Get Rid of 10 Microsoft Outlook Aggravations

Annoyance No. 10

Why won't Outlook work seamlessly with Gmail? Gmail can be used as a POP3 client, just like any other ISP. But users have complained that they can't get Outlook to work properly with Gmail because of the complexity of configuration. Is there any way it can be done more simply?

How to fix it: Yes, it's confusing to configure Outlook to work properly with Gmail. But I'm here to report that it can, in fact, be done -- and to show you how to do it.

First, you'll need to tell Gmail you want to use it as a POP account. In Gmail, click Settings, and then click Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Select "Enable POP for all mail" if you want to download all mail to Outlook -- including existing mail -- in your Gmail account. If you only want to download mail that you receive in the future, select "Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on."

Next, select how you want Gmail to handle incoming messages -- whether to keep copies of messages in your inbox after they've been downloaded to Outlook, delete the messages or archive them. After you've done that, click Save Changes.

With that done, you're ready to tell Outlook how to work with Gmail. Here's how to do it:

1. In Outlook, select Tools --> Account Settings and click New.

2. From the screen that appears, select "Microsoft Exchange, POP3, IMAP, or HTTP" and click Next.

3. On the screen that appears, type in your name, Gmail e-mail address and your password in the appropriate boxes. Check "Manually configure server settings or additional server types" at the bottom of the screen and click Next.

4. From the screen that appears, select Internet E-Mail and click Next.

5. A screen like the one above appears. For Account Type, select POP3. For Incoming mail server, enter pop.gmail.com. For Outgoing mail server (SMTP), enter smtp.gmail.com. In the Logon Information area, enter your username and password. Check the box next to Remember password.

6. Click More Settings and select the Outgoing Server tab. Check the box next to "My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication." Then select "Use same settings as my incoming mail server."

7. Click the Advanced tab. Check the box next to "This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)" under Incoming Server (POP3).

In the box next to Outgoing server (SMTP), enter 587. Select TLS from the drop-down menu next to "Use the following type of encrypted connection:".

Make sure that 995 is in the box next to Incoming Server (POP3). The screen should look like the one below.

8. Click OK. From the screen you're returned to, click Test Account Settings.

You should see a screen like the one below, showing you that you've set it up successfully. Click Close. From the screen that appears, click Finish. You're now ready to use Outlook with Gmail.

It's ironic -- or perhaps prophetic -- that we end with Gmail, since surveys indicate that more and more people are switching to Web-based mail.

In the meantime, Microsoft Office continues to dominate in corporate environments, which means workers must find ways to make peace with Outlook. I hope I've managed to set you on the path to Outlook enlightenment.

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