Expanding Conversation View Settings in Windows Live Mail

Summary:

 

How To:

1. Open Windows Live Mail

2. Click Blue button (upper left), Options, Mail, Read tab
– check ‘Automatically expand grouped messages’

3. Click the View tab (tabs are located on the Ribbon to the right of the Blue button))

Suggested settings on the View tab
Filter Messages = Show all
Conversations = On
Sort Order = Descending
Sort by = Sent
Message List = Automatic
Reading Pane = Right of message list and Show header
Calendar pane = Off (setting is a toggle)
Compact View = Off (setting is a toggle)
Storage Folders = On (setting is a toggle)
Status Bar = On (setting is a toggle)

 

Revisions:

August 3, 2013: Original Draft

September 7, 2013: Original Publish Date

December 7,  2013: Updated to itemize View tab recommended settings

Windows Live Mail – Contacts Database

Summary: 

  • A technical overview of  Windows Live Mail Contacts database two different modes of operation(without and with the use of a Live ID) and each mode’s respective database filename/local storage location(s)

Background:

§  Windows Live Mail(WLM) provides two modes of operation

a)     Default   [Offline]           –    no sign-in to Windows Live

b)    Live ID   [Online]            –    sign-in to Windows Live

§  WLM only operates in one mode (a) or (b) at a time

§  Each mode (a) or (b) has its own contacts when viewed in WLM

§  Each Live ID used to sign-in for mode(b) has its own contacts when viewed in WLM

§  Each mode (a) or (b) has a unique(independent) contacts database

§  Each Live ID used to sign-in for mode (b) has a unique(independent) contacts database

§  Contacts and Contact databases are not shared across modes or Live ID’s

§  Contacts database(s) are stored on the hard drive within the user’s Windows profile

Database Name and Location:

§  The Contact database(which holds the entire contact list) filename is ‘contacts.edb’’

§  Each mode (a) or (b) will have a unique(independent) contacts.edb file (same name, different location)

§  Each Live ID used in mode (b) will have a unique(independent) contacts.edb file

Default(Offline) – Mode (a)

§  The Default(Offline) Contact database file(contacts.edb) is stored in a hidden subfolder called DBStore. *** To view the DBStore folder –> configure Windows Explorer to ‘Show hidden files/folders and protected operating system files’

§  Full folder pathname for the Default(Offline) contact database for WLM version 2011 and 2009 are shown below for the respective Windows operating system(o/s)

 Windows Live Mail 2011  (pre QFE3 versions) – Windows 7 or Vista

 Path –> C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\default\15.4\DBStore

Click Here —> To see a Windows Explorer view  of WLM 2011 Pre QFE3 Default Database Folders

Windows Live Mail 2011  (QFE3 version) – Windows 7 or Vista

 Path –> C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\default\15.5\DBStore

Note: The ‘Default’ DBStore folder  is a hidden subfolder of the ‘15.5’ folder

Click Here —> To see a Windows Explorer view of the WLM 2011 QFE3 Database Folders

Windows Live Mail 2009 (see notes below)

·         Windows 7 or Vista

Ø C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\{0a1c1d7e-4a67-4693-bd70-1ba1490ddac8}\DBStore

WLM_ContactsDB_2009

·         Windows XP

Ø C:\Documents and Settings\<windows username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\{0a1c1d7e-4a67-4693-bd70-1ba1490ddac8}\DBStore

Notes: (only applicable to WLM 2009)

ü  The numerical 16-digit hexadecimal number ( GUI {0a1c1d7e…) shown(above) for WLM 2009 is randomly generated by WLM and will be different on each pc/operating system.

ü  To determine the numerical name assigned to  the Default(Offline) mode contact database folder in WLM 2009 one must reference the following registry key’s ‘Name’ and ‘Data’ fields values.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\Database

ü  The Name field in the above registry key ‘indicates’ the pathname of ‘Default’ root folder. The pathname shown when viewed in the registry is a ‘slight misdirection’ (but fully understood by the Windows operating system)

-The registry key ‘Name’ value will show:

Windows 7 or Vista:

 C:\Users\<windows username>\Contacts\Default
XP:

 C:\Documents and Settings\<windows username>\Contacts\Default

-Though the Default(Offline) folder is actually one subfolder below the following:

Windows7 or Vista:

  C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts

XP:

 C:\Documents and Settings\<windows username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts

ü  The registry key ‘Data’ value completes the pathname by showing the subfolder value(i.e. the numerical 16-digit hexadecimal number) that contains the Default(Offline) DBStore folder and its respective contacts.edb file.

