Introduction to Outlook 2007: Managing Multiple Email Accounts

These days, most of us have multiple email accounts. There are lots of good reasons for this, but it tends to create a headache because you usually have to work with each email account in a separate place. However, if you’re willing to learn a few simple procedures, you can have Outlook 2007 manage all your email accounts together. Think of the time and hassle that will save. Here’s how you do that.

Receiving Messages from Multiple Accounts

Let’s start by talking about how Outlook receives messages from more than one account at a time. Outlook automatically checks each email account (the settings in your Send/Receive groups determine when). Depending on the type of email account, your messages will either end up in the Inbox, or in their own collection of mail folders.

So how do you know which messages are associated with which accounts? It turns out that’s easy. The Hotmail messages end up in their own set of folders. For the others, if you can’t tell simple by who they’re from, you can look at the message’s To: field. The email address the message was sent to (and hence the account), appears on that line.

Sometimes, however, you’ll see a nickname instead of the email address in the To: field. If there’s a nickname, you can follow these steps to find out the actual email address associated with that nickname:

  1. Right-click the nickname.
  2. In the shortcut menu that appears, click Outlook Properties.
  3. In the dialog box, look on the E-mail Addresses tabbed page to see which address the message was sent to.

How to Send Messages

Outlook always has a default account it will use to send new messages, unless you tell it to use a different account. This is how the account that Outlook will use is determined:

  • When you create a new message, Outlook assumes you’ll want to use the default account to send it (I’ll tell you how to change the default account in a few minutes) unless you specific a different account.
  • When you’re replying to a message you received, Outlook uses the account that the original message came in on. That is, if you receive a message sent to your account named xyz@mymailserver.com, and you do a Reply or Reply to All, Outlook will default to using the xyz@mymailserver.com account. Unless, of course, you tell Outlook to use a different account.
  • When you forward a message, Outlook will assume you want to reply with the same account that the message originally came to.

The way Outlook selects the account to use makes great sense, but what if you don’t want to use the account Outlook wants you to? How do you tell Outlook to use a different account? That’s easy.

You can tell Outlook which email account to use when you have the message window open. When you have multiple accounts set up, you will see an Account button below the Send button. Click the Account button, and Outlook displays a menu containing all your e-mail accounts. Simple select the account you want Outlook to use for sending this message.

How to Change the Default Email Account

You may at some point decide that you want Outlook to use a different email account as your default. If you do, these are the steps you’d follow to change it:

  1. Go to the main Outlook menu and click Tools > Account Settings. This opens the Account Settings dialog box.
  2. On the E-mail tabbed page of this dialog box, find the box listing all your email accounts. Click the name of the account you want to assign as the new default account.
  3. In the space above the account list, find and click Set as Default. The Set as Default option remains dim until you have selected a new account to use as the default.
  4. The new default option moves to the top of the list.
  5. Click Close.

You are ready to manage your multiple email accounts.

Learning how to use & manage desktop alerts is just one of the topics covered in the third lesson of the 6-week online course, Introduction to Outlook 2007. If strengthening your Outlook 2007 skills in this time of uncertain job prospects makes sense to you, I strongly suggest you visit http://IntroToOutlook2007.info to learn more.


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