Hotmail switches to Outlook

Drew explains what this means and shares some handy shortcuts.

Hotmail switches to Outlook

The world’s most popular email client of the past 10 years was recently overtaken by Gmail and has reacted by forcing clients to change to the new look Outlook client. Drew explains what this means and shares some handy shortcuts.

I have been a user of the Hotmail client since I first started my embarrassingly named hotmail account over 15 years ago. In that time, I don't remember a single update being made to the layout of the email client which had any effect on how I use the system. The new client email client called Outlook is very similar to the system used by Gmail and is based around conversations instead of single emails. Hotmail are slowly switching accounts over to the new system so you can expect the changes to hit your inbox soon.

I have shared below a quick how to guide on activating Outlook shortcuts to make your email experience more pleasant.

Not moved to Outlook yet?
If your system is still using the old Hotmail client, I would suggest you change over now if you have some spare time to figure the system out, as Hotmail will suddenly change you over otherwise. To do so, log into your Hotmail account and go to your Inbox page. Your name will appear in the top right-hand-side of this page. Below this will be a few options. The one you are after is 'Options'. Click on the 'Options' button and from the drop-down menu click on 'Upgrade to'. From the pop-up screen, click on 'Upgrade to Outlook'.

Activating Shortcuts
Start by looking into your account. Your name will appear in the top right-hand-side of this page. To the left of it is a cog symbol. Click on the symbol and from the drop down menu click on 'More mail settings'. From the next page, under the 'Customizing Outlook' section, click on 'Keyboard shortcuts'. Select the '' box and click 'Save'.


  • New email: N
  • Send email: Ctrl + Enter
  • Reply: R
  • Reply to All: Shift + R
  • Forward: Shift+F
  • Open Email: O
  • Close Email: Esc
  • Delete Email:Del
  • Mark as Junk: J
  • Move to folder: V
  • Mark as Read: Q
  • Mark as Unread: U
  • Print Email: Shift+P
  • Go to Inbox: G and then I
  • Go to Sent: G and then S

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    1st Mar 2013
    I switched to Outlook version last year. As I use Gmail as my primary email it was no big deal. As you say it's very like Gmail.

    However, now I have Windows 8 and it's a whole different ball game - I am now back to a Hotmail account. As that is my primary (only) Microsoft Account my Hotmail email address is used to log in to my computer and anything else Microsoft. Where Outlook now comes into things I have no idea. My Hotmail Inbox is badged as Hotmail!!!!

    Microsoft does itself no favours with all this switching and changing around of the simplest things (whatever happened to Windows Live Mail ....... )
    1st Mar 2013
    I haven`t changed but if I forward and email to a second person the original is lost altogether. Once I could keep the old and the new ones, it also helped to show who I`d forwarded emails too and what I`d left on each. Just recently I had something sent to me and I couldn`t find what they said was enclosed so hit Reply and said this is all I got. I got no reply and have lost the original email. I`ve never seen GMail so don`t know if this is one of the so called new and improved things or not. Maybe I`m just getting crotchety in my "new" age but all this changing is weird. I live by the axiom that if it ain`t broke don't fix it!
    2nd Mar 2013
    Tathra, forget Gmail. It would have to be the worst email system there is. It is complicated and untidy, and it doesn't show you what the previous email said that is being replied to. I have Windows live mail, and will not change; this will hold, as far as i have experienced up to four emails back and forth so you cant lose what has been previously said. I apparently have 10 emails in a hotmail account. How I don't know since I don't even use it, apart from the fact that I don't know how to get on to it. They will just have to sit there.
    2nd Mar 2013
    Well Frank, it's interesting then that Microsoft's webmail system is now emulating Gmail!!!!

    Gmail groups the emails in 'conversations' i.e. if you send an email to someone and they reply to it the reply will be grouped with the one you sent and so it goes on so long as the same 'conversation' is being used for reply/forward. I have many occasions when I need to send one email to many people. If they reply to that email (as opposed to starting a new email) I will have everyone's replies collated together in on single message in my Inbox.

    It makes for a much easier task of keeping related material together.

    I teach seniors how to use computers and it's by far the easiest webmail service to use.
    2nd Mar 2013
    I`m wondering now if I have been changed Frank as thats exactly whats happening, I loose the original email. Sometimes I like to keep the original and share bits of it to different friends but can`t do this now. I`ll have to look into Windows Live Mail because it sounds as if Hotmail si going to be very difficult if we loose stuff.
    1st Mar 2013
    Here! Here! Tathra. It's bad enough trying to cope with my new Samsung mobile. As for that wonderful black box that came with the new TV........As my 38 year old son who has always struggled with the written word says, "yea frustate me to only way to keep up with them all u get youse to it (sic)". Well, if he can do it.....
    1st Mar 2013
    I already have an Outlook account which I never use. Does this mean there will be 2 Outlook accounts now?
    What about the different passwords and user names (Outlook and Hotmail)? It's all so
    confusing .... I HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELP, please, someone!