Live ID (Online) – Mode (b)

§  The Live ID(Online) Contact database file(contacts.edb) is also stored in a hidden subfolder called DBStore.

§  Each Live ID’s Contacts folder in WLM 2011(unlike WLM 2009) uses the Live ID email address(e.g. ab_normal@live.com)  thus WLM 2011’s approach improves upon WLM 2009’s method by not requiring the registry key or use of a numerical hexadecimal named folder thus making the folder much easier to find in Windows Explorer

§  Full folder pathnames for a Live ID(Online) contact database for WLM version 2011 and 2009 are shown below for the respective Windows operating system(o/s)

Windows Live Mail 2011  (pre QFE3 versions) – Windows 7 or Vista

 Path –> C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\<Live ID>\15.4\DBStore 

WLM_ContactsLiveIDDB_2011

Windows Live Mail 2011 (QFE3 version) – Windows 7 or Vista

Path –> C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts\default\15.5\DBStore

Windows Live Mail QFE3 Contacts '15.5 Database Folders

 

Windows Live Mail 2009 (see notes below)

       Widows 7 or Vista

Ø C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\{85a1e249-964b-475e-82d7-e80ea374a6ad}\DBStore

Windows XP

Ø C:\Documents and Settings\<windows username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\{85a1e249-964b-475e-82d7-e80ea374a6ad }\DBStore

Notes: (only applicable to WLM 2009)

ü  WLM 2009 Live ID(Online Mode) like WLM 2009 Default(Offline) mode(as shown above) continues to employ the use of a randomly generated numerical 16-digit hexadecimal number for the Live ID folder name with one additional twist. It creates two(2) numerical folders for each Live ID. One for the primary database and one(shadow) database, the latter for synchronization with the web UI and Windows Live Messenger. 

     The numerical names of these folders will also be different on each pc/operating system.

WLM_ContactsLiveIDDB_2009

ü  To determine the exact numerical name assigned to the Live ID(Online) mode contact folder in  WLM 2009 one must reference the following registry key’s ‘Name’ and ‘Data’ fields values.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts\Database

ü  The Name field in the above registry key will indicate the pathname of ‘both the primary and shadow’ root folder. The pathname shown when viewed in the registry is, once again, a ‘slight misdirection’(but fully understood by the Windows o/s)

-The registry key ‘Name’ values will show:

Windows 7 or Vista:

 C:\Users\<windows username>\Contacts\<Live ID> and

C:\Users\<windows username>\Contacts\<Live ID>\shadow
XP: (pic shown below)

 C:\Documents and Settings\<windows username>\Contacts\<Live ID>

C”\Documents and Settings\<windows username>\Contacts\<Live ID>\shadow

WLM_Contacts_2009_LiveIDRegKey

-Though the Live ID(Online)folder is actually on subfolder below the following:

Windows7 or Vista:

  C:\Users\<windows username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts

XP:

 C:\Documents and Settings\<windows username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Live Contacts

ü  The registry key ‘Data’ value(s) completes the pathname by indicating the assigned hexadecimal number for the primary and shadow subfolders applicable to a respective Live ID(Online) mode DBStore folder and unique contacts.edb file(s)

Comments:

  • Use of the Default(Offline) mode ensures all contacts are only stored locally and not synchronized(or stored) on the web(i.e. on “The Cloud’) at Contacts.live.com
  • Use of the Live ID(Online mode) ensures contacts are stored both locally and on the Live servers(in the ‘Cloud) and always backed up and accessible on any pc by signing on with the respective Live ID at Contacts.live.com
  • If the Live ID is also a Hotmail type account(Live.com, Hotmail.com, Msn.com or other country specific derivatives of the same domain e.g. Live.cn, Hotmail.uk, Live.ne, Msn.ca) then those same Live ID contacts will be accessible for use in the Hotmail email web interface(mail.live.com or hotmail.com)
  • Use of the Live ID(Online) mode in WLM also enables WLM’s ‘Cleanup’ option by linking to the web UI for cleaning up duplicate contacts
  • Use of additional Live ID’s(signing on with a different Live to Windows Live) allows one to have multiple contacts lists for different objectives(friends, family, work, hobbies, etc.)
  • If you read this far(and to appease the parenthetical police and purists) do not confuse working Offline(disconnected from the internet) or Online(connected to the internet) with WLM’s two different Contacts’ modes(Default/Offline[No Live ID sign-in] or Live ID/Online[Live ID sign-in]). If you’re not using a Live ID to sign-in to Windows Live, your contacts are stored and only available Offline (from Windows Live Services)!

