Accidental IT: Setting Up An E-Mail Account In Outlook
When the administrative assistant's computer died, tech services gave him a new one -- but they forgot to set up his e-mail account in Outlook. Here's how you can do it.
Accidental IT is a series of technical how-tos for people whose job descriptions don't necessarily include tech support but who often find themselves doing just that for their co-workers. Today's problem is a small but urgent one: how to restore a user's Outlook e-mail account in a hurry.
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The boss's administrative assistant's computer died yesterday while he was in the middle of finishing a major presentation that's due today. Your tech services department dropped off a replacement computer and was able to reinstall the admin's programs, restore his data, and set up the connections to the network in time for him to finish the presentation. Problem solved, right?
All is well until the admin attaches the document to an e-mail message in Microsoft Outlook to send to the boss, who is waiting in her hotel room 800 miles away to retrieve the presentation and dazzle the customers at the meeting. From over the cubicle wall you hear, "What does 'send/receive' error mean? My e-mail isn't working!"
Then you hear your name.
With utmost composure, you walk over to the admin's desk and look over his shoulder to see the error message and the all-important message still in his outbox. You already know the answer to your question when you say, "I wonder if tech services set up your e-mail account in Outlook?"
Since the user's e-mail was working on the old computer, it's a good bet that his user accounts are already set up and the problem is with the Outlook e-mail account setup. All that's necessary is to create the e-mail account (or accounts) in Outlook. To do this, you need only a few pieces of information, but each is critical:
- The user's e-mail address
- The type of e-mail system
- The user's e-mail account ID
- The user's account password
In Outlook, click Tools, then E-mail Accounts, then click the button for "View or Change E-mail Accounts," then Next. You will see the e-mail account for the user of that particular machine. Next to the account name you will see the type of e-mail service the account is using. The most common e-mail types are:
- Microsoft Exchange Server
Make note of the service type and double-click the account name. On the next screen you will see the user information. Under Logon Information, you'll see a field marked User Name. This is the user's e-mail account ID, and it's usually the same as the user's e-mail address before the @ symbol. Thus, if the user's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, the account ID is user.
The field marked User Name is the user's e-mail account ID. Click for full screen.
Make note of the incoming and outgoing mail server information, then click the More Settings button. Look at each tab and note the settings for each. You will be duplicating them when you set up the user's account.
Make note of the server information, then click the More Settings button to find any additional settings required.
Click for full screen.
Now take your findings and go to the same screen on the computer you are adding the user to. Click the Add New E-mail Account button, then Next. Select the e-mail type you discovered from your earlier exploration, and click Next.
POP/SMTP, IMAP/SMTP, and HTTP all follow the same procedure. Fill in the blanks for user name, e-mail address, incoming and outgoing servers, and then the user's account ID and password.
Oops! It's likely the user doesn't know his password because he's never needed to type it in. Unfortunately there is no easy way around getting his password. You will need to contact the administrator or service provider of the e-mail account and have the password reset.
Once you know the password, enter the user ID and password, then check the More Settings tabs and make the settings the same as those on your reference account. When you close the More Settings window, click the Test Account Settings button. Outlook will attempt to send and receive using the account settings you've entered and report its success or failure. If Outlook complains about errors, check your settings and try again.
If your account type is Microsoft Exchange Server, Outlook will complain when you try to add it, explain that you're in the wrong place to add that kind of account, and tell you to use the Mail icon in the Control Panel to do the job.
Exit Outlook, open the Control Panel, and click the Mail icon. Click the E-mail Accounts button, then click Add New E-mail Account, then Next. Select Microsoft Exchange Server and Next. Here you need to know the path or URL to the Exchange server. Enter it from the information you gathered earlier, then enter the user's name. The password will be requested later.
You can add Exchange accounts via the Control Panel, but not while
Outlook is running. Click for full screen.
Click Finish and you're done. The admin can now run Outlook and the world will be beautiful again...well, probably not entirely. But at least the boss will get the presentation in time for her meeting.
Just don't stick around for the "thank you" -- it's all just part of the daily life of the Accidental IT person.
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