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Important: How to Make Hotmail Your Home Page
E-mail is becoming more and more prominent as a means of communication in today’s world. Even people with little interest in computers feel the pressure to create e-mail accounts. Fortunately, signing up for and using a Hotmail account is free and simple. Anybody can do it!
Creating Your Hotmail Account
Go to the website hotmail.com. On the left side of the screen, there will be an option to sign up for a Hotmail account. Click on the “sign up” button. You will be brought to a page entitled “create your Hotmail account.
First, you will have to choose a Hotmail address. It can include letters, numbers, periods, hyphens, and/or underscores. Make sure it is easy to remember. The second part of the address (after the @ symbol) will automatically be set to hotmail.com. You can leave this as it is. After you enter your desired address, click on “check availability.” A message will appear telling you whether or not the address is available. If it is not, you will see a list of similar addresses that are available. Click on one of these, or close the list and try entering another address.
Next, you will have to choose a password. You can use uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and/or symbols. Make sure it is at least six characters long and difficult to guess. You will be asked to enter it twice to ensure that you typed it correctly.
You will then be asked for an alternate e-mail address. If you already have a working e-mail address, enter it. This way, if you ever forget your Hotmail password, a new password will be sent to your alternate address. Otherwise, leave it blank and click on “choose a security question for password reset.” Select a question and enter an answer. You will be asked to answer this question if you forget your password later on.
Next, you will need to enter your name, country, state, ZIP code, gender, and birth year. After that, you will see a series of letters and numbers. You have to retype these characters in the space provided. (This is to prove that you are a person rather than a computer.) Click “new” if the characters are difficult to read. Finally, read the information provided and click the “I accept” button. You will be brought to the home screen of your new Hotmail account.
Signing In and Out of Your Hotmail Account
Once you have a Hotmail account, you can sign in and out anytime. To sign in, go to hotmail.com. On the right side of the screen, you will be asked to enter your Windows Live ID. This is just your e-mail address. (Don’t forget to include the @hotmail.com part of the address.) You also have to enter your password. Then click the “sign in” button. You will be brought to the home screen of your account. To sign out, simply click the “sign out” button in the upper-right corner of the screen.
Using Your Hotmail Account
To check your e-mail, sign in to your Hotmail account. Hover your cursor over the word “Hotmail” at the top of the home screen. A short list of options will appear. Click on “inbox.” Your inbox contains all of the messages that have been sent to your e-mail address. You will immediately see the subject, date, and sender of each message. If the message is unread, this information will appear in bold font; otherwise, it will appear in plain font. Click on any message to read it.
To send a message, hover your cursor over the word “Hotmail” at the top of the screen and click “send e-mail.” On the first line, enter the e-mail address of the recipient. You can send a message to multiple people by entering multiple e-mail addresses, separated by spaces. On the second line, describe the subject of your message in a few words. In the large empty space, type your message. When you are finished, click “send.” (The “send” button is near the upper-left corner of your message.)
If you want to save somebody’s e-mail address, you can add him or her to your contacts list. (Your contacts list is essentially an online address book.) Hover over the word “Hotmail” and click “contacts.” Then, click the word “new” in the upper-left corner. You will be given the chance to fill in a great deal of information about the person, but you can simply enter his/her name and personal e-mail address if you prefer. When you are finished, click “save.” Once a person is on your contacts list, you can e-mail him/her by clicking “contacts,” hovering over the icon beside his/her name, and clicking “send e-mail.” The message will automatically be addressed to that person. You no longer have to remember his/her e-mail address!
These are the very basics of sending and receiving e-mail messages. However, your Hotmail account has many more useful features. Feel free to experiment with them as you make e-mail part of your life!