Outlook and POP3 support in Windows 8

Last reviewed on January 24, 2013

Based on the number of questions from Outlook users asking about POP3 support in Windows 8, it's clear there is a lot of confusion about Windows 8's lack of POP3 support.

"No POP3 support" begins and end with the Windows Mail app.

Windows 8 Mail appThe Windows Mail app that you see on the Start screen does not support POP3 accounts.

If you are using the Windows 8 Mail app, you need to use accounts that support IMAP or ExchangeActiveSync email.

If your email account doesn't support IMAP or ActiveSync, you can configure an Outlook.com account to collect your mail, then use EAS to view it in the Windows Mail app.

Any email client that you install on the Windows 8 desktop, including Outlook, Live Mail Essentials, and Thunderbird, can use POP3 accounts. Windows 8 does not block POP3 services or ports.

Some of the confusion may result from the problems many users have connecting to their email accounts. In most cases, this is the result of the Windows firewall or other security software blocking Outlook or the port. In a few cases the user needs to adjust the timeout setting in the account or on their router. But in all cases, it's not because Windows 8 does not support POP3.

POP3 support was not included in the Windows Mail app because IMAP and ExchangeActiveSync sync the contents of the mailbox to the computer, generally giving the user a better experience when the mailbox is accessed from more than one computer. Changes sync back to the server - read state, deleted items, replies, sent items - so all computers are identical. While this may be less important with desktop computers, if you have Surface or other tablet device, keeping the mail on the server and syncing to all computers is convenient.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

2 responses to “Outlook and POP3 support in Windows 8”

  1. Cameron

    I have Windows 8 and Outlook 2013. I have started having problems with 2 POP3 email accounts. I can receive emails into Outlook 2013, but I cannot send. The message that appears is 'Send test e-mail message: Outlook cannot connect to your outgoing (SMTP) e-mail server'. I have downloaded Thunderbird and tried one of the accounts in this email program - the same message. Oddly enough, I can send a receive from my iPhone!
    I'm stumped - I simply want my Outlook to return to its old ways and to work. (By the way, both accounts used to work).

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