How do I send emails to a group?

Sometimes you need to act as the “town crier” for a group or want to send out emails to the same bunch of friends. Making sure that everybody is on the “cc” list can get to be a chore and it is easy to miss somebody.

Mail clients let you set up “groups”. In Live Mail they are called “categories”. So the first step is to collect your recipients into such a group. Then sending emails repeatedly to the same group is a snap. Here are the details for doing so in Live Mail.

Set up a group in Live Mail

  1. Open your Live Mail client program.
  2. Click Contacts in the lower part of the left pane (see illustration below).
  3. Click Category in the New group of the ribbon.
  4. A “Create a new category” dialog opens. There is a place to enter a name for the group. Do so.
  5. Your contacts show in the dialog. Click all the ones you wish to include in the group. The selected contacts will show up in the box toward the bottom of the dialog.
  6. You can type in email addresses of others in the box at the bottom. Separate them with semicolons.
  7. When you are finished adding recipients to the group click Save.


That’s all there is to setting up a group.

Sending an email to a group with Live Mail

To send an email to the group is quite simple, but there are a couple of precautions to observe. You can prepare the email as you normally do, or even start by forwarding an email as you would normally. Here are the rest of the steps.

It is never good to show the email addresses of all your recipients in the emails. The proper way is to use “bcc” to hide the addresses.

  • Open Live Mail and start the new message as you normally would.
  • To the right of the Subject entry box click Show Cc & Bcc (unless the Bcc field is already open).


  • Click Bcc… in front of the entry field. This opens a new window showing your contacts including your groups.
  • Double-click the name of the group. The group will now show in the Bcc field at the bottom of the window.
  • Click OK.


  • Add your own email address in the to To… field.
  • Finish the email and send it as you normally would.


Do remember that your friends don’t want to be spammed. Group mail should not be misused!


© 2014 Ludwig Keck

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Can I send photos to a SkyDrive album via email?

Update 6 April 2012: As of May 2012 this feature will no longer be available.

Yes, you can send photos to your SkyDrive albums via email. Windows Live SkyDrive offers a large amount of free storage and some nice photo album features. Normally you upload with a drag-and-drop procedure or, even easier, directly from Windows Live Photo Gallery.

ULbE-01pSending photos to a prime-level SkyDrive album via email is another very useful option. The procedure must be enabled first.

Here is how:

Log in to your Windows Live account. In the upper right corner click on your name. In the drop down menu, click Options. See the red pointers in the illustration here.

imageOn the options page in the lower right corner find and click Email publishing.

This takes you to the Email publishing page. Most of the page is greyed out until you click the Turn on email publishing check box.image

When the form is enabled, there are four steps:

  1. Enter the email address (up to three) from which photos can be sent to a SkyDrive album. Note that photos sent from any other address will not be delivered to the album, the email will just be lost.
  2. Enter a “secret” word. This will become part of the address for sending the photos. This is just used to make the process more secure. (No spaces in this word!)
  3. Select album codes. This is an optional step, codes, three-digit numbers, are pre-assigned to your albums. You can change these, but the ones offered will work just fine.
  4. Click the Save button.

Once you have saved the information, there will be a display of the email addresses for sending the photos. Each album – and this is only for the prime-level albums, it does not work for albums inside other albums – has a unique email address. The address looks like this: Where name is a name derived from your name, it may be slightly different from your user name – be careful with that! The album will be the three digit album number (or other, if you changed it) to identify which album it is. The secretword is the word that you specified.

imageTo send photos to an album you must originate the email from an email address you specified on this page. Attach the photo or photos to the email. Do not use the Photo album feature in Live Mail. Do not “Change to photo album”.

Be sure to use the correct email address from your Email publishing page.

If using Hotmail use Insert: Attachments, do not use the Photos link.

Enter a subject and message if you like so you can find and see the email in your sent messages. Only the photos get to your album, no messages, no hint that they were sent via email. Only JPG photos can be sent to albums, this does not work for sending documents, just pictures.


© 2011 Ludwig Keck

How do I undo emoticons in a Live Mail message?

Windows Live Mail makes it easy to include emoticons in email messages. They can all be generated with one or more characters, usually enclosed in parentheses. But what if you want something like “select your file(s)” to appear that way and not have an emoticon replace the “(s)” or similar text?

Type your text, when the emoticon appears just press the backspace key, or click the “undo” icon, or press Ctrl+Z. The original text you want will replace the emoticon and you can continue typing.

If you want the emoticon, click Emoticon in the Insert group up in the Ribbon. The drop-down menu offers a wide selection. Just click the one you wish to insert.image


Here is a partial list of “single character in parentheses” emoticons. Note that this list includes a few symbols that are not emoticons. These are images to avoid confusing your browser.






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© 2011 Ludwig Keck