How to Set up and Use Email Signatures in Mail for Windows

Including workarounds for using HTML and images

Executive using laptop
She has time to smile for the camera; Mail for Windows inserts her email signature automatically. StockUnlimited

Mail for Windows 10 lets you set up email signatures per account, and you can trick it into using HTML signatures, too.

Why Emails Should End with Signatures

Look at any email you get that—ends abruptly. Does that leave you hanging a bit perplexed? Does it seem a tad unfriendly even? Do you wonder whether you are seeing all the email was meant to be?

Among the puzzlement, one thing is clear: an email without a signature at its tail has not ended well. It has not ended well because it has not, in a way, ended at all.

If you do want to end your emails and want to end them well, Mail for Windows can help you mightily: its simple signature feature automatically adds a few lines of finishing text to any email (be it a new message, a reply or a forward) you write.

Note that Mail for Windows is a Microsoft email program for the desktop and tablet versions of Windows 10 (not Windows 10 mobile); it is distinct from Outlook for Windows (for which you can set up an email signature, of course) as well as Windows Live Mail and Windows Mail (which let you create signatures, too).

How to Style Your Email Signature

You do not want too much of a good thing either, of course.

Picture the signature that is way longer than any reasonable email should be alone and contains 3 times as many different color and font styles as pictures; of think of the tenth season of a sitcom, you loved up until around the middle of season 3.

So, it is best to stick to

  • a few lines of text,
  • simple text styles and
  • few colors rich in contrast as well as
  • one small image or logo.

Add a Signature to Mail for Windows (and Get Rid of "Sent from Mail for Windows 10")

To change the signature appended to emails in Mail for Windows 10:

  1. Click or tap the Settings gear icon (⚙️) in your Mail for Windows's lower left corner.
  2. Open the Signature section.
  3. Make sure Use an email signature is On.
    • If you have more than one email account set up in Mail for Windows, you can set up a separate signature for each—see below—or use the same one across your accounts.
  4. Enter your desired email signature in the text field.
    • The default text set by Microsoft is "Sent from Mail for Windows 10"; do overwrite this text to change it—or keep it, of course.
    • Mail for Windows 10 will not add the traditional standard email signature separator. You can do so yourself, however: add "-- " (two dashes followed by a whitespace character) as the first line of your signature.
    • It is best to limit your email signature to some 4 or 5 lines of text.
  5. Click anywhere outside the Mail for Windows configuration pane.

Mail for Windows will automatically add your signature to any email you compose. When you start a new message, the signature text will appear at the bottom, and you should enter the message above it; when you reply to an email or forward, the signature's text will appear before the original, quoted message, and you type your message above it as well.

Use Different Signatures for Your Email Accounts in Mail for Windows

To create a special signature for an email account in Mail for Windows 10:

  1. Use the Settings gear icon (⚙️) in Mail for Windows.
  2. Open the Signature category.
  3. Make sure Apply to all accounts is not checked.
  4. Now make sure the account for which you want to change the email signature is selected under Select an account.
    1. Mail for Windows 10 will list accounts with their names. If you went with the default names suggested when you added those email accounts, this might be of little help to identify the desired account (which email address belongs to "Outlook 2", after all, and which to "Outlook"?).
    2. Fortunately, changing the account name to something readily identifiable—"Home" and "Work", say, or the account's email address—is easy:
      1. Click or tap < in the Signature preferences pane.
    3. Now select Manage Accounts.
    4. Click an account under Select an account to edit settings. to change its name.
    5. Type desired new name under Account name.
    6. Click Save.
    7. Repeat the previous three steps for all the accounts whose names you would like to change.
    8. Now click < in the Manage Accounts preferences pane.
    9. Select Signature to return to the signature settings.
  1. Make sure Use an email signature is On.
  2. Type (or edit) the account's specific email signature in the text field.
    • See above for hints about content and formatting of your signature.
    • The signature for a work account may differ from a personal email signature; a vocational signature could include your work phone number, for example, or who to contact when you cannot be reached.
  3. Click outside the Mail for Windows signature configuration pane.

Can I Use HTML, Formatting, and Images (Logos) in My Mail for Windows 10 Signature?

Unfortunately, Mail for Windows 10 supports plain text signatures only.

That means you can use text in your signature in practically any language including punctuation marks, of course, and emoji (see below).

