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Many subscribers ask how to access a Hotmail account from Outlook Express. Hotmail's accessibility features have come a long way since it made its debut on the Internet; now it's designed to integrate with Microsoft e-mail applications like Outlook Express. By taking advantage of the integration features that I'll discuss below, you can optimized your accounts' accessibility and keep in touch with your contacts, all without leaving the comfort and convenience of Outlook Express.

If you're currently using Outlook Express to access your business e-mail account and Internet Explorer to access your Hotmail account, for example, you're wasting time and energy switching from one account and from one program to another. Trust me: There is a better way!

Setting up Outlook Express to Access Hotmail

Open Outlook Express and from the menu bar click Tools > Accounts.

In the Internet Accounts dialog box, click the Add button, then choose Mail from the pop-up menu that appears. When you do, the Internet Connection Wizard launches and prompts you for your name.

In the Display Name text box, type your name as you would like it to appear in e-mail messages that you send, and then click Next to advance to the next screen.

You'll be prompted to provide your e-mail address. Type your Hotmail e-mail address in its entirety in the E-mail Address text box, and click Next to advance to the E-mail Server Names screen.

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Since Outlook Express was created to work with Hotmail, the Wizard should recognize the Hotmail e-mail address you typed in and automatically fill in the text boxes in the E-mail Server Names screen with the appropriate server information.

Make sure that HTTP is selected in the "My Incoming Mail Server Is A Server" drop-down list, and that Hotmail is selected in the "My HTTP Mail Server's Provider Is" drop-down list. When these options are selected, the Wizard automatically adds the Hotmail server's URL to the Incoming Mail Server text box. Click Next to continue to the Internet Mail Logon screen.

In the Account Name text box, type your Hotmail account name, which is your entire Hotmail e-mail address. The Wizard may have already provided the first portion of your e-mail address. If this is the case, simply append to the end of it.

Next, enter your Hotmail password in the Password text box. If you're sharing a computer or simply would prefer not to log on to Hotmail without providing your password, clear the Remember Password check box. If you're comfortable logging onto your Hotmail account automatically, leave this check box selected.

When finished, click Next, then click Finish to complete the process.

Click Close to make the Internet Accounts dialog box disappear.

When prompted, click Yes to download folders and messages from the account you've just created. You can now access your new Hotmail account by selecting the Hotmail item in the Outlook Express Folders list.

To read, send and receive messages from your Hotmail account, simply click the Synchronize Account button in the preview pane, or click the Send/Receive button on the Outlook Express toolbar

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