How to Access Windows Live Hotmail with Mac OS X Mail

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Web access to Windows Live Hotmail account is handy, but you might prefer the power and flexibility of Apple's built-in Mac OS X Mail application. You can learn how to download Windows Live Hotmail messages to your Mac, via either an IMAP or POP3 connection.

What Are IMAP and POP3 Connections?

IMAP and POP3 are internet protocols that email clients use to communicate with your email service. When setting up your email manually within an application such as Mac OS X Mail, you are given the option to select one of the two protocols for communication.

IMAP is a more modern solution and recommended when setting up your mail service with an email client, while POP3 is an older standard. Unlike POP3, IMAP is designed to keep your email in synchronization, meaning that when you view a message in Mac OS X Mail, the email server marks it as read.

Access Windows Live Hotmail With IMAP

Configure your Mac OS X Mail app to connect to your Windows Live Hotmail account with IMAP. Use these steps to configure Mail to work with your Microsoft account:

  1. Select Mail > Add Account... from the menu in the Mail app.

  2. Select Other Mail Account... and click Continue.

    Screenshot showing selection of Other Mail Account
    Michael Archambault
  3. Make sure that your name is entered correctly under the Name field.

    Enter your Windows Live Hotmail email address under the Email Address field.

    Enter your Windows Live Hotmail password under the Password field.

    If you have two-step authentication enabled for your Windows Live Hotmail account, you will need to create an application password for macOS Mail and use it instead.

  4. Click Sign In.

  5. Ensure that Mail is checked under Select the apps you want to use with this account: option.

    Screenshot showing selection of Mail option
    Michael Archambault

    You can enable Notes as well to have the Notes application synchronize notes using your Windows Live Hotmail account.

  6. Click Done.

Access Windows Live Hotmail With POP3

Follow these instructions if you have a specific reason for wanting to utilize POP3:

  1. You first need to enable POP access for your Windows Live Hotmail account.

    1. Visit www.outlook.com and sign in with your email address and password.
    2. Select Settings (gear icon) > View all Outlook settings > Email > Sync Email.
    3. Under Let devices and apps use POP select Yes.
    4. Click Save.
    Screenshot showing how to enable POP email for Windows Live Hotmail
    Michael Archambault
  2. Open the Mac OS X Mail app.

    Select Mail > Add Account... from the menu in the Mail app.

  3. Select Other Mail Account.. and click Continue.

  4. Make sure that your name is entered correctly under the Name field.

    • Enter a fake email address under the Email Address field.
    • Leave the User Name field blank.
    • Enter a fake password under the Password field.

    For example, You might enter email@fakewebsite.com for the email address field and password123 for the password field.

    Screenshot showing how to enter fake information to add a mail account
    Michael Archambault
  5. The Mail application will realize it cannot automatically set up your email address as it is fake, and thus will prompt for more detailed information.

    • Erase the current value and enter your Windows Live Hotmail email address under the Email Address field.
    • Erase the current value and enter your Windows Live Hotmail password under the Password field.
  6. Under Account Type, select POP.

    • For Incoming Mail Server, enter pop-mail.outlook.com.
    • For Outgoing Mail Server, enter smtp-mail.outlook.com.
    Screenshot showing POP settings for outlook
    Michael Archambault
  7. Click Sign In.

Manual IMAP Connection Settings

If, for any reason, Mac OS X Mail prompts you to enter your IMAP server information manually, similar to entering enter POP3 information, you can use this information as needed for the setup process:

  • Incoming Mail Server: imap-mail.outlook.com
  • Incoming Mail Server Port: 993
  • Incoming Mail Server Encryption: TLS
  • Outgoing Mail Server: smtp-mail.outlook.com
  • Outgoing Mail Server Port: 587
  • Outgoing Mail Server Encryption: STARTTLS

POP3 Connection Settings

If needed for any reason, the POP3 connection settings are as follows:

  • Incoming Mail Server: pop-mail.outlook.com
  • Incoming Mail Server Port: 995
  • Incoming Mail Server Encryption: TLS
  • Outgoing Mail Server: smtp-mail.outlook.com
  • Outgoing Mail Server Port: 587
  • Outgoing Mail Server Encryption: STARTTLS

MSN Hotmail, Windows Live Hotmail, and Outlook.com

received a mailbox
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Incoming and outgoing mail servers use outlook.com as the source for obtaining and sending mail. If you have a Windows Live Hotmail account, this may seem a bit confusing. Additionally, if you still utilize an MSN Hotmail account, you may wonder about the differences between each service.

MSN Hotmail was the first version of Microsoft's email service, followed by Windows Live Hotmail, and finally Outlook.com. While you might maintain an older email address with an @msn.com, @hotmail.com, or @live.com destination, all mail goes through the latest iteration, Outlook.com.