If you paste formatted text into the signature editing field (see above), Mail for Windows will convert it to plain text only. Any formatting will be lost.

What Are Workarounds for Mail for Windows Not Supporting HTML Signatures and Images?

If you want to see and show more in your email signature than plain text alone can do, options are limited with Mail for Windows. By no means are you without options at all, though, or ways to work Mail's limitations, at least.

To include some formatting in your Mail for Windows 10 signature, you have at least three options:

1. Use Plain Text Formatting in Your Mail for Windows Signature

You can turn the plain text itself into formatting for your signature.

Deceptively simple, hinting at formatting with punctuation marks can be quite effective—and it fully conforms with both Mail for Windows's insistence on plain text signatures and, possibly, some recipients' preference for plain text.

Plain text formatting you can add includes:

  • *bold*—stars to suggest emphasis through bolded text
  • /italics/—dashes to hint at italicization
  • _underline_—underscores to mimic underlining text
  • |#——bars, hashtags and em-dash characters, among others, to draw lines; you can get your signature text in a box…

Formatting characters can be applied to phrases and lines in addition to applying them to individual words (or parts of words), of course.

To make the formatting strong, you can repeat plain text formatting characters, as in **this example**.

2. Include Emoji Characters in Your Mail for Windows Email Signature

Emoji—graphical smileys and symbols—are another simple, fun and effective way to spice up Mail for Windows 10's plain text email signatures.

To add dashes of color and expression (not to speak of saving characters and space so scarce in signatures), you can add emoji characters to your plain text signature in Mail for Windows.

You can use Mail for Windows's own message editor to add emoji:

  1. Start a new message in Mail for Windows; click + or press Ctrl-N, for instance.
  2. Make sure the account whose signature you want to change—if you have signatures set up per account—is selected under From:.
  3. Add emoji characters to the signature in the email as desired using automatic text replacement: :-) will collapse to a smiling face, for example, :-D becomes a laughing smiley, and <3 turns into ❤️. Make sure you follow the plain text smiley with a whitespace character.
  4. Highlight the edited signature including the newly added emoji.
  5. Press Ctrl-C.
  6. Click the Settings gear icon in Mail for Windows.
  7. Open the Signature category.
  8. If you use different signatures for different accounts, make sure the desired account is chosen under Select an account.
  9. Click in the signature entry field.
  10. Make sure all text in it is highlighted.
    • Press Ctrl-A if it is not.
  11. Now press Ctrl-V to paste the just-copied new signature text.
  12. Click back in the message composition pane.
  13. Now click Discard.
  14. If you are prompted, click Discard again under Discard draft?.

    You can also enter emoji characters directly using the Windows 10 on-screen keyboard:

    1. Click the Settings gear icon in Mail for Windows.
    2. Open, as by now may be customary, the Signature category.
    3. Make sure the desired account is highlighted under Select an account if you have email signatures set up by account.
    4. Click in the signature editing field.
    5. Make sure the text entry cursor is positioned where you want the emoticon or emoji character to appear.
    6. Click the Touch keyboard button in the Windows taskbar.
      • If you do not see the Touch keyboard button, click in an empty area of the Windows taskbar with the right mouse button and select Show touch keyboard button from the menu that has appeared.
    7. Now click the emoji button in the touch keyboard that has shown.
    8. Find and click the desired emoji character to add it to your Mail for Windows 10 email signature.
    9. Click outside the Signature configuration pane to exit that setting saving your new signature.

    3. Copy and Paste Rich HTML Signatures into Mail for Windows

    For a full, if a bit cumbersome, HTML signature experience in Mail for Windows 10, you can store your richly formatted signature outside Mail's signature options; to use that signature, you would copy and paste it into emails.

    Instead of Mail for Windows inserting your signature in every email you compose, you can paste that text yourself—with all the formatting you desire. You can compose the signature in an HTML editor (on your computer or on the web) for example and keep the signature either in the cloud or locally.

    To insert the rich signature:

    1. Open the web page that contains your desired signature in a browser.
    2. Highlight and copy the signature's content.
    3. Paste it into any email you are composing in Mail for Windows.

    Remember to go through this a tad cumbersome process every time you do want to add your graphical signature to an email. You can set up a standard plain text signature in Mail for Windows as above, of course; it will be present as a default and fallback unless you replace it with its more fancy self.

