Updated February 13, 2012
UPDATE: Microsoft has released Outlook Hotmail Connector 14.0.6106.5001 (I’ll explain in a minute). Follow the procedure on this page to install this version of the connector, or to upgrade from an earlier version.
IMPORTANT: If you use the Outlook Hotmail Connector to sync your Outlook calendar with your Hotmail calendar, DO NOT INSTALL THIS! There are reports that the new version of the connector breaks the synchronization with the Hotmail Calendar. For a write-up about the situation, including a link to the complete discussion in the Microsoft forums, visit: http://www.ghacks.net/2011/07/10/microsoft-outlook-connector-update-breaks-hotmail-sync/
What, you ask, is the Outlook Hotmail Connector? Seeing as both Outlook 2010 and Hotmail are Microsoft products, it would only make sense that you should be able to set up a Hotmail Outlook 2010 connection, which would use Outlook to read your Hotmail. And you can. The secret is the Outlook Hotmail Connector. This Hotmail connector is an Outlook add-in that goes far beyond a simple POP3 connection to:
- Read and Send Hotmail messages
- Manage your Hotmail contacts
- Block junk email messages
- Sync your safe and blocked lists between Hotmail & Outlook
- Manage and synchronize Windows Live Calendar (and other calendars) from Outlook
- Apply Outlook Rules to the Hotmail account, even if it isn’t your primary account
- View your Hotmail account status in the Outlook status bar
The 14.0.6106.5001 release that came out on July 7, 2011 fixes a number of stability and reliability problems. Of particular note is a switch to using the HTTPS protocol for communication between Outlook and Hotmail. That’s the same protocol that is probably used by your online banking account, and means better security for your messages.
Now about that version number…
According to Microsoft, there was some confusion among users because people (including Microsoft) referred to earlier versions of the Outlook Hotmail Connector as 14.0, 14.1, 14.2 and so on, while if you checked the version number in the software, you would find some ugly thing like 14.0.6106.5001.
To make our lives simpler, someone decided to get rid of one of the version numbers. Unfortunately, it was the human-friendly one, so from now on, we’re gonna have to deal with the 11-digit version numbers instead of the 3-digit ones.
Making the Hotmail Outlook 2010 Connection with the Outlook Hotmail Connector
Setting this up is pretty easy. The one thing to watch out for is that you need to be sure to install the correct version of the Outlook Hotmail Connector. There’s one version for the 32-bit version of Outlook 2010, and another for the 64-bit version.
How do you know whether you have the 32-bit or the 64-bit version? In Outlook, click the File tab on the ribbon, then click Help. In the right-hand pane, you will find information about your copy of Outlook. This includes a version number. At the end of the version number, in parentheses, you can see whether you have the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version.
With that out of the way, let’s get started installing the Outlook Hotmail Connector:
- If you have the 32-bit version of Outlook 2010, click HERE. If you have the 64-bit version, click HERE. This takes you to the right spot in the Microsoft Download Center.
- Click the Download button that appears on this page. The Opening OutlookConnector.exe box appears.
- Click the Save File button. This begins the download.
- Locate the OutlookConnector.exe file on your hard drive and double-click it to launch it.
- Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to install the Outlook Hotmail Connector.
Downloading and installing the connector will only take a few minutes. Once you are done, you will need to restart Outlook 2010 to allow the connector to work properly.
Working with the Outlook Hotmail Connector
Once you restart Outlook, you should see a box asking if you want to add a Hotmail account to Outlook. Follow these instructions to do so:
- Click Yes to begin.
- In the Windows Live Hotmail Settings box that appears, fill out the appropriate information for the Hotmail account you wish to add (you must have a Hotmail account set up before you can do this step). Make sure that “Remember password” is checked if you don’t want to have to type it in every time Outlook check the account.
- Click OK to continue setting up the account. It may take Outlook a few minutes to do this. During this time, a new folder will appear in the Navigation Pane of the Mail view. This is the folder that corresponds to your Hotmail account.
From now on, Outlook will sync with your Hotmail account. This means that changes you make to your account through your web browser (say reading a new message, or deleting a piece of junk mail) will be reflected in Outlook, and vice versa. You can test this yourself by logging into your Hotmail account using your web browser and making some change. Within a few moments the change will appear in Outlook.
Now that you have the Outlook Hotmail Connector set up, you can learn more about using Outlook with other web-based email accounts by visiting this Outlook Email Accounts page.
Find More Info…