How to Set Up Outlook 2013 for E-Mail - dummies

How to Set Up Outlook 2013 for E-Mail

By Faithe Wempen

The first time you start Outlook 2013, you’re prompted to complete several setup operations. The most important of these is to set up your e-mail account. Your e-mail account is the unique e-mail address that you use to send and receive messages. Your Internet service provider (ISP) probably provided you with at least one e-mail account, and you may have other accounts too.

Outlook supports POP3 and IMAP mail accounts. These are different kinds of mail servers. You need to know which type you have before you start setting up your e-mail account in Outlook. Ask your Internet service provider if needed. If that information is not available, try POP3 first; it’s by far the more common type.

POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) is the most common for home use and for most offices. With a POP3 account, mail is stored on the server until you retrieve it, and then it’s downloaded to your PC (and deleted from the server). This is called a store-and-forward system.

With an IMAP (Internet Mail Access Protocol) account, the mail stays on the server at all times. This is convenient because you can get your e-mail from anywhere (and review old messages from anywhere), but it’s slower than POP3 to access and more labor-intensive for the company managing the server. Some companies provide IMAP to their employees who travel a lot so they can get their e-mail from different PCs.

A third kind of e-mail account is available: a web-based account, such as Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, and so on. These are also known as HTTP accounts (HyperText Transfer Protocol). Outlook doesn’t support this type of e-mail account. Some workarounds can force Outlook to recognize certain HTTP mail accounts, but they aren’t covered in this lesson.

In this exercise, you configure Outlook to send and receive e-mail from your primary e-mail address.

  1. Start Outlook if it isn’t already open.

  2. If this is the first time you’ve started Outlook, a Welcome to Microsoft Outlook 2013 dialog box opens. Click Next.

    If you don’t see that dialog box, someone might have already started Outlook on this PC before. Choose File→Account Settings→Account Settings to open a list of the accounts that are already set up. If your e-mail account is listed, you’re done; close the dialog box. If not, click New and then pick up at Step 4.

  3. When asked whether you want to create a new e-mail account, click Yes and click Next.

  4. In the Add Account dialog box, shown, fill in your name, e-mail address, and password and then click Next.

    Outlook attempts to determine the name of your mail server and then contact it to set up your accounts, using an encrypted connection.

    Encryption is a security measure that encodes the message content so that it can’t be read if intercepted on its way to its destination. Outlook supports both encrypted and unencrypted e-mail connections.


  5. If the encrypted connection works, a message appears, telling you so; in that case, proceed to the next step. If the encrypted connection doesn’t work, a message to that effect appears. Click Next, and it tries to connect unencrypted.

    If Outlook can determine the right settings (and it does in most cases), it logs in to the mail server and sends a test message to you. Wait while all this goes on.

  6. Check to make sure Outlook correctly detected the account type (probably POP3).

    You should see a message that says Your POP3 account has been successfully configured. If it says IMAP but you don’t actually have an IMAP mail account, you’ll need to do some troubleshooting.

  7. If the mail server type was correctly identified, click Finish.