Configure Microsoft Outlook 2003/2007 for Gmail IMAP and Yahoo Mail POP3

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Update 2: Yahoo Mail now supports IMAP for all accounts; whereas, POP3 access required Mail Plus accounts. The Yahoo IMAP server is “imap.mail.yahoo.com”. Yahoo IMAP uses the same port 993 and SSL authentication settings as Gmail IMAP does.

Update: The instructions below are specific to Outlook 2003, but will work for Outlook 2007 with minor differences, all in the “More Settings…” dialog; specifically, the SSL enable check-box in 2003 becomes a drop-down selection in 2007. I have included screen-shots of the “More Settings…” dialog from both Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 for your reference.

outlook2007In the previous post, I found that restoring Outlook’s PST file did not restore the email support (email account) settings. As a result, I had to re-create my Gmail and Yahoo mail accounts.

IMAP and POP3 are different protocols for retrieving email. POP3 is the older and much simpler protocol; it will only give you download access to the Inbox folder. IMAP is younger and more sophisticated; it will give you read/write access to your Inbox and other folders. If your email provider supports IMAP, I would suggest using it over POP3.

Configuring Gmail IMAP

Your Gmail account comes with free POP3 and IMAP access. You just have to enable it.

  1. Log into your Gmail account.
  2. Click on Settings and then “Forwarding and POP/IMAP”.
  3. Click on “Enable IMAP”.
  4. Or if you wish to use POP3, click on “Enable POP for all mail” and select “keep Gmail’s copy in the inbox” in the dropdown for “When messages are accessed with POP”. The reason for the latter option is to prevent POP3 from downloading the mail messages to your Outlook and deleting the mail messages from Yahoo Mail itself.
  5. Click on “Save Changes”.

You can now configure Outlook to access your Gmail account using IMAP.

  1. Run Outlook.
  2. Select menu “Tools–>E-mail Accounts…”.
  3. Select “Add a new e-mail account” and click Next.
  4. Select IMAP and click Next.
  5. Input your name into “Your Name” field and your email address into “E-mail Address” as you would like it to appear in the From field of your emails.
  6. Input “imap.gmail.com” into the “Incoming mail server (IMAP)” field and “smtp.gmail.com” into the “Outgoing mail server (SMTP)” field.
  7. Input your full Gmail username (with the @gmail.com) into the “User Name” field and your Gmail password into the “Password” field.
  8. Do not check the “Log on using Secure Password Authentication (SPA)” box.
  9. Click on the “More Settings…” button.
    • Under General, you can change the name that this email account will show up in Outlook as; I suggest changing this to match your full email address. (You may need to restart Outlook for this change to take effect everywhere.)
    • Under “Outgoing Server”, check the “My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication” box and the “Use same settings as my incoming mail server” option.
    • Under Advanced, check the “This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)” box and input 993 into the “Incoming server (IMAP)” field. (You will want to do it in this order because checking the SSL box will reset the port number.)
    • Next, check the “This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)” box and input 465 into the “Outgoing server (SMTP)” field. (You will want to do it in this order because checking the SSL box will reset the port number.)
    • Finally, you may wish to increase the “Server Timeouts” from the default 1 minute to 2 minutes.
  10. Click OK, Next, and Finish.
  11. You should see your Gmail account show up as a new root entry in your Outlook’s All Mail Folders.


Because of how Gmail persists emails, deleting Gmail messages using Outlook is a two step process:

  1. Under Outlook, go to the Gmail’s “All Mail” folder.
  2. Locate the message which you wish to delete and drag-n-drop it to Gmail’s Trash folder.
  3. Go to the Trash folder, select the messages you wish to delete, and hit the Delete key on your keyboard. The subject lines for the selected messages will be striken through.
  4. Go to menu “Edit –> Purge Deleted Messages”.
  5. Note: dragging the message from the “Inbox” folder instead of from the “All Mail” folder will just remove the message from the “Inbox” folder and leave it in “All Mail” folder.

Configuring Yahoo Mail POP3

Yahoo Mail only supports POP3 access and only if you have a Yahoo Plus Mail account. If you don’t have a Yahoo Plus Mail account and are technically inclined, you can use the free YPOPs application.

If you have a Yahoo Plus Mail account, you can configure Outlook to access your Yahoo Mail using POP3.

