Microsoft Outlook 2013

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This page explains how to set up Microsoft Outlook 2013 to send and receive email for an email mailbox that you’ve created.

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

On this page:

Setting up Microsoft Outlook 2013 using Autodiscover

Autodiscover makes it easy to set up Outlook 2013. You’ll just tell Outlook your name, email address, and password, and it will automatically figure out the other settings for you.

Autodiscover creates your email address as an “IMAP” connection. Separate instructions are also available for setting up an IMAP address without using autodiscover or for manually setting up a POP address.

1. Start the Microsoft Outlook program.

Use the Start menu to start Outlook 2013. If you’ve never used Outlook before, it will show you a welcome window and then ask if you want to connect to set up Outlook to connect to an email account. In that case, choose Yes and then continue with step 2.

If you’ve previously used Outlook and it doesn’t prompt you, click the File tab, then the Add Account button:

Outlook 2013 "Add Account" button

2. Provide your basic email information.

Enter your name, email address, and password so that the four highlighted boxes in the window looks like this (but with your name instead of “Bill Gates”):

Outlook 2013 "Auto Account Setup" window
  • “Your Name” is the name that other people will see when you send them email. It should usually be your real name, such as Bill Gates, but some people enter a company name like Acme Rockets.
  • The “E-mail Address” is the address of the mailbox you created in our account management control panel.
  • “Password” and “Retype Password” boxes are the email password you chose for this email address when you created the mailbox. The password may be different from your master account password with our company.
  • Do not check “Manual setup or additional server types”.

Click Next.

3. Allow the redirection if necessary.

Outlook may show a window that looks like this:

Outlook 2013 autodiscover confirmation

If you see this window, check Don’t ask me about this website again, then click Allow.

It’s okay if you don’t see this window — simply continue to the next step below.

4. Autodiscover detects your account settings.

Autodiscover will try to detect your email account settings. If it succeeds, you will see a “Congratulations” window:

screen shot

Click Finish. This will return you to the main Outlook window.

Outlook setup is complete

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

Having trouble?

If you can’t get Autodiscover to work, you can follow the Outlook 2013 manual setup for IMAP instructions instead.

Using Outlook 2013

Here are a few tips for using Outlook 2013 with setup as an IMAP account:

  • Your account name will be listed in the left-hand column of the window. Click the small triangle to the left of your account name to show or hide the folders within your account.
  • All of your folder (and sub-folders) are indented under the Inbox. Click the small triangle to the left of the Inbox to show or hide the sub-folders.
  • Outlook will save a copy of any mail that you send in the "Sent" folder.
  • Outlook will move deleted messages into the "Deleted Items" folder. That folder will not be emptied automatically. You can manually empty it at any time by right-clicking on the folder (in the folder list) and choose "Empty Folder".
  • Outlook will save drafts of messages in the "Drafts" folder.

Outlook 2013 and folders

When you use IMAP for an account, Outlook may display the account (and its folders) below the other accounts you have created. However, you can grab any account and drag it up or down in the list of folders.

You might need to click on the little triangle icon below the address to see all the folders on the server, too:

Outlook 2013 IMAP folders

Note that Outlook always shows IMAP server folders indented beneath the email address. Unfortunately, you can’t rearrange these, or move one of these server folders out of the indentation. And if you have multiple addresses, each address is separate: you can’t (for example) combine the “Drafts” folders of two different addresses into one folder.

We’ve also seen some cases where Outlook will display both an indented server folder named “Drafts”, “Deleted Items”, “Junk E-mail”, or “Sent Items” plus a separate local unindented local folder of the same name, as in this “Junk E-mail” example:

Duplicate folders in Outlook 2013

This is just a quirk of Outlook; there’s no way we know of to remove the extra local folder.

How to fix folders showing “(This computer only)”

If you try to create a folder in your IMAP account, but the folder says “(This computer only)” next to it in Outlook, that usually means there’s something about the name of the folder that prevents Outlook from keeping it on the server.

In particular, using a forward slash in the name of a folder in Outlook causes this problem.

To fix it, create a new folder with a simpler name (we suggest using only letters, numbers and spaces), then drag your mail to that folder.

Why does Outlook delay showing new mail or have trouble ”synchronizing folders“?

We occasionally hear of cases where newly arrived messages are visible from other mail programs and Webmail, but Outlook takes several minutes (or even hours) to show them in the Inbox, often saying it’s still “synchronizing” the folders.

This is sometimes caused by a bug in Outlook. We’ve found that deleting the IMAP “account” within Outlook (not in our control panel) and then re-adding it by following the instructions above usually fixes it.

If that doesn’t help, you should check that you don’t have more than 100,000 messages in a single folder, or more than 500 folders. Microsoft says that Outlook will not perform well if that happens, although we’ve sometimes heard of the problem happening even if you have fewer folders or fewer messages in a folder.

If you still have trouble, try this to make Outlook avoid unnecessary synchronizations:

  1. In Outlook, click the Send / Receive tab
  2. Click Send/Receive Groups and choose Define Send/Receive Groups
  3. Make sure that “All Accounts” is highlighted and click Edit
  4. Uncheck Get folder unread count for subscribed folders
  5. Click OK to close the “Edit” window
  6. Click Close to close the “Send/Receive Groups” window

Finally, we’ve heard of rare cases where folders don’t successfully copy or “synchronize” unless you change the Outlook advanced settings “root folder path”. If you’re having trouble with this, especially when copying mail from your computer to the server, try this:

  1. Click the File tab, then Account Settings
  2. Choose your email account, then click Change
  3. Click More Settings
  4. Click the Advanced tab
  5. In the Root folder path type INBOX
  6. Click OK and Next to save your changes

This change also makes it impossible to display the folders “indented” for that address in Outlook as a side effect. Unfortunately, if this fixes synchronization problems, the problem is caused by a bug in Outlook, and there’s no other way to solve it.