How to Use Windows Live Mail to Read Mail From Hotmail or Outlook Mail

Both email accounts use the same server settings

Editor's note: Windows Live Mail is a discontinued email client from Microsoft. This article remains for archival purposes only.

To open an email from an @outlook.com or @hotmail.com email address, set up Windows Live Mail to communicate with the proper email server. To do that, type the correct IMAP and SMTP server during the account setup. Windows Live Mail uses those servers to download and send mail on your behalf.

When you connect Windows Live Mail to your Outlook Mail account, you will not be able to sync your contacts or calendars.

Access Outlook Mail and Hotmail From Windows Live Mail

The steps to add an email account to Windows Live Mail is the same no matter what email address you use. Unlike some email providers, both Outlook and Hotmail use the same IMAP and SMTP servers.

Screenshot showing the Outlook Mail server settings in Windows Live Mail
  1. Go to the Windows Live Mail ribbon menu and select Accounts.

    Screenshot of Accounts tab in Windows Live Mail
  2. Select Email. The Add Your Email Accounts window opens.

    Screenshot of Email on Accounts tab
  3. Enter your email address, password, and display name for your sent messages.

    Screenshot of Add your email accounts window
  4. Select the Remember this password checkbox.

    Screenshot of Remember this password checkbox
  5. Select the Manually configure server settings checkbox.

    Screenshot of Manually configure server settings checkbox
  6. Select Next.

  7. Select the Server type drop-down arrow and choose IMAP.

    Screenshot of IMAP in Server type list
  8. In the Incoming server information section, go to the Server address text box and enter imap-mail.outlook.com.

    Screenshot of server address
  9. Select the Requires a secure connection (SSL) checkbox.

    Screenshot of Requires a secure connection (SSL) checkbox
  10. In the Port text box, enter 993.

  11. Select the Authenticate using drop-down arrow and choose Clear text.

  12. In the Login user name text box, enter your full email address. For example, type email@outlook.com for an Outlook Mail account or example@hotmail.com for Hotmail.

    Screenshot of email address in Logon user name box
  13. In the Outgoing server information section, go to the Server address text box and enter smtp-mail.outlook.com. In the Port text box, enter 587.

    Screenshot of outgoing server information
  14. Select the Requires a secure connection (SSL) and Requires authentication checkboxes.

  15. Select Next.

  16. Select Finish.

Other Ways to Open Your Email

Windows Live Mail is no longer updated by Microsoft, so it can't receive security patches or feature updates. Other programs can be used to download and send mail, too, that are updated with the most recent features.

For example, Microsoft Mail and Outlook programs are email clients that work much like Windows Live Mail. A few other popular choices include Thunderbird and Mailbird. Your phone can access email, too, without needing any extras. You can set up email on iPhone and on Android.

You can also access your Hotmail or Outlook Mail account online without a program at all. Visit outlook.com to log in to either account.