Reading e-mail has become an important part of most people’s day. Understanding how to navigate your inbox can save you a lot of time and frustration.
- Messages are organized in folders or boxes.
- Received mail is typically kept in an Inbox; outgoing mail is stored in an Outbox; sent mail is filed in a Sent box, and discarded mail may be kept in a Deleted Items box.
- When you open your e-mail program, it lists the messages in your Inbox. From here you can read, reply to, and manage your e-mail.
- To read an e-mail, you typically double-click the envelope icon or the Subject line of the message. This opens a new window containing the header and body of the message.
- To review mail in other folders or boxes, click or (double-click) the folder. Then click the message that interests you.
- Some e-mail programs now allow you to organize messages by conversations. This means that all of the responses to a single message will be placed together, so you can easily read them together as a conversation.
These are the basic steps for navigating your e-mail inbox. As you grow more comfortable with your e-mail client, you may find that things would be easier if your inbox was set up differently or your mail was organized in another way. Most e-mail clients offer a great deal of customization, so when you’re ready, try playing around with the options and find the setup that works best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does e-mail work the same on mobile devices?
E-mail hasn’t changed much since it went mobile. The biggest difference will be in how you open a message or move between folders. Instead of double-clicking, you will usually touch a message to open it. To switch folders, you need to swipe between them and click the folder you want to view. Everything else should work the same.
Can I add new folders?
If you want to add additional mail folders, you can usually do so by right-clicking on the Inbox and selecting the “New Folder” option. You can create as many folders and subfolders as you like, in order to organize e-mail messages the same way you organize files on your computer.
How do I stop messages from being organized by conversations?
Some e-mail clients organize by conversations by default. If you want to stop this, or if you want to set it up, you will need to go to your client’s settings menu. In some cases, this may be under the View menu or under General Settings. If you can’t locate the feature, consult your client’s help system.
Can I open multiple messages at one time?
That will depend on your e-mail program. If you’re using a computer- or web-based e-mail client, you can typically open as many messages as you want, either in multiple windows or multiple tabs. On mobile devices, you are typically limited to opening a single e-mail at a time, because most mobile apps do not support tabs or multiple windows.