    1st Mar 2013
    Sorry I'm confused last time I checked Outlook was a somewhat expensive Microsoft mail client usually supplied as part of their Office software(business or professional ) There was a stripped down version called Outlook express that came with and I think Xp.
    Has hotmail bought Outlook off mircosoft or have microsoft let the product go open source(very unlikely).
    sorry I do not get it.
    I don't use hotmail or gmail and know no one who does. In truth the only mail I recieve from these domains is spam and is automaticlly sent to my junk mail folder and thus only checked weekly.
    1st Mar 2013
    Hotmail has been in the hands of Microsoft for some time.

    Yes Outlook is an email client bundled with Microsoft Office. Outlook Express no longer exists. It was replaced with Windows Live Mail with the introduction of Vista and subsequently Windows 7, as an email client built in to the O/S.

    Yes it is quite confusing for Microsoft to now be using the term Outlook which brings together all their many and varied webmail accounts out there.

    I have both Hotmail (my second email account after Yahoo) and Gmail and I use them both for different purposes. I also use my Yahoo account for limited purposes. Gmail is my main account as it is easily accessible from anywhere. It also syncs well with my smartphone. I have less spam now since I've been running a Gmail account than I have ever had using the account provided by my ISP, and far less than I get through Hotmail.

    If you know no-one who uses either Hotmail or Gmail then your circle of computer users, I would venture to suggest, is fairly limited. No disrespect intended, but they are probably the two most popular webmail accounts currently in use.
    1st Mar 2013
    PS I have Outlook Express (on the XP) - never use it. Is this different to (new Hotmail)?
    What's Microsoft Outlook? I am really worried now. I have only ever used Hotmail and Yahoo.
    Don't even ask me about Gmail.
    If we don't do anything about this Hotmail changeover, will Hotmail do it for you anyway?
    I have been ignoring Hotmail messages thinking they may have been spam. Now they have
    all gone. Now what?
    2nd Mar 2013
    Have just received a request from Yahoo to give them an alternate email address.
    Have given them my Hotmail address. Will this still be valid once Hotmail makes the
    change to Outlook? As I understand it, Hotmail addresses will still be OK and no change
    will be required when going to Outlook. Vaycee, please can you confirm? Thankyou.
    2nd Mar 2013
    Sure - your address will not change. It's just Microsoft re-badging a product. My Hotmail address is used as my account for many things Microsoft. It's just a webmail address. It's not 'connected' to anyone or anything except you. The 'new' look and name (Outlook) is just bringing the Hotmail (and Windows Live Mail and MSN) environment into line with other 'cloud' services such as SkyDrive, so there's a consistent look across everything.

    Many webmail providers (Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail etc) are asking for alternate means of contacting people. Many are now asking for a mobile number. It's an additional means of them getting in touch if something fails or there's been a security breach. I'm sure the cynics will suggest there are ulterior motives but I'd rather have my account safe thank you very much.
    2nd Mar 2013
    Thanks very much, Vaycee. (I was actually beginning to wonder if there was something
    'amiss' when I handed over my Hotmail address to Yahoo). Incidentally, I don't know if
    Yahoo has been working on their site but my Yahoo page has suddenly changed. Added to which, everything is BIG and I want to put it back to the original size BUT there is no '100%'
    icon on the bottom right hand corner to do so. Probably been swallowed up by the very size of the page. All very frustrating and unnerving. When they are asking for alternate contact details, it makes me wonder if they are expecting some problems with their change-overs. I really liked XP better than Windows 7. Thanks, again!
    2nd Mar 2013
    Being very technically minded, NOT, I do know you can hold down the Ctrl button and roll the wheel on your mouse to make the page bigger or smaller. Don`t know if this will help you biddi
    2nd Mar 2013
    Thanks, Tathra. Will try ...... :)

    Also, is (new Hotmail) different to
    "Microsoft Outlook 2010" which is already on my computer?
    2nd Mar 2013
    Yes, biddi. That's why I said what Microsoft is doing is very confusing.

    Outlook is included as part of the suite of programs called Microsoft Office (whichever version 2007, 2010). It is known as an email client. It 'manages' the emails you receive from whatever email address you tell it to. (And importantly allows you to check your emails when you are not online, once they have been downloaded to your computer.)

    So re-badging Hotmail to Outlook is a very confusing move by Mircosoft, in particular for senior users. Remember Hotmail is a webmail service which is different to an email client which can work with any email address.

    So, biddi, essentially you can go ahead and change to Outlook (as Microsoft will force you to do in a couple of weeks anyway) and just adjust to a new look Hotmail known as Outlook.
    2nd Mar 2013
    Thanks, Vaycee. I like your last comment "just adjust to a new look Hotmail known as
    Outlook'!!! It's about the only thing that makes sense to me. Hope you'll be sticking around for a while until we're all up and running? :)
    Please bear with me one more time : since I have "Microsoft Outlook 2010" on the computer already - this is NOT the same as the new (ex Hotmail) coming? Just yes or no will suffice. Many thanks. Okay, you can go and have a drink now.
    2nd Mar 2013
    No. Microsoft Outlook 2010 is not the same as (ex Hotmail)

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