Unlike the old version, Windows Live Mail 2012 completely automates setting up email addresses from the most popular webmail providers, especially MSN Hotmail / Live.com / Outlook.com, all of which belong to Microsoft's free mail service! Your email account will be added just like an "IMAP" account, so you'll be able to see all the folders you've created in the "web browser" version of Hotmail. Likewise, deleting messages in Windows Live Mail will place them in the trash ("Deleted" folder) - a fully synchronized experience, whether you are using Windows Live Mail or checking your mail from a browser!
Note: the setup process is the same for all Microsoft email accounts, whether the address ends in "
@live.com", or "
@outlook.com". If you don't have an email address yet, see our "Create Hotmail Account" tutorial.
By default, your Hotmail account will be added as a "Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync" (for practical purposes, this is the same thing as IMAP: it lets you see email folders live from the mail server right inside Windows Live Mail!) But if you want to account setup as
POP (aka "
POP3"), you'll need to add it manually, using the mail server settings shown below. For more info, check out our "Hotmail / Outlook.com Server Settings" tutorial (separate website).
|POP username||Your full Hotmail email address ("email@example.com")|
|POP password||Your Hotmail account password.|
|POP server address|
|Incoming port with SSL (secure)|
Side info: unlike some email providers, Microsoft only lets you connect securely (using SSL) to your email account. It's a less flexible approach if you use a *really* old email client that doesn't support that feature, but it's unquestionably a much safer way to connect to your email account!
|IMAP username||Your full Hotmail email address ("firstname.lastname@example.org")|
|IMAP password||Your Hotmail account password.|
|IMAP server address|
|Incoming port with SSL (secure)|
Here are the Outlook.com account settings for outgoing mail (SMTP) - emails you send:
|Outgoing username||Your full Hotmail email address ("email@example.com")|
|Outgoing password||Your Hotmail account password|
|SMTP server address|
|Outgoing port (with or without SSL)|
The first time you launch Windows Live Mail, the "Add email account" dialog will automatically open. Otherwise, configure a new email address by selecting the Accounts tab, and clicking on the "New email account" button:
Tip: you can also add email accounts by clicking on the File button, choosing Options, and selecting "Accounts" on the right: And when the dialog opens, click on the "Add" button.
In the first text field, enter your full email address (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.) Then, type your case-sensitive account password. With the "Remember this password" checkbox checked, Windows Live Mail will not ask for your credentials whenever it sends or receives messages (if you update your Microsoft account online, you'll also need to change password in Windows Live Mail).
Finally, enter your display name as you'd like it to appear when you send messages from Windows Live Mail: it can be different from the one you've entered when you created your Hotmail account, but ideally should match, to avoid confusing email recipients :)
The following only applies if you already have one or more email accounts configured in Windows Live Mail: to make this email address the default, check the "Make this my default email account" checkbox: you'll still be able to send messages from other accounts, but Hotmail will be the default (you can change the default account later!) Either way, click on the Next button.
You'll now get this question: "
Do you want to sign in as [username]@hotmail.com? Your Windows Live services are updated to match any changes you make when you are signed in". If you click Yes, the copy of Windows Live Mail you are using will synchronize with your Microsoft account: all contacts will automatically be imported, your calendar will sync across the board (events created elsewhere will be visible on this calendar, and appointments you add to this calendar will show in your entire account). To keep things separate, click No.
FYI: it generally makes sense, especially for beginners or less tech savvy users, to click "Yes" and let Microsoft keep everything synchronized (doesn't affect other email accounts you possibly have in Windows Live Mail).
Some functionality will also be reduced. Example: you won't be able to set event reminders in the calendar (click on the Sign in button to change that).
Once you receive the "
Your email account was added" confirmation message, click on the Finish button to finish setting up your Hotmail / Live.com / Outlook.com account:
The email account you just added is automatically called something like "
Hotmail (email@example.com)". To rename it, right-click on the account on the left and choose Properties. Type a new name and hit Enter: your account now appears properly labeled!
Whether you chose to set your MSN.com / Hotmail.com / Live.com / Outlook.com account as Windows Live Mail's default email address, you can always send messages from that account by manually choosing it in the "From" dropdown menu in a message window (it is automatically selected when you reply to or forward emails that were sent directly to that address).
Warning: unless you subscribe to Hotmail Plus (now "Ad-free Outlook"), regularly sign in to your Hotmail account to prevent it from getting disconnected - logging in from a web browser shows that the account is still active.