When you first sign into your Hotmail account, you will either end up in your inbox, or on the Windows Live Home page - depending on settings that can be customized. At any rate, your Hotmail inbox will automatically show the latest email messages from the mail server (no need to manually refresh to download new emails, for example). But what happens when you are already inside Windows Live Hotmail, and want to check for new emails on the server? This tutorial explains how to manually check for email messages without refreshing the entire page.
Here is a screenshot of your typical Hotmail inbox, with email folders displayed on the left hand side, and your email messages for the current folder shown in the middle column (or at the top, if you have configured the Reading Pane to be displayed above your emails). Notice that the current email folder is highlighted - inbox, in our case:
The traditional way to check if a web page has been updated (since a webmail service like Windows Live Hotmail is actually a web page), is to use the standard keyboard shortcut to refresh, which is F5 on Windows and Linux, and Command+R on Mac OS X. In the case of Hotmail, this will mean refreshing the entire page, not just the inbox - which takes uselessly longer.
To check for new messages on the server, Hotmail gives you two options: the first one (added in the new Hotmail), is to click on the double-arrow refresh button, as shown below. No change means that you have already downloaded all latest emails:
Another technique to make sure that you have downloaded the latest emails on the Hotmail.com servers is to simply click on the email folder name for which you want to check on new emails. Click on your Hotmail inbox on the left to try it out! You will see a brief flicker, which indicates that Hotmail is reloading the content of that folder.
Hotmail Tip: what should you want to click on email folders other than the Inbox or Junk mail folder, where all messages are delivered by default? This is because once you have created email rules to automatically filter and move your emails, these new messages could arrive in any folder you have specified, not necessarily the inbox or spam folder! But you will know yourself which folders to check.