How to Download MSN Hotmail

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Desktop email is not as common as it used to be, but as the occasional webmail blackout shows, it never hurts to back up your email account to a desktop client. If you have Hotmail as your preferred webmail client, you can download it via Outlook, Thunderbird, Postbox or other free clients.

  • Microsoft Outlook is Microsoft's desktop email client, and it comes as a standalone program, but it is most often bundled with the rest of Microsoft's Office suite. Outlook can be used to download your Hotmail, but you must have Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010. Once you have one of these installed, you must download Microsoft Office Outlook Connector at microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9A2279B1-DF0A-46E1-AA93-7D4870871ECF&displaylang=en. Next, open Outlook and enter your email address, password and the name you'd like to display on your emails. Click OK and your Hotmail will appear in Outlook's navigation pane. Click to highlight your inbox and choose send/receive and then "Update Folder." Note: Outlook is a commercial, Windows-only client.

  • Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail are free desktop clients made by Microsoft. Outlook Express came with Internet Explorer up until IE6, so you may already have it on your computer if you are an IE6 user. The steps to use Outlook Express are the same as Outlook. If you don't have IE6 on your computer, Windows Live Mail is a great, free alternative. You can download it at download.live.com/wlmail. Once you have downloaded and installed the program, enter your email address and password, and your Hotmail will download to your computer.

  • If you are a Thunderbird client user, you, can use it to archive your Hotmail. First, you must download the webmail extension to access your Hotmail account. You can find it at download.mozdev.org/webmail/hotmail-1-2-24.xpi. Once you have that extension installed, open Thunderbird and enter your address and password and you should be on your way to downloading and tagging emails. Thunderbird is compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac.

  • Unlike the other email clients mentioned, Postbox does not require a plug-in to work with Hotmail. To download your emails, go to Tools, then Account Settings. From there, click Add Account, and then select Windows Live Hotmail and click continue. In the box that appears, enter your name and email address and then click OK. When your Hotmail account folder pops up in the folders pane, click Get Mail. A dialog will appear and prompt you for a password. This dialog will offer you the option to save your password. If you are on a shared computer you should not check this option. Enter your password and you can download your Hotmail.

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