SMTP Settings: How to Configure an SMTP Server

To set up a mail client, you’ll need to configure an SMTP server. This is easy to do – you’ll just have to open your email software and add the right SMTP parameters in the settings window.

Learn what SMTP means, what are SMTP servers, and the right settings for Gmail, Outlook, and Apple Mail.

What are SMTP and SMTP server

how does SMTP work what is simple mail transfer protocol

SMTP or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is used to send emails. Your email client uses SMTP to communicate with the mail server, and the mail server uses it to talk to other mail servers. It’s a simple, text-based protocol that’s easy to debug.

An SMTP server is a computer that runs an SMTP service. You can set up your own SMTP server, or you can use a provider like Gmail or Amazon SES. Businesses also use SMTP servers to send marketing and transnational email. We collected the best free SMTP servers to help your selection. 

When you send an email, your email client connects to the SMTP server and passes the message along. The SMTP server then contacts the recipients’ incoming mail server and delivers the message.

Gmail SMTP settings

To send email using Gmail’s SMTP server, you will need to configure your email client with these Gmail SMTP settings:

Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server: smtp.gmail.com
Use Authentication: Yes
Port for SSL: 465 or 587
Port for TLS/STARTTLS: 25 or 587
Username: Your full Gmail account address ([email protected]
Password: Your Gmail password 

Once you have configured your email client with the above settings, you should be able to send email using Gmail’s SMTP server. Read our guide on how to send emails with the Gmail SMTP server for more info.

Outlook SMTP settings

If you want to use your Outlook.com account with another email client that supports POP or IMAP, use these manual server settings:

  • IMAP server name: outlook.office365.com
  • IMAP port: 993
  • IMAP encryption method: TLS
  • POP server name: outlook.office365.com
  • POP port: 995
  • POP encryption method: TLS
  • SMTP server address: smtp-mail.outlook.com
  • SMTP port: 587
  • SMTP encryption method: STARTTLS

Apple Mail SMTP settings

Apple mail smtp settings

To configure your Apple Mail client to use an incoming mail server, you will need the following information:

The address of the SMTP server. This can be in the form of a hostname (e.g. smtp.example.com) or an IP address (e.g.192.168.0.1).

The port number that the SMTP server is using for outgoing connections. The standard port number for SMTP is 25, but some servers may use a different port number.

Whether the SMTP server requires authentication. This is usually the case if the server is only allowing connections from authorized users. If authentication is required, you will also need a username and password for an account on the SMTP server.

Once you have gathered this information, you can follow these steps to configure your Apple Mail client:

Open Apple Mail and go to the Preferences menu. Select the Account settings tab and click on the + icon to add a new account. Enter your name and email address, then click Continue. Select “Other Mail Account” from the list of account types and click Continue again. Enter the information for the SMTP server, including the address, port number, and authentication settings. Click Create when finished. Your Apple Mail client should now be configured to use the SMTP server for outgoing mail.

SMTP information for iCloud as outgoing server

  • Server name: smtp.mail.me.com
  • SSL Required: Yes
  • Port: 587
  • SMTP Authentication Required: Yes
  • Username: Your iCloud Mail email address
  • Password: Your iCloud Mail email password

Configure your own SMTP server using HMailServer

HMailServer is a free and open-source email server for Microsoft Windows. It’s a lightweight, easy-to-set-up mail server. HMailServer supports multiple domains, SMTP and POP3 protocols, and can be integrated with spam filtering software such as SpamAssassin. 

HMailServer is a popular choice for businesses and individuals who need a reliable email server but do not have the resources to maintain a complex email infrastructure. 

HMailServer is easy to set up and manage, even for users with limited technical experience. Best of all, HMailServer is free to download and use, making it an excellent value for anyone in need of a quality email server.

HMailServer setup

To setup HMailServer:

  1. Go to the HMailServer website and download the software.
  2. Install HMailServer on your computer.
  3. Click connect and enter your password.
  4. Click on add domain, and enter the domain name.
  5. Click on the “Add” button under the accounts folder and enter the following information:
    Name: Your SMTP server’s name
    Hostname: The hostname or IP address of your SMTP server
    Port: The port number your SMTP server is listening on (25, 587, or 465)
  6. Open settings and click on protocols. Uncheck POP3 and IMAP boxes.

SMTP Settings: Conclusion

You may want to consider setting up your own email server instead of relying on a standard SMTP provider to ensure the delivery of all your messages. By doing this, you can have more control over your email communications and avoid any delivery issues. Here’s a list of good SMTP, Relay, and Deliverability providers for businesses.

About Rukham Khan


Rukham is a data-driven marketing enthusiast, and technology researcher with over 5 years of experience. With a background working at Saas provider, he is know for insightful articles about marketing and researched and reviewed marketing and business software. He has a love for email marketing tools, marketing automation platforms, SMTP providers, CRMs, SMS marketing platforms, landing page builders, SEO platforms, email validation software, online course tools, and eBook creators. Trust should be the basis for all marketing communication.

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