As a security measure, Google prevents POP / IMAP access to its email accounts until you have manually enabled one or both protocols - this tutorial will show you how to do that first. Because Windows Live Mail 2012 now includes quick setup for the most popular webmail providers, the process is nearly automatic. (You had to configure the corresponding Gmail settings by hand in the old version.) To keep things simple, we'll setup Gmail as an IMAP account, which allows you to see your labels as email folders.
Tip: if you have a Google or YouTube account, you already have a Gmail account (nearly always your Google username followed by "
@gmail.com"). If you want a separate account, see our "Create Gmail Account" tutorial.
Login to Gmail and click on the gear icon (top right) - select "Settings", and click on the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab on the Options page that loads next. Under POP Download or IMAP Access (second and third sections), select to enable remote access: since we want to see our Gmail labels as folders in Windows Live Mail, we'll only enable IMAP (and this is the option Windows Live Mail auto-configures by default). (We won't cover the various sub-options in this tutorial, but do notice that they exist!) Scroll all the way to the bottom and click "Save Changes" - you are done.
When you first open Windows Live Mail, you should automatically be prompted to add an email account. If not, setup a new email address by going to the Accounts tab in the Ribbon, and clicking the "New email account" button:
Tip: you can also add email accounts by clicking on the File button (top left corner), selecting Options, and choosing "Accounts" on the right: When the Accounts dialog opens, just click on the "Add" button.
Enter your full email address in the first text field, and your account password in the second (careful: it is case-sensitive). Optionally check the "Remember this password" checkbox: it will spare you from having to manually enter your Gmail password whenever Windows Live Mail sends or receives emails through it: Type your display name as you'd like it to appear when sending messages using Gmail inside Windows Live Mail: it doesn't affect other email accounts you may have setup, nor does it affect the name configured in your Gmail account (which controls the From name shown when you send emails from the "web browser" version of Gmail).
If you check the "Make this my default email account" checkbox, emails composed in Windows Live Mail automatically select your Gmail address as "From" account. (This option only appears if you have already one or more email accounts configured.)
Click on the Finish button to finish configuring your email account: within a couple of seconds, you'll get the confirmation that the setup was successful, and Windows Live Mail will start downloading email folders (labels) and their content (email messages).
By default, your Gmail account is called "
Gmail (username)", where "username" is the portion of your email address that comes before the "
@" symbol. To rename it, right-click on it and choose "Properties": type a new name and click OK. Double-click on any email account in the folder listing (or click on the disclosure triangle) to show or hide their folders (labels, in the case of Gmail).
When you send an email and have more than one email account setup, you can choose the "From" account for this particular message. The default account is automatically selected every time - but you can change the default account at any time!