Setup Outlook Express

Experience has shown that the setup of a mail client is very tricky. There are a large number of settings and small errors in the settings can cause issues that are very difficult to diagnose.

Here at Oldelvet we try to ensure that the configuration is by default secure and in particular we require that connections are encrypted so that passers by cannot easily capture usernames, passwords and indeed email itself. This is especially important where many people are accessing their email accounts using wireless connections which are comparatively easy to snoop. In particular open wifi networks (in cafes & public areas) are often trivial to snoop.

As such the Oldelvet servers will (hopefully) refuse to let you read/send email if you have not set the appropriate security settings in your mail client.

The instructions below show:

Creating an Account in Outlook Express

Before configuring an account you should ensure that you have loaded the CAcert CA Root Certificates following the instructions provided. This stops warnings about certificate mismatches which in some cases could cause hard to diagnose failures. (Note that this step is only necessary because I object to paying money to get an encryption certificate that is already trusted by the browser so this little step is a once only required event).

If this is your first Outlook Express email account you should just select the “Setup a Mail Account” options in the centre of the E-mail screen.


If you already have an account configured in Outlook Express and are wishing to add an additional one then open the “Tools” -> “Accounts” dialog and select “Add” -> “Email…” option.

The first phase of the wizard is to setup your own personal name.

Now provide the email address that you are configuring within Outlook. Typically this will have been provided to you when you were assigned an email account on the Oldelvet servers.

Now comes the server identification information. Normally we recommend that you use IMAP and unless informed otherwise you should use “” as both incoming and outgoing servers.

The accountname will have been provided when you initially received your email account but it is typically the full email address. Similarly with the password. Note that you really should keep the password secret.


The initial configuration wizard is now complete. Click finish to confirm the settings.


After completion of the wizard Outlook will likely ask you to confirm download of all of your existing messages. Just accept this setting.


You may also get asked to subscribe to folders. Again the default values are likely ok so just confirm with “Ok”.


At this stage the initial wizard setup is complete. The account will likely work at this stage but you really do need to examine and adjust the account properties as specified below. If you have unexplained failures it is likely that one of your account properties is set wrongly and this causes failures in certain circumstances.


Account Properties

Access the account properties settings by right clicking on the account name in the left hand bar. The individual  properties settings should be as follows.


The account can be named however you see fit. This will appear as the title in the left hand folder bar and also in the page titles. The sample pictures shows the name being changed to “Durham Regatta Entries” but in the Outlook Express window in the background it is still showing as the default server name value “”.


Similarly you should set the Organisation as appropriate. This is not required and can be left empty for personal/individual’s own accounts. Many people just use the email address as the account name here.


Two server properties that are important to get right are:

  • “Log on using Secure Password Authentication” should NOT be ticked
  • Outgoing Mail Server – “My server requires authentication” must be ticked.


The Outgoing Mail Server settings can be safely left to use the same values as in incoming mail server.


No specific settings are required for connection properties.


No specific settings are required for Security properties.


In most cases the mail servers should be set to use port 587 for Outgoing SMTP and port 993 for Incoming IMAP with both being setup to use secure SSL connections.

Failure to do this can cause some ADSL providers to hijack the outgoing connection and force it through their own servers. This will likely cause any recipients mail spam filters to reject your mail and will also likely result in authentication failure warnings because the ADSL provider does not host the email accounts themselves.


No specific settings are required in the IMAP properties tab.


Multiple Account Features

When configured to operate with multiple accounts Outlook Express will give a few additional fields when sending email and will also list the accounts separately in the left hand folder bars. It is quite easy to operate with multiple accounts configured and makes it easier to separate personal email from other email.

Examples are shown below.

When multiple accounts are configured you will see each account listed on the left folder bar.

IMAP based email accounts store the primary copy of each email on the server so you get a separate Inbox and can create folders for each account under those. Outlook will also display a Local folder which is used for POP mailboxes and also for Outbox emails that are composed whilst offline. One big advantage of IMAP is that you can access your mailbox from multiple computers/webmail clients simultaneously. This is useful when travelling or when accessing work email from home.


In most cases Outlook will detect that you are replying and/or sending an email for a particular account and will use the sender appropriately. But you can choose a specific sender in using the “From” dropdown.