Dear awesome IT chaps/chappettes,

My brother has an iPhone (of the 3G variety, if that matters) and is currently having trouble accessing his Windows Live Hotmail account in the same manner as he can access the likes of Gmail, Yahoo!, Microsoft Exchange, and so on. Basically, he wants to be able to receive alerts when a new email arrives in his inbox and to have the capability of viewing it natively (I think I'm using that term correctly!) within the iPhone, that is, without the need to use the Safari browser. He is able to access his Gmail account in this way, but has had no luck in figuring out how to have a similar set up for his Windows Live account.

His account isn't Hotmail, it's (one of the newer ones).

The other email providers I've mentioned already seem to have some basic functionality built in, but Widows Live isn't one of them.

I understand that free users of Hotmail/Live can't use POP access, but we've heard from several independent sources that since January 2009 the UK has been exempt from this restriction (that is, the users). I'm not sure if that's true, and maybe you guys can set us straight about that :)

One thing we did try is using Gmail's mail fetching function, but it doesn't appear to work (or at least we couldn't get it to work!). We also tried using the forwarding system in Hotmail, but it only forwards to other MS-controlled services. FASCIST PIG-DOGS! So yeah, if you can even help us figure out how to forward his Hotmail emails to Gmail, that'd be a good compromise. We investigated IzyMail, but the free service has restrictions which don't sit well with our needs, and we ain't paying for the ability to check emails if we can help it!

Cheers muchly!

You're in luck. Just recently (within the last couple of months), Microsoft has started rolling out free POP3 and SMTP support on their Windows Live accounts. Here's the connection info that works for me:

POP3 (incoming)
authentication: password
encryption: SSL
port: 995

SMTP (outgoing)
authentication: password
encryption: SSL
port: 25

I'd assume that for the UK, your username would be and that your server would end in instead of I haven't confirmed it though.

Thanks for the thorough reply! I tried the details you gave me but they didn't work, sadly.

The iPhone gives an error about the username and/or password being incorrect, but we've checked it numerous times and it's gotta be right (we don't have this trouble with Gmail).

We tried all possible combinations of server details and none worked. That is, we tried substituting the .com for, instead of, and using pop. instead of pop3., and so on. Very frustrating indeed! The error message was different when we changed the server, though; it said something about failing to authenticate the server (probably because it doesn't exist!).

I noticed something else that I didn't mention in my first post - before the phone gives any error, it first says that an SSL connection is unavailable, or doesn't work, and offers to check for mail using a non-secure method. It occurred to me that the lack of SSL might be why we're not getting in. Do you know if that's a requirement? If so, do you have any ideas as to why it's not working and how we can fix it?

Is there some other way of adding mails servers besides through the obvious means? We didn't see any mention of port numbers or the like, and I'm thinking maybe we're not in the right place.

Thanks for your time chief :D

Yes, I'm reasonably sure SSL is a requirement (you might want to try downloading mail on your computer with a standalone client first, to verify the settings). I don't have an iPhone with me right now, but I think you can enable SSL and verify your port numbers in the Advanced window of your account settings.

Thanks for your time on this mate!

Unfortunately the SSL settings only seem to be accessible after you're able to connect to the POP server, which is the problem we're having. Ahhh it's frustrating!

My brother is just going to make his Gmail address his main one from now on, but if you have any other ideas don't hesitate to post! ;)