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:
There is an answer, but unfortunately the answer won’t make everyone
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
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.
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:
Open a GMail account.
Configure your email client to use GMail’s POP3 and SMTP services.
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