How do I enable secure SSL connections for Windows Live Mail?

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We no longer recommend Windows Live Mail.

Windows Live Mail is long obsolete. It has numerous bugs and problems, and does not work well if you also read mail on other devices like a phone.

if you're looking for a different free email program, Mozilla Thunderbird is much more reliable (and is what we use ourselves).

Since we no longer recommend using Windows Live Mail, the information below is provided only for historical reasons, and should not be used to setup new addresses.

With Windows Live Mail, it's possible to use secure SSL connections for added security. Doing so ensures that if another person somehow has the ability to eavesdrop on your Internet connection to our servers, that person won't be able to view your password or the contents of your email.

This page assumes that you have already followed the basic instructions to set up Windows Live Mail.

Enabling secure SSL connections

To enable secure SSL connections, you will:

  • Open the Advanced settings window for your mail account.
  • Turn on both "This server requires a secure connection (SSL)" checkboxes.
  • Change the "Outgoing mail (SMTP)" port number to 465, and the "Incoming mail (POP3)" port number to 995 (or port 993 for an IMAP server).

1. Start the Windows Live Mail program.

Start Windows Live Mail using the Start button or other link.

When Windows Live Mail opens, click Tools, then Accounts from the menu bar. (If the program's menu bar is not visible, hold down the Alt key and press the letter T, then release both keys.)

2. The "Accounts" window appears.

Highlight the email account you wish to change and click Properties.

The "Properties" window appears:

screen shot

You should not need to change any of the settings on the General tab.

3. Set the SSL properties.

Click the Advanced tab, then:

  • Check both boxes marked This server requires a secure connection (SSL).
  • Change the "Outgoing mail (SMTP)" port number to 465.
  • Make sure that the "Incoming mail (POP3)" port number is 995. (Note: if you are connecting to an IMAP mailbox, set the "Incoming mail (IMAP)" port number to 993 instead.)
screen shot

4. Close the setup windows.

Click OK to close the "Properties" window, then click Close to close the "Accounts" window.

Windows Live Mail setup for secure SSL connections is complete

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

(For advanced users: you can check that your messages are actually being encrypted by viewing the headers of the test message and looking for text that says something similar to "using TLSv1" in one of the "Received" lines.)