Fastmail Guide for Personal Users

Introduction

Welcome to Fastmail!

If you're reading this, it's because you'd like to know more about us, or you've signed up and you're interested in a tour.

Getting Started

Logging in via the web

Open your favourite web browser (we support most popular browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari). Navigate to Fastmail's home page at https://www.fastmail.com. You'll need to know your username (this is your email address) and password.

If you're on a computer that nobody else uses, you can also choose keep me logged in which means your browser will remember your password for 30 days. You can force your computer to forget your password by using the "Logout" button in the web interface.

Security warning: Using the keep me logged in feature means no password protection. Your email will be available to anyone who has access to your computer, making it vulnerable to malicious misuse.

Check the troubleshooting guide if you're having problems logging in.

Layout at a glance

When you first log in, you can see a menu bar along the top, the folder list down the left, and the list of messages in your inbox in the content pane.

The menu bar has a dropdown menu from where you can access the contacts, your calendar, notes, files and settings. The menu bar also has buttons to take actions on selected messages, and a search box.

The folder list shows you all your folders and a count of the unread messages in each folder.

The content pane has a list of all messages with a brief preview. The messages are sorted to show the newest first, and filter buttons to let you control if you're just looking at unread mail, or all mail.

Selecting a message will swap to the message view.

This layout is configurable.

Reading mail

Selecting any folder out of the folder list will show the list of messages in that folder. Selecting a message will show you the contents of that message along with any other mail in that conversation.

From here you can manage your mail: reply to it, delete it, forward it, move it to a different folder, pin it, print it, create a rule to automatically filter similar mail or even mark it as spam.

More information on receiving mail.

Sending mail

You might want to compose a new mail, or reply to an existing mail. You can adjust who your message is going to by changing the list of email addresses in the 'to' field.

The 'cc' (carbon copy) field allows you to set who else will be sent a copy. The 'bcc' (blind carbon copy) field allows you to choose who else will be sent a copy without anyone else knowing that you've also included them.

You can also attach files, and change the formatting of your message.

More information on sending mail.

Contacts

Storing information on your contacts makes it easy to send them mail: type a few letters of their name when writing a new email and we'll find their email address for you.

By default, any time you email someone, we'll add them to your contact list so they're ready for next time.

You can add more information to your contacts too: street address, phone number, alternate email addresses. This is useful if you want to sync your contact list with your mobile phone.

More information on your contact list.

Searching

You might be after a particular email, but can't remember when it arrived and your inbox is overflowing.

Use the powerful search functionality to locate mail. For simple searches, enter what you're looking for in the search box in the menu. This could be: who the mail is from, or to; or something in the subject line; or something in the body of the message.

If you want a more refined search, you can use the 'Advanced search...' option below the search box to join more than one search term and add filters to find relevant mail.

If you find yourself running the same search more than once, you can save your search and have it appear in the folder list.

More information on searching.

Managing your account

Change password

You can update your password at any time. We strongly encourage you make use of our two-step verification (2FA) feature to protect your password and keep your account safe.

With two-step verification, you use a second device (a special USB key or a code from an app on your phone) to log in. This means even if your password is compromised (through password reuse on an insecure site, or a malicious attacker getting hold of it), your Fastmail account can't be accessed by anyone else without the second device.

More information on passwords and two-step verification.

Change plan

You can change your plan whenever you'd like: your payment amount will be adjusted to the end of your subscription due date automatically.

You might want to upgrade or downgrade to adjust the set of features you need, or adjust the length of your subscription to take advantage of our multi-year discounts.

Pay subscription

Your subscription to Fastmail will automatically renew on the due date, using any credit you have stored on your account, or via your saved payment method.

You can make a one-off payment in advance of your subscription due date if you don't want to save your payment type with us.

More information on managing payments.

Using a mail client

Whether you'd prefer to access your email, contacts and calendars on a desktop client, or if you want them on your phone or a tablet, our email client setup guide has all the details. We provide instructions for many of the popular email clients such as Apple's Mail.app, Microsoft Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird.

We have our own Fastmail app for Android/Apple phones and tablets, or you can use a third party app or program.

For security, you must use a separate app password when using a third party program. Unlike in the Fastmail app, your normal password won't work.

Using the calendar

Fastmail has a powerful calendar interface, allowing for full event management. This includes inviting colleagues or friends to an event, setting reminder notifications, sharing your calendar with others, or syncing your calendar out to another service, or in from another calendar host.

Stopping spam

Fastmail has excellent spam protection, and we are always inventing new ways to combat the efforts of phishers and spammers. However, for every protection we put in place, spammers are devoting more time to avoiding safeguards.

Our guide to stopping spam is filled with steps you can take to stop unwanted mail without blocking real mail:

Personalise your Fastmail experience

You can customise your language, mail view and calendar timezone in the Settings menu.

Customise your view on the web interface by selecting your language, and layout in the Settings → Preferences screen.

Customise your mail view by: selecting who you want browser notifications from; whether you'd like to use threaded conversation view; whether you prefer to compose new mail in plain text or rich formatted text; whether new contacts are automatically saved to your contact list; and many others on the Settings → Mail Preferences screen.

Customise your calendar by choosing your timezone, whether a new event by default should have a reminder, whether event invitations and updates should be automatically added to your calendar, all on the Settings → Preferences screen.

Power Features

Filtering rules

If you'd like incoming mail automatically saved in a folder, you can create a rule to do so.

Each incoming mail is checked against your rules. If aspects of the message matching the rule condition, then the action in the rule is taken. This can be as simple as filing the mail into a folder, or as complicated as sending out notification to an external system.

Aliases

Aliases can be used in two ways:

  1. Add extra email addresses (at our domains or your custom domain) that you can also receive email into your account from.
  2. Assign more than one person as the target of an email alias. Sending mail to that alias (such as sales@mycompany.com) will send a copy of mail to everyone on that alias.

If you have a custom domain, you can use wildcard or catchall aliases to ensure any address used at your domain will be received into your account.

External accounts

If you have accounts still on other providers, but you'd like to use Fastmail as a central location to read and reply to all your mail (both Fastmail and other), you can set up an identity which lets you send mail using the other address, and optionally fetch the mail from the other mail provider.

Keep your mail from different accounts separate by using folders and rules to filter mail from other accounts into those folders.

Extra email addresses

Even if you don't have your own custom domain, you can still make use of our sub-domain and plus addressing to have additional mail addresses for your use. Addresses in this format can be automatically filed into a folder.

Useful for creating an address when signing up to a new website and you want to send all mail from that company to its own folder. Or, if that address is compromised, use the individual address as a target to file as spam or even move to trash.

What next?

This guide only touches on the main parts of your Fastmail account.