DIY: Forward your Web-based e-mail to Outlook Express

Forwarding Web-based e-mail to Microsoft Outlook Express If keeping track of all your e-mail accounts has gotten out of hand, we'll show you how to direct your Webmail to Outlook Express.

Step 1: Free tools that port your e-mail
Step 2: Info you need to port your e-mail
Step 3: Configure Gmail to port e-mail
Step 4: Get Web mail via Outlook Express
Step 5: Tweak your Web e-mail settings
Step 6: Secrets of Outlook Express
Step 7: Several users, one in-box

Still using the Web to manage your e-mail accounts? There's a better way: Outlook Express. Windows' built-in mail program can send and retrieve messages from any Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3) account -- even those that reside on the Web.

Why bother? For starters, Outlook Express supports multiple accounts, so you can manage your Gmail and Hotmail messages under one roof. Plus, it offers more features than most Web-based clients, including a robust address book, mail filters, and message grouping. Best of all, if more than one person wants to use Outlook Express to manage e-mail, you can set up multiple users without having to share an in-box.

Step 1: Free tools that port your e-mail
Before you even get started with this project, we recommend you have the following: Web-based e-mail accounts
The latest Web-based e-mail accounts boast tons of storage, address books, POP and IMAP access, and even spam and antivirus protection.

Yahoo! Mail Editor's choice: Yahoo! Mail
More storage space is the icing on the cake for the easy-to-use, feature-rich Yahoo Mail.

Step 2: Info you need to port your e-mail
Before you get started, you'll need the username and password for your account, as well as the names of the POP3 and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) servers used to retrieve and send mail, respectively. Although Outlook Express also supports Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), that protocol usually involves corporate servers. For the purposes of this project, we'll focus exclusively on POP3 and SMTP.

If you're using ISP-provided e-mail from a service such as BigPond or OptusNet, the server information should be easy to come by -- just look in your welcome package or call the provider's support department. If you're using a Web-based mail service such as Hotmail or Yahoo Mail, however, you'll have to pony up some cash for the premium service. Free-account holders can't access their messages via Outlook Express (a measure implemented to reduce the flow of spam). The exception is Gmail, which permits free POP3 access. We'll use Gmail as our example. Step 3: Configure Gmail to port e-mail
In Gmail, click Settings > Forwarding And POP, then select one of the Enable POP radio buttons.

Clicking "Enable POP for all mail" will port all your existing mail to Outlook Express; clicking "Enable POP only for mail that arrives from now on" will port only e-mail you receive after saving your changes.

Once you've selected one of the options, click Save Changes, and you're done.

Selecting one of the Enable POP radio buttons in Gmail lets
you forward your mail to Outlook Express.
Step 4: Get Web mail via Outlook Express
The first time you run Outlook Express, the Internet Connection wizard appears, offering to help you set up an e-mail account. If you've already run the program once or you want to add multiple accounts, you can access the wizard manually by clicking Tools > Accounts. Next, click the Mail tab, followed by the Add button, then Mail. We'll walk through the wizard's steps, again using Gmail as our example.

On the first screen, your display name can be anything you choose. This name will appear in the From field when you send a message. Next, type in your full Gmail e-mail address. Outlook Express then asks for the names of your POP3 and SMTP servers. For Gmail, they're and If you're not using Gmail, you'll need the names of your ISP's servers, which will likely follow similar conventions, such as and

Now for the tricky part: the Account Name field. In Gmail, it's your full e-mail address, as in But with other Web mail accounts, it could be just your username, as in joeuser. If you have trouble accessing your mail, this is the likely culprit. Fortunately, you can easily return to these account settings and try a different name.

You can group conversation threads as one message to curb e-mail clutter.
In the meantime, finish with the wizard by supplying your password and clicking Finish. Now go back to Tools > Accounts. Highlight and click Properties. On the Advanced tab, check "This server requires a secure connection (SSL)" under both Outgoing Mail (SMTP) and Incoming Mail (POP3). In the Outgoing Mail field, enter 465 and for Incoming Mail, enter 995. These are the ports you'll connect to on Gmail's servers. (Other Web-based services may use other ports.)

Click Apply to initiate the changes. Now click the Servers tab and check "My server requires authentication." Once you've clicked OK, you should be able to send and receive mail from Outlook Express. If you're running a firewall or Internet security program, you'll have to grant Outlook permission to access the Internet so that it can send and download your e-mail.
Step 5: Tweak your Web e-mail settings
The wizard configures only the most basic settings -- you may want to tweak some of the options for your account. Suppose you send messages via your Gmail account but want the replies to go somewhere else -- to your primary e-mail address, perhaps? In Outlook Express, click Tools > Accounts, then double-click your Gmail account. In the General tab, locate the Reply Address field and type in your desired e-mail address.

