Outlook Connector for Hotmail Accounts

Last reviewed on August 19, 2014

A little history lesson: On January 20, 2005, Microsoft released Microsoft Office Outlook Live. This was a subscription service that gave subscribers a one year license for Outlook 2003 (or the latest version of Outlook) and a Hotmail account with 2GB storage space, the Outlook Connector to connect to it, the ability to send large attachments, plus antispam and antivirus filtering.

After a couple of years, they decided to end the MOOL program and make the connector available to the public. They renamed the connector Outlook Live Connector (or OLC for short), then later renamed it once again, to the Outlook Hotmail Connector. Now it’s just the Outlook Connector. It would be great if they just stuck with one name! (OLC is still used as the abbreviation internally and we’re using it on this page.)

Microsoft later repurposed the term “Outlook Live” to refer to their Hosted Exchange service for universities. We’re repurposing this page for information about the Outlook Connector.

The Outlook Connector (OLC) requires Outlook 2003, 2007, or 2010. Outlook 2013 uses Exchange ActiveSync (EAS).

The OLC has some limitations: tasks are not supported, and some recurring appointment options are not supported.

OLC uses an *.ost data file format. If you installed the Outlook Connector with an MSN premium account previously, your message store format maybe *.nst. Removing the old account from Outlook and recreating it should create an *.ost file for the connector account, however, in my experience, it doesn’t always happen. Along with the file format change, the account name in Outlook’s folder list uses the email address for the data file name.

You can access your email from anywhere by logging into Outlook.com. Custom mail folders created in Outlook’s offline store will migrate to the server, but it may take a few minutes. You cannot create additional contact folders in Outlook as Hotmail only supports one Contact folder.

Tasks, Notes and Journal are not supported online. Keep this in mind if you are told to delete the Hotmail data file and let Outlook recreate it.

Storing all Email in Hotmail | KB Articles | More Information

Storing all Email in Hotmail

You can use Hotmail to collect all of your email one of two ways: configure Hotmail online to get your mail and you’ll need one account in your profile or configure multiple accounts in your profile and deliver it all to the Hotmail data file. When you deliver it to the Hotmail data file, Outlook will upload the mail to the Hotmail server.

When Hotmail is configured to collect your mail you can reply using the secondary accounts when you use Hotmail online. When the mail is downloaded to Outlook, Outlook only “knows” about the Hotmail account and will not reply using the account the message was sent to. You can configure Hotmail Connector to send using a different email address, but are limited to using only one address: either Hotmail or a different address that is configured in Hotmail online.

When Outlook downloads mail from the account directly and delivers it to the Hotmail data file, it will reply from the correct account on the computer that downloaded the mail.

Outlook Hotmail Connector supports HTTPS

An updated Outlook Connector was released in June 2011 that supports the HTTPS protocol. If you want to use HTTPS, you’ll need to install the updated Connector then enable HTTPS support for Hotmail Live. Unlike the previous connector update, this update is optional at this time and only required if you enable HTTPS support. If you enable HTTPS on Hotmail Live accounts and use the older Outlook Hotmail Connector, you’ll receive this sync error:  “Error: 3202. Server. HTTPS is turned on for the web but not for this program. “

To enable HTTPS support for Hotmail Live accounts, go to http://account.live.com/ManageSSL, log in to your account and select the option to use HTTPS. You can also access this screen from mail.live.com: expand the menu under your name and choose Options. In the Other Options section at the bottom, you’ll click on Connect with HTTPS link.

Known Issues

Following is a list of known issues that affect Outlook Connector users.

Outlook Hotmail Connector v14.2 bugs

These issues affect users who login to the Hotmail website to read their mail. Users who only use Outlook to read their mail aren’t affected.

Sent folder display: Mail sent using Outlook and viewed in the Hotmail/Live sent folder online displays your name (the sender), not the person you sent it to. This apparently isn’t new – I have some messages displaying this behavior that were sent in early April.

Conversation view: When you read mail online, messages in conversations may not group correctly. Messages sent by the connector may break threads and start their own conversation.

There is no known workaround for either issue, however the developers are working on an update.

Outlook Connector Installation Issues

If you experience problems installing the Outlook Connector or updates for it, follow these steps:

  1. Close Outlook.
  2. Go to Control Panel , Programs and Features and uninstall “Microsoft Office Outlook Connector”
  3. Reboot. (Not always necessary, but it helps to insure the program is unloaded.)
  4. Download and install the correct Connector that matches your Outlook’s bitness.
  5. Once the installation is completed you will have version 14.0.5139.5001 installed. You can confirm this by looking in Control Panel’s Programs and Features.

Outlook Connector Articles

MSKB Articles

The following Knowledgebase Articles cover the Outlook Connector:

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.

4 responses to “Outlook Connector for Hotmail Accounts”

  1. art

    they changed to this new outlook crap and how do I get my old Hotmail emails back

  2. jenniferdevoe@hotmail.com

    Diane..re: Art's issue....I've had the same hotmail acct since 1999, love it and dont want to risk losing over 100 pages of emails - both sent and received. Should I refrain from switching to an outlook email address? for fear of losing all my history? thanks. Jennifer

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