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How to Setup POP / IMAP Email Accounts on a Windows Mobile Smartphone


NOTE: The tutorial below is intended for touchscreen Windows Mobile Smartphones.  The process for setting up POP or IMAP email on a non-touchscreen Windows Mobile Smartphone is very similar.  If there's interest, we'll post a detailed tutorial for non-touchscreen devices as well. 

POP / IMAP instructions for older Windows Mobile Pocket PCs and Smartphones can be found here.

A Windows Mobile Smartphone is not limited to syncing Outlook email accounts through ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center; the smartphone can also be set up to send and receive email with POP or IMAP servers on its own, just Outlook, Thunderbird or other email clients on the PC do. The only requirements are that you have a POP or IMAP compatible email service and access to the Internet from your smartphone.

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to setup your Windows Mobile Smartphone to send and receive email with these account types.


Step 1: Get Your Email Account's Configuration Settings

Before you can setup an account in most email software, you'll need to know at least four things:

  1. Your email username.
  2. Your email password
  3. Your incoming POP or IMAP mail server
  4. Your outgoing SMTP mail server.

With these four settings, you can usually configure any email software to interface with your email service, including the software on your Windows Mobile Smartphone. In some cases, other settings may be required.  These include port settings, security settings, etc.  Check with your email service provider for detailed configuration requirements.


Step 2: Setting Up Your Email Account in Windows Mobile

Example 1 - Gmail

We want to add our Gmail account to a Windows Mobile Smartphone so we can check and send email on the go. 

To begin, go to Start > Messaging, then select Setup E-mail:


The next screen will ask you for your email address and account password.  Enter the information and select Next.  The Messaging application will attempt to determine the correct settings for your email account.  In the case of Gmail, the application is pre-configured with the correct settings to use:

If you see the notification "Settings Found for:" select Next.  You will then be asked to provide a Name and an Account Display Name.  Each of these values can be anything you like.  The Name value will be what people receiving your email will see to identify you, while the Account Display Name field identifies and separates this email account from others you might add to the software later. 

The final screen you'll see will ask you how you'd like the software to check for new email. You can select an amount of time (1 hour, 5 hours, each day) or that you'd only like to check for new mail manually.  Once you've made your selection, tap Finish.

You're done.


Example 2 - Other Email Account Types

What if you enter your email address and password on the first configuration screen, tap Next, but don't see the "Settings Found for:" message? This means your email account settings aren't in the Messaging software's database. 

If this is the case, the next screen will ask you if you want the software to attempt to determine the correct settings by connecting to the Internet.  You can try this, but if it fails, you'll have to enter the account details manually.

When you get the "Could not find settings for:" message, tap Next.  You'll be asked to select your email provider.  This is basically asking you what type of email account you have. Internet E-mail is most likely the choice you'll need, since this is for manual input of standard POP and IMAP email account settings.  Select Exchange Server if your email is hosted on an Exchange Server.

For our email address, we'll select Internet E-mail, since we're configuring a standard POP email account.  Enter a Name and Account Display Name on the next screen. 

The following screens will ask you for the settings we told you about in Step 1, your Incoming Mail Server, Username, Password, etc.  These settings must be entered exactly as stated by your email service provider.  You'll also select whether your email server is POP or IMAP:

On the Outgoing (SMTP) Mail Server Screen, you'll notice a check box labeled "Outgoing server requires authentication." Check this box if your provider requires that you log-in to send email.  On the same screen, Advanced Server Settings allows you to configure security requirements such as SSL.

Select a time interval for the software to check your email and tap Finish.

You're done.


Other Thoughts

If you've configured multiple accounts on your Windows Mobile device, when you select Messaging, you'll be shown inboxes for each account. New mail will show up together on the Today Screen.

Push Email, or email that shows up in your inbox in real time, requires an Exchange Server or other Push-enabled service.  This requires specific settings, so check with your email provider.



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