How-To Geek

Use Hotmail from Microsoft Outlook

If you are still using Hotmail but would prefer to access your email from a desktop client, then you might be interested to know that Microsoft has released a connector that will allow you to send and receive Hotmail or Office Live Mail through Outlook 2003 or 2007.

This is especially helpful for those of us that maintain a hotmail account but don’t like to ever check it because we don’t use it all that often.


Make sure that Outlook is closed, and then download and install the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector. Open Outlook and you’ll immediately be prompted with the settings dialog.

Enter in your account details into this screen, and then close the dialog. You’ll be prompted to restart Outlook again.


Once you’ve restarted, you’ll now see your Hotmail account in the list of mail accounts, and you can send/receive to download your messages.


If you want to send email with the hotmail account, you’ll notice a new drop-down for Account, which will let you switch the account you are sending the email as.


Hopefully this will save you some of the pain of the slow-loading hotmail website.

Download Microsoft Office Outlook Connector from

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/7/07

Comments (41)

  1. martin

    Thank you for this tip! I needed this. Pushing the refresh button every so minutes started to make me crazy! LOL

  2. ak03

    Thanks, maybe you could write one about aol?

  3. rothgar

    This is sweet! now how do I do it with yahoo? (without installing a server on my computer)

  4. mahir

    try mr postman to use yahoo and other(java requiered)

  5. Dewey Simms

    With the new live Hotmail I cannot access my Hot Mail account I only get a white page each time I sign in with my password. What can you do to help me? I have tried many times and have spent hours that I do not need to spend on this thing anymore. Please do not send an e-mail I will not be able to open it.

    Please call me

    [editor: numbers removed. Leaving phone numbers on a website isn’t a good idea]

    Thank you
    Dewey Simms

  6. The Geek


    You aren’t the only person that has asked me about this. If you want to get into your email, install Firefox ( ) and then try from there… that seems to work just fine.

  7. Bernadette

    Is the Connector the only way to use a hotmail address in Outlook 2007?

    I installed it, and it is a hog, and I have to control/alt/delete every 5 minutes.
    It also prevents using certain features: subfolders, attachments in calendar notices, more than 9 email addresses that you can include on a single email


  8. sundar

    how i do use out look express with hotmail???

  9. Glenn

    Why does MS Hotmail charge an annual fee? It know it allows you to send out larger files and store more on the server.

  10. Vinh

    I am using microsoft outlook 2003 and after installing the connector i can not download any email from hotmail. When I click on the account name, outlook says “The set of folders can not be opened” and further info:
    “This error usually appears if the OST or PST file you are using is:
    Protected with file permissions
    On a share on a server and the network is down

    If anyone has come across the problem and have a solution, please share with me.

    Thanks a lot


  11. fun2006

    Thanks, very useful

  12. Tequila

    Hi, if you do this, can you still access your account via hotmail as well as outlook??

  13. jd2066

    @Tequila: Yes, you can still access the hotmail account online.

  14. David Malvin

    Thank you for your notes on this website. Hopefully, the following is an appropriate posting for your website. If it is not, my apologies.

    My question is:

    Periodically, Outlook 2007 will stop downloading my mail from hotmail. Outlook will also not send mail through my hotmail account. Then, when I request a Send/Receive Outlook will complete the Send or Receive process, but then it hangs up on either the Send or Receive. Rather than completing the Send/Receive process, Outlook gets to some percentage of the Send/Receive and either hangs up or locks down.

    When this problem has occurred in the past, I would create a new Outlook Connector account and then delete the old Personal Folder tied to the defective account. This seemed to cure the problem, but today it did not cure the problemm 100%. Today, I was able to cure the Receive side of the problem, but Outlook 2007 will not send through Hotmail. FYI . . . I went on-line to test Hotmail from the web, to ensure that it is working and Hotmail on-line appears to be working correctly.

  15. Bunni

    Regarding outlook 2007 and outlook connector-

    Ive noticed that outlook connector merges the windows live mail server and outlook together and kills many of the features that outlook offers. For example, i cant rename any of the personal folders or set how I want Live mail to deal with any messages I delete in outlook.

    Is there any way I can connect my live mail account using pop3 in and smtp out? The pop3 connection works perfectly fine with outlook express and outlook 2003, but 2007 fails.

    People have had this problem ever since the 2007 version was released and it seems as though it still isnt resolved. Why does 2003 work and not 2007?? Can I get it to work without this god forsaken connector?

    Any info would be much much appreciated!

  16. constance cusumano

    How can I send photos through my hotmail address?


  17. bk

    why do I constantly get the error server unavailable try again later when I try to receive mail from my hot mail account. I am using outlook 2003 and the new hotmail live. Is there an issue with the server? Is there a bug they are trying to clear up hence the server being unavailable. Leave it to MS to throw another wrench in the works. Why can’t they leave well enough alone!!!!!!

  18. Leah

    I have 3 hotmail accounts downloading through outlook connector. It was working fine for about a year, then it suddenly stopped downloading anything from one of the accounts. It says it is connected to the account, but does not download any new messages. The other two accounts are working just fine. Any ideas on how to fix this?