Revisions:

Feb 04, 2011: Original Published Date

Feb 05, 2011: Edited for increased clarity and to appease the parenthetical gramma policemen comments Sarcastic smile

April 12, 2011: Updated to reflect Contact folder name (15.5) for Windows Live Mail 2011 QFE3

Windows Live Mail Contacts – Operating Modes

 

Summary:

  An explanation of the two different types of Contact operating modes in Windows Live Mail
  The two different modes are  Default (Offline)  or Live ID (Online)

Operating Modes:

  • Default (Offline) mode
  1. No Live ID sign on
  2. The Default contact database is locally and solely stored on the user’s machine
  3. Contacts are only accessible in Windows Live Mail (WLM)
  4. No synchronization with web interface
  5. Accessible by configuring WLM to ‘Stop Signing In’

    Version 2011 – WLM Button/Options/Mail/<Connection tab>/<Stop signing in>

Optional Keyboard method – Alt F O M <Connection tab>/Stop signing in>

 – use keystroke Control+Tab to navigate to the Connection tab

    Version 2009 – WLM Menu/Tools/Options/<Connection tab>/<Stop signing in>

  • To ensure operation in the ‘Default/Offline mode’ use the ‘Stop signing in’ option and  thereafter when opening WLM (if prompted to sign on) click ‘Cancel’

 

  • Live ID (Online) mode
  1. Live ID sign on to Windows Live (is required)
  2. Live ID Contact database is stored locally and also online (Contacts.live.com)
  3. Accessible in WLM and the web interface (Contacts.live.com); IM (Instant Message) contacts are also accessible in Windows Live Messenger (WLMsgr)
  4. Database synchronization occurs between WLM and the web interface
  5. Synchronization is in both directions(changes made in WLM or online impact the other)
  6. Accessible by configuring WLM to ‘Sign in’  to Windows Live

     Version 2011 – WLM Button/Options/Mail/<Connection tab>/<Sign in>
     Version 2009 – WLM Menu/Tools/Options/<Connection tab>/<Sign in>

  • Contacts are unique to a given Live ID used to sign on to Windows Live in WLM
  • Use of a different Live ID to sign on to Windows Live affords the opportunity for a different set of contacts (thus one can switch to a different set of contacts by signing on with a different Live ID)

     

 

Comments:

  • Locally stored contact databases and contacts are accessible by WLM but not Windows Explorer
  • ‘Sign on’ is to Windows Live, (i.e. one does not sign on to WLM, it only provides the ability to sign on)
  • ‘Sign on’ is not required to send or receive mail in WLM for email accounts using Pop3, IMAP, or Http protocol
  • ‘Sign on’ is not required to send or receive for Hotmail type accounts (Hotmail.com, Live.com, or Msn.com)
  • ‘Sign on’ does ensure your contacts are always accessible and backed up(online)
  •  Do not confuse working Offline (disconnected from the internet) or Online (connected to the internet) with WLM’s two different Contacts’ modes
    • Default/Offline [No Live ID sign-in]
    • Live ID/Online [Live ID sign-in to Windows Live]
      • If  not using a Live ID to sign-in to Windows Live, your contacts are stored and only available Offline!
      • 

  • For a technical overview of  WLM’s Contacts database see –> Windows Live Mail – Contacts Database

Known Issues:

  • WLM’s ‘Backup’ option is only capable of exporting or importing one email address field per contact of the four available email address data fields (Personal, Other, Work, IM) when exporting to/importing from a CSV (Comma Separated Value) file thus use of the Live ID (Online mode) is recommended  to ensure all email fields’ data is retained (stored on the Live servers)
  • WLM’s ‘Backup’ option does not export or import Categories (formerly called Groups in prior Microsoft email clients). Use of the Live ID (Online mode) is recommended to ensure Category data is retained (stored on the Live servers)
  •  

Revisions:
Dec 27, 2010: Original Draft Date
Jan 30, 2011: Orginal Published Date
Feb 10, 2011: Added link to Windows Live Mail – Contacts Database

Windows Live Mail 2011 – Options Menu

Summary:

  • Snapshots of  Windows Live Mail 2011’s ‘Options’ menu and submenus
  • The ‘Options’ menu on the Windows Live Mail Button contains the following submenus
    • Mail (Configuration settings for the program)
    • @E-mail Accounts (Add, Remove, Properties, Set Default, Import, Export for both Mail and News accounts)
    • Newsgroups (Subscribe, Unsubscribe, Reset newsgroups lists)
    • Feeds (Add, Edit, Delete)
    • Safety Options (Configuration for Junk Filter, Safe/Block Senders, Phishing, Security)
  • The ‘Options’ menu and submenus are accessible by mouse or keystroke commands(below)

Windows Live Mail Button Options Menu:

