An email account by any other name…

By | June 13, 2016
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Do you know that some email addresses aren’t what they seem? It’s nothing particularly sneaky or underhand. Just that some that have one name actually work the same as ones with a different name.

For example, if you have an email address ending in @tiscali.co.uk and you hear emails ending @talktalk.co.uk are having problems, you might not think you’d be affected. But actually tiscali emails are run on the same system as talktalk. And if you have a hotmail account, that’s now the same as an outlook.com account. And until fairly recently, behind the scenes, BT emails were run by Yahoo, which sometimes caused all manner of confusion when an issue came up that was to do with it being a Yahoo account.

Most of the time, you don’t need to worry about this. It doesn’t really matter what system is running your email, as long as it works properly! It’s only really an issue if something goes wrong… or if you hear there’s a problem with one type and you don’t realise you have that type.

This all popped into my head this morning because I was about to write about an email that you might have had if you use an outlook.com email address… or a hotmail or other Microsoft emails address.

It warns you that if you use Windows Live Mail 2012 (and although they don’t say it, I think it’ll affect older versions of Windows Live Mail as well) and you have an outlook.com email address, then it’ll stop working.

The thing is, the email looks a bit like it could be spam. But it isn’t.

There’s an issue between the new system Microsoft are going to be using to run their emails and Windows Live Mail – and they’re not planning to sort it out. So if you use Windows Live Mail and you have a Microsoft email account, that’s basically tough luck.

Microsoft’s take on it (and their full advice if you’re affected) is here.

But in a nutshell, if you’re affected, you need to change how you access your emails or from sometime in June it won’t work any more. They suggest using the Windows mail app, which is in Windows 8 and 10. I’m not convinced the mail app is as good as they make out, though if you get on OK with it, that’s fine. Another option is to login to your emails on their website. And one option they don’t mention is to install Mozilla Thunderbird, as covered in some of our books.

Or if you currently check your emails on your PC but you also have a tablet, you could switch to checking your emails on that instead.

Anyway, if you have an email address ending in outlook.com or hotmail.com or anything else from Microsoft, it’s worth having a look at their guidance at the link above, otherwise in June your emails will stop working properly.

How to get a little more from us
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re signed up to the free email newsletter “Tim’s Tech Tips”. It’s the best way to get any new tips, advice and news from me.

And if you are reading this but aren’t signed up to it, maybe because a friend forwarded this on or because you stumbled across it on the web, best sign up now – it’s free and we won’t share your email address with anyone else. Here’s where you can join up, in the yellow box on this page.

But I’ve also started using our Facebook page for the occasional tiny snippet of news. Anything really important or that needs explaining in a bit more detail I’ll still save for the emails, but if you use Facebook and you might be interested to hear other snippets from us, why not like our Facebook page.

Our Facebook page is here and once you’ve gone to it, you can click the like button with the little thumbs up symbol on it so you’ll get updates and news from us when you’re looking at Facebook.

Of course, this is only relevant if you already use Facebook! But don’t worry, as I say, the important stuff will still be in the emails.

9 thoughts on “An email account by any other name…

  1. Edith Black-Orsborne

    I have Hotmail.com, but find that that I cannot read an incoming email any more for the adverts , also cannot print them any more for this reason, it also prints one page. The only reason I can read this because I can over the web. Any reasons? I have Windows 7.

    Reply
    1. Tim Post author

      Are you accessing your email by going to the hotmail.com website and logging in, or from a program like Windows Live Mail? If you use Windows Live Mail, it could be the start of the problems I wrote about that Microsoft warned about – but that wasn’t supposed to happen until the end of June.
      If you are using Windows Live Mail, it might be worth just going to the hotmail.com website and logging in there and see if that’s better.
      Failing that, it might be best to download Mozilla Thunderbird and use that – that’s what I use for emails at work now. It’s covered in a bit more detail in the Next Steps books if you have them, but you can download it from here (free): https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/thunderbird/
      Tim

      Reply
  2. colin price

    Thanks for your interesting tips and comments which I find helpful, however I have no intention of ever using Facebook or any of the other moronic social networks . Email is more than adequate ,

    Reply
    1. Tim Post author

      Fair enough – and I’m the first person to say you should only use computers (or tablets) for what you want and not feel you have to use something (like Facebook) just because lots of people go on about it!
      I think most techies seem to assume everyone should use computers for what they (ie the techies) think is best, not for what the individual wants to use it for!
      Tim

      Reply
  3. George Raine

    I note Colin’s comment.
    I never go near Facebook.
    Tim’s Technical Tips would interest me,but I can not find the Yellow Box.
    George Raine

    Reply
    1. Tim Post author

      Hello
      I’m not sure which page you were looking on (it depends where you read about it) but you can go to this page: http://www.helpfulbooks.co.uk and there should be a big yellow box in the middle, headed “Sign up for free tips and advice here” – that should be the easiest place to find it.
      Tim

      Reply
  4. L Robinson

    Have tried to install OpenOffice with the CD provided with the latest book but my computer won’t let me. I am running Windows 8.1. The computer says get in touch with CD supplier. I would be grateful for your comments. Thanks Laurie Robinson

    Reply
    1. Tim Post author

      That’s peculiar – it could be just a fault in that particular disk (in which case we will obviously replace it straight away). We have tested it with Windows 8.1 but let me just check one here on our Windows 8.1 machine in case there’s been an update to Windows that’s caused a problem. Watch this space…
      Tim

      Reply
    2. Tim Post author

      Hello again
      I’ve tested it and it should work fine, so I suspect you might have a dodgy disc. I’ll get a replacement in the post to you today (I’ve got your address from before).
      Sorry for this – I’d rather it had worked first time for you.
      You can bin the old disc – we won’t ask you to send it back for us to check or anything like that!
      Tim

      Reply

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