Use POP or IMAP to connect to Office 365 for business or Microsoft Exchange accounts

You can connect to your Office 365 for business or other Microsoft Exchange email account with programs that use the POP3 or IMAP4 Internet protocols. Connecting to your Office 365 for business or other Microsoft Exchange email account using POP3 or IMAP4 only lets you send and receive email. You can’t connect to your contacts, tasks, or calendar when you connect to your account using POP3 or IMAP4.

 Tip    For the best experience, we recommend that you connect to your Office 365 for business or other Microsoft Exchange email account using Outlook Web App, or through an email program that supports Exchange ActiveSync access such as Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook for Mac 2011, Apple Mail 10.6 Snow Leopard, Apple Mail 10.7 Lion, or Entourage 2008 Web Services Edition.

To review instructions for setting up your Office 365 for business or other Microsoft Exchange email on some of the most frequently used email programs, see Instructions for setting up email for your Office 365 for business or Microsoft Exchange account.

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Instructions for setting up email for your Office 365 for business or Microsoft Exchange account

Use the following resources to set up email for your Office 365 for business or Microsoft Exchange account:

  • To set up email on some of the most frequently used desktop email programs (for example, Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Windows Mail, Apple Mail, and more), see Email program setup reference.
  • To set up email on your mobile phone or tablet (for example, iPhone, iPad, Surface, Android, and Windows Phone), see Phone and tablet setup reference.
  • To set up email on a desktop version of Outlook (for example, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, and Outlook 2011 for Mac), see Connect Outlook to this account.

What are POP3 programs?

By default, when POP3 email programs download email messages to your computer, the downloaded messages are removed from the server. This means you can only access the downloaded messages on the computer where you downloaded them. But some POP3 email programs can be set up to keep a copy of your message on the server. That way, you can access the message from more than one computer.

POP3 email programs can only be used to download messages from the server to a single folder (usually the Inbox) on your computer. POP3 also doesn't support public folder access.

What are IMAP4 programs?

Email programs that use IMAP4 are more flexible and usually offer more features than programs that use POP3. By default, when IMAP4 email programs download email messages to your computer, a copy of each downloaded message stays on the server. This means you can access the same message from more than one computer. With IMAP4, you can create multiple email folders on the server, which lets you access any message from any folder from more than one computer.

Most IMAP4 email programs can be set up to keep a copy of your sent items on the server so that you can view them from more than one computer. IMAP4 supports additional features that aren't supported by most POP3 programs. For example, some IMAP4 programs include a feature that lets you view only the headers of your email messages—who the message is from and the subject—on the server. This way, you can download only the messages you want to read. IMAP4 also supports access to public folders.

Common POP3 and IMAP4 connection options

POP3 and IMAP4 email programs let you choose when to connect to the server to send and receive email. There are some things to consider before you decide which option to choose.

Three of the most common connection options are as follows:

  • Send and receive messages every time you start the email program With this option, email is sent and received only when you start the program.
  • Send and receive messages manually With this option, messages are sent and received only when you click "send and receive" in the program.
  • Send and receive messages every set number of minutes With this option, your email program connects to the server every set number of minutes to send messages and download new ones.

For information about how to set these options for your email program, see the Help documentation for that program.

 Tip    If your device or computer is always connected to the Internet, you may want to set the email program to send and receive messages every set number of minutes. Connecting to the server frequently helps keep your email up to date. If your device or computer isn't always connected to the Internet (for example, if you connect to the Internet by using a dial-up connection), you may want to set the email program to send and receive messages manually. Sending and receiving messages when you connect using dial-up can help reduce the time you're connected to the Internet.

Email programs that support POP3 and IMAP4

If your email account supports POP3 and IMAP4, you can use many different programs to connect to your account. These include Outlook, Windows Mail, Entourage, Apple Mail, Thunderbird, and Eudora. The features supported by each email program vary. For information about the features offered by specific POP3 and IMAP4 email programs, see the documentation included with each program.

 Note    If you don't know whether your email account supports POP3 and IMAP4, contact the person who manages your mailbox (sometimes called an email administrator).

The following table lists some email programs that support POP3 and IMAP4. For instructions for setting up a POP3 or IMAP4 connection to your account, see Instructions for setting email for your Office 365 for business or Microsoft Exchange account.

Email program Supported operating systems
Microsoft Outlook 2013 Windows
Microsoft Outlook 2010 Windows
Microsoft Outlook 2007 Windows
Microsoft Windows Live Mail 2011 Windows
Microsoft Windows Live Mail 2012 Windows
2009 version of Windows Live Mail Windows
Microsoft Windows Mail Windows
Microsoft Entourage 2008 Windows
Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac Apple Macintosh
Mail (Apple Mail) Apple Macintosh
Thunderbird Windows/Apple Macintosh
Pine Windows
Alpine Windows
Eudora Windows
iPhone Mail Apple iOS
Amazon Kindle Fire Email Kindle Fire
Windows Mobile Mail Windows Mobile 5.x or higher
Windows Phone Mail Windows Phone 7.x or higher

Find POP or IMAP server settings

If you’re connecting to your Office 365 for business email, you don’t need to look up your settings. For Office 365 for business, use the following settings.

Server name Port Encryption method
POP3 outlook.office365.com 995 SSL
IMAP4 outlook.office365.com 993 SSL
SMTP smtp.office365.com 587 TLS

If you’re using Microsoft Exchange-based email but are not using Office 365 for business, do the following to look up your settings.

  1. Sign in to your account using Outlook Web App. For help signing in, see Sign in to Outlook Web App.
  2. In Outlook Web App, click Settings settings > Options > Account > My account.
  3. On the My account page, click Settings for POP or IMAP access.
  4. The POP3, IMAP4, and SMTP server name and other settings you may need to enter are listed on the Settings for POP or IMAP Access page under POP setting or IMAP setting, and SMTP setting.

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Applies to:
Microsoft Outlook Web App for Office 365 operated by 21Vianet - Small Business, Outlook Web App, Outlook Web App for Office 365 Enterprise, Outlook Web App for Office 365 operated by 21Vianet, Outlook Web App for Office 365 Small Business