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10 Windows 8 tips, tricks and hacks

January 31, 2013 06:00 AM ET

10. Fool the Mail app into using POP mail

The Windows 8 Mail app has a surprising shortcoming -- it won't work with email accounts that use the POP3 mail protocol. Instead, Windows 8 Mail works with Web-based mail accounts such as Gmail and Outlook.com and accounts that use IMAP.

However, there's a workaround that solves the problem. You can tell either a Gmail or an Outlook.com account to get POP3-based mail from a POP3 account, and then tell Windows 8 Mail to get mail from that account.

Of course, you'll also have to consider whether your POP email account might contain sensitive correspondence that you don't wish to share with an additional cloud-based service. If you're willing to route your mail through Outlook.com or Gmail, keep reading for how to do it. (Skip to Gmail instructions.)

Configure Outlook.com to get POP3 mail

Got an Outlook.com account? You might have one without knowing it. The service was formerly called both Hotmail and Windows Live Mail at various times in its history, and those accounts have been converted to Outlook.com automatically. So if you've got an old Hotmail account, for instance, just go to Hotmail.com and log in; you'll be redirected to Outlook.com.

If for some reason your account hasn't been upgraded, just log into your Hotmail or Windows Live Mail account, click Options, select Upgrade to Outlook.com and follow the instructions. Your messages, rules and so on will be brought over.

If you don't have an Outlook.com account, sign up.

Once you're logged into Outlook.com:

1. Click the Settings icon in the upper-right of the screen, and then select "More mail settings."

2. Under "Managing your account," click "Your email accounts" and then select "Add a send-and-receive account."

3. From the screen that appears, click "Advanced options." Here's where you enter the information you normally need to access your POP account, including the server address, port number and so on. If you don't have it, check with your email provider.

You can also check whatever mail client you normally use for the information. If you're using Outlook 2010, for instance, select File --> Info --> Account settings --> Account setting and click the E-mail tab. Double-click the account, and you'll find the necessary information.

Configuring Outlook.com to work with a POP3 account
Configuring Outlook.com to work with a POP3 account. Click to view larger image.

4. Make sure to pay attention to a setting that's easy to overlook: whether or not to leave copies of your mail messages on the server. If you're planning to have Windows Mail be your only mail client for accessing your POP-based mail, consider having the messages deleted from the server. However, if you're going to have multiple devices access the mail, make sure to leave the messages on the server. Click Next.

5. On the next screen, you'll be asked whether you want to create a new folder for the mail or keep it in your Outlook.com Inbox. Make your choice and select Next.

6. A verification email will be send to your POP account. Click that link. You'll be sent to a page on Outlook.com telling you that you're set up. You're now ready to tell Windows 8 Mail to get mail from Outlook.com (see below).

Configure Gmail to get POP3 mail

To configure Gmail to grab POP3 mail from an existing POP3 account:

1. In Gmail, click the gear icon on the upper-right corner of the screen and select Settings --> Accounts and Import --> Add a POP3 mail account you own.

2. On the screen that appears, enter your email address.

3. On the next screen, enter the information you normally need to access your POP account, including the server address, port number and so on. If you don't have it, check with your mail provider.

You can also check whatever mail client you normally use for the information. If you're using Outlook 2010, for instance, select File --> Info --> Account settings --> Account setting and click the E-mail tab. Double-click the account, and you'll find the necessary information.

Configuring Gmail to get POP3 mail
Configuring Gmail to get POP3 mail.

4. After you're done, click Add Account. From the screen that appears, tell Gmail that you want to send messages from the account, not just receive them. You'll have to enter your outgoing email settings and have Gmail send the account an email to verify that it's yours.

5. When you receive the verification email at your POP3 account, click the link and follow the instructions for verifying the address. That's it; Gmail will start retrieving your POP3 mail. You're now ready to tell Windows 8 Mail to get mail from Gmail.

Configure Windows 8 Mail to get mail from Outlook.com or Gmail

Run the Windows 8 Mail app, press the Windows key + C to display the Charms bar, and select Settings --> Accounts --> Add an account.

To get mail from Outlook.com, select Outlook on this screen. Enter your Outlook.com email address and password, click Connect, and you'll start getting the POP mail via Outlook.com.

To get mail from Gmail, select Google on the Add an account screen. Enter your email address and password and click Connect. You'll start getting POP mail via Gmail.

Get more Windows 8 help: 6 tips to make Windows 8 less annoying

is a contributing editor for Computerworld.com and the author of more than 40 books, including Windows 8 Hacks (O'Reilly, 2012).

Read more about Windows in Computerworld's Windows Topic Center.



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