Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
MSN HotMail POP3 and SMTP settings are a common request. MSN HotMail provides no POP3 and SMTP servers for free accounts, but third party services might.
I'd like to access my MSN HotMail account through Outlook Express. What do I put in for the "Incoming mail (POP3)" and "Outgoing mail (SMTP)" server settings?
Please note that this article has been replaced with:
I've actually written about this before, but I keep getting the question so often that it's clear that my previous articles are not clear enough.
So let me be extra clear:
There are no POP3 and SMTP servers provided by HotMail. None. There is no configuration for Outlook Express, or Outlook, or any other mail program that will let you download your email directly from HotMail for free.
There are alternatives that people seem to get all wrapped up about, but they are not what you think. Let me explain why ...
Outlook used to work.
You used to be able to configure Outlook and Outlook Express to download HotMail, but even then it wasn't using POP3. You could tell Outlook that "Mail incoming mail server is an HTTP server", instead of POP3, and HotMail would work.
That doesn't work anymore for free HotMail accounts. You cannot download directly from Hotmail into Outlook Express for free.
Because it's free. HotMail makes money by showing ads along with your email. If you download your mail, you don't see the ads. If no one sees the ads, then advertisers wouldn't pay (or pay as much). HotMail would have no reason to provide their service.
Like it or not, HotMail is a business.
So one way is to upgrade to a paid HotMail account. HotMail makes money, as they should, and you get to download your email.
In my other articles on this topic, people keep mentioning "pop3hot.com" as "the setting" for HotMail. Just put that in as your POP3 or SMTP and "it just works".
And so it does. But...
There are some things you really need to know about pop3hot.com:
It's not HotMail - pop3hot.com is a service run by a company called IzySoft in Belgium. IzySoft is not related in any way to HotMail, MSN or Microsoft.
It's not free - yes, you can plug in "pop3hot.com" as your POP3 server, and it'll work. For a while, as a free trial. Once the trial is over, you will have to pay to continue to use the service.
It's probably against HotMail's rules - remember I talked about how HotMail makes money? Pop3hot gets in the way, and I'd be surprised if HotMail was OK with that. If I'm right, the worst case is that you could lose your HotMail account.
I have nothing against pop3hot.com. It looks like a useful and cool service. I just tried it myself and downloaded email from one of my HotMail accounts into Thunderbird. A little slow, but very cool.
But keep in mind what it is not: it's not run by HotMail and it's not free. And it might be against the rules.
If you're OK with that, then by all means, give it a try.
Pop3hot.com seems the most popular, since many people keep recommending it here on my other articles, but there are other services that do the same thing. The "problem" is that nothing is free. One way or another these services are in it for a reason. The legitimate services will be up front and charge you some fee. Others may not be as safe, and might just be collecting your account information - you do have to give it to them for the service to work, right?
If you can walk away from HotMail, I have two suggestions for you:
Get a "real" POP3 account. Usually from your ISP or other email provider. Not only will you be able to download email, but you'll get customer support when things go wrong. Something seriously lacking in most all of the free email services.
Get GMail. GMail is probably the best of the free services right now. Among other things ,it provides POP3 support as part of the free service.