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Windows Live Hotmail has no POP3 or SMTP settings with which to download your mail. However if you use certain mail programs, you can still download.

What are Hotmail's POP3 and SMTP settings? I want to download my email into my desktop email program instead of using the new Windows Live Hotmail user interface.

Update

Microsoft has apparently started to roll out true POP3/SMTP support.

Please read: What are Windows Live Hotmail's POP3 and SMTP settings? for the latest informaion.

That's actually a representative question that brings together a couple of things that people have been asking for:

  • An alternative to the new Windows Live Hotmail interface, which many people apparently don't like.

  • The ability to download Hotmail into a desktop mail application, for which people have been asking for years.

There is an answer, but unfortunately the answer won't make everyone happy.

In the past, users of Outlook Express were able to download email from their MSN Hotmail accounts directly into OE. Unfortunately, Microsoft began phasing this out some years ago without providing a suitable replacement. Essentially, MSN Hotmail users were left out in the cold - the official line was that they had to use the web interface and only the web interface.

In recent months things appear to have changed.

Windows Live Mail, which is a free downloadable desktop email program that effectively replaces Outlook Express, officially supports Windows Live Hotmail accounts. In other words you can configure Windows Live Mail to download your Windows Live Hotmail mail.

Microsoft Office Outlook Connector is a free downloadable add-in for Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007 that adds support for downloading your Windows Live Hotmail directly into Outlook.

"... you can configure Windows Live Mail to download your Windows Live Hotmail mail."

This is great news for users of those email programs, or those willing to switch to those email programs. Among other things, it means that there's now an official way to download and backup your Windows Live Hotmail.

However if you use another email program things are still not so rosy.

If, like me, you use Thunderbird, there is the WebMail extension. Using this extension you can download not only Windows Live Hotmail, but also several other web-based email accounts into Thunderbird. The downside is that it's naturally not supported by Microsoft. And of course it requires that you run Thunderbird. All that being said, it's a fine solution for Thunderbird users.

I'm not aware of solutions for other mailers.

Specifically, where this comes up short for many people, is that I'm not aware of a solution for mobile devices such as Blackberry or Palm PDA and phones. Those require standard POP3/SMTP email settings, which Windows Live Hotmail does not supply. Naturally you can view your Hotmail in a web browser, but on portable devices that's often very difficult to manage.

However, there is a workaround.

Windows Live Hotmail will now allow you to forward your email to another address. So, to receive your email using a mailer that requires a POP3/SMTP connection, you can:

  1. Open a GMail account.

  2. Configure your email client to use GMail's POP3 and SMTP services.

  3. Configure your Windows Live Hotmail account to automatically forward all incoming email to your GMail account.

That's all there is too it. Now you can access all the email sent to your Windows Live Hotmail account on whatever device you prefer. If your device supports the configuration, you can even change it to set your return address to be "From:" your Hotmail address, even though you might be sending through GMail.

Article C3166 - October 3, 2007 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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31 Comments
Bob
October 3, 2007 4:40 PM

An all around solution for all webmail services and desktop clients is FreePOPs. LInux.com covered it today: http://www.linux.com/feature/119379

vincent
October 4, 2007 9:53 AM

I'm afraid it doesn't work...
I installed Outlook Connector into outlook 2007 but it can't connect to my live account...
This is the error message I got:

Outlook Connector Version 1.8.3501.0

Account: xxxx

Signed in successfully at 4/10/2007 18:43:33

Mail:
Calendar:
Contacts:

Errors :

Time: 4/10/2007 18:43:33
Error in Mail
Outlook Connector is available only to subscribers.

Carl R. Goodwin
October 5, 2007 8:15 PM

I just read the article advising how to forward email from my Hotmail account to my AOL account. However, this states that you can send your mail to Thunderbird (which I use also). Which is the better solution to the "new" Hotmail?

David
October 6, 2007 4:02 PM

I`ve been using the Thunderbird add-on for Hotmail and Yahoo mail and, in the main, it seems to work reasonably well, although there have been several updates in quick succession and it looks as if the author has to keep on top of things as regards Hotmail changes. Also very occasionally I get an error box, which (rather quaintly) says "negative vibes from Hotmail (or Yahoo)" (huh?!) and asks for my password over and over again, but I think that might be something to do with too much in the way of multi-tasking attempts at my end! Poor PC gets a tad confused, methinks.

Paul
October 15, 2007 6:15 AM

I use T-bird for live mail w\webmail\webmailhotmail plugin. I set the ports to 1024 and 1025 and can send and receive fine in T-bird. Also, both pop\smtp are localhost.

jerryh
October 28, 2007 9:21 PM

You're only able to forward mail to a custom domain or an e-mail address that ends in hotmail.com, msn.com, or live.com. Please try again. !!!

Jen T.
December 17, 2007 1:53 PM

you can use pop with the new msn live email.
1) use your whole email address for the username (emailaddress@msn.com)
2)for incoming mail use pop3.live.com and for outgoing use smtp.live.com
3)make sure the use ssl is checked for outgoing also.

