Here's how to use's long-overdue IMAP support

More than a year after Microsoft introduced its revamped, modern-style webmail service, finally--finally!--supports IMAP.

The IMAP protocol allows standalone email clients to access messages stored on a remote mail server, meaning any changes you make to your inbox appears on other devices, too; if you mark a message as read on your PC's email client, for example, it shows as read on your phone, too. That's pretty handy in a multi-device world, and IMAP is a veritable email staple. has relied on Microsoft's own Exchange ActiveSync technology to fill the real-time hole, but some email software (including many Mac programs) simply doesn't support EAS. users relying on EAS-less clients have had to fall back on the inferior POP protocol, which downloads messages to your local machine rather than managing them on's servers. Lame--but that ended on Thursday.

If you want to use IMAP with, here are the settings to use in your email client:

Incoming IMAP

  • Server:
  • Server port: 993
  • Encryption: SSL

Outgoing SMTP

  • Server:
  • Server port: 587
  • Encryption: TLS

OAuth joins the party

Along with IMAP, Microsoft announced immediate support for the OAuth authentication standard, which opens the doors for third-party software to interact with accounts much more deeply.

In fact, several third-party services have already unleashed enhanced integration. If you link your account with TripIt, for example, TripIt can automatically detect any travel confirmations and intelligently add them to your itinerary; and OtherInbox offer tools to keep your inbox clean and clutter-free.

Slice, Sift, motley*bunch, and also rolled out new integration features for Microsoft's mail service. Read all the details here.'s IMAP and OAuth support are just the latest features in Microsoft's rapid-fire blitz to claim the webmail crown from arch-rival Google. Over the past several months, the service has added Skype integration, a vastly improved Calendar app, alias sign-ins, and two-factor authentication in a bid to compete with Gmail.

Thanks to all that, has evolved into a truly compelling email option. Now, if only Microsoft would add POP support to the Windows 8 mail client...


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