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Hotmail POP settings

Hotmail POP settings

Hotmail or Windows Live Hotmail is a web based email service from Microsoft. It offers both free and paid email accounts. On the 14th of January 2009, Hotmail POP settings were announced for users of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom which means these users can now download their emails using a standard email client.

Before the free POP access, one could only use Windows Live Mail email program – refer Hotmail setup on Windows Live Mail. [Hotmail support on Outlook Express, the predecessor of Windows Live Mail, was discontinued then brought back again but still remains kind of patchy. It works for some accounts, typically very old email accounts and fails for new ones].

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FYI, in order to download email from online accounts to your computer via the Post Office Protocol (POP) you need to setup a new account in an email program such as Outlook Express and provide the POP settings including incoming server address, port number etc.

What are the Hotmail POP settings?

As mentioned in their blog post, the Hotmail POP settings will work only for users of certain countries – see list above. For users who still don’t have POP available refer the steps at the end of the article to change your address in your profile to one in the available countries.

Below are the Hotmail POP settings you need to add to your favourite email program to download emails to your computer and even your cellphone such as the iPhone. Cool!

  • POP server address for email download: pop3.live.com
  • SSL required for POP: Yes – the incoming port should thus be 995.
  • Username: the full email address of your Hotmail account including the @hotmail.com part.
  • Password: Remember this is case sensitive.
  • SMTP server address for sending emails: smtp.live.com through Port 25.
  • Authentication required? Yes and should be your username and password.
  • TLS / SSL requirement? Yes

Important: The outgoing POP settings (rather, the SMTP settings) require you to use port 25. This can prevent you from sending emails from the account. Why? Because many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) block this port to deter the abuse of their service for spamming. So if you have configured your Hotmail account in an email client and can’t send emails, there is a high probability that the ISP you use has disabled outgoing SMTP port 25. What can you do in this scenario? Generally, ISPs do provide a substitute; contact them for alternative outgoing email settings which would include their own SMTP server address and an allowed port. You can also find this information at the ISP web site; please check under the FAQ section. By the way, if the ISP refuses to open port 25 or doesn’t provide an alternative, you should seriously think of shifting to another internet access service.

Change address for Hotmail POP settings to work

The Hotmail POP settings don’t work on all free accounts and have been released for users of only a few countries. You can either patiently wait for these settings to be implemented for your account or change your address in the Hotmail profile page.

  • Sign in to your Hotmail account.
  • Click on the “Options” link and select “More Options“.
  • Under “Manage your account” heading, click on “View and edit your personal information“.
  • You will now be taken to the live.com web site and shown your account details. Since we need to change the address we had used at the time of account creation, click on the “Registered Information” link.
  • Change the country of residence to United Kingdom or any of those where the POP settings will work. Please understand that this would mean supplying false information to Windows Live Hotmail and I don’t recommend it!

Conclusion: POP access from Hotmail was long overdue and is being gradually rolled out. At the time of writing the settings are available only for a limited number of subscribers. If you are able to receive emails but have problems in sending, it’s probably because of your ISP blocking port 25. Get the alternate outgoing SMTP settings from the ISP support or their web site.

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