Navigating Your Mailbox

Navigating Mail Client (Back to Top)

When you log into the Mail Client you see a full screen view similar to the one shown below.

The Mail Client page includes the following areas:

  1. Browser Controls. Shows the standard browser buttons, such as Home, the current address you are pointing to, and other features that may depend on your browser software and settings. The buttons on the browser bar are not part of to the Mail Client and display for every Web page you visit.

  2. Search Bar, User Name and Quota Display. The Search, Advanced Search, the user name under which you logged in and your mailbox quota are displayed in this area.

  3. Application Tabs. The applications that you can access are listed in the tabs at the top. On the right is Help and Log Off.

  1. Toolbar. Shows actions available for the application you are currently using. In this example, the Mail application toolbar is displayed.

  2. Overview Pane. Displays your Folders, including the system folders Inbox, Sent, Drafts, Junk, and Trash, as well as any custom folders you may have created, Searches you may have saved, and Tags you created, WebApp links that may have been created to integrate with third-party applications from within your mailbox. When you are in the Calendar application, the Overview pane displays your calendar list and WebApps.

  3. A mini-calendar can be displayed below the Overview pane. Displaying the mini-calendar is optional and can be enabled in Preferences, Calendar tab.

  4. Content Pane. The content of this area changes depending on what application is in use. In the Inbox view, it displays all messages or conversations in your Inbox.

User interface features and shortcuts (Back to Top)

The Mail Client interface includes many convenience features.

  • Down-arrow menus. Some command buttons have a small down-arrow icon next to them. Clicking on the button performs one action, and clicking on the down-arrow icon displays additional menu choices.

  • Drag and drop. Click on and drag messages or conversations between folders.

  • Right-click menus. Right-click on items such as folders, conversations, messages, the "From" column in messages or conversations, or items in mail headers to display a menu of functions that you can perform on that item. This is an example of right-click on From.

  • Movable sash. For split-pane windows such as the Conversation view, you can use the sash to increase or decrease the relative sizes of the upper and lower panes. Click and drag on the bar separating the panes.

  • Clickable items. The mail client follows standard browser conventions by changing the mouse cursor to a "hand" when it passes over an active link.
  • Tool-tips. Passing your mouse cursor over items, such as command buttons, conversations, or mail addresses in message headers, displays a small text box of descriptive information about the item.

  • Paging. Use the left and right arrows in list windows to page back and forth, if the list is too long to fit into a single window. Note that the paging buttons may behave differently on different screens. The numbers represent the sequence of messages on that page. Use the Tool-tips display to identify what the paging will do on your current screen.

Right-click menus (Back to Top)

Many portions of the advanced Mail Client interface allow pop-up action menus that appear when you pass your cursor over an item such as a folder and click your right mouse button. The exact menu choices that appear depend on the type of item.

Right clicking on the following displays right-click menus:

  • Conversations. You can mark conversations as read or unread, apply tags to conversations, delete conversations, or move conversations between folders.
  • Messages. You can reply to or forward the message, mark it as read or unread, apply tags to the message, delete the message, move it to another folder, print, show original header information, and create a new filter.
  • Names in message headers. You can perform searches on the name, begin composing a new mail message addressed to that person, or add the person to your personal Contacts list. If the name is an existing contact, you can edit the contact entry.
  • Folders. You can create a new folder, mark all items within the folder as read, delete or rename the folder, move the folder, expand all folders, or search. You cannot delete system folders (Inbox, Sent, Trash, Junk, Drafts).

Applying actions to multiple selections (Back to Top)

When you view a folder by clicking on the folder name on the left, the contents of the folder display with one item selected (highlighted). You can select one or more items to perform actions as follows:

  • Click to select one item at a time. Clicking on another item de-selects the previous one.
  • Double-click to open an item.
  • Right-click an item to display a menu of actions that can be applied to this item. You can also right-click after selecting multiple items, to apply the same action to all of them at once.
  • Control-click selects multiple items. Can also be used to de-select the current item, leaving nothing selected.
  • Shift-click selects multiple items in sequence. Click on one item and then Shift-click another item further down the list and all items between the two selected items are highlighted.

