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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  1. Jody Thornton said on May 24, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Is the any Flat UI application that can run on Windows 8 (in desktop mode), yet allow POP3 accounts to be added? I like Windows 8 Mail’s appearance, but just wish I could use POP/SMTP

  2. Texsputin said on August 15, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Thank you very much! Having to doing it that way makes about as much sense as trying to herd earthworms. When I set it up I followed the prompts, but haven’t added a new account since – I would have NEVER remembered that!

  3. Parth Patel said on April 17, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Thnxx bro . .. I was trying this long back ago and after googling it , I found this post

  4. joyce said on June 6, 2013 at 11:49 am

    if you cant sent out email. At the outgoing port type in 465 and check SSL. It workds for me.

  5. akhil said on March 20, 2013 at 2:47 am

    I tried this method but it denies my request saying that “either the username or password is incorrect”, even if put in the correct credentials. Do i need to make some extra settings in my google account?
    Any help will be appreciated.
    Thank you

  6. Anonymous said on January 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm


  7. armando said on December 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    hey, thanks for the info. i was really having a hard time looking for this feature.

  8. mohi said on December 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

    I was looking for it from last 2 weeks ,i searched my whole computer but didn’t find it out but thanks to you.Thanks

  9. mohi said on November 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    is this the same procedure to be followed in windows 8 proffesional ?

  10. Shelley said on November 18, 2012 at 6:44 am

    WINDOWS 8 sucks

  11. Cory said on November 12, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I cannot add any of my email accounts to the Mail App. The first account I tried was my Aol email and I keep being told that my username and password are incorrect. I have double checked them multiple times and they are correct. Now my icloud account won’t add either even though I have entered the right server information when prompted. I had the same problem with my icloud account when I wasusing windows 7. I don’t understand why it is so hard to get the mail accounts to work for windows. Does anyone have any suggestions or have had the same issues that can explain why this doesn’t work? I’m getting a little frustrated.

  12. Alfie said on November 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    On windows 8 email how’s do I get attachments?

  13. Kedar said on October 23, 2012 at 8:59 pm


    I need some help. I am trying to add my institute IMAP account in the Mail app. But even after filling in all the correct details i get error message “This email address or password didn’t work. Double check them and try again.” The settings work perfectly on other mail clients.
    The settings worked in the Mail app in my first try. But while exploring around, i removed the account and it just refuses to get added again due the problem above.

  14. Yipcanjo said on August 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Wow. That was *strangely* difficult to find, and it shocks me that a standard search in Windows 8 never comes back with anything related to adding/editing Mail accounts. Crazy.

    It’s worth noting that you have to go to Charm Bar > Settings *while you’re in* the Mail app itself. This was confusing me for quite awhile, as the standard Settings screen shows nothing about additional Mail app settings.

    Having a context specific Settings menu doesn’t really both me a whole lot, but there has to be a way to get there from outside that context. I’m pretty sure (aside from this blog post) that I never would’ve found that screen.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 28, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      The hidden app settings and features are a big issue for many Windows 8 Store apps. The search for instance is also app specific. If you install the official eBay app, you may notice that there is no search included for you to search the eBay store. You need to open the Charms Bar and use the Search there to do that. And that is not really intuitive.

      I would have handled this the following way: display the Charms bar when you first run the app for a limited time and use tooltips or some other kind of instructions if the app is using features that are only available in the Charms bar.

      Plus, add an option to the Windows settings to disable those tooltips to not annoy veteran users.

      1. Yipcanjo said on August 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm

        The short-term revealed Charms bar is a good idea. I guess I had no idea that the Charms bar was going to be so central to using Windows 8 — even for standard desktop users. I’ve already figured out that Search > choose an App (like Music) searches that app, which is kinda cool, but…as you mentioned…not necessarily intuitive.

        When veteran users have trouble finding items that they *KNOW* are buried somewhere, well…something is inherently wrong.

  15. Lee said on August 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I used a few choice words trying to setup all my emails in the Mail App. Took me a bit to figure out that Settings meant Charms Bar and Microsoft’s tip that displays telling you to go to Mail Settings wasn’t helpful at all.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      Many users will run into those issues at first I guess, especially since there are no real instructions that the Charms bar is good for that.

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