How to Set Up and Use Email – Beginners Guide


Email is still the main application on the Internet, and almost everyone uses it; both privately, and for business.

Individuals and small home businesses don’t have a technical department to set up, and manage their email, and must do it all themselves.

Over the years I’ve received many emails asking…How do I…

  • Access email from a remote location
  • Setup my email account
  • Access multiple email accounts
  • Change my email address
  • Access email from my Smartphone
  • etc..

So.. If you’re getting started then this site is here to help!

Getting Started

To send and receive email you will need:

  • An email account,
  • An email client,
  • To be connected to an email network. (the Internet)

Email Accounts and Addresses

You can get an email account from a variety of sources, and you can have more than one account.

For most people a free email account from one of the big three email providers- Yahoo,Google and Microsoft are ideal. See how to create a free email address/account for details.

Small businesses should invest in their own domain name and use that along with an email hosting service. See Setting up email on your own domain.

Accessing Your Email

To access your email and send and receive emails you will need an email client.

There are two popular types of email client they are:

  • Desktop and or smart phone based clients
  • Web Based clients -

Desktop and or smart phone based email client need to be installed on the computer or smart phone that you are using,, and need to be correctly configured before you can send, and receive email with it.

Webmail clients don’t need to be configured, and work on any computer.

They are ideal for beginners as to connect to your email using a web based client you just type on the web address of your email provider into your web browser or follow a link on the email provider’s website.

See Choosing an Email Client

Sending and Receiving Email

Now you have an email account and have decided on your email client its time to send your first email.

Exactly how you do it will depend on your email client/provider.

The sending and receiving email tutorial is a complete beginners guide that shows you how to compose and send email,send to multiple recipients ,send attachments . It also takes you through your mailbox folders and how to read and reply to emails.

Understanding Your Email Account

An email account consists of

  • Username and password
  • Mailbox
  • Email Address

Note: The account user name is often the email address but not always.

Email Addresses and Mailboxes

A mailbox is a location where email is stored. It is the electronic equivalent of a post office box. In order to receive email you need to have a mailbox.

When you sign up for an email account you are assigned a mailbox and normally an email address.

The email address and mailbox are linked such that any email sent to the email address will be placed in the mailbox.

It is possible to link (associate) multiple email addresses to a single mailbox.

Mailbox Locations

Mailboxes need to receive email from the email network,and hence, need to be available to receive email. Therefore they are located on the email network (In our case this is the Internet).

If you have a Yahoo email account your mailbox will be on a Yahoo maintained email server located somewhere on the Internet.

However just because your mailbox is on the Internet it doesn’t mean that your emails are. See Where are my emails stored.

Email Address Lists and Contacts

All email clients have an address book or contact list in which you can store email addresses of people with whom you communicate frequently.

There are several ways of adding those addresses to the Address book. The four main methods that are supported by most email clients are:

  • Adding them manually
  • Add them automatically from email received
  • Add the manually from received email
  • Import Them from a file

In addition most email clients will let you import and export email addresses. This is important when moving between clients and /or email providers. Related articles:-

Managing Multiple Email Accounts and Addresses

In a recent survey I conducted on this site more than 50% of site visitors had more than one email address/account.

There are many different ways of dealing with access to multiple accounts see Strategies for Handling Multiple Email Addresses

 Accessing Email From Different Locations and Devices

Access to email is so important that almost everyone wants 24/7 access even when they are on holiday or travelling away.

There are many different ways of accomplishing this depending on your email devices (computer/tablet/phone) and your email provider.

Remote Email access covers the most common scenarios.


If you still have a question then just ask.


Test your email knowledge. Take the Email Basics Quiz


Recommended Reading

secure-emailEmail Security -If someone gains access to your email account they can take over that account and it that account is used with other online services like Twitter,Icloud etc then they can do considerable damage.

moving-email-providersMoving Email Providers

There are many different ways of changing from one email provider or system to another.

Which is best for you will depend on your current email configuration, and the desired final configuration.

move-email-computerHow to transfer/Move Email to a New Computer- Have you bought a New Computer and need to for transfer your email to the new computer. Includes Video of the entire process.

mail_forwardEmail Forwarding and How to Forward Email -Email forwarding is very common on the Internet and used for a variety of reasons. It can be done both on the email client (manual) and email server (automatic).

smartphoneSending Email to a Mobile Phone¬† – Old style mobile phones can’t normally send and receive email but you can send email to them and receive responses by using a gateway.

Latest articles are on the blog.