  • Program configuration and setup
    • Keystroke access –> ALT F  O

  • Mail Submenu:
    • Primary menu for configuration of the program’s functionality
    • Individual tabs are present and contain feature specific settings
    • ‘Advanced’ tab contains ‘Maintenance and Troubleshooting’ tools
    • Keystroke access –> ALT F  O  M

  • @ E-mail Accounts Submenu:
    • Applicable to both Mail and News accounts
    • Location to Add, Remove, Edit account(s) properties; Set Default email and news server accounts; Import and Export email and news accounts(*.iaf filetype)
      • Note: Removal of a Pop3 email account deletes the email account and all messages from Windows Live Mail and the user’s hard drive! (i.e. Back-up/Export/Archive before removal of a Pop3 email account)
    • Keystroke access –> ALT F  O  E

  • Newsgroups Submenu:
    • Subscribe or Unsubscribe to newsgroups on a news server account
    • Reset List of newsgroups on news server account
    • Keystroke access –> ALT F  O  N

  • Feeds Submenu:
    • Manage RSS Feeds
    • Add, Edit,  and Delete RSS Feeds
    • Create new folders for additional feed managment
    • Keystroke Access –> ALT F  O  F

  • Safety Options Submenu:
    • Junk Mail Filter settings
    • Add/Edit/Remove Safe Senders email addresses and domains
    • Add/Edit/Remove Blocked Senders email addresses and domains
    • International – Block Top-Level Domain and Encoding
    • Protect Inbox from potential Phishing links and move phishing email for POP/IMAP accounts to the Junk email folder
    • Security – Select security zone(Internet/Restricted), Block Images in HTML email, and configure Secure Mail(Digital IDs)
    • Trust Center (Microsoft Privacy and Service agreements)
    • Keystroke access –> ALT F  O  S

Revisions:

Sept 27, 2010: Original Publish Date (duplicate post on Windows Live Mail 2011 Ribbon GUI)

Dec 5, 2010: Revised Title to Windows Live Mail 2011 – Options Menu

Dec 6, 2010: Revised Content to show Windows Live Mail 2011 ‘Options’ Menu and Submenus

Jan 6. 2012: Updated tags

May 31, 2012: Revised note on Pop3 account removal for better clarity

Windows Live Mail 2011 – Ribbon GUI

Summary:

  • Snapshots of the Windows Live Mail Wave 4 Ribbon GUI –  WLM Button  and Tabs
  • The Ribbon contains multiple options/tabs – Windows Live Mail Button,  Four(4) Tabs for use in Mail or News mode(Home, Folders, View, and Accounts), a Calendar Tab(Home), and a Contact Tab(Home)
  • A Quick Access Toolbar is available(like Office) that permits the addition of icons for respective features found on each tab.
  • The Ribbon can be minimized (leaving only the WLM Button, Tabs and Quick Access Toolbar)
  • The Quick Access Toolbar can be hidden
  • The ‘About’ item on the Windows Live Mail Button shows the Build and Version number(s)

Windows Live Mail Button:

Note:

  • Click ‘About’ to see your Build and Version number. Optionally the same information can be displayed using a keystroke sequence (ALT F B)

Home Tab:

  •  Mail

  • News

  • Note the Quick Access Toolbar(QAT) on the the bottom of the Ribbon.
    • Items on WLM’s Menu(ALT F) or items on the Ribbon tabs can be added to the QAT by right clicking an item to obtain the context menu’s ‘Add to Quick Access Toolbar’ option. Each item added will appear as an icon on the QAT.
    • Items on the QAT cannot be rearranged thus plan ahead(the item’s position/order from left to right) for ease of use to avoid having relatively common items in different locations(on the QAT).

Folders Tab:

  • Mail

  • News

View Tab:

Accounts Tab:

Calendar Home Tab:

Contacts Home Tab:

 Feeds Tab(s):

  • The Feeds Home Tab is shown.  Three other tabs are available (Folders, View, and Accounts) and contain similar options as those on the Folders, View and Accounts tabs shown above.  Items not applicable to ‘Feeds’ management will not be present or available.

Revisions:

June 4, 2010: Original Publish Date
Sept 11, 2010: Updated to differentiate Mail and News tabs; Added Calendar and Contacts Home tabs
Feb 13, 2011:  Added Feeds Home Tab and note on other tabs present in the Feeds module

Jan 6, 2012: Updated pictures for better resolution

Jun 26, 2012: Updated tags.