  1. Run Outlook.
  2. Select menu “Tools–>E-mail Accounts…”.
  3. Select “Add a new e-mail account” and click Next.
  4. Select POP3 and click Next.
  5. Input your name into “Your Name” field and your email address into “E-mail Address” as you would like it to appear in the From field of your emails.
  6. Input “pop.mail.yahoo.com” into the “Incoming mail server (IMAP)” field and “smtp.mail.yahoo.com” into the “Outgoing mail server (SMTP)” field.
  7. Input your short Yahoo username (without the @yahoo.com) into the “User Name” field and your Yahoo password into the “Password” field.
  8. Do not check the “Log on using Secure Password Authentication (SPA)” box.
  9. Click on the “More Settings…” button.
    • Under General, you can change the name that this email account will show up in Outlook as; I suggest changing this to match your full email address. (You may need to restart Outlook for this change to take effect everywhere.)
    • Under “Outgoing Server”, check the “My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication” box and the “Use same settings as my incoming mail server” option.
    • Under Advanced, check the “This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)” box and input 995 into the “Incoming server (IMAP)” field. (You will want to do it in this order because checking the SSL box will reset the port number.)
    • Next, check the “This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)” box and input 465 into the “Outgoing server (SMTP)” field. (You will want to do it in this order because checking the SSL box will reset the port number.)
    • Then, you may wish to increase the “Server Timeouts” from the default 1 minute to 2 minutes.
    • Finally, check the “Leave a copy of the messages on the server” box and the “Remove from server when deleted from ‘Deleted Items'” box. This will keep the mail messages on your Yahoo account until you delete it from Outlook’s “Deleted Items” folder.
  10. Click OK, Next, and Finish.
  11. Unlike with IMAP, your POP3 account will not show up as a new root entry in your Outlook’s All Mail Folders. Instead, POP3 messages are delivered to the store designated as the default delivery location. You can find the default delivery store by doing the following:
    • Select menu “Tools–>E-mail Accounts…”
    • Select “View or change existing e-mail accounts” and click Next
    • The default delivery store is shown in the “Deliver new e-mail to the following location” dropdown.


If you are an AT&T SBC Yahoo subscriber, you can link your yahoo account to your AT&T account and thus, upgrade your yahoo account to a plus account. If you do so, you can use the following alternative POP3 and SMTP server settings, “pop.att.yahoo.com” and “smtp.att.yahoo.com”; though the POP3 and SMTP server settings above should also work.

Deleting your Yahoo mail follows the standard Outlook functionality. You will find your Yahoo mail in your default delivery store. If you delete the mail from your Outlook Inbox folder, it should appear in the Outlook “Deleted Items” folder (even though in Yahoo, it remains in the Inbox folder). If you delete mail from the Outlook “Deleted Items” folder, that mail will finally be removed from your Yahoo account.

Which email account to use when composing a new email?

If you have several POP3 and IMAP accounts, you may want to select one of the accounts as the default to use when composing and sending a new message. Basically, when composing a new email, what is the default From address to use? You can set the default account to use by doing the following:

  1. Go to menu “Tools->E-mail Accounts…”
  2. Select “View or change existing e-mail accounts” and click Next.
  3. Select each account (under “Outlook processes e-mail for these accounts in the following order”) and use the “Move Up” and “Move Down” buttons to re-order it. The first account listed will be the default account used when composing and sending a new email message.
  4. Click Finish.

If you are replying to an existing email message, Outlook will use the account that the email was received on to determine which of your email addresses to use as the From address. For example, if you are replying to an email sent to “you@you.com”, then the reply email will use “you@you.com” as the From address.

The info above was taken from Outlook 2003 – Gmail Help and POP Yahoo! Mail Plus with Microsoft Outlook 2002 (XP) and 2003.

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Backing up and Restoring Microsoft Outlook 2003 PST File

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outlook2003Recently, I had to move my Microsoft Outlook 2003 PST (Personal Store, I think) file to another machine so I had to learn a bit about how Outlook uses PST files. The PST file may contain your emails, contacts, notes, calendar events, and tasks. The instructions below will help you to backup and restore your PST file on the same computer or on a different computer with Outlook 2003.

Note: Copying the PST file does not preserve the email services (such as POP3, IMAP, etc.) that you have configured. (The email services are also referred to as email support in the Outlook dialogs.)

Backing Up Your PST File

  • Find out where your PST file is located:
    1. Run Outlook
    2. Select menu Tools–>Options…–>Mail Setup–>Data Files…
    3. You should see an entry for your PST file. If you see more than one, that’s okay; just redo the instructions for each PST file.
    4. Double-click on the entry to get a details dialog and look at the Filename field for the location of your PST file. (By default, your PST file should be named “Personal Folders” and its filename/location should be “C:\Documents and Settings\your_username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst”.)
    5. I strongly recommend renaming your PST file to something more specific than the default “Personal Folders” name. Later on, it will get confusing if you have several PST files with the exact same name.
  • Backup your PST file:
    1. Quit Outlook
    2. Make a copy of the PST file for your backup purpose

