What Do POP and SMTP Mean When Setting Up Outlook Express?

Written by james dalton
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Microsoft Outlook Express is an e-mail client intended for home users. It utilises standard Internet protocols, such as POP3 and SMTP, to receive and send e-mail. The Internet or e-mail service providers maintain POP3 and SMTP servers for use by their clients. Outlook Express must be configured with the addresses of these servers to receive and send e-mail.


POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol version 3. It is commonly referred to as POP, which is used by Outlook Express to retrieve e-mail for an individual account from an Internet server. A username and password is usually required. The email resides on the POP3 server until Outlook Express makes a connection on the POP3 port, which is TCP 110 by default. Once authenticated, the POP3 server releases the email for download to Outlook Express. Many POP3 server addresses start with pop or mail. Enter the POP3 server address in the Incoming mai" field of Outlook Express account set-up.


SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It is used by Outlook Express to send e-mail to any destination on the Internet. A username and password is not usually required. However, many SMTP servers do not accept mail for delivery unless it originates from the same domain. For this reason, the SMTP server maintained by your Internet service provider is usually the best choice. When you send an e-mail message, Outlook Express makes a connection to the SMTP server, usually on TCP port 25. Once the email is accepted for delivery, the SMTP server uses the DNS protocol to look up the address of the destination SMTP server and then communicates with that server to deliver the email. Many SMTP server addresses start with smtp.


Configure the Outlook Express POP3 and SMTP server addresses during the email account set-up process. Click the "Tools" menu and select "Accounts" from the drop-down list. Click the "Add" button and select "Mail." Enter a recognisable name for the account and then click "Next." Enter the email address for the account and then click "Next." Ensure that "POP3" is selected in the drop-down menu. Enter the POP3 server address in the "Incoming mail server" text box. Enter the SMTP server address in the Outgoing mail server text box. Click "Next" and follow the remaining wizard prompts to complete the account set-up. Ask your Internet or e-mail service provider for the POP3 and SMTP server addresses.

About Outlook Express

Outlook Express is included with all versions of Windows from 98 to XP. It is also included with Internet Explorer versions 4 and 5. Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft recommends using its Windows Live Mail product as a replacement for Outlook Express. Outlook Express is a light version of the Microsoft Office Outlook client. There are many differences between the two clients. Outlook contains features intended for corporate business users, such as calendaring, tasks and advanced contact management. Outlook Express contains the features most often needed by home users, such as Internet e-mail and newsgroup functionality.

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