Windows 8 - rename mail accounts

Here’s a trick that makes it easier to keep track of the different accounts set up on your Windows 8 tablet or computer. Try this:

—  Open up the full-screen Mail app.

—  Bring out the Charms bar and click on Settings. (Charms bar: swipe in from the right, or mouse to the lower right corner, or hit Windows key+C.)

—  Click on Accounts.

Windows 8 - mail account settings

You’ll see one or more accounts listed. The first one is probably the Microsoft account used to log into the computer. There will be more if you’ve added other mail accounts.

If the list is obvious and clear, don’t change anything.

The list of accounts might be confusing. If you used your work or personal email address for your Microsoft account, you might have entries that appear to be duplicative.

It happens frequently in businesses because of Microsoft’s conflicting consumer (“Microsoft”) and business (“Office 365”) accounts. It’s common for business people to have an Office 365 address used for email, and a Microsoft account tied to the same email address. Both will be listed in Windows 8, and both will probably be identified as “,” with nothing but ambiguous icons to distinguish them from each other.

To make things clearer, click on the first account. Type in “Microsoft account” for the account name. Here’s the way it looks on my computer.

Windows 8 - type in friendly account name

[Geeky detail: If your Microsoft account is also your email account – or – you will likely have a checkmark in the box for “Content to sync: Email.” If your Microsoft account is set up with a work or personal email address, then mail is synced through its own connector, not through the Microsoft account connector.]

Push the back arrow and click on the next account. Give it a meaningful name. In the picture at the top, you can see that I called mine “Office 365.”

You’ll see those account names used elsewhere in Windows 8 – for example, in the People and Calendar apps. The labels make it easier to tell the accounts apart.

It’s a small change but it might make life a little easier – and we need all the help we can get with our technology now.

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