Restoring Your PST File

  1. Copy your backup PST file to a machine with Outlook installed. Note the location of the PST file as this will be its permanent location.
  2. Run Outlook. If this is the first time you are running Outlook, just create a default configuration without email support; aka, just select the defaults.
  3. Select menu Tools–>Options…–>Mail Setup–>Data Files…
  4. You will see the default “Personal Folders”.
  5. Click on the Add button, hit Ok, browse to your PST file location, and hit Ok to close the dialog.
  6. You should now see two PST files. (If you have renamed your PST file during the backup, you should only see one “Personal Folders” which is the default PST. Otherwise, you may see two. If you see two, I strongly recommend renaming your PST file at this point.)
  7. Before you can delete the original, default PST file (with comment “Default delivery location”), you must configure your own PST file as the default mail delivery location. If you try to delete the original PST at this point, Outlook will throw an error.
  8. Click Close and Ok to close the Options dialog.
  9. Select menu Tools–>Email Accounts….
  10. Select “View or change existing e-mail accounts” and click Next button.
  11. Select your personal PST file under the “Deliver new e-mail to the following location” dropbox. (Selection is by name so you might get confused if you didn’t rename your PST file.)
  12. Click Finish to close the E-mail Accounts dialog.
  13. Select menu Tools–>Options…–>Mail Setup–>Data Files…
  14. Select the original, default PST file and hit the Remove button.
  15. Once the original PST file is deleted, click Close and Ok to close the Options dialog.
  16. You have successfully restored your Outlook PST file!
  17. Optionally, you can go to the “C:\Documents and Settings\your_username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook” directory and delete the default PST file “Outlook.pst” which is no longer used.

Repairing Your PST File

Eventually, your PST file may become corrupt. When you open Outlook, it might complain that parts of the file are invalid or that the whole file is invalid and cannot be opened. Thankfully, Microsoft Outlook provides an Inbox Repair Tool to resolve such problems. To repair the PST file, you need to run the PST repair tool, “scanpst.exe”. Under Outlook 2003, you can find the “scanpst.exe” file at “C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Mapi\1033\” or at “C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033\”. (Later versions of Outlook will have the Inbox Repair Tool located at a different location.)

Getting Address Book to use your Outlook PST Contacts

Try to open the address book by going to menu “Tools–>Address Book”. If you do not see the contacts from your Outlook PST file, then you will need to configure the Address Book:

  1. Go to menu “Tools–>E-mail Accounts…”.
  2. Select “View or change existing directories or address books” and click Next.
  3. Select and remove any pre-existing “Outlook Address Book” entry that you see.
  4. Click on Add… button, select “Additional Address Books” option, and click on Next.
  5. Select “Outlook Address Book” under “Additional Address Book Types” and click Next, then click Finish.
  6. Restart your Outlook client.
  7. Go to menu “Tools–>Address Book”. If you do not see your Outlook PST file contacts listed, then repeat the actions above. (I had to do it twice to get the Address Book working.)

Note: Strangely, Outlook only allows you to create one “Outlook Address Book”.

Outlook Profiles and Related

Outlook supports having multiple profiles (or configurations) that it can be launched with. By default, it will come with one profile; which is automatically loaded, so you will never see this feature. You can create a second profile and configure Outlook to prompt for the profile when starting:

  1. Right-click on the Outlook Icon on your desktop or in the Start menu and select Properties to display the Mail Setup dialog. (Note: This won’t work on a shortcut to the Outlook program.)
  2. Select Show Profiles
  3. To create a new Profile:
    • Select the Add… button.
    • Input a profile name and hit the Ok button.
    • Click on the Close button and Ok button to not configure email support (POP3, IMAP, etc.); otherwise, configure away.
    • Outlook will create a new profile with a default data file named Outlook.pst (or Outlook1.pst, Outlook2.pst, Outlook3.pst, etc., if there is a pre-existing file in the “C:\Documents and Settings\your_username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook” directory of the same name).
  4. Configure Outlook to prompt for a profile on startup by selecting “Prompt for a profile to be used”.
  5. Hit the Ok button to close the Mail Setup dialog.
  6. The next time you start Outlook, it will prompt you for the profile to use.

I found some other Outlook related tidbits of info that you might find useful:

  • At this location “”C:\Documents and Settings\your_username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook”:
    • The “outcmd.dat” file stores your toolbar customizations. Quit Outlook, delete this file, and restart Outlook to restore the toolbar to default settings and recreate icons that some add-ins might have installed.
    • I think the Outlook temporary setting files are kept here. I see some files there that have the same names as the profiles. Strangely, when the profiles are deleted, these files remain, instead of being deleted.
  • At this location “”C:\Documents and Settings\your_username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook”:
    • The “extend.dat” file keeps a registry cache of add-in settings. Quit Outlook, delete this file, and restart Outlook to force Outlook to retrieve the settings from the registry again.
    • If you have a profile with “Exchange Server” email support, you will see a file named “outlook.ost”. I think this is the local offline cache of emails and contacts for your Exchange Server account.
    • New Outlook PST files (Outlook.pst, Outlook1.pst, Outlook2.pst) are created here.

Hopefully, you will find some of the info above useful. (Information about “extend.dat” and “outcmd.dat” were derived from Resetting dat-files.)

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