Microsoft Outlook 2011 for Mac

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We no longer support or recommend Outlook 2011.

Outlook 2011 is long obsolete. It has numerous bugs and problems, including security problems.

If you like the Outlook program, you can get a modern, reliable version from Microsoft for just a few dollars a month. If you’re looking for a free mail program, Mozilla Thunderbird is much more reliable than old versions of Outlook.

Since we no longer offer support for Outlook 2011, the information below is provided only for historical reasons, and should not be used to setup new computers or addresses.

This page explains how to set up the Microsoft Outlook 2011 email program on Mac OS X for an IMAP mailbox that you've created.

Before you continue, you should enter your email address (the address you want to set up in Outlook) in the box above. Entering your email address makes sure that the instructions below are correct.

To set up Outlook 2011, make sure the Outlook program is running, then follow the instructions below.

1. Add a new account

Click the "Tools" menu and choose "Accounts".

Click the "+" button and choose "E-mail".

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The "Account" window appears.

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Type your email address:

As soon as you start typing your email address, the settings display will expand.

2. Enter your account information

Enter your email account details, using the following values:

  • E-mail address: your email address (must be all lowercase)
  • Password: your email password
  • User name: your email address (must be all lowercase)
  • Type: IMAP
  • Incoming server:
  • Under "Incoming server", check Override default port then change the port number to 143
  • Outgoing server:
  • Under "Outgoing server", check Override default port then change the port number to 587
  • Do not check “Use SSL to connect” (for the reasons described below)

Your resulting window should look like this:

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Click the "Add Account" button; this will save the current values.

Now enter a few more values:

  • Account description:
  • Full name: enter your full name, such as Steve Jobs

Your settings window should now look something like this:

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Click the "More Options..." button.

3. Configure outgoing mail authentication

Select "Use Incoming Server Info" for the Authentication field:

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Then click OK.

You are done configuring Outlook. You can now close the settings window.

Setup is complete

You're finished! Try sending yourself a test email message to make sure it works.

Why don’t you recommend SSL?

Outlook 2011 has a bug handling SSL connections: It tries to use the long-obsolete “SSLv2” protocol that is no longer supported on modern mail servers, including ours. If your network also uses a very common kind of firewall that prevents “client-initiated session renegotiation”, SSL connections will simply fail.

The best solution to this is to upgrade to a modern version of Outlook. If you can’t do that, turning off SSL in Outlook 2011 (as described above) will allow it to continue to work.

In theory, turning off SSL encryption in the Outlook settings weakens security, making it possible for attackers who have access to your network to intercept your password. In practice, SSLv2 has not been secure for many years, and offers little protection against attackers anyway. You should update to the current version of Outlook if you’re concerned about security.

Having trouble sending mail?

We occasionally hear reports of an Outlook bug that makes it impossible to send mail (even though you can receive mail), with Outlook showing with an “unknown error code 17199”. If this happens to you, Microsoft suggests deleting all messages in the Outbox to solve it.

Do some people see duplicate images in messages you send?

Outlook for Mac has a bug that can cause duplicated images, unfortunately. It’s not caused by a problem on your computer, or our servers.

Lost your contacts and mail?

Outlook stores your contacts (and any local mail) in a folder at a certain location on your computer:

Documents > Microsoft User Data > Office 2011 Identities

If you accidentally rename the “Microsoft User Data” or “Office 2011 Identities” folder, or move them to the trash or another location on your computer, Outlook will create a brand new “identity” with no mail or contacts. (This is easy to do accidentally because the “Microsoft User Data” folder is just “loose” at the top of your “Documents” folder.)

If that's what happened, and you still have the original folder, you can move that folder back to the original location (or rename it to the original name) and the contacts and mail will reappear.