Leo A. Notenboom
December 18, 2007 11:39 AM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Good luck with that - the documentation on Microsoft's site said that those
were only available to Premium (i.e. *paid*) subscribers. I know it did not
work with my free account when I tried it.

Leo


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Kevin
December 29, 2007 5:49 PM

I converted my free hotmail account to the Windows Live hotmail and I am still running outlook express on my PCs, no problems. Of course, I can no longer obtain my hotmail email using my older Palm Tungsten C device, which is why I went searching for explanation and advice. I have used outlook express to manage my email accounts for years and this is the first that I have heard about it being phased out. I will try the windows live mail download and test it before converting all of my family's PCs and laptops. Thanks.

Jim
January 20, 2008 10:10 PM

In order to continue to use Outlook Express with your Hotmail mail you need to uninstall IE7 and all the previous functionality will be once again available. I spent the whole day today figuring it out and it is now once again working as before.

Chris Gutch
February 4, 2008 3:30 AM

I use OE6 and have recently opened a Windows Live e-mail account. I find it isn't possible to access the e-mail address ****@live.co.uk, though it is possible to access an old e-mail address that I have which is ****@hotmail.co.uk! So it seems that addresses ending in @live.co.uk are the ones being discrimiated against! Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be possible to get a new hotmail adress ending in @hotmail.co.uk and my old one is too frivolous for general use.

With the @live.co.uk address, the error message says "Access to Hotmail via Outlook and Outlook Express now requires a subscription. Please sign up at http://join.msn.com/general/Email" However I can't see anything on the site about how to subscribe! No such message comes up when using the @hotmail.co.uk address.

Finally to add insult to injury, when I tried to redirect e-mail from the @live.co.uk account to my domain e-mail address, it doen't recognise it as a domain! Maybe domains ending in .co.uk are unacceptable!

Any advice would be appreciated.

Chris

alm
April 10, 2008 7:28 PM

The "just forward it to your gmail account" advice no longer works. When I put in a gmail address as the destination, Hotmail gives me this error message: You're only able to forward mail to a custom domain or an e-mail address that ends in hotmail.com, msn.com, or live.com. Please try again.

alm
April 10, 2008 7:34 PM

But it doesn't accept my "custom domain" either. Hotmail Help says, "You can forward e-mail that's sent to your Windows Live Hotmail Inbox or custom folder to another hotmail.com, MSN.com, Live.com, or Windows Live Admin Center e-mail address."

Leo A. Notenboom
April 12, 2008 9:15 AM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Forwarding works for many people. Please read this article:
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_automatically_forward_my_windows_live_hotmail_mail.html

Leo


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CrowdedCranium
September 5, 2008 3:44 PM

Regarding HOtmail I suppose I have grandfathered into continued OE functionality.  Lucky me.
 
Regarding the inference to SmartPhone functionality.  I have an HTC Wizard (many different phones are built on this platform), the specific model is Cingular 8125.  It is standard equipped with Windows Mobile 5 (many hacked ROMs to 6.1 but not yet deployed to this device).  An included application service is the familiar MSN.  Jack the phone into WiFi, or the Phone Co. Available net connect.  In this area it is GPRS which is about the same as 802.11g for speed and can connect from all secluded areas of this area.
 
This has messenger, home (search, spam, etc.), hotmail.  There is a messaging option in which you can list pops like gmail, sbcglobal, coxnet, sprintnet, etc. standard mailbox address.  And it also has as in the old OE a slot with just use hotmail listed.  I had acquired a hotmail account a decade or so back when 486 was the new gee-whiz processor of the future.  Besides the assorted spaminations.  Hotmail has outlived many ISP I have employed in the past.
 
I would agree with previously poster, the Live mail desktop app is not a pleasant experience.  It reeks in my humble opinion. I like to include a smiling me thumbnail at the beginning of a mail note.  and occasionally blend an illustration into the text.  Live mail client is not at all flexible for this formatting.  It is slow and unpleasant to look at.  But, it is new and could possibly go through some changes.  There is after all IE8 in the wings.  Even though the mail client idea was to unwind from IE from what appearances would seem.
 
I would suppose should OE stop working with Hotmail.  I would have to abandon it for Gmail or actually consider that puke splater livemail client.
Fadi
October 4, 2008 5:42 PM

You can synchronize your hotmail messages to your MS-Outlook by usinbg Microsoft Outlook Connector. Search the internet for this small file provided by Microsoft and install it on your machine. I use this file to synchronize my emails with MS-Outlook, it is working with MS-Outlook.
Let me know if you have any problem.
Thanks

jac5219
October 14, 2008 6:44 PM

For those with a paid Hotmail account, forwarding the mail to a POP3 type, such as GMAIL is an option. From your live.com email webpage, select "Options" (right side of screen), then "More Options (bottom of list), then "Manage Your Account", then "Forward Mail to Another Account".

