Windows 11 is rolling out this week (although it may take some time before it gets to your machines). As a Windows Insider MVP, I am running Windows 11 using the Windows Insider Program where everyone subscribed to the channel gets weekly updates, depending on which channel you prefer to be on. Windows 10 had limitations in what accounts you could add to the default mail app. In Windows 11, however, we now can add Office 365 or Exchange accounts. Yes, you read it correctly. Just to bring to your attention, I did encounter multiple issues that I will highlight below. The default email app in Windows 11 allows you to add in multiple types of accounts, and below is a snippet of what the Windows 11 Mail app looks like in the preview edition:
First look at the Windows 11 Mail app
The look and feel are great. You can see all your accounts with your folders on the left, and you can add a new mail directly above the Accounts section.
If you click on Accounts on the left-hand side, a new section opens on the right that shows you the current accounts that are set up and you can either link an inbox or add an account. Below is what the menu for this looks like:
When you click on the + Add account button, you will be presented with a range of options as shown below:
As you can see above, I highlighted the option for Office 365 and Exchange. You have other options, such as Outlook.com, which will automatically be added if you signed in to Windows 11 with your account. You can create a free account or log in to Google, Yahoo, iCloud, or any POP/IMAP account you may have. When you click on the Office 365 option, you will be prompted to enter your email address. As soon as you press enter, the Office 365 page comes up asking for your password.
A few bugs to be ironed out
I noticed that if I try to add an account that has multifactor authentication enabled and you need to approve it on your Microsoft Authenticator app, the Windows 11 Mail app runs into an error and then quits. You have to start all over again. If you add in an account that does not have 2FA enabled, the account adds perfectly, and the Windows 11 Mail app lists it under your accounts section, as shown in the first image. It could be possible that accounts with multifactor are yet to be supported, or the version of Windows 11 Insider I am on is having an issue.
If you right-click on the account you have just logged in to, you will notice that you do not have that many options to work with as shown below:
If you click on Account Settings, you will be presented with the information below:
Here, you can change the name or the account settings, which launches the Office 365 page. But when I click on Options for syncing your content, Windows 11 stops responding, and you cannot click on anything.
Another thing that I want to highlight is that the folder I have on my account does not show on the Windows 11 Mail app. Outlook on the Web (OWA) and Microsoft Outlook, however, show all the folders. But if you use Outlook, when you receive a new email, it automatically displays in Windows 11 Mail. But nothing came through after sending a test email and clicking on the Sync button. It just stays there with the little dots running across the screen and does not show anything.
An Outlook account syncs perfectly and updates in real-time, just like an Exchange or Microsoft 365 account does. While the Windows 11 Mail app looks nice and appears to function flawlessly for Outlook.com accounts, it seems that the option to add an Exchange or Office 365 account is still buggy. I tried the same thing on an older version from the Windows 11 Insider, and the result is the same, so I would need to give feedback to the Microsoft Windows 11 team regarding this.
Running Outlook 2019 on Windows 11 Insider works fine, but I noticed that it does spike the CPU randomly, and then comes back down again. This might be Windows 11 or the version of Outlook I am using.
You may want to wait for the final version
So, if you want to use the Windows 11 default Mail app and you are on the Windows 11 Insider program, you may want to wait for the mainstream release coming soon or for the next Windows 11 Insider Preview release to see if the Windows 11 Mail app works better than it does currently. Or, if you are someone like me who likes to test things and does not mind if certain things are not working, then go ahead and use the Windows 11 Mail app. For those who like things to work, you can use Microsoft Office and use Outlook that you are used to until the final version of Windows 11 Mail is available.
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