This article contains some of the most frequently asked questions about Microsoft Outlook.
Q: What is Microsoft Outlook?
A: Outlook is a program that is part of the Microsoft Office suite that not only is an email client that allows you to manage and organize your emails, but also is a personal information manager that can keep track of contacts, tasks and events, and calendars if you desire.
Q: Why would I use Microsoft Outlook?
A: If you have multiple email addresses, you can use a program like Microsoft Outlook to have them all show in one place. Outlook as an email client also provides many other features for organizing your emails that your webmail may not provide.
Q: How do I get Microsoft Outlook?
A: Microsoft Outlook is included as part of an Office 365 subscription or a Microsoft Office Home and Business license. It can also be purchased as a standalone product from Microsoft.
Q: Is this the same thing as outlook.com?
A: No, outlook.com is a Microsoft website for email used to check your email for addresses ending in @outlook.com, @hotmail.com, @live.com and @msn.com.
Q: What email accounts can be used in Microsoft Outlook?
A: Any POP3 or IMAP account can be added to Outlook, as well as Microsoft Exchange email accounts.
Q: What are POP3 and IMAP?
A: POP3 and IMAP are email protocols that are used by Outlook and other email clients to connect to the email server used by your email provider and access your emails.
Q: What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP?
A: POP3 will download emails from the email server onto your device, and then delete them from the email server. IMAP leaves emails saved on the email server unless you deliberately save them to your device. IMAP is the recommended option if you need to access your email on multiple devices. If you have multiple devices accessing the same email address but they are all showing different emails, they are probably configured as POP3.
Q: Are the emails saved on my computer?
A: Yes, depending on which protocol configuration you use, emails can be saved in an Outlook Data File known as a .PST file.
Q: Do I have to have an email to use Microsoft Outlook?
A: Yes, Microsoft Outlook is used only to connect to email servers to send and receive messages. Outlook could still be used for contacts, calendars, and tasks without specifically using email, but features would be minimally available in this manner.
Q: How do I get an email to use in Outlook?
A: There are many free email providers on the web such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and more. Most internet service providers have their own emails they provide as well.
Q: Why can’t I add my account to Outlook?
A: Many providers may have options to prevent third party programs from connecting to the server, especially if you have two factor authentication enabled on your email. Check your webmail account settings or with your email provider, you may need to enable access by third party or less secure apps or generate a special app password to add your account to Outlook.
Q: Is Outlook secure to keep my information safe?
A: Yes, there are methods to use a secure connection to the email server, such as SSL or TLS, however it is up to the email provider if these methods are supported.
Q: How often or quickly does email arrive in Outlook?
A: This is configurable in send and receive options. You can set Outlook to automatically receive emails after a certain amount of time has passed. Some accounts like Exchange accounts are immediate, regardless of the setting.
Q: Does Outlook allow me to organize my emails?
A: Yes, you can setup special rules to move emails to different folders, these folders can be added with IMAP to match what is on the server, or you can create local folders on the computer that do not show anywhere else.
Q: Does Outlook have signatures?
A: Yes, you can define different signatures for each email account.
Q: Do calendar events synchronize?
A: No, most IMAP and POP3 accounts do not send calendar information, however if you use Exchange accounts or use a Microsoft Email such as @outlook.com or @hotmail.com, then the calendars can sync.
Q: I have a lot of contacts, do these show up in Outlook?
A: No, contacts are not synced automatically unless you have an Exchange account - including newer outlook.com accounts. However, you can create contacts and new lists that work in Outlook or import contacts from other sources.
Q: Does Outlook offer any junk or spam protection?
A: Yes, these options are separate from your email providers options, and only apply to Outlook.
Q: If I block someone in the junk settings does that stop them from emailing me?
A: No, the block list in Outlook only sends messages to the junk folder, however most email providers have a block option on their website that would stop this from showing up in Outlook altogether.
Q: Can people on my Safe List still send me junk or spam?
A: Yes, the safe list stops Outlook from sending their emails to the junk folder, regardless of the content of the message.
Q: What happens when I delete an email from Outlook?
A: IMAP synchronizes the email deleted so it will show in the server’s trash folder as well until permanently deleted, but for POP accounts, it will no longer be on the server.
Q: Can I connect the same account to multiple computers that have Outlook?
A: Yes, you can connect your email to multiple devices that have Outlook.
Q: Can I add backgrounds to my emails?
A: Yes, Outlook offers a stationery setting in the options to customize the background colors.
Q: What are Digital Signed Messages?
A: These are messages that are signed with a certificate to prove the identity of sender.
Q: Do I need to Digital Sign my messages?
A: No, this is an optional feature to help identify you as the person sending the message.
Q: How do I obtain a Digital ID?
A: Digital IDs require a certificate which can be obtained from a Certificate Authority - many providers are available online. Once you have the certificate you can add it to Outlook’s trust center settings.