Using FastMail with Outlook

What you need to know

Note: If you already know how to set up your client, and you already understand the information below, see this help page for the server information you need to set up your e-mail client. The Troubleshooting Issues section at the bottom of this page may be helpful if you have problems.

In order to use Outlook with FastMail, you'll need to enter the following information:

  • username - When you signed up for FastMail, you chose a username which is also your e-mail address. You must use the full username, including the name and the domain part, which is the part after the '@' symbol. For example, a user named John Doe might have chosen a username of "johndoe@fastmail.fm". Make sure that you specify your username in lowercase only.
  • password - When you signed up for FastMail, you chose a password to go along with your username. You will need the password to access your account. The password also keeps others from being able to access your e-mail. Your password is case sensitive, so be sure that you type it in correctly. "PASS123" is different to  "pass123". Often, users forget about the CapsLock button and mistype their password.
  • incoming mail server (IMAP or POP) - This is the server that you get your e-mail from. Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) and Post Office Protocol (POP) are retrieval methods used to move e-mail messages from the server to your e-mail client so that you can read your messages. POP access is not available for all service levels, please check the pricing table for details. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is required for your protection as well. SSL keeps people from reading your e-mail as it is transmitted between the e-mail server and your computer.
  • outgoing mail server (SMTP) - This is the server that sends your e-mail. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is the method that your client uses to move e-mail messages from your client to the server so that it can send your messages. The FastMail SMTP server is not available for all service levels, please check the pricing table for details. If your service level does not allow use of the FastMail SMTP server, you must use the SMTP server provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

    The FastMail SMTP server requires SMTP Authentication. This keeps people who are not users of the FastMail service from using the SMTP server to send spam messages on the Internet. SSL is required for the FastMail SMTP server. If you don't use the FastMail SMTP server, you may have different options or requirements. You will need to get that information from your ISP.

Incoming/Outgoing Server Setup

Outlook 2000 only supports IMAP in 'Internet' mode. Even then, Outlook 2000 has known problems with IMAP. We thus recommend:

  • Preferably use 'Outlook Express' or 'Netscape Messenger', so you can access FastMail using IMAP.
  • If you really want to use Outlook, don't use IMAP, only use POP
  • Upgrade to Outlook XP, which supports IMAP very well. However, you can get great IMAP support for free with Outlook Express or Netscape, so the upgrade is only worth paying for if you want the other XP enhancements, which are mainly focussed on improving usability for new users.

To understand the advantages of IMAP over POP, see here and here.

The instructions given below describe how to setup Outlook to use POP mode. Remember that in this mode you can only download messages from your FastMail Inbox, and once downloaded, the messages are removed from the FastMail server so you won't be able to access them through the web-interface again

To use Outlook 2000 with IMAP, which may not be entirely reliable, follow the directions for Outlook XP, which are quite similar to Outlook 2000.

  1. Launch 'Outlook' and select 'Services' from the 'Tools' menu.

  2. Click the 'Add' button.

  3. Select 'Internet E-mail' and click 'OK'.

  4. You will be presented with a dialog box with a number of tabs. On the first tab, fill out the first text field with an easy to remember name for the service. Fill the 'Name:' box with your full name, and the 'E-mail address:' in the yellow box with your email address at FastMail. When done, click the 'Servers' tab.

  5. Enter 'mail.messagingengine.com' in the 'Incoming mail(POP3):' field in the green box as well as in the 'Outgoing mail(SMTP):' field in the red box. Enter your email address into the 'Account name:' field in the yellow box and password into the 'Password:' field. Ensure the 'My server requires authentication' check box is selected so that you can send emails from Outlook via FastMail. When done, you can check the 'Connection' tab if you want to control how Outlook will connect to the Internet. When you've filled in all the details, click 'OK'.

    Note: Guest users do not have access to the 'mail.messagingengine.com' SMTP server. Member, Full and Enhanced users do have access to the 'mail.messagingengine.com' SMTP server, so the following does not apply. Guest users should instead set the 'Outgoing mail (SMTP):' field to your ISP's SMTP server. You should be able to find this information in your ISP's documentation; we don't have the information, so please don't email us asking what it is. Also, depending on the strictness of your ISP, you may also need to set the 'E-mail Address:' field in step 4 above to your ISP's email address. The only way to be sure of if this is required or not is to try and send an email, and if you get an error, try again after changing to your ISP's email address. Finally, you should make sure that the 'My server requires authentication' checkbox displayed below is NOT checked.

  6. Outlook will now tell you that you have to exit and restart outlook for the changes to take place. Click 'OK' in any remaining dialog boxes, select 'Exit and log off' from the 'File' menu. Then start Outlook again.
  7. Your POP setup is now complete. You should now be able to retrieve messages from your Inbox on FastMail by clicking the 'Send/Receive' button, and send messages by composing them as normal and clicking the 'Send/Receive' button. Note that once you retrieve messages from FastMail to your local machine, they are removed from FastMail and you won't be able to access them from the web interface.

Learning more about IMAP

IMAP is a powerful protocol that allows you keep to your email synchronised, whether you're at home, at work, at a friends place or an internet cafe. You don't have to worry about what computer the email is on, because all the email is kept on the server and each client sees the same 'view' of the email. See this FAQ page to learn more about IMAP

Troubleshooting Issues

Currently there are no known troubleshooting issues with this client while being used in the POP mode. But if you are planning to use Outlook for IMAP access to FastMail , we suggest you use other email clients such as Outlook Express or Netscape Messenger as Outlook has many known problems in the IMAP mode.

Last modified on: Wed May 14 12:00:00 UTC 2003