How to Configure Outlook 2003 for Hotmail

Updated February 21, 2017

Configuring an e-mail client program like Microsoft Outlook, Windows Mail or Mozilla Thunderbird to send and receive e-mail for your Hotmail e-mail address allows you to use your Hotmail address without the hassle of having to open an Internet browser and login to Hotmail's website. Additionally, you can leave the program open and allow it to check for new messages regularly without having to type in your Hotmail username and password every time, not to mention send and receive messages without having ads plastered all over the screen.

Open Outlook 2003 on your desktop. When it is open, click on the 'Tools' menu and click on 'Accounts.' In the Internet Accounts pop-up window, click on the 'Add' button on the top right and from the sub-menu choose 'mail.'

Specify your display name. The first thing the you will see after clicking 'Mail' is a screen asking for your name. This is just how you want your name to look when you e-mail people (for instance, if your e-mail address is, in this window you could type 'John Smith' and any messages you send to other people will display John Smith in the from column rather than your e-mail address). When you have your name filled out, click 'Next.'

Fill out your Hotmail address. This dialogue box will ask you for your full e-mail address; you want to type it in the form of '' Take a second to make sure that you have not included any capital letters, that you have correctly spelt your username and the domain, that you have included the @ symbol, and that there are no punctuation marks after the email address. Click 'Next.'

Configure the Outlook account for Hotmail's server settings. This screen has three lines of information. At the top you will see 'My incoming mail server is a POP3 server,' with a flip-down menu on POP3 allowing you to choose different options. Leave this option set to POP3. Below that, you will see a line that reads 'Incoming mail (POP3, IMAP, or HTTP) server:' with a blank text box underneath it. In the white text box, type '' The last dialogue box will read 'Outgoing mail (SMTP) server:' In this dialogue box, type '' Once all the information has been filled out, double-check for any typing errors, and click 'Next.'

Fill in your Hotmail username and password. The top of this screen will read 'Internet Mail Logon.' There are two dialogue boxes, one that reads 'Account name' and the other 'password.' The username of any e-mail address is everything leading up to the @ symbol (for example, if my e-mail address is, my Hotmail username is just 'johnsmith' by itself. Type this into the 'Account name' dialogue box. In the password field, type whatever password you use to login to your Hotmail account.

Below these dialogue boxes is a checkbox labelled 'Remember password.' If you check this, anyone on your computer will be able to access your e-mail by simply opening Outlook. If you leave it unchecked, you will be prompted to enter your password every time you check for new messages. The former option is easier but less secure; the latter more work but much more secure. Decide which option is best for your needs and check or uncheck the box accordingly.

Below this is another checkbox labelled 'Log on using Secure Password Authentication (SPA).' Leave this box unchecked and click 'Next.'

Configure the server port numbers. The last screen you will see says that you have completed the Outlook set-up for this e-mail account. Click 'Finish' and you will be back at the Internet Accounts window.

Highlight your Hotmail profile by clicking it once and then click the 'Properties' button to the right. On the properties window that opens click the 'Advanced' tab. The first section of this window will ask you to specify what port numbers you want to use. The outgoing port number should be set to 25 by default; do not change it. For the incoming port number, type 995. Underneath each port number are checkboxes that say 'This server requires a secure connection (SSL).' Select this option for both the incoming and outgoing servers. Click the 'Apply' button and then the 'OK' button to close the properties window. Your Outlook account is now configured to send and receive messages from your Hotmail account.

Download your messages. Close the Internet accounts window and click the 'Send/Receive' button across the top of your inbox. Outlook should now download all messages that are saved in your Hotmail account.


If you receive any type of connection error when trying to send and receive e-mails, contact either the technical support line of your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for a possible connection problem, visit the Windows Live help centre at , or contact Microsoft technical support at 1 866 234 6020. Many ISPs have port number 25 blocked so that only customers using the ISP's own e-mail service can send out on that port. Most ISPs will be able to unblock this port at your request; simply contact their technical support line to do so.

Things You'll Need

  • An active Hotmail account
  • An active Internet connection
  • Microsoft Outlook 2003
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About the Author

Eoghan McCloskey is a technical support representative and part-time musician who holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and political science from Texas State University. While at Texas State, McCloskey worked as a writing tutor at the Texas State Writing Center, proofreading and editing everything from freshman book reports to graduate theses.