How do I verify the settings in Outlook 2011?

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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.

If you’ve already set up an IMAP email account in Outlook 2011 (for Mac) and you want to make sure the settings are correct, this page explains how to do so.

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.

1. Start Outlook 2011.

If Outlook 2011 isn’t already running, start it now.

2. Select the account.

Open the Tools menu, then click Accounts.

Select your account in the list on the left-hand side of the window.

3. Verify the basic account settings.

The window should look like this:

screen shot

Although the “Full Name” and the “Password” will be different, everything else should be as shown above. In particular, these must be exactly right:

  • Account description: this can be anything, we recommend your email address
  • E-mail address: your email address (all lowercase)
  • User name: your email address (all lowercase)
  • Incoming server: : 143
  • Override default port should be checked
  • “Use SSL to connect” should not be checked (for the reason described below)
  • “Always use secure password” should not be checked
  • Outgoing server: : 587
  • Override default port should be checked
  • “Use SSL to connect” should not be checked (for the reason described below)

After verifying these settings, click the More Options button.

4. Configure outgoing mail authentication

Select Use Incoming Server Info for the Authentication field:

screen shot

Then click OK.

You are done configuring Outlook. You can now close the “Accounts” window.

6. Test the settings.

Send yourself a test message. Doing so will test both sending and receiving.

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.

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.