 

Viewing A Windows Live Mail Message Subject Field in Vista and Windows 7 using Windows Explorer

Summary:

  • Windows Live Mail stores Email and News messages on a pc in a viewable text file format.
  • Email messages use the file type extension ‘eml’; News messages use ‘nws’
  • Both Email and News messages use a hyphenated numerical/hexadecimal format as the filename
    • Two examples for Mail are 00294823-00000147.eml and 26A6701F-00000002.eml
    • Two examples for News are 0FDD08FE-0003DBFF.nws or 63F86350-0003DB89.nws
  • Neither of the above filenames by default show the message’s ‘Subject’ or ‘Title’ field when viewed in Windows Explorer

Recommendation:

  • If using Windows Vista or Windows 7, the ‘Subject’ field can be enabled in Windows Explorer

Instructions:

  1. To add the ‘Subject’ (or ‘Title’ field via the Windows Explorer menu)
  2. Open Windows Explorer
  3. Navigate to the Windows Live Mail folder containing the respective account’s message(s)
  4. The default location for your mail and news folders in Windows Live Mail is:
    • C:\Users\<your Windows logon id>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\<your email or newsgroup account name>
  5. Click on ‘View’ on the Explorer menu or press Alt V
  6. Scroll and select ‘Choose Details’
  7. Scroll and select ‘Subject’ and/or ‘Title’ (see Note below for additional available fields)
  8. Click ‘Ok’

Note:

  • Applicable to all released versions of Windows Live Mail (2011, 2009, 2008)
  • Other fields in addition to ‘Subject’ are available (e.g. To Address, From Address etc) when configuring the ‘Choose Details’ option in Vista’s Windows Explorer
  • This procedure is also applicable to Vista’s Windows Mail for mail and news messages
    • Vista’s Windows Mail default location for your ‘mail’ folders is:
    •  —>  C:\Users\<your Windows logon id>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail\Local Folders
    • Vista’s Windows Mail default location for your ‘news’ folders is:
    • —>   C:\Users\<your Windows logon id>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail\<newsgroup name>

Revisions:

Sept 15, 2008: Original Published Date

Oct 26, 2008: Added ‘Note:’ section on other available fields and applicability to Vista’s Windows Mail messages

Feb 16, 2010: Republished as new entry to reflect applicability to Windows 7

Mar 11, 2010: Corrected spelling

Oct 27, 2010:  Upload new pic to WordPress, original pic had invalid Live SkyDrive location

Clubhouse Tags: Clubhouse, How-To, Windows Live, Mail, News, customization, Vista, Windows 7

Font Color – Gray Text of Read Messages in Windows Live Mail 2009

Summary:

  • Windows Live Mail 2009 by design changes the color of mail and news message(s) text from Black to Light gray once a message(s) is read.
  • The color of the text is controlled by the Windows’ Appearance properties ‘Disabled Item’
  • Multiple options are available depending upon the operating system(XP, Vista, or Windows 7)
  • Gray Text of read messages also applies to Sent messages

How To Change/Override:

1. Rules (XP, Vista, or Windows 7)

For all messages
Highlight it with Black
and Stop processing more rules

or optionally

For all messages
Highlight it with Default
and Stop processing more rules

Notes:

– A rule is applicable to received messages for Pop3 Email accounts and NNTP Newsgroup messages.

– A separate rule must be created for each(Mail and/or News).

– A rule can be applied manually to items in the Sent Items and/or Storage Folders

2. Modify Display Properties (Disabled Item)

XP: Changing the color of ‘3D Objects’ in Windows ‘Advanced Appearance’ options which will automatically modify the color of the ‘Disabled Item’ as well as other 3D Objects. Thus if not acceptable for your viewing then use one of the above ‘Rules’ instead

  • Control Panel\Display\Appearance\Advanced\<Scroll and select the ‘3D Objects’>

– Change the option labeled  ‘Color 1’

Vista and Windows 7: Changing the color of the Disabled Item font will only modify the ‘Disabled Item’

(Note: in each method below, the Control Panel was ‘configured to be shown on’ and ‘accessed from’ the Start Menu[Orb]

  • Vista:

Control Panel\Personalization\Windows Color and Appearance\Classic Appearance Properties\

– Click Advanced, click the Down Arrow in the ‘Item’ field, then scroll and select ‘Disabled Item’

-> Change the option labeled ‘Color’ (e.g. to Black)

  • Windows 7:

Control Panel\Personalization\Window Color\Advanced appearance settings

– Click the Down Arrow in the ‘Item’ field, then scroll and ‘Disabled Item’

-> Change the option labeled ‘Color’  (e.g. to Black)

Revisions:

Sept 04, 2009: Draft Creation date

Sept 08, 2009: Original Publish date

Dec 31, 2009: Updated to add Option 2(Disabled Item)

Jan 14, 2009:  Edited for readability