Using FastMail with Outlook 2003

What you need to know

Microsoft Outlook 2003 can easily be configured to access your FastMail account. IMAP accounts appear differently in Outlook than standard POP or Exchange accounts.

Outlook 2003 does not support the ability to save sent items to the server folders. Outlook 2003 also does not move items to the trash folder when they are deleted.

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 2003 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 "". 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

  1. First Time Startup
    After installing Outlook 2003, you will be presented with the new start-up Setup window.
    If you already have email accounts defined, use the menu to choose Tools / Accounts....

    Choose Add a new e-mail account and press Next.

    The account type page will appear.
    Choose IMAP and click Next.

  2. Enter Account Properties
    A new page will appear. Complete all the values in the form.
      Enter your name and preferred email address.
      Be sure to set the Account Type to be IMAP
      Adjust the Incoming and Outgoing servers to be
      Ensure your User Name contains your complete FastMail username
    The result will look similar to the image below...
    Click the More Settings... button to adjust other values.

  3. Adjust More Settings
    We recommend you change the Account Name to something more familiar.
    In the example below we changed the name to FastMail.

  4. Adjust Outgoing Server Properties
    Next click on the Outgoing Server tab.
    Check the box for My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication.

  5. Adjust Advanced Settings
    Next click on the Advanced tab.
    Set both the Incoming and Outgoing servers to use the SSL encryption method.
    Set the Incoming port to be 993.
    Set the Outgoing port to be 465.
    Set the Root folder path to be INBOX.
    (If you are a Business user utilizing Shared Email folders, leave the Root folder empty)

    Press OK when you have finished.

  6. Click Next to Save Account
    The manual accounts settings appears, click Next to save the account.
    Outlook may give a warning about changing the Root Folder, this is normal, Press OK

    Press Finish to complete the account creation process.

  7. Save and Close Settings Window
    Click Next and then Finish to save your changes.

    Click the Close button to close the account listing

  8. Folder View in Outlook
    IMAP accounts appear in their own grouping within Outlook. By default, Outlook will display a Personal Folders group (with an Inbox folder). This is where POP accounts deliver their messages.

    For IMAP accounts, such as your FastMail, Outlook will display your folders (and INBOX) under its own group.
    An example is depicted in the image below:

  9. Set IMAP Inbox as a Favorite
    It is often convenient to set the Inbox within your account as a Favorite folder within Outlook.
    This is performed by right-clicking on the folder in your account and selecting Add to Favorite Folders.

  10. Display all Account Folders
    Right click on any folder in your account listing and select IMAP Folders....

    Set Outlook to always display all of your account folders.
    Un-check the box for When Displaying Hierarchy in Outlook...

    You may also want to press the Query button.
    When the folder list appears, you may want to subscribe to your Junk Mail and Sent Items folders.
    Press OK when complete.

    Your account has now been successfully setup within Microsoft Outlook 2003.

Special Notes

By default, Outlook 2003 will display deleted items with a strikethrough appearance as demonstrated below:

This gives you an opportunity to undelete messages. Unfortunately, this can be very distracting.
This is easy to fix. Using the menu, select View / Arrange By / Current View / Hide Messages Marked for Deletion. This will hide the deleted messages from view.

Purging Strikethrough Items

To purge deleted items permanently (and free up space in your account), use the Edit menu and select Purge Deleted Messages to remove all items marked for deletion.

You can also choose to customize your Outlook toolbar to add the Purge item to your toolbar.

Another option is to log into the FastMail web interface, edit the Options / Folders properties for your Inbox and define an auto-purge rule for IMAP Deleted > x days.

Last modified on: Mon Feb 1 18:00:00 UTC 2010