Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1.


Troubleshoot email

If you're having problems working with the Mail app or Outlook on your Surface, try these solutions.


Things to check first

First, make sure you have the latest updates installed for the Mail app, Windows and Surface.

Windows Store apps are periodically updated by their publishers and the updates will automatically download and install as they become available.

To check for app updates manually:

Step 1:  From the Start screen, tap or click Store.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Store.)
Step 2:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap or click Settings, then tap or click App updates.
Step 3:  Tap or click Check for updates.
Step 4:  If there are app updates available, tap or click Install.

To check for updates to Windows and Surface, see Install Surface and Windows updates.

I can’t find or close the Mail app

If you removed the Mail app tile from your Start screen, you can pin it again. Here’s how:

Step 1:  From the Start screen, swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Search.)
Step 2:  In the search box, enter mail.
Step 3:  Tap and hold the Mail app or right click to select it, then tap or click Pin to Start.

If you uninstalled the Mail app, you can reinstall it from the Windows Store (the app name is Mail, Calendar and People). For info on how to install apps, see one of the following:

For help closing apps, including the Mail app, see Start, find and close apps on Surface.

I want to use Outlook but I can’t find it on Surface

Outlook 2013 RT is included free as part of Surface 2, as well as newer Surface RT devices. If it is not already pinned to your Start screen, you can pin it again.

Step 1:  From the Start screen, swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Search.)
Step 2:  In the search box, enter outlook.
Step 3:  Tap and hold Outlook 2013 or right click to select it, then tap or click Pin to Start.

If you have an older Surface RT device, you won’t have Outlook 2013 pre-installed, but you can get it free by updating from Windows RT to Windows 8.1 RT.

To find out about your options for using Outlook on Surface Pro, see Install and use Microsoft Office on Surface Pro.

To learn how to get started with Outlook, see Basic tasks in Outlook 2013.

I can’t see all my email messages in the Mail app

If you’re not seeing new messages in an email account, try to sync the account manually.

Step 1:  On the Start screen, tap or click Mail.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and click Mail.)
Step 2:  Swipe down from the top edge and tap or click More, then tap or click Sync.
By default, the Mail app only keeps email messages for two weeks. You can still find older messages by opening the Search charm in Mail.

To change the setting for how much email is downloaded:

Step 1:  On the Start screen, tap or click Mail.
Step 2:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap or click Settings.
Step 3:  Tap or click Accounts.
Step 4:  Tap or click on the account you want to change settings for, then tap or click the drop box below Download email from and select a timeframe.
Notes
  • To save time and space, the Mail app doesn’t automatically sync every folder. You must tap or click a folder to sync it. Once you’ve selected it, that folder syncs on the same schedule as your inbox for that account.
  • If manual syncing doesn’t solve the problem, check the Microsoft services status page to see if there are any current issues with Outlook services.
  • To learn more about syncing accounts and individual folders, see Mail app for Windows.

I can’t add or delete an email account

For info about how to add your email accounts, see Set up and use email.

If you want to remove an account:

Step 1:  From the Start screen, tap or click Mail.
Step 2:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap or click Settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down and then click Settings.)
Step 3:  Tap or click Accounts.
Step 4:  Tap or click the account you want to remove, and then tap or click Remove account or Remove all accounts.

If you remove the account you used to set up Mail, you’ll remove all of your accounts from Mail, Calendar and People. Instead of deleting your account, you may want just want to stop syncing mail from the account.

I get an error message when I try to add an account

If you see “That email address or password didn’t work. Double-check them and try again” error message when you are adding a new account, the Mail app may be trying to join two accounts (which doesn’t work) instead of setting one as a delegate. You can use aliases to fix this issue. See Use aliases to add email addresses to your account for more info on aliases and steps for using them.

I’m having trouble with an Exchange email account

For help setting up a Microsoft Exchange account and troubleshooting connectivity issues, see Set up your Office 365 or other Exchange-based email in Outlook 2013.

I can’t add a POP email account

The Mail app doesn't support adding email accounts that use Post Office Protocol (POP). If your email account uses POP and you want to access it on your Surface, see Using email accounts over POP.

Tip
Another solution is to add the POP email account to Outlook or Outlook RT instead of the Mail app.

I’m having trouble with an IMAP account

Most account settings are automatically detected by the Mail app after you enter your email address and password. If your email provider uses the IMAP protocol and the Mail app can’t find settings for your email address, follow the steps below to configure account settings manually for your IMAP account.


Note
You may need to contact your email account provider to get the account settings you'll need to add your email account to the Mail app.
Step 1:  On the Start screen, tap or click Mail.
Step 2:  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap or click Settings.
Step 3:  Tap or click Accounts, and then tap or click Add an account.
Step 4:  Tap or click Other account, tap or click IMAP, and then tap or click Connect.
Step 5:  Enter your email address and password, then tap or click Connect.
The Mail app will try to determine your email account settings. If the Mail app cannot locate your account you will see the message:
We still can’t find settings for email@address.com

You will be asked to provide the following additional information:

  • Username
  • Password
  • Incoming (IMAP) email server name
  • Incoming (IMAP) email server port
  • Outgoing (IMAP) email server name
  • Outgoing (IMAP) email server port
  • If “Use the same username and password to send and receive email” is unchecked, you’ll see two additional text fields – Username and Password – for the outgoing email server (SMTP).

Step 6: Enter the information and tap or click Connect.
When the Mail app finds your account, the new account is added to your list of available accounts.

Gmail: I can’t add my account, see new messages, or sync my calendar

Google increased its security measures to block access to Google accounts after 15 July 2014 if those accounts are being set up or synced in apps and on devices that use Basic Authentication.

If you’re having trouble adding a Gmail account to Outlook, you may need to enable Basic Authentication for your Gmail account. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Go to the Google Less secure apps page.
Step 2:  Select Enable, then tap or click Done.

If your Gmail account no longer syncs correctly (new messages no longer appear in Mail), or if you want to set up or fix your Google account on Surface, you may need to remove your existing Google accounts and reconnect them. For more info, see How to Sync Google services with Windows.

Google stopped support for new EAS (Exchange ActiveSync) connections in some scenarios on 30 January 2013. This can cause your Google calendar to stop syncing with the Mail app.

I’m having trouble with attachments, messages, calendars or contacts

For help setting or changing the default app that runs when you open an email attachment, see Choose the apps Windows uses by default.

For help using and managing Mail app features such as messages, calendars, contacts or address books, see Set up and use email.