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How to set up IMAP in Windows

Microsoft's e-mail service finally supports IMAP. Here's the way to add your money to Thunderbird and other desktop mail client.

Rick Broida

September 16, 2013 11:43 AM PDT

(Credit: Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET) is a pretty good Web mail service, but since that time it debuted recording, users have been clamoring first feature: IMAP.

That's because, unlike the POP protocol, IMAP syncs with third-party mail clients. Translation: When you access your inbox on, say, your desktop e-mail client, any messages you read, send, respond to, or delete get synced back to your money. It's a much more practical method to deal with e-mail.

To get things positiioned in Windows, you'll want to add your account to your preferred mail client. I'm going to walk you through the setup for Mozilla's Thunderbird, however the process must be roughly a similar for any desktop e-mail program.

Step 1: Start Thunderbird, then click File > New Message > Existing Mail Account.

(Credit: Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET)

Step 2: Complete the Name, E-mail Address, and Password fields, then click Continue.

Step 3: Because the default account happens with POP settings, click Manual Config to input the mandatory IMAP settings.

Step 4: Click the Incoming pull-down and judge IMAP. Then get a new Incoming and Outgoing fields as follows:

(Credit: Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET)

Step 5: Click Done, then watch for Thunderbird to verify all the settings. You ought to be good to go!

Just in case you need the specific server settings to utilize with another mail client, they're as follows:

Incoming IMAP

  • Server:

  • Server port: 993

  • Encryption: SSL

Outgoing SMTP

  • Server:

  • Server port: 587

  • Encryption: TLS

By the best way, if you are a Mac Mail user, be sure you check out Ed Rhee's tutorial on getting IMAP build with that program.

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