Friday, September 4, 2009

Can't Receive Email from MSN?

Yesterday, many of clients reported that their MSN email accounts weren't working.  Turns out, there was a change at MSN that caused the problem.

You may have seen an email a couple of weeks ago that stated you needed to download software if you used Outlook Express in order to continue receiving email.  And if you're like most people, you weren't sure you could trust the email given today's internet scams.  Making matters worse, when you tried to search the MSN website for more information (in order to determine if the email was legit), you were unable to find anything ... resulting in you being in more hesitant to follow the email instructions.  And now you can't receive or send email from MSN.

Don't feel bad.  You were right to be cautious and hesitant about downloading software based on an email.  However, this email does appear to be legit and if you asked me MSN / Qwest could have done a lot better job of spreading the word about the upcoming changes on their site in order to ease people's fears.

Okay, so here's the scoop.  Over the past year or so Microsoft has been in the process of re-branding themselves from "MSN" to "Widows Live".  So everything is being renamed ... Windows Live Mail (instead of Outlook Express), Windows Live Messenger (instead of MSN Messenger), etc.

Also in the past, MSN did not support POP3 or SMTP (normal email systems) and so you had to use HTTP to receive email through Outlook Epxress (which was designed for POP3 and SMTP).  This created a lot of headaches for people, especially since MSN refused to support the use of their email through Outlook Express.

So now, MSN has decided to help their users out a bit.  Users now have two options in which to receive their MSN email.

The first option is to download Windows Live Mail (which is the new Outlook Express).  If you own a computer running Windows Vista, then you already have Windows Live Mail and don't need to do this.  But if your computer is running Windows XP or an earlier version of Windows, Microsoft is now letting you download and install Windows Live Mail so you can use it instead of Outlook Express.  Personally, I don't like this option.

The other option now available is to configure a POP3 and SMTP account.  The advantage of this option is that you don't have to download or install any software.  You simply create a new MSN account that uses POP3 and SMTP, change the ports, and then delete the old account.  It's simple and only takes about 5 minutes to complete.

For more information about how to configure your email accounts for MSN, click here.

If you need more help with MSN email, click here.  Notice there is a chat link at the top of the page too in case you wish to speak with an MSN agent.