Still a lot of people are unaware of Gmail Outlook Express capabilities. As you may know, Gmail is Google's free email service, which used to be "invite only". Invite only means that you actually needed an invitation from someone with an existing Gmail account in order to get one for yourself.
Somewhere around February 2007 Google has opened this up, and now you can just go to www.google.com/mail and sign up for a free account.
Just because it's free doesn't mean it's no good, because Gmail offers a lot of neat features, including an impressive amount of free storage for your messages, plus lots of other interesting Gmail features.
In this article I want to explain a bit about Gmail Outlook Express integration. You see, most Gmail users always access their e-mails through a web browser. While this can be very convenient for checking your e-mails when traveling or on the road, working with Gmail in Outlook Express also has a number of advantages.
For instance, if you share your computer with a number of family members or relatives, each person can have their own Windows account with their own unique windows desktop and desktop settings (along with their private documents, internet favorites and other settings). But not only that, they can also create their own Outlook Express desktop shortcut that takes them directly to their own separate Gmail inbox. They don't even need to enter their Gmail password, as it can be stored as part of the Gmail Outlook Express integration. (If privacy is an issue, each user can of course enter a password on the Windows user account in order to protect their private stuff from prying eyes).
If you are not sure if your Windows configuration has separate user accounts for your family members, you can find out more about it in our windows user accounts article.
Once you have your Windows properly set up with separate accounts for each user, you are ready to configure Outlook Express for Gmail. Configuring Outlook Express is as easy as completing the account creation wizard. The Outlook account creation wizard will ask for a number of things, including:
The Gmail pop server is the email server that Outlook Express will contact in order to retrieve messages that others have sent to you. The Gmail smtp server is the server that Outlook Express will use to deliver your outgoing messages on the internet, so that they can be routed to your correspondent.
Outlook Express is the standard e-mail program that comes with Windows XP, while Outlook is part of the Microsoft Office suite (usually with Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel), which you have to buy as an additional software package. Outlook offers some additional functionality over Outlook Express, such as a calendar and the capability of working in a networked server based collaboration environment.
To make confusion even worse, the standard e-mail program that comes as part of Windows Vista is called Windows Mail instead of Outlook Express. If you want to configure Gmail in Windows Mail, you can pretty much follow the same steps as described below for Gmail Outlook Express integration.
If you have Outlook as part of the Microsoft Office suite, you can use this Gmail in Outlook article as a guide.
So, with the confusion of Outlook Express and Outlook out of the way (hopefully), let's see what needs to be done in order to set up Gmail Outlook Express functionality:
If no e-mail account is configured in your Outlook Express (or if it's the first time that you launch it), the new account wizard will start automatically. If the wizard doesn't come up by itself, you need to set it into action by clicking "tools-accounts" in the menu bar.
That will bring up the accounts overview, where you need to click the "add" button and select "mail":
Doing that will trigger the wizard into action. In the first screen you will need to enter your full name and click next:
The next thing the wizard wants to know is your e-mail address. Enter your Gmail address and click next.
Next is the Gmail pop server and Gmail smtp server. Enter pop.gmail.com as the pop server and smtp.gmail.com as the, well, smtp server and click next:
The wizard needs to know you account name and password. Enter your Gmail email address as your account name and your Gmail password as your password. Leave the "remember password" box checked and click next:
After that the wizard will tell you that you have successfully set up your account (which is not entirely true yet, but hey, it's only a wizard), so click "finish" to complete these steps.
You will end up in a screen like below, where you need to highlight pop.gmail.com under Account, and click the button "Properties" (or double-click the account pop.gmail.com):
In the next screen, click the "advanced" tab, make sure to
(The order of Outgoing and Incoming mail server fields varies by version. Make sure you enter the correct information in each field)
Return to the "servers" tab, check the box next to "My server requires authentication" and click "Ok"
Ok, so now you've got that part covered. Your Gmail Outlook Express settings are configured in Outlook Express, you are now almost ready to start sending and receiving messages through Outlook Express.
Yep, there's one final step you need to carry out and it's a very important one. This is where most people get stuck and your Gmail account in Outlook Express *will not work* if you don't do this next step.
You need to log in to your Gmail account with your web browser (like you're used to do) and tell Gmail that you want to access it with an e-mail client.
In order to do so, log in to your Gmail account and look for the blue underlined link at the top right of the screen that says "settings". Click that link and in the settings section, click the link that says "forwarding and POP/IMAP"
That will take you to a screen where you can Enable pop settings. You can choose to enable pop for *all* messages, or enable pop for messages that arrive from now on.
Enabling pop for all messages, which will basically result in your *entire* Gmail inbox to be downloaded into your Outlook Express mailbox might not necessarily be such a great idea, since your Gmail inbox potentially holds HUGE amounts of messages.
You might want to opt for "enable pop for messages that arrive from now on". Then click the "Save changes" button in your Gmail configuration screen and you're all set.
With Gmail Outlook Express integration set up, the messages that your Outlook Express "pops" from the Gmail mail server will by default still be accessible via your browser, so you can continue to access your Gmail messages like before, but now you can also conveniently access them with your Gmail Outlook Express integration.
The good thing about this is that you can log off from your Windows machine, log on with a different Windows user account and set up a totally separate Gmail Outlook Express configuration for this other user's own Gmail address.
And this can be repeated for all the user accounts that live on your pc.
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