Like most email programs, Windows Live Mail supports flagging emails. Many people simply mark messages as unread to come back to them later on. That's not a great idea, because an email can very easily be marked as read by accidental, or automatically if you are checking the same email account from another mail application. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to manually flag messages, quickly find flagged messages, and "unflag" them when you are done. The screenshot on the left shows a flagged message in the default email folder listing view.
There are several ways to flag an email: the easiest is to click on the flag icon Windows Live Mail shows by default in the folder listing, as shown on the screenshot. As soon as you click, the flag turns red, indicating that this particular message is flagged. To flag multiple messages at the same time, no need to click on those flag icons one after the other. Instead, select all the emails you want flagged - see the tip below if you're not familiar with that.
Tip: Windows Live Mail supports the same selection behavior as files in Windows Explorer, and many other programs on Windows. To select multiple emails, hold down the control key on your keyboard (Ctrl), and click on one message after the other. Release the control key when you are done. To select a range of emails (all messages between one and another), start by clicking on the first one you want selected. Then, hold down the Shift key and click on the last one you want. That's it! Ctrl-clicking on selected messages will deselect them.
Once several emails are selected, you can flag them by right-clicking on any of them and clicking on the "Flag" button in the ribbon - with the Home tab selected, and then under the Actions group. Surprisingly, there's no flag action available in the context menu (the one that opens when you right-click). Fortunately, there's also a time-saving keyboard shortcut: when these messages are selected, hit the insert (Ins) key.
Note: sometimes, the Ins key -which isn't that commonly used- is hard to find. But because it is an important keyboard shortcut for several mainstream apps, your keyboard most likely has it. On some laptops, you may need to hold down the function key (generally labeled "fn") along with another key.
If you regularly find yourself flagging specific messages, consider creating a mail filter, or "email rule". Like is big brother Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Mail supports automatically flagging emails based on conditions of your choice: sender, subject line, matching words in the body, etc. Just check the "Flag it" checkbox as one of the Actions triggered by your rule!
It's so simple, but I thought I'd mention it anyway: to remove a flag from a message, just do the opposite! If the flag icon is red (meaning that the email is flagged), click on it once and it will revert to just being an outline. Both emails in the screenshot were flagged: a single click on the first one gave me the result you are seeing. Same deal if you go through the ribbon: select one or more messages, and click on the Flag button!
Flagged emails are easy to sport because of their red flag icon, but chasing them around various folders isn't very convenient. That's why Windows Live Mail includes a "flagged" filter, which I'll show you how to enable in the next section. But if you click on the "Sort by..." button, as shown on the screenshot, a dropdown menu will open, which lets you pick a criterion. If you choose "Flag", all flagged items will be grouped together in the current folder (just an FYI).
For some strange reason, Microsoft has not made the flagged filter a default quick view in Windows Live Mail. If you're not familiar with those, a "quick view" is just a temporary filter that lets you drill down on a particular type of email messages. To be able to quickly filter by flagged messages, right-click on the word "Quick views" on the left, and pick "Select quick views" from the context menu. Check the "Flagged items" checkbox, and click OK.
As soon as you do, you'll now see a "Flagged items" option under quick views, just like I now have on the screenshot.
If you click on it, Windows Live Mail will only show messages currently flagged. Unlike the sorting method described earlier, this filter will look for flagged messages in all your email folders.
And to go back to showing all messages, just click on an email folder on the left!