How to Change the POP Settings on Your Email


Changing the POP settings for your desktop email client might be necessary if your Internet service provider, or ISP, modifies the settings on your mail server. If that occurs, you must change your POP settings before the local client, such as Windows Live Mail, can sync with the mail server.

"POP" is an acronym for Post Office Protocol, which controls the communications between your desktop email client and your mail server. The most commonly used email clients, such as Outlook, Thunderbird and Windows Live Mail let users perform this task through simple menus. Once you obtain the required information from your email provider, it only takes a few minutes to change the POP settings on your desktop client.

All Mail Clients

  • Obtain the correct POP settings, security type and port numbers for your account from your ISP. This information is often available in your registration confirmation or in the customer support area of the provider's website. If your service provider recently changed the server's POP settings, look for the new settings in an email from your ISP announcing the server upgrade or change.

  • Save the POP settings in a text file so you can refer to this information as needed. If you do not configure these settings correctly, you'll receive an error message when you attempt to retrieve your email from the mail server.

  • Launch your desktop email client. The program must be running for you to make any changes to the POP settings.

Live Mail

  • Find the name of the email account that you need to modify by scrolling through the list in the left panel of the Home window. Right-click on the email account and choose “Properties” from the pop-up menu.

  • Click the “Servers” tab in the Properties window to see your current POP settings. Look in the input field next to “Incoming Mail (POP3).”

  • Delete the existing information from this field and type the new POP server name, which is typically or

  • Tick the radio button for the authentication protocol your ISP instructed you to use. The most common protocol is “Secure Password Authentication,” but you might need to select a different protocol.

  • Click the “Advanced” tab and verify that the port number for “Incoming mail (POP3)” matches the number provided by your ISP. If it does not match, type the correct port number into the box. Click “OK” to close the window and save your new POP settings.


  • Click the "File" menu and select “Info.” Choose "Account Settings" and then select "Email." If you have more than one email account in Outlook, highlight the name of the account that you want to modify, then click “Change” to open the POP settings page.

  • Locate the “Incoming mail” text box in the Server Information section of the settings page. Replace the existing information with the new POP server settings that you obtained from your email provider. Change the "Authentication" setting, too, if necessary.

  • Click the “Advanced” tab. Compare the “Incoming mail” port number with the one you were given and change it if it doesn’t match. Click “OK” to save your settings.


  • Open the “Tools” menu and select “Account Settings.” Thunderbird displays all of your email accounts in the left pane of this window.

  • Choose the email account that you want to modify by clicking on it. Select “Server Settings” under that account.

  • Change the server settings if they do not match the information supplied by your ISP. Enter the correct information and click “OK” to save your changes.

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