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E-mail is by far the most popular service on the Internet. It allows us to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues from anywhere, almost instantly. How is all that possible? In this short video, we’ll explain how e-mail works.
E-mail has dramatically changed the way the world communicates. We can contact anyone in seconds. We can talk to one person or dozens at a time. We can even reach out an any time of day or night, without worrying that we may interrupt a meeting or wake them up, because with e-mail you can respond whenever you want. To learn more about e-mail and how to communicate like a pro, visit our E-mail at a Glance page and get started today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a mail server know where my message needs to go?
When you send a message, your mail server examines the e-mail address to determine the recipient’s mail server. To learn more about how this works, see Understanding E-mail Addresses. If you don’t know the recipient’s address, there are some strategies you can try to track it down. Check out our article on Finding E-mail Addresses to learn more.
How do I find my e-mail program?
Most computers, tablets, and phones come with an e-mail program pre-installed. In most cases, its icon looks like an envelope. Before you use your e-mail program, you may need to set it up. In some cases, that is as simple as providing your e-mail address and password. Other times, you will need to contact your e-mail provider for specific setup information. To learn more, see our article on Using E-mail Software.
Can I send pictures or other types of files over e-mail?
Absolutely! E-mail can be used to send any type of file, including pictures, videos, and even music. Many e-mail clients will even let you add pictures directly into the body of your message. To learn how to add files to your e-mails, see Sending Attachments.
Once I receive a message, how do I respond to it?
If someone sends you an e-mail, you can respond directly to the person by clicking the “Reply” button in your e-mail program. This automatically adds the other person’s e-mail address to a new message, so you don’t have to type it in. In most cases, the new message will include a copy of the original message, so it’s easy to keep track of the conversation, even if it goes back and forth several times. You can also forward a message to someone else, or reply to an entire group of people at the same time. For more information, see Replying to Messages.
Is there a way to save e-mail addresses?
Yes. Most e-mail programs have a built-in address book or contacts page, which allows you to save information about your e-mail contacts, including their e-mail address, phone numbers, mailing address, job title, website, and other relevant information. To learn more about adding and managing e-mail contacts, see Your Address Book.