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

Both email accounts use the same server settings

Screenshot of unread mail in Windows Live Mail
Viewing Outlook and Hotmail Emails in Windows Live Mail.

Windows Live Mail is a discontinued email client from Microsoft, but even so, it still functions just fine to send and receive mail from services like Outlook.com and Hotmail.

To open email from an @outlook.com or @hotmail.com email address, you have to set up Windows Live Mail to communicate with the proper email server. To do that, you have to 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.

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

Accessing Outlook Mail and Hotmail From Windows Live Mail

The steps for adding 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 server.

Screenshot showing the Outlook Mail server settings in Windows Live Mail
Outlook Mail Server Settings in Windows Live Mail.
  1. Click Accounts in the Windows Live Mail ribbon menu.
  2. Click Email.
  3. Enter your email address.
  4. Enter your password.
  5. Put a check in the box next to Remember this password.
  6. Enter your name under Display name for your sent messages.
  7. Put a check in the box next to Manually configure server settings.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Choose IMAP next to Server type.
  10. Enter imap-mail.outlook.com under Server address (on the Incoming server information side).
  11. Put a check in the box next to Requires a secure connection (SSL).
  12. Verify that 993 is entered in the Port box.
  13. Confirm that Clear text is selected under Authenticate using.
  14. Enter your full email address under Login user name.
    1. For example, you might type email@outlook.com for an Outlook Mail account, or myaddress@hotmail.com for Hotmail.
  15. Enter smtp-mail.outlook.com under Server address (on the Outgoing server information side).
  16. Enter 587 in the Port box.
  17. Put a check in the box next to Requires a secure connection (SSL).
  18. Put a check in the box next to Requires authentication.
  19. Click Next.
  1. Click 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Windows Live Mail is no longer updated by Microsoft, so it can't receive security patches or feature updates.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's 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 most likely 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 needing a program at all. Visit outlook.live.com to log in to either account.