How To: Use Hotmail through Thunderbird without the WebMail Plugin

The WebMail plugin has been a trusty, appreciated boon to everyone wanting to get their hotmail/yahoo/gmail through a proper email client for years.

But due to the way providers re-jig their login mechanisms now and then, it just breaks. And breaks. Then breaks again. Not a bad word to the plugin authors – there’s nothing they can do about it, and it’s the prerogative of the email provider to setup their login and authentication mechanisms however they damn well see fit. But FFS – it’s email, you know? Can it just work, and stay working?

Following on from gmail offering POP and SMTP access for the last year or two, Hotmail now offers its own POP and SMTP servers – which means the WebMail plugin is no longer needed for Thunderbird, or personally by any webmail I use.

To modify your accounts in Thunderbird / Eudora etc – just set your hotmail accounts to the following details and you’re all set:

* Type: POP
* Server Name: pop3.live.com
* User Name: Your FULL email address
* Port: 995 (this should be automatically set when you select SSL)
* Use secure connection: SSL
* Use secure authentication: leave unchecked

If you want to use their SMTP server select “Outgoing Server (SMTP)” and press the Add button.

* Server Name: smtp.live.com
* Port: 587 (you could also use port 25 if your ISP doesn’t block it)
* Use name and password: Check it
* Username: Your FULL email address
* Use secure connection: TLS

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