Change the Default Font in Windows Live Mail or Outlook Express

You Don't Have to Use Your Email's Default Font Face and Color

Type Letters
Bill Dickinson/Typography/Getty Images

In 2005, the Outlook Express email service was renamed Windows Mail for Windows Vista. Windows Mail was subsequently replaced by Windows Live Mail in 2007.

In 2014, Microsoft discontinued Windows Live Mail 2012, which was the final version of the email client. It enjoyed limited support with Hotmail accounts until that service became It is no longer available for download, but some users are still able to use Windows Live Mail with Gmail and other non-Microsoft email accounts.

Change the Default Font in Outlook Express, Windows Mail or Windows Live Mail

By default, Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, and Outlook Express use Arial as the font for messages and replies. However, the email providers allow you to customize the default font face and color that is used for messages and replies.

To permanently set the default font face and color for new messages in Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, or Outlook Express:

  • Select Tools > Options from the menu in Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail or Outlook Express. In Windows Live Mail, you may have to hold down the Alt key to see the menu bar.
  • Go to the Compose tab.
  • Under Compose Font, click the Font Settings button next to Mail.
  • Choose the desired font and color.
  • Click OK.

Does the Font Look Unnaturally Small?

If you changed your default font to a larger type but can barely see what you are typing, it may be the fault of the reading font settings. Check in the main Windows Mail or Outlook Express window under View > Text Size and adjust if necessary.

Default Stationery Overrides Default Font

To make sure Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, or Outlook Express is using the font you just specified, do not define a default stationery. The stationery's font settings are used no matter what you specify under Font Settings.