    To use Mail for Windows itself as a repository for one or more HTML email signatures—even signatures containing images:

    1. Start with a new email message in Mail for Windows; press Ctrl-N, for example, or click +.
    2. Edit any signature already present or start fresh; to do the latter, press Ctrl-A followed by Del.
    3. Use the Mail for Windows formatting tools to style your email signature:
      • Make sure the Format tab is enabled on the toolbar to apply formatting such as a bold font or text alignment to text.
    4. To add an image to your Mail for Windows 10 email signature:
      1. Make sure the tab is open in the message's formatting toolbar.
      2. Select Pictures.
      3. Locate and highlight the image (or images) you want to insert.
      4. Click Insert.
        1. (Note that you cannot insert images to be downloaded from a web server when the email is opened; Mail for Windows will always send a copy of the image as an attachment. This is also true when you copy and paste your signature from outside Mail for Windows, say from a web page.)
    5. Type a desired name for the signature (such as "Work, Prospects") over Subject.
      • This "title" will help you find the desired signature later, especially if you create multiple HTML signatures in Mail for Windows.
    1. Enter your own email address under To:.
    2. Click Send.
    3. Create a folder to hold your signatures:
      1. Open the All folders view; click the folder icon in the Mail for Windows navigation bar.
      2. Now click + next to All folders.
      3. Enter a name for your signatures folder; "Signatures" should do fine.
      4. Press Enter.
    4. Open your email inbox in Mail for Windows.
    5. Now open the message containing nothing but the HTML signature that you just sent yourself.
    6. Verify it has the signature with all the formatting and images as you want to use it in emails in Mail for Windows.
    7. Click Move in the message's toolbar.
      • You may have to click or tap ··· before to access the Move button.
    8. Select your signatures folder under Move to….
    9. Now go to your account's Sent Items folder.
    10. Highlight the signature email you sent yourself before.
    11. Click Delete in the toolbar.
    12. Typically, you will want to make the signature folder easily accessible:
      1. Open All folders view as above.
      2. Click on the signatures folder you created before with the right mouse button.
      3. Select Add to Favorites from the context menu that has appeared.

      Now, to use your new HTML signature when you compose a new message or reply in Mail for Windows 10:

      1. Open the message—be it a new message, a reply or a forward—in a separate window:
        1. Click the Open message in a new window button in the composition window's header area.
      2. Back in the main Mail for Windows window, go to your signatures folder.
      3. Open the email that contains the signature you want to use.
      4. Highlight the signature—or possibly just part of the signature—you want to use; you can use the mouse or click in the message's body and press Ctrl-A.
      5. Press Ctrl-C to copy.
      6. Switch to the email composition window.
      7. Make sure the present signature—and only the signature—is selected; again, select with the moue or press Ctrl-A to select everything in a new email, for example.
      8. Press Ctrl-V to paste the signature.
      9. Now continue composing, addressing and, perhaps, formatting your email, reply or forward.
      10. Eventually, click Send or press Ctrl-Enter.

      To edit a signature kept in the signatures email folder, start a message with the old signature, edit it to taste, sed yourself the edited signature, save it to the signatures folder and delete the old signature's email.

      Is There a Way to Edit the Signature File Directly? What Is the Mail for Windows Email Signature Configuration File Location?

      I have tried and have not really been successful editing Mail for Windows signatures directly on file. It is difficult even to locate the precise location where Mail keeps the current signatures to use.

      Mail for Windows stores general settings—such as whether signatures are enabled—in a file called

      settings.dat found in the %LocalAppData%\Packages\microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_***\Settings folder (where "***" refers to a random string of characters).

      This is not the location where email signatures are kept, though. Signature text is kept, together with emails stored locally, in files at a more general storage location:


      Files are kept in .dat files (usually containing nothing but plain text) in sub-folders of the Unistore\data folder. To identify the .dat file that contains a signature, you can try the following:

      1. Open Mail for Windows.
      2. Add or edit an email signature. (See above.)
      3. Close Mail for Windows.
      4. Open the %LocalAppData%\Comms\Unistore\data\ folder in Windows Explorer.
      5. Go through the folders by changed date to find the most recently changed .dat files.
      6. For each file, open it in Notepad and see whether it contains the just-edited email signature.

      Note that I have not been able to change a signature successfully by editing a .dat file.

      (Tested with Mail 17 for Windows 10)