UVM email in Outlook Mobile

I don’t sync my email with Outlook on my PC. Instead, I use Outlook Mobile on my Treo 700w to connect directly to the University’s mail server. Below, I describe the steps I took to configure IMAP. Please note, however, that this is a limited solution. I only lets me see mail in my Inbox, not other folders. For me, this is adequate.

Update: There is an issue with sending email from Outlook Mobile through an outgoing server that requires authentication. See comments below.

I will add my voice to the chorus, though, in singing the praises of Chatter Email, which I used when I had a Palm OS-based Treo 650. Alas, Chatter is available only for the Palm OS, and the developer has expressed no interest in porting it to Windows Mobile.

Before we begin, an important note.

Security: Give serious consideration to how the information on your Windows Mobile device is protected. If your email is sensitive, what happens if your phone gets lost? The person who finds your phone can read any existing mail on the phone, and if you save your password, can retrieve new mail and send mail impersonating you. Most devices have locking capabilities, and third-party security utilities are available. Learn about them.

Let’s get started. To open the messaging component of Outlook Mobile, select Messaging from the Start Menu.

Windows Mobile Messag

To configure the accounts in Outlook Mobile, open the menu and select Tools and then Options.

Menu - Tools
Menu - Options

Tap or select the IMAP4 account in the list on the Accounts tab. This will open the Email Settings dialog. There are four screens and the information needed is pretty standard mail configuration stuff. Here’s the refrain; be extra careful if you save your password.

Email address
User information

On the fourth screen, after filling in the server names, click the Options button.

Server information and options button

On the second screen of the options dialog, turn on the following options: “Require SSL connection”, and “Outgoing mail requires authentication.” Leave “Use separate settings” unchecked.

Security options

After you click Finish, hit the OK button. If you don’t see “IMAP4” in the window title, hit menu ? Switch Accounts ? IMAP4. Now, hit menu ? Send/Receive. You may need to provide your password, and then you should see a “connecting…” status message, and then your mail out to start arriving.


I only check my email manually, though you can configure it to check periodically. I also keep my Inbox relatively clean, so my Treo doesn’t spend lots of time retrieving mesages that I don’t need.

If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations on how to use Outlook Mobile more effectively, please let me know.

Sr. System Administrator at the University of Vermont


  1. If you leave your mobile mail client running, checking for mail periodically, and then use another mail client, you’ll likely receive mailbox-lock errors. The default mailbox format doesn’t support concurrent access by different applications.

    One option is to convert your Inbox to use a different format that does support concurrent access. Mike Austin explains:

    You can ssh to zoo.uvm.edu and run “mbxinbox”. This will create an MBX inbox for you that fully supports concurrent access.

    Thanks, Mike.

  2. Problems sending multiple messages with UVM outgoing mail server.

    Mickey Mossey and I have identified an issue with Outlook Mobile’s handling of encryption with outgoing mail server. It appears to correctly connect and send the first message. Subsequent send operation fail to use the secure connect, though, and fail.

    Two work-arounds exist:

    1. Use the Verizon-provided outgoing mail server instead of the UVM server. This server doesn’t use encryption, and this avoid the problem altogether.
    2. Use the OK button to force Outlook Mobile to quit, then restart it and you can send another message. Because I rarely send outgoing mail from my phone, this is what I do.
    3. Ok, to there are really three options. You could also just send a text (SMS) message, instead of using email. The mail will come from a differen email address; either [phone_num]@vtext.com, or you can sign-up for a vtext name to associate with your phone number. This is what I do when I need to send a quick message from the phone and the from address doesn’t matter.

    I reported the problem to the Windows Mobile forum, and a Microsoft WM MVP said this was addressed in Windows Mobile 6. Alas, there is no OS upgrade for my Treo 700w.

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