Windows Mail (formerly Outlook Express)

[Windows Mail (formerly Outlook Express) is available for use in Windows Vista. It may be altered or unavailable in subsequent versions.]


New applications should not use Windows Mail (formerly Outlook Express). It exists for backward compatibility with legacy applications. Windows Mail may not be supported in the next version of Windows.


Windows Mail is an online communication tool supplied as part of Windows Vista and later versions.

This documentation is provided for programmers who want to extend the functionality of Windows Mail.

Developer Audience

The Microsoft Visual C++ class-based interface is designed for use by C/C++ programmers. Familiarity with Component Object Model (COM) is required. Additionally, familiarity with the Windows graphical user interface and message-driven architecture may be helpful.

Windows Mail Documentation

This documentation is organized as shown in the following tables.


Handling for Account Data Describes the mechanism for storing mail, news, and directory service account data.
Developer Features for Windows Mail Describes the latest application features.



Database Describes database-related API.
Messaging Describes messaging-related API.
Networking Describes network-related API.
Accounts Describes accounts-related API.
Miscellaneous Describes miscellaneous API.


Windows Vista provides a mechanism and user interface for storing and retrieving information about people (contacts). For information, see Windows Contacts.