nested and too out of place here.

To add a new account, you click on accounts, and then on add an account on the next page. You can add a Google Mail (Gmail), Hotmail or Outlook account right away, or select the other account option to add email accounts to the Mail app that are not listed by Microsoft here.

If you are a Gmail or Microsoft mail user you simply need to enter your email address and password here after making the selection on the main page. Gmail users who have configured 2-step verification for additional security need to create an app password for the mail app and use that instead of their regular password.

The other account configuration begins with an email address and password as well, and it seems as if the Mail app will try to establish a connection based on those parameters. You can however expand the dialog to enter incoming and outgoing email servers manually here. Only IMAP is listed here right now with no mentioning of Pop3 support, and I can't say at this point in time whether Pop3 is supported by the email app.

add email account windows8 mail app

All email accounts are then listed on the main Mail app page for your selection.


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