Accessing Your Outlook.com Email With Outlook Express Using POP

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Select "Tools | Accounts..." from the menu in Outlook Express. Heinz Tschabitscher

Microsoft's suite of email programs and services has changed frequently over the years. For example, the Outlook Express program was discontinued more than a decade ago, and services branded as Hotmail and Windows Live Mail were rebranded as Outlook.com in 2012.

Although Outlook Express only works on PCs with Windows XP or older—as of 2018, less than 2 percent of all internet-connected computers—a few holdout users remain. The instructions that follow describe how to connect Outlook Express to an Outlook.com email account using Post Office Protocol. Instructions differ if you're using Microsoft's newest built-in email program, Windows Mail on Windows 10.

Access an Outlook.com Account With Outlook Express Using POP

Before you can connect to an Outlook.com account using POP, you must activate POP access within Outlook.com by logging into the webmail application to adjust its settings.

With POP activated within Outlook.com, configure Outlook Express to access your account:

Screenshot of Outlook Express connecting to Outlook.com over POP server settings
  1. In the Outlook Express menu, click Tools > Accounts.
  2. Click Add > Mail.
  3. Type your name under Display name then click Next.
  4. Enter your Outlook.com address under E-mail address, then click Next.
  5. Under My incoming mail server is a ___ server, ensure that POP3 is selected.
  6. Under Incoming mail (POP3, IMAP, or HTTP) server, type pop-mail.outlook.com.
  7. Under Outgoing mail (SMTP) server, enter smtp-mail.outlook.com.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Under Account name, type your complete email address (e.g., "example@hotmail.com").
  10. Enter your password.
  11. Click Next, then Finish.

After you've created the account, you must modify its settings before you can transmit messages.

Screenshot of POP server settings in Outlook Express
  1. Highlight the newly created Outlook.com account, then click Properties.
  2. Go to the Servers tab.
  3. Under Outgoing Mail Server, make sure My server requires authentication is checked.
  4. Go to the Advanced tab.
  5. Make sure This server requires a secure connection (SSL) is checked.
  6. Under both Outgoing mail (SMTP) and Incoming mail (POP3), type 25—although if your internet service provider blocks port 25 by default, you may have to type 2525 instead.
  7. Under Incoming server (POP3), type 995.
  8. Click OK, then Close.

Consider Upgrading

Both Windows XP and Outlook Express are significantly out of their support window from Microsoft, so they do not receive even basic security patches anymore. Upgrading to Windows 10 also means upgrading your email experience to the new Mail app, which runs faster and supports cutting-edge technology standards.

In addition, accessing email through POP is less efficient than using the IMAP standard. The biggest difference between POP and IMAP is that POP downloads a copy of an email message to a single PC, then deletes the email from the server. IMAP, however, keeps all mail on the server, so if you access your account from a different computer, you'll still see all your messages.