Hotmail (also known as Windows Live Hotmail or MSN Hotmail) used to be able to add the email account to Microsoft Outlook by using HTTP connection method. However, the ordinary HTTP Hotmail account access method no longer work, and Hotmail user requires to sign up for paid Hotmail Plus subscription service. If the user attempts to setup Outlook to connect to Hotmail HTTP server, the following error messages may occur.

Access to Hotmail via Outlook and Outlook Express now requires a subscription. Please sign up at http://join.msn.com/general/Email

Or, more simply, the user name and password credentials simply does not work, with Outlook keeps prompting user to enter a correct password, although the password entered is already valid.

The workaround to access Hotmail from Outlook is to use Microsoft Office Outlook Connector, which Microsoft provides for free, and available for free download via Microsoft Download Center or as part of Windows Live Essentials pack.

Using Microsoft Office Outlook Connector to sync between Windows Live Hotmail account and Outlook provides several advantages over HTTP or POP3 connection, as the connector also allows user to access and manage Hotmail account including e-mail messages, contacts and calendars from within Outlook. In Outlook, user can apply Junk Mail filter, rules, alerts, macros and etc. to the synced mail messages.

To use Microsoft Office Outlook Connector, download and install OutlookConnector.exe.

Microsoft Office Outlook Connector

After installing, start Microsoft Outlook, and Outlook Connector will prompt user to enter Hotmail email address, password and sender name to tag with outgoing email. Once the information is entered, a new Hotmail folder will be added to the Outlook’s Mail Folders tree. Expand the Hotmail node to access Inbox, Drafts, Junk E-mail, Outbox, Sent Items and etc. In Calender and Contacts, there will be new addition of calendar and contacts in Hotmail address too.

Manage Multiple Hotmail Account from Outlook

To sync the email in Hotmail and Outlook, just click on Send/Receive button, or it will automatically receiving and sending email based on the preset interval. It’s also possible to use and access multiple Windows Live Hotmail or MSN Hotmail account with Microsoft Outlook Connector. To do so, click on Outlook Connector pull down menu on the menu bar, and then select Add a New Account.

Microsoft Outlook Office Connector only support Microsoft Outlook 2003 and Microsoft Outlook 2007. For others email client, Hotmail is adding POP3 and SMTP support to allow retrieving of email via POP3 protocol.

Update: Outlook Connector for Office 2010

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