Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Terminology around email can be confusing and can lead to incorrect answers to misstated questions. I'll review some common and important terms.
I want to change my email program from Hotmail to something else. How to do?
I'm going to use this as an opportunity to clear up a confusion that I see all the time. A lot of folks might not believe me when I say this, but the confusion is surprisingly common.
In short: Hotmail is not an email program.
An email program is not at all the same thing as an email service or an email account.
Time for some definitions.
An email service is something like Hotmail or Gmail or perhaps the email services provided by your ISP, domain registrar, school or place of employment. The "service" is that they maintain and run the email servers and software that do two things:
Route the email you send on the first leg of its journey to its recipient.
Collect the email that is destined for you in a location from which you can access it.
Email services determine how you access your email. Some provide only web-based interfaces, others provide additional ways of accessing or downloading your email using the machine of your choosing. They don't dictate which machine you access from, simply the methods by which it can be accessed.
An email address uniquely identifies the email service you are using and your mailbox as provided by that service. When email is sent to your email address it's collected by your email service and placed in an inbox that you have access to.
The domain part of an email address - the part after the "@" - is the only part used to route email to your service; either the domain obviously identifies the service (hotmail.com, gmail.com and so on), or additional information is used to identify the mail server that is assigned to handle email for that domain.
It's only after the email arrives at the email service's mail servers that the email name - the part before the "@" - examined to see whose mailbox it should be placed in.
Once again, there's nothing about your email address that determines what machine you might receive it on, or how you would go about accessing it. All it does is identify your inbox, and which service you're using.
An email account is something you establish with an email service. In most cases you can think of an email account as your inbox or service-provided email folders.
An account is often uniquely identified by a single email address, but that is not always the case. Some services will let you have multiple different email addresses that all deliver to the same email account/inbox.
Many email services, particularly the free ones, will use the email address you've been assigned to uniquely identify your account. A different email address is, by definition on these services, a completely different account.
Other services may use some other kind of login ID to be that of your account, and to have that be different than your actual email address.
As soon as you say "program" you're talking about software, and typically an email program is the software that you run on your computer to access your email.
An email program must be configured with your email account information in order to access your email. That typically includes your email address, and perhaps your email account ID if it's different, as provided by your email service.
Strictly speaking, an email program is something like Outlook, or Thunderbird, or the Windows Live Mail - all of which are software that you purchase or download and install on your PC in order to be used.
We might consider your web browser to "be" the email program you use to access web-based email, but again - strictly speaking you're not using an email program at all in that case. You're accessing your email account over the web using your web browser and a web interface provided by your email service.
So just what is it that you move when you move from one machine to another?
None of the above, really.
If you're using an actual PC email program, you need to:
Install that program on the machine you're moving to.
Move your email messages and contact list from your old machine.
Configure that program to access your email account, which typically means telling the program your account ID, your email address, your password, and other information related to accessing your email as provided by your email service.
Start downloading any new email on the new machine, and stop downloading email on the old.
The only thing really "moved" is your collected email and contacts. Everything else is an installation and configuration to properly access email from the new machine.
If you're using web-based email, things are conceptually simpler:
Open a web browser on the new machine.
Visit your email service's web site.
There's really nothing to move from one computer to another.
The original question was changing from Hotmail to something else. By now we know you're not changing your email program, but rather you're changing your email service - which typically implies you're also changing your email address.
At a high level, changing email services means you'll do this:
Create a new email account with a new email service. This will give you a new email address.
If you're using an PC-based email program, then configure it to use your new email account and address.
If you're using a web-based email service, then just login to it using your browser to access your new email account.
Tell all your friends, business relations, newsletter subscriptions and anyone else who might care what your new email address is.
It's really no surprise that people get confused - there are several layers of complexity here, and many terms that aren't always as specific as we might want them to be.
Unfortunately, when it comes to computers, and particularly when seeking help for computer problems, terminology matters - a lot.
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