In Gmail, go to Settings and click the Forwarding and POP tab. In the Forwarding field, click the "Forward a copy of incoming mail to" radio button and fill in the forwarding e-mail address. Now, when a mail recipient clicks Reply, that address will automatically appear in the To field.

Finally, you can instruct Outlook Express to download only copies of your messages, rather than pulling them off the mail server permanently. This can come in handy if you're using a notebook to check mail but still want access to the messages on your desktop.

Save a few seconds by having Outlook Express
remember your account name and password.
Likewise, your messages will remain accessible from whichever Web client you were using previously. To enable this option, click the Advanced tab, then check the box labeled "Leave a copy of messages on server."

Tip: To avoid having to enter your password every time you check for new messages, click the Servers tab, then check the box marked Remember Password. Do this only if you're certain about the security of your PC, because now anyone will be able to check your e-mail from it. Step 6: Secrets of Outlook Express
Another bonus of using Outlook Express is its mix of advanced features. The program lacks outright spam protection, but it can block mail from specified senders.

If you're getting a lot of junk from, say,, it's easy to stop future messages from getting through. Click Tools > Message Rules > Blocked Senders List, then click the Add button. Enter a domain name (or an entire e-mail address) and click OK. Future mail received from that domain will go straight to the trash.

Next, consider message grouping, one of the best-kept secrets in Outlook Express. This feature keeps all replies grouped together under the original message so that you can easily keep tabs on a conversation thread and reduce in-box clutter.

You can group conversation threads as one message to curb e-mail clutter.

To enable this feature, click View > Current View > Group Messages By Conversation. Now, whenever there's a message that has replies associated with it, you'll see a plus sign; click it to reveal the thread.

Tip: If you tend to store a lot of mail in Outlook Express, finding an old message can be difficult. Consider installing a utility such as Google Desktop or Yahoo Desktop Search. They continually index your mailboxes (among other things) for fast, accurate searches.
Step 7: Several users, one in-box
Outlook Express can manage not only multiple e-mail accounts, but also multiple users. Suppose your spouse wants to use the program to check his or her Gmail account, but you don't want all your messages mixed together in the same in-box. You can create a second identity, one with an entirely separate set of accounts, mail folders, and message rules.

Click File > Identities > Add New Identity. Type the name of the new user, and add a password, if desired. When that's done, Outlook Express will ask if you want to switch to that identity. Click Yes, and you'll see the program restart with a blank slate. Head back to Step 1 and set up the account(s) for the new user. Whenever you want to switch back, click File > Switch Identity, then select Main Identity.

Tip: If Outlook Express doesn't offer enough features for you, consider using Mozilla's Thunderbird. This open-source (read: free) mail program includes spam filtering, a built-in reader for Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, and a variety of visually appealing add-on themes. It's a bit more complicated to configure than Outlook Express, but most of the same principles and steps apply.

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brezanso posted a comment   

I am using outlook and not outlook express. I keep getting mailbox full messages even though I clear my deleted items, sent items & folders. Why can you not increase storage so this does not happen?? Can I port my outlook email to outlook express including my address books?


cocacola posted a comment   

how much is this system or web going to cost?


Nicole Boivin posted a comment   

When are you guys going to 'bump up' your mailbox capacity? It bombs on me often because of larger attachments (even powerpoint presentations can easily reach 10 or 20 Meg). I think it is currently 3 Meg. That's not enough in this day and age. Chow


Madeleine Pacaud posted a comment   

I feel like that last one -- and then to top it up they telephoned me to discuss -- they are too ignorant to know I'm working off the phone line -- man oh man where do you get your employees - dumb dumb school I still can't access my email throught microsoft outlook and I'm getting very discusted with your service


manewt posted a comment   

I want to use Outlook not outlook Express but cannot set it up. I called sympatico service and got nowhere.


Henry Lang posted a comment   

Sounds logical and highly interesting if it really and truly works as explained.


Cecile St.Germain posted a comment   

When I send e-mail with music and photos they are received without music and pictures are replaced with red x's. How can I rectify that. Help would be appreciated.
Thank you


b1cpvr26 posted a comment   

it would be very nice to manage you emails but right now and for past 2 weeks cant send emails keep getting does not support ssl tried everything that was recommended results are still neg posted a comment   

i want to configure gmail into outlook express 6.0


Ragballs_MBA posted a comment   

Great info on O/E...helped me to sort out my access to email accounts, when changing ISPs.

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