Updated February 13, 2012
Outlook 2010 Mail – Managing Multiple Email Accounts
Outlook 2010 is able to handle all your email accounts. This offers you a single interface to control all your messages. There are two aspects to making this happen. The first is knowing how to configure Outlook for Gmail or whichever email system you are using.
But that’s not the subject of this article. I’ve provided a link at the end of this piece will take you to a page that does contain information on connecting many of the most popular types of email accounts to Outlook 2010.
The second thing you need to know is how to manage all your different types of email account once you have them configured. This article covers those basics.
When you Receive Messages with Multiple Email Accounts
You will be able to receive mail from various different types of email accounts. Outlook 2010 automatically checks each email account for you, based on the settings in your Send/Receive groups. Messages end up in various locations based on the type of email protocol they use. Typically, messages from Gmail and Hotmail accounts get placed in their own mail folders, while messages from other types of accounts get placed in the Inbox.
So how do you recognize which messages go with which accounts? The messages that end up in their own set of folders aren’t hard to figure out. Other types take a tiny bit more effort. For other types of accounts, if you can’t tell just by looking, you can look at the To: field of the message. The email address the sender addressed it to appears on that line.
To make this even easier, you can tell Outlook to highlight messages from different sources. That way you’ll be able to tell at a glance which messages come from which sources. You can do things like bolding, italicizing, even color coding messages to distinguish between the different sources.
Note: I’ve included a link to the instructions for automatically highlighting messages at the end of this article.
When You Send Messages
When sending mail, you are in control of which account Outlook 2010 uses to send the message. Outlook always has a default account for sending messages, but you can tell Outlook to use a different account like this:
- When you create a new message, Outlook assumes you’ll want to use the default account. But you can easily override this to use whichever account is most appropriate for the message you are creating.
- When you’re replying to a message you received, Outlook assumes you want to reply using the account the message was sent to. But you can always tell Outlook to send the reply using a different account.
- When you are forwarding a message, Outlook assumes you want to forward it using the same account the message was sent to. But you can always tell Outlook to send the reply using a different account.
So how exactly do you tell Outlook 2010 to use a different account? You do it when you are working in the message window. Look for the “From” button next to the “Send” button (this only appears if you have more than one email account set up). Click From to see a list of the accounts you can use. Selecting an option from the list overrides the default account.
Set the Default Account for New Messages
As we have already discussed, Outlook 2010 always has a default account that it will use for new messages if you don’t override it. If you want to change Outlook’s default account for new messages, here’s what you have to do:
- In the Ribbon, click the File tab.
- In the menu that appears, click Info to display the “Account Information” screen.
- Click the Account Settings button and select Account Settings… in the menu that appears. This opens the “Account Settings” dialog box to the “E-mail” tabbed page.
- In the box that lists your accounts, select the default account you want.
- If the account isn’t already the default account, the “Set as Default” option (look above the box containing the email accounts) should now be clickable. Click Set as Default to change the default account.
- Click Close to return to the Outlook window.
You now possess the fundamental information you need to work with multiple Outlook 2010 mail accounts. All you need now is solid instructions for connecting accounts to Outlook 2010.
If you want to integrate your existing Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo Mail account with Outlook 2010, or are ready to create new accounts to use with Outlook 2010, I can point you to exactly the information you need.
From here you can:
Make it easy to determine where your mail is coming from by automatically highlighting Outlook messages.
Return to the top of this Managing Multiple Accounts with Outlook 2010 page.
Return to the Related Articles page.
Find More Info…