Outlook Express FAQ

Outlook Express FAQ

This page discusses a number of FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about the use of Microsoft Outlook Express (the e-mail client of the Internet Explorer package) for IMAP over SSL. The descriptions are based on version 5.5 of Outlook Express and are intended for people who already installed and configured Outlook Express successfully for IMAP over SSL.

What is the difference between POP and IMAP?

POP (Post Office Protocol), upon which the UGentNet e-mail system was based before 2000-10-7, your e-mail is taken by the e-mail client from the server and copied to your hard disk. The biggest disadvantage of this system is that your password is sent over the net in clear text, which hackers can easily pick up. For this purpose, the mail system was switched over to IMPA (Internet Mail Acces Protocol) over SSL (Secure Socket Layer), as a result of which your password is sent to you encrypted. Another fundamental difference between POP en IMAP is that now you are working directly on the server with IMAP. I.e. instead of downloading your e-mail, the IMAP-folder directly show what is situated in your mail directory on the server. For that reason, when using an IMAP mail client, it is important that you clean out your mailbox in time and that you monitor the quota well (see lower). A well configured POP client downloads e-mails and deletes them directly from the server where an IMAP client only shows the e-mail messages and leaves them on the server.

How to remove e-mail messages from my IMAP folders?

You can find the options you have to set, in order to optimally manage your mail on the server, by clicking on Tools and then Options. Next, click on Maintenance. If you set the options as shown in the example below, the messages you wish to remove will surely be deleted.

If you want to save certain messages for a longer period but you want to delete them at the same time, so your quota do not suffer from that, you can copy these messages from your IMAP folders to your Local Folders. You can do this by selecting the messages you wish to copy and then dragging them to your Local Mail. You can select different messages at once by pressing the Control(CTRL)-key whilst clicking on the messages to be selected. Once you have copied the messages you will find them on your hard disk and you will be able to remove them from the server. Now you can also read the messages without an internet connection.

How to set e-mail filters?

Unfortunately Outlook Express does not support mailfilters for IMAP. You can however sort your messages in different folders on the server via procmail. If you think procmail is too time-consuming but you still want to be able to filter your e-mail messages, we recommend you to switch to Netscape Messenger. In this email-client it is possible to directly filter on an IMAP server.

How do I get to see the extra folders, such as INBOX.saved?

Outlook Express will not display extra folders by itself (e.g. folders you created with procmail or an INBOX.saved after a mail strip). If you want to be able to see these folders, you have to click on the name of your server (eduserv) in Outlook Express in the left column and then on IMAP Folders(IMAP Mappen). In this window, you will be able to choose which IMAP folders have to be displayed. If the desired folder does not immediately appear in the list, click on (Reset list) Select the folders you wish to see in your IMAP folders' list and then click on Show. Beside these folders you will see an envelope appear. Click OK. If this does not work immediately either, check whether you entered your Root Folder Path correctly in Tools- Accounts - Properties - IMAP. This will always be in the form of ~yourlogin/mail. In the example below a filter that saves certain messages into the folder hd was created with procmail.

Can I transfer my new messages automatically from the server and save them locally?

As Outlook Express does not support mail filters on IMAP servers, this is not possible. I you want to save messages onto your hard disk you have to manually drag them as shown above. If you wish to copy the content of an entire folder, (e.g. your inbox as a whole) you can easily do this by clicking on Edit - Select All. In that case all messages in the active folder will be selected and you will be able to copy them to the desired location in with one move. If you think this method is too time-consuming, we recommend you to switch to Netscape Messenger. This e-mail client is able to automatically save messages locally.

How to configure Outlook Express for different users on the same computer?

It often happens that different people share the same computer to read their e-mail and to surf. In Outlook Express you can create different user profiles, so that each user can use it's own personalized version and has immediate access to their own e-mail. You can do this by clicking on File and then Identities. Via Add New Identity you van create new profiles, which you can adjust later viaManage Identities. If you click Add New Identity you will be able to create a new user profile. In the dialogue window that will appear, you have to enter a name for the user profile and you will also have the opportunity to protect the activation of your profile with a password. Click OK and you immediately you will be asked whether you want to switch to the new profile. If you do this, you will see that Outlook Express will close and will restart with your new identity. The first time that you will use you new identity, the Internet Connection Wizard will automatically start and the one thing you have to do now is to configure Outlook Express for IMAP over SSL with your personal data. Once you have created all identities, you can easily switch from profile to profile via File - Switch Identities. If the identities are protected by passwords, you first have to put in the correct password of course before you can activate them.

One last item on the list we wish to underline is that you certainly should not enable the option Remember Password in the configuration of Outlook express. We advise against this because when several people use the same computer, this obviously implies safety risks.

How do I create an IMAP-log?

Sometimes it can be useful to create an IMAP log file if you regularly have problems. You can do this by clicking Tools - Options and then Maintenance. Below, next to Troubleshooting, you will see the different log files you can create. Check the box below IMAP in order to create an IMAP log file. After that click Apply and OK.

In order to retrieve this log file, click Start and then Zoeken (search) - Files or Folders and search for IMAP4.log-file on your hard disk that will be situated somewhere in the Windows directory. You can open this file and save it by using Notepad.