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How do I download my Windows Live Hotmail to my machine?


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


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

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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

Do this

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31 comments on “How do I download my Windows Live Hotmail to my machine?”

  1. 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


    Errors :

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

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. You’re only able to forward mail to a custom domain or an e-mail address that ends in,, or Please try again. !!!

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

    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.


    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ****, though it is possible to access an old e-mail address that I have which is ****! So it seems that addresses ending in are the ones being discrimiated against! Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be possible to get a new hotmail adress ending in and my old one is too frivolous for general use.

    With the address, the error message says “Access to Hotmail via Outlook and Outlook Express now requires a subscription. Please sign up at“ However I can’t see anything on the site about how to subscribe! No such message comes up when using the address.

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

    Any advice would be appreciated.


  11. 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,, or Please try again.

  12. 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,,, or Windows Live Admin Center e-mail address.”

  13. 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.
  14. 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.

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

  16. 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:!CC9301187A51FE33!44348.entry (September 21 of an unclear year) claims that MS plans to offer POP3 access to all Hotmail sometime, and 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
  17. 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.

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

  19. 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.


  20. 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

  21. 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?

  22. 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….

  23. 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 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: ‘’
    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

  24. 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.


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