You can select multiple items, and with one right-click on the mouse choose to Mark as Unread, Tag, Delete, or Move all selected items.

Using browsers (Back to Top)

The Mail Client is designed to work within an Internet browser. Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Macintosh Safari are three of the most popular. Not all browsers are supported, so check with the provider if you have questions.

Some general guidelines when using the Mail Client within a browser:

  • The browser's Back button takes you to the previous page you were viewing. You can also use the Forward button.
  • To log off, click . If you browse to a different site without logging out first, your session may remain active until it times out. If you share a computer, other users can access your account while the session is still active.
  • Do not use the browser's Reload (Refresh) button. Doing so will download the client and start your session over, which is probably not what you meant to do.

When do I need to save my work? (Back to Top)

The Mail Client is a graphical user interface (GUI) that includes windows, buttons, text entry, and mouse.

With a GUI that uses Internet browser technology to display and operate the user features, it is not always possible for the application to detect when you have done something that you might want to save.

Within mail, the following rules apply:

  • If you are in the middle of composing an email message, and you click another portion of the mail screen, you are prompted to save your work. You can subsequently find the message in your Drafts folder.
  • Reloading the Mail Client from the same browser window will continue your mail session, but you may lose any unsaved changes.

Viewing the Overview Pane (Back to Top)

On the left-hand side of the Mail Client interface are your folders, searches, tags, and WebApps (for the advanced Web Client).


  • Inbox is where new mail is placed by default.
  • Sent contains messages that you have sent.
  • Draft contains composed messages that have not yet been sent.
  • Junk contains messages that have been marked as spam either by you or by the system.
  • Trash contains items that you have deleted.
  • Folders that you have created follow. If your mail account was migrated from another mail system such as Microsoft Outlook, you may see extra folders here that represent folders on the previous mail system.

Unread Message Count. The number in parentheses next to each folder is the number of unread messages contained in that folder. Tags folders display unread message count as well. Any item with unread messages is bold.

To see the number of messages and the total size of the folder, hover the cursor over a folder.



This area contains search queries that you created and saved for future use.


This area shows the tags you have created. Click on a tag to quickly see all messages that are tagged with that tag. See Using tags to classify mail messages for more information.


WebApps are created as a mechanism to integrate third-party information and content with the Mail Client features. WebApps let you interact with different content types in your email messages. Depending on your configuration, you may not have access to WebApps from the Overview Pane.

Mail system folders (Back to Top)

The system folders are Inbox, Sent, Drafts, Junk, and Trash. You cannot move, rename, or delete these folders. System folders are always displayed at the top of your folder list, followed by any folders you create.

If you hover the cursor over a folder, the number messages in the folder and the size of the folder are displayed.


New mail arrives in the Inbox. By default, your Inbox is displayed after you log in.


A copy of each message you send is saved in the Sent folder.


Messages you have composed but have not sent can be saved in the Drafts folder. If you open a message in the Drafts folder, it opens in the Compose view.


Most filtering of unsolicited automated mail (aka "spam" or "junk mail") is handled by a spam filter before those mail messages reach your Inbox. Mail that might possibly be junk mail, but isn't certain to be junk, may be placed in your Junk folder. You can review these messages and either move them or delete them. If you don't delete them, they will be purged after 6 days.

If you find a message that is clearly not relevant, you can highlight it and click Junk. The mail is moved to your Junk folder. Reporting mail as junk helps to fine-tune the spam filtering.

Sometimes messages may be put in the Junk folder that are not really junk mail. Drag those messages to another folder.

You can empty the Junk folder by right-clicking the folder from the left-hand pane and choosing Empty Junk. In addition, the contents of the Junk folder will be automatically purged after 6 days.


Deleted items are placed in the Trash folder and remain there until you manually empty the trash or until the folder is purged automatically. Mail is purged from this folder after 15 days.

You can empty the trash by right-clicking the folder from the left-hand pane and choosing Empty Trash.

See also:

Setting your user preferences