  19. Martha

    When I open my outlook, my messages download, but they don’t continue to download throughout the day. They only appear the first time I open it. I have tried everything… can you help?

  20. Rich Carless

    How do I send e mail from Microsoft Outlook please?? I have set up my hotmail in Microsoft Outlook and it receives e mail but I cannot send, I have beed told I need to purchase the right to do it, does anyone know how I do this for the UK?? I got the link to the US version but when you go to pay it only lets me put in my address as if I live in America i.e. State and Zip Code instead of County and Postcode as we call them over here…..

    Really would appreciate someones help.



  21. pizimolas

    When I send mail (either sent, or reply and forward) I end up with a copy in my sent box AND my inbox showing as unread mail.

  22. Amr there any way to delete the mails automatically from hotmail after downloading all mails? such as the account settings in the outlook that i can mark the check box “don’t leave a copy of the message on the server”

    thanks in advance

  23. cavan

    Same issue as Amr and Bunni.

    Deleting 10k e-mails (eventlog monitoring before anyone asks) thru the webpage interface is not fun, esp. when I used to be able to do this directly in Outlook.

  24. barbbi

    Can you please help?????? I finally was able to correct the problem with hotmail and outllook 2007, but now my expedient mail through outlook will not send nor receive!!! Please help me. I am at my witts end!

  25. Shuey

    I am having the same problem. I delete emails in Outlook, then I login to Hotmail via the web and all the messages I deleted are still there in my inbox… Isn’t there an option to remove messages from the server after I delete them in Outlook?

  26. SDI

    Hit F9 in Outlook – that will sync the changes with Hotmail

  27. Shuey

    Sorry to burst your bubble SDI, but that’s not true. I’ve already tried that and it does not clear out the inbox on the server-side for Hotmail. I exited Outlook after cleaning out my Hotmail inbox and hitting F9 to do another send/receive. I then logged into Hotmail via the web and all the messages I just deleted from Hotmail in Outlook are still sitting in the inbox on the web/Hotmail side.

  28. Giggles
  29. lynn dinardo

    Great ideas but none seem to help me. Can anyone help??
    anything with an attachment gets stuck in my personal outbox and cannot be send – any ideas

  30. AnonymousOne

    Don’t understand all the crying about the connector. It works. If you muff something up, it’s not Microsoft or Outlook (or the Connector’s) fault.

    I like the way it makes it own list of folders which mirror the Outlook folders. Much more intuitive than using IMAP through GMail. I’ve been using GMail for years, but I’m seriously considering paying for an email service, or something, that offers a more consistent IMAP user experience. Their Labels system… it’s trash.

  31. Tallboi

    I have installed outlook connector, i recieve my emails but cannot send any it gives me (0x800CCC78) error could you please advise me on what to do

  32. zeyni

    mrb arkadaşlar inş yardımcı olursunuz ben outlooku açtım ve hotmaildeki bilgilerimin(email) tümünü buraya aldı ve şimdi nasıl geri yüklerim hiç bilgim yok yardımcı olursanız sevinirim…

  33. Giles

    I’m having similar trouble to Leah, above. My hotmail’s been downloading to MS outlook for some time, but now it’s simply stopped. Why?

  34. Arnie Schiller

    Live is my e mail. I read all my email through outlook 2007. How do I get live to save a copy so I can check my email from another computer.

  35. Manoj

    I am using outlook express 2007 with hotmail( I am able to get all messages from web to outlook.

    The problem I am facing is that, outlook downloads all the messages from inbox . Now if I open hotmail through web, it says that no more mails. This means, messages once downloaded into outlook on local system are getting deleted from hotmail servers. Is their any way to retain the server copy?

    Please help if I have done anything wrong with settings.

  36. Kerryn

    Please help, I am using windows 7 and outlook 2010 and I need to permanently have my emails on my computer. Once I download my emails from hotmail they need to stay on my computer. The only emails that should be removed are the ones I remove. I have followed these instructions (fab by the way). But how do I get my system to stop deleting from my computer when its deleted from the hotmail.

    Is there a different setting that I need.

    Can you please help me.

  37. Josh

    I have downloaded the Connector for Outlook 2003 and it linked the folders fine and new e-mails are showing up. However, when I go to send e-mails it does not go through. Very frustrating. PLEASE HELP

  38. Jay

    I was recently told that I could Synchronise all of my Email accounts and have all the messages routed to just one Email (Primary) Address
    Does Anyone know if this is possible and if so how so as I would like to only access one account for all my messages to save on time logging in and out to different acounts?

    I would Much appreciate any good advice and feedback about this

    Thanks Jay

  39. Jen

    I fixed it by going into outlook/tools/accounts/properties/advanced and setting my smtp port to 587 and my incoming (POP3) to 995. Be sure to click the secure boxes.

  40. Richard Wilson

    I have been trying to set up my Hotmail on the Microsoft Office Outlook but the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector information says the “Server not Found”. Help pleeease…


  41. MeaNox

    Hello, when i am trying to open folders in outlook from my hotmail account i get this message:
    The set of folders cannot be opened. The file C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft Outlook\username_hotmail.ost is not an offline folder file.
    Any help?

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