Windows Live Hotmail supports keyboard shortcuts, which allow you to be more efficient by not having to use your mouse for many email-related operations. As many other settings, these can be turned off (disabled), and customized themselves: Hotmail allows you to choose between three options, to make your experience more familiar. Hotmail can use the same keyboard shortcuts as Outlook Web Access ("WOA"), which your organization may already use for remote email checking, or use the same shortcuts as either Gmail or Yahoo Mail. In this tutorial, we will show you how to enable or disable Hotmail keyboard shortcuts, and how to configure which keystrokes it should use.
First, sign in to your Hotmail account; once inside your inbox, click on the "Options" menu, and click on "More options", as shown on the screenshot below:
When the next screen loads ("Hotmail Options"), click on the "Keyboard shortcuts" link under "Customizing Hotmail", and you will see the following screen load:
To disable Hotmail keyboard shortcuts altogether, choose the "Turn off keyboard shortcuts" option, and click on "Save" - Windows Live will apply the change immediately, and special keystrokes (accidental or voluntary) will no longer trigger any special action. If you want to re-enable them, just follow the steps described above, and choose one of the settings explained below.
To enable or change your keyboard shortcuts, choose one of the three following options: "Hotmail and Outlook Web Access (WOA)" will use keyboard shortcuts you are probably already familiar with if you have ever used a Microsoft email program like Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, or any version of Microsoft Office Outlook. To make Hotmail use the same keyboard shortcuts as other popular webmail providers, choose either "Yahoo! Mail" or "Gmail".
Once you have made your choice, click on the "Save" button to apply the new setting, and once you are redirected to the general options screen, click on the "Go to inbox" link to return to your Hotmail inbox.
This is all it takes to customize keyboard shortcuts for Hotmail.com, and enable or disable them as needed; note that this option will affect your Windows Live profile, not just Hotmail inside the web browser you are using. If you want to revert back to a previous choice, do it manually whenever you feel like it.
Tip: if you compare the differences between keyboard shortcuts for Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, and Gmail (as they are supported web browsers supported by Hotmail or the other two), you'll notice that many of these keystrokes overlap, for a simple reason: before web browsers became powerful enough to support such advanced webmail clients as the big three, keyboard shortcuts for email came from regular email programs.