Outlook.com IMAP Server Settings

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Microsoft Corporation

The Internet Message Access Protocol (known more commonly by its acronym, IMAP) is an email protocol that can be used for accessing email on a remote mail server. It is one of the most widely used mail frameworks for retrieving messages, and it's supported by Microsoft for accessing Outlook.com accounts.

Outlook.com IMAP Server Settings

The Outlook.com IMAP server settings are:

  • Server address: imap-mail.outlook.com
  • User name: Your full Outlook.com email address (not an alias)
  • Password: Your Outlook.com password (or an application password)
  • Port: 993
  • TLS/SSL encryption required: yes

To send mail using an Outlook.com account from an email program, add the Outlook.com SMTP server settings. IMAP can only access messages; you must configure the Simple Mail Transport Protocol settings independently if you want your messages to go outbound.

Considerations

Before you commit to using IMAP to access your Outlook.com account, however, consider Exchange access for your Outlook.com account. It does everything IMAP can—letting you send and receive email—and synchronizes your contacts, calendars, to-do items and notes as well. Particularly with Microsoft Outlook (the desktop program) and mobile applications like Mail on iOS, adding an Outlook.com account through Exchange opens greater functionality than relying on IMAP.

You can also access Outlook.com using POP as an alternative to IMAP. Post Office Protocol is a very old method of retrieving messages that downloads an email and then deletes it from the server. POP has a valid business case—for example, for retrieving messages for inclusion in a company's ticketing system—but most home users should stick to IMAP over POP.

IMAP Synchronization

Because IMAP syncs your connected email programs with your mail provider's server, anything you do to an IMAP-enabled account will synchronize across all connected programs. For example, if you create a new folder in Outlook, Thunderbird, KMail, Evolution, Mac Mail or any other program, that folder will appear on the server and then propagate to all other devices connected to that account.