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Trying to get MSN or Hotmail E-mail to Your Pocket PC? Read on... This help section was prepared for the many people reporting problems downloading e-mail from MSN to their Pocket PC via a modem connection.

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By Todd Ogasawara,  Microsoft Mobile Devices MVP
Former Forum Manager, MSN/ZDNet Handhelds Forum

Some of the most frequently mentioned Pocket PC problems in the Microsoft Pocket PC Newsgroups and the MSN/ZDNet Handhelds messageboard is the problem of downloading e-mail from MSN's SPA-POP3 server and accessing Microsoft Hotmail. This FAQ tries to address those questions

Note 1: Pocket PC 2000 (Rapier). MSN changed the way its SMTP mail sending gateway works with the Pocket PC 2000 (Rapier) devices since I wrote the article MSN E-mail for Pocket PC (June, 2000). Use the address pocketpc.email.msn.com instead of secure.smtp.email.msn.com in the SMTP configuration text box for Pocket PC 2000 devices with the MSN E-mail Add-in installed.

Note 2: Pocket PC 2002 (Merlin). The Pocket PC 2002 Pocket Inbox does not need the MSN E-mail Add-in. And, the Connection Manager sets up the SPA-POP3 and SMTP addresses automatically for you when you configure the device to dial-in to MSN. However, you will need to manually configure two settings: Domain name and Outgoing E-mail Authentication. Read my Pocket PC 2002 E-mail Configuration article for the details and configuration illustrations.

Note 3: If you have a Handheld PC (with physical keyboard), the MSN E-mail Add-on will NOT work. The Add-on only works with Pocket PCs. There is no way get Inbox on a HPC to work with MSN E-mail's POP3 server.

Note 4: Hotmail is totally unrelated to MSN's SPA-SMTP/SPA-POP3 e-mail service. Hotmail is a web-based e-mail service. It does not have a SMTP gateway or POP3 server that can be used with Pocket Inbox. And, you cannot synchronize Hotmail using Outlook 2002 and ActiveSync. However, there are a couple of unofficial (non-Microsoft) ways to get access to Hotmail e-mail from a Pocket PC. These articles are listed below:

  1. http://mobile.msn.com/pocketpc/ is a special web page formatted for use on a Pocket PC. The Hotmail link there allows access to Hotmail from a Pocket PC.
  2. Hotmail add-on for Pocket Inbox (3rd Party by Greg Frieger)
  3. PocketPCPlus: How to Access Hotmail with Your Pocket PC
  4. Pop3Hot for Pocket PC and Handheld PC

Note 5: MSN POP3 Access Problems. There are four possible reasons why a Pocket PC cannot download MSN SPA-POP3 e-mail.

  1. The Pocket PC does not have the MSN E-mail Add-on installed (Pocket PC 2000 devices only).
  2. The Pocket PC Pocket Inbox is configured incorrectly for MSN.
  3. MSN's SPA-POP3 server is down (this occurs far too often, btw).
  4. The MSN account holder has converted from Internet Explorer (IE) to MSN Explorer and has permanently disabled their SPA-POP3 access.
No one can help you with problem 3, unfortunately. However, for problems  1 and 2 you can refer to the articles linked below. If you encounter problem 4, you need to call MSN Tech Support at (1) (877) 635-7019 or TTD (1) (800) 250-3070 if you want to switch back from web-based e-mail to POP3.
Other Useful Links
Pocket PC FAQ

Microsoft ActiveSync Troubleshooter



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