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To use a Workgroup Postoffice

A "workgroup postoffice" is a "lite" version of Microsoft Mail and can be used for e-mail within an office and for some limited sharing either via Microsoft Mail Shared Folders or with Outlook 98/Outlook 2000 Net Folders. It was included in Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 98 (if you know where to look -- see below). If you have Windows 2000, see Microsoft Mail Postoffice Icon Is Not Displayed After Windows 2000 Server Upgrade. While the WGPO is not included with Windows ME, we have heard of people succeeding in getting it to run by copying the Wgpoadmn.dll and Wgpocpl.cpl files from a Windows 98 installation.

A workgroup postoffice can operate with NetBEUI, IPX or TCP/IP as the network protocol. Because it uses the Microsoft Mail service, it is not compatible with Outlook 98 or Outlook 2000 in Internet Mail Only mode.

If you are thinking of setting up a WGPO for the first time, keep in mind that it is not Y2K-compliant and gets little if any support from Microsoft. Outlook 2002, 2003, 2007 do not support the WGPO and need to be hacked to enable WGPO service. You might be better served by installing a free or low-cost POP/SMTP mail server from your favorite Windows download site.

Creating the Postoffice | Managing the Postoffice | Connecting to the Postoffice | More Information

Creating the Postoffice

If you don't already have a postoffice set up, you will need to create one. 

On Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0, use Control Panel | Add/Remove Programs | Windows Setup to install Microsoft Exchange or Windows Messaging. Make sure you include the Microsoft Mail service. If you already have Outlook installed, you should remove it first. You can reinstall it after you install the Microsoft Mail components.

Windows 98 users need to follow the instructions at Installing Windows Messaging under Windows 98. This will add the Postoffice Manager applet to Control Panel. You can then set up the postoffice and reinstall Outlook.

See also:

  • Installation of the Exchange postoffice -- very detailed instructions for both Windows 95 and Windows 98 with many screen shots
  • Managing the Postoffice

    Use the Postoffice Manager applet in Control Panel to add and delete users from the postoffice. You should see it after you've followed the above installation procedure. If you don't, try copying the Wgpocpl.cpl file from another machine that does have the Postoffice Manager applet. 

    Connecting to the Postoffice

    Use the Microsoft Mail service to connect to the postoffice. The essential piece of information is the network path. Look in Network Neighborhood to find the computer hosting the postoffice; note its name, such as "MAILSERVER." Then look for a shared folder, probably with the name WGPO. The path to the postoffice will then be \\MAILSERVER\WGPO. On the machine hosting the postoffice, use the local path, such as C:\Wgpo0001.

    More Information

  • Microsoft Mail Service
  • How to Set Up and Administer a Microsoft Exchange Post Office  
  • MS Exchange Postoffice in Windows 95 Questions and Answers  
  • Add MS Mail support to Outlook 2002 (from Outlook-tips.net. Includes links to adding WGPO to Outlook 2003 and 2007.)
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