Muhammad
October 21, 2008 11:35 PM

Sir,

How do I download my gmail account on my out-look express

That's this article: How do I backup my GMail?
- Leo
22-Oct-2008
Cherns
May 30, 2009 1:52 PM

Since (at least a short while ago) the new "improved" free Windows Live Hotmail was unable to store messages on the local computer (which you could do before by getting a "Print" view), and because my father was running Windows 2000, which can't run Windows Live Mail client, which can download messages from Windows Live Hotmail, I finally found a solution: the premium service Windows Live Hotmail Plus (about $20/year) does offer POP3 access, and my father can get it using OE.

However: http://mailcall.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!CC9301187A51FE33!44348.entry (September 21 of an unclear year) claims that MS plans to offer POP3 access to all Hotmail sometime, and http://email.about.com/od/windowslivehotmailtips/qt/et_pop_access.htm claims that it's available now. FWIW

I've had that information here on Ask Leo! for a while: What are Windows Live Hotmail's POP3 and SMTP settings?
- Leo
31-May-2009
sandy
July 17, 2009 9:04 PM

hi i am having trouble with the downloading of windows live messenger. my computer is telling me i lost the link every time i start to press the download button and goes to download screen. i have tried and tried to download it but not getting anywhere.
i have windows messenger but for some reason it doesn't have the mail and file transfer and the other stuff that used to come with it so it is useless the way it is.for me to check mail i have to do it through the actual site now.

RInko Huisman
August 16, 2009 2:27 PM

Great information. I tried it and it worked very, very well. Happy user of Thunderbird as well now. Thankk you for sharing!

Luis Firpi
September 20, 2009 9:40 AM

This is what happend when the system whants to get control of everyone. Said no to hotmail close your account no micro.

Jeran
March 10, 2010 9:30 PM

I have no problem getting my hotmail account to show up in Outlook. What I am wondering is can I get my messages to automatically upload to my PDA. The only way I can get my hotmail messages to my PDA is to copy and paste them into the Outlook inbox.

thanks

James F. (Jim) Cooper
August 21, 2010 12:27 AM

Thank you for a great explanation of what happens with free e-mail accounts, and, why. I had never thought about competition being a reason for Microsoft. I don't have an internet account or use e-mail because I want a hassle to use it. So I probably won't change. What got me so mad I am seeing red over it is all the changes they have done have made it next to impossible to use it without major hassles. Putting all the crap with each old e-mail just clutters it up and makes forwarding an e-mail a major job. Finding one is worse, as they have added names and changed original titles. The wors thing is it is totally unreliable. Three or four times today, alone, I clicked on an e-mail and got a different one. On one occasion I hit reply, and it put someone elses name and e-mail adress in the "To" box. I did not catch it until I had sent it. Fortunately it was not a sensitive matter. I used to have Outlook, several computers ago and loved it. I just stayed with Hotmail when it became primary in a new computer. Now I have years worth of contacts I do not want to start changing to some new account. I really did not want to post this, just wanted to let you know. Thanks Jim Cooper

cole
September 30, 2010 8:53 PM

Hotmail now allows POP3 downloading. I posted about it on my site a while back: http://7and1.net/2009/09/19/did-you-know/

frederick mortimer
November 19, 2010 2:32 AM

i have signed in to hotmail, i have six messages when i click on to the messages there is no response, what must i do to get the messages?

Rusel
November 20, 2010 11:33 AM

I cannot download the free Windows Live Mail. It gives me the error message Documents&Settings/admin/localsettings/temporary internet files/content.IE5/+CHC73TU/wlsetup-web[1].exce is not a valid Win32 application and then stops processing. I was trying to download because my Live Mail no longer signs me on automatically. I've clicked save my name and password yet I always have to reenter the same info. On the new "sweep" which is suppose to block further junk mail from a specific sender, forget it. It simply does not work....

Theo Botha
January 11, 2011 12:05 PM

Difficulty in sending and downloading e-mail in Windows Live Mail.

I am currently using Microsoft Outlook on my laptop which is windows 7. I also have a hotmail.com account and work with msn as well. I have recently uploaded / downloaded Windows Live Mail and it worked briefly in downloading and sending mail.

When logging in again it gives me an error.

This is the message i keep receiving "Unable to send or receive messages for the Hotmail (theobotha1963) account.

Server Error: 0x80070057
Server: 'http://mail.services.live.com/DeltaSync_v2.0.0/Sync.aspx'
Windows Live Mail Error ID: 0x80070057"

Is there a solution?

I want to keep these 2 e-mails seperate at all times if possible.

On windows XP i was able to use Outlook Express and Microsoft outlook together.

Hoping that somebody can assist and would like it if somebody can mail me back with an explanation.

Thanking you.

Theo Botha

David Price
September 28, 2011 11:06 AM

thanks Leo I need to use live hotmail (same acc.) on my win7 lap. and my xp desk. I havent done it yet but with your info., I'm feeling good. I could not get an answer from microsoft or any of many help sites. Regards, David.

louis baistow
November 10, 2011 1:53 AM

i send letters to my daughter abroad

Anonymous
June 29, 2012 10:35 AM

You can use Live Mail Downloader available from: http://www.appup.com/app-details/live-mail-downloader

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