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Meta: If you have an Outlook Express login, you likely know that Outlook Express hasn’t been
updated since it was released with Windows XP. That doesn’t mean you can’t still use your
email login, however! We share the pros and cons, plus the alternatives if you decide Outlook
Express isn’t for you, after all.
Outlook Express Login Guide
Outlook Express is no longer being updated, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use it. Below,
we explain how to get an Outlook Express login, the benefits of using an Outlook Express login,
and a handful of alternatives. Plus, get our short and quick tips for writing better emails in
Outlook and managing your inbox (instead of letting it manage you).
What is Outlook Express?
Outlook Express, though it shares a similar name, is not the same a Microsoft Outlook. Though
both are Microsoft products (Outlook Express used to be called Microsoft Internet Mail and
News), Outlook Express is an email and news client that’s been discontinued.
This means that since its last update for Windows XP, it’s no longer being updated (for previous
versions) or created for newer versions of Microsoft. If you purchased anything since Windows
XP (Windows 7 or higher), the mail client included with your purchase was Microsoft Mail. The
good news for those of you who love Outlook Express and want to keep using it is that you still
can–more on that in a moment.
What Makes Outlook Express Unique?
Back when it originally came into creation, Outlook Express was known for allowing email users
to use email stationary and edit HTML. It allows you to manage IMAP and POP email accounts
(including multiple accounts) and it supports TLS/SSL encryption as well as S/MIME-encrypted
When it was still active, the final versions were considered very secure (that’s changed though;
see below for more info about security) thanks to features like being about to block remote
image downloads and show all emails in plain text only modes.
A Microsoft Outlook Express login also provides you with the ability to customize your inbox via
fairly simple message rules, though it lacks the standard reply templates you’re probably used
Pros and Cons to Using Outlook Express
There are many pros and cons to using an Outlook Express login for your email needs. Below
are a few of the most salient.
● Being able to edit your email’s source HTML directly is a huge plus, especially if you’re
the type who prefers a custom look for your email. If you’re not, you might find this
feature superfluous, as it doesn’t directly relate to the functionality of your email, but
most people appreciate this function.
● It’s secure–up to a point (remember, it’s not still being updated, so new risks can’t be
● Its lack of complex features and add-ons make it unsuitable for people dealing with
heavy volumes of email, but if you’re dealing with a small amount, you might appreciate
how straightforward and simple your Outlook Express login is.
● Since Outlook Express is discontinued, you won’t be able to run it unless you’re using
Windows XP or earlier. Lots of people still are, but the other problem is that older
versions are no longer being updated or supported, so if you’re having a problem, you’re
on your own.
● Because Outlook Express is no longer updated, we don’t feel comfortable using it from a
security perspective. There are many other options that are just as simple and easy to
use, but still updated and therefore much more secure.
● Outlook Express can get pretty clunky. Especially if you’re used to Apple Mail or Google
Mail, we think you’ll probably feel like Outlook Express lacks intuitive features (like
templates) and is not easy to use.
How You Can Still Use Outlook Express
If the pros to an Outlook Express Login outweigh the cons for you, there are still ways to
download and use Outlook Express.
As we’ve already mentioned, you must be running Windows XP. Lifewire provides a link to a site
that enables you to download Outlook Express, but you need to be very careful about
downloading defunct software from unknown websites.
First, the software is old and will very likely cause problems for your computer (especially when
your Windows OS updates). Second, it’s very easy for non-legitimate sites to mimic legitimate
sites and downloads, passing along viruses or other malware when you click and download.
How to Login to Outlook Express
To correctly perform an Outlook Express login, you’ll first need to configure your email account.
This video explains in detail how to do so and as it suggests, when you come to the options for
the Outgoing Mail Server, make sure you click the box to keep the same username and
password as your incoming server, so you don’t need to refigure your account.
As we mentioned earlier, Outlook Express will work with any email service, as long as it’s an
IMAP or POP account. Gmail, Yahoo mail, and iCloud are all popular POP accounts you can
Problems With Logging In
The troublesome thing about an Outlook Express login is that you won’t be able to find support.
You might be able to search old forums (try searching for your exact problem in Google or
another search engine) and see how people have solved their problems in the past.
If you’re not already very familiar with computers and email systems, we suggest using another
platform that’s popular so more people you know will be likely to help and so you’ll have access
to live tech support.
Tips for Editing the HTML in Your Outlook Express Emails
Fortunately, editing the HTML in your Outlook Express Emails is very similar to editing HTML in
Windows Live Mail (what most people use now that Outlook Express is defunct–more on that in
the next section).
HTML sounds intimidating, but it’s fairly straightforward. To get to the source code, go to “view”
and then hit “source edit.” Next, you’ll click on the source tab (towards the bottom of the open
window). From there, you’ll be able to do all the editing you want!
Alternatives to Outlook Express
If the thing that appeals the most to you about Outlook Express is your ability to edit HTML, as
we’ve already explained, there are more secure, live email services you can use. This article
highlights the top HTML email editors right now that are free and this article has great tips and
how-tos for getting started with coding your emails.
For people with Windows versions later than Windows XP, you’ll note that you have Windows
Live Mail and Windows Mail. You can also use OE Classic, which was designed to replace
Outlook Express (it’s very similar).
Here are a few other favorites:
● Yahoo mail
● Yandex Mail
● AOL Mail
● GMX Mail
Tips for Writing Better Emails
We live in a world of emails, which means there’s a good chance the emails you send aren’t
getting opened much less read and responded to. Here are some tips for sending emails that
get opened (and that get responses!):
● Use the subject wisely; the trick is to grab the reader’s attention without turning them off.
If the person you’re emailing gets a ton of emails, say exactly what you want in the
subject. If you know the person, you can try making it funny or snarky. Some studies
even suggest using emojis to grab extra attention.
● Be brief. Nobody wants to read more than a few lines of text at a time. If you can’t
communicate your idea in two or three sentences, it probably needs more refinement. If
you absolutely must use more than a paragraph or two, use bold words or subheadings.
● Use the last sentence or a postscript) to concisely sum up the action you want your
reader to take.
Tips for Managing Your Email Better
If you are like most Americans, your inbox situation gets out of control fast. Here are our favorite
tips for staying on top of things:
● Use rules to organize incoming emails. Emails from certain places (like your child’s
school or your project team members) can go automatically to certain folders, so you
don’t lose them amid the shuffle.
● If you use Gmail, turn off conversation view in the settings–this helps replies from getting
● Unsubscribe as much as possible to “junk mail,” even if it’s mail you like–you’ll save
money and will finally have time to read the emails you’re most interested in!
● Take email off your phone. This might be controversial (and some employers won’t allow
it), but answering email throughout the day is a terrific time suck. The most successful
people dedicate certain hours of the day to email answering and use their most
productive hours for the kind of work that moves their lives or their businesses forward.
Outlook Express isn’t around anymore, but if you’re running Windows XP and still want to use
your Outlook Express login, you can. Keep your suggestions above in mind, however, so that
when you’re ready to upgrade, you can!