Outlook 2016 Windows Manual Setup for IMAP

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This page explains how to manually set up Microsoft Outlook 2016 on a Windows computer to send and receive email for an email mailbox that you’ve created, using an IMAP connection.

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.

1. Start the Microsoft Outlook program.

Use the Start menu to start Outlook 2016. If you’ve never used Outlook before, it will usually prompt you to create a new account. In that case, skip ahead to step 2.

If Outlook doesn’t prompt you, click the File tab:

Outlook 2016 File tab

Then make sure that Info is selected on the left and click the Add Account button:

Outlook 2016 Add Account button

2. The “Welcome to Outlook” window appears.

When this window appears:

  • Enter your email address as address@example.com (all lowercase)
  • Click Advanced Options
  • Click Let me set up my account manually

The window should look like this:

Outlook 2016 Welcome screen

Then click Connect.

3. The “Choose Account Type” window appears.

The window looks like this:

Outlook 2016 Choose Account Type window

Click IMAP.

4. The “IMAP Account Settings” window appears.

This is the window where you’ll enter most of your account settings:

Incoming mail server:mail.tigertech.net
Incoming mail port:143
Incoming mail encryption method:STARTTLS
Outgoing mail server:mail.tigertech.net
Outgoing mail port:587
Outgoing mail encryption method:STARTTLS

Make sure that the two “Require logon using Secure Password Authentication (SPA)” checkboxes are not checked.

The window should look like this:

Outlook 2016 Settings window

Click Next.

5. Outlook asks for your password.

Type the email password you chose when you created this email address, then click Connect.

6. Outlook setup is complete

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

Using Outlook 2016

Here are a few tips for using Outlook 2016 with address@example.com setup as an IMAP account:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Outlook will save a copy of any mail that you send in the "Sent Items" folder.
  4. 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".
  5. Outlook will save drafts of messages in the "Drafts" folder.

Outlook 2016 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

We’ve 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.

Note that Outlook shows IMAP server folders indented beneath the email address by default. You can cause Outlook to display the folders unindented so that they line up with the Inbox folder. To do so:

  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

Also, please note that 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.

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 me new mail?

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 appears to be 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.

Having trouble synchronizing folders?

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.