Accessing Office 365 using a server

The best way to access Office 365 is with supported software. For more information, try the email help pages on our website,.

If you're not using supported software, you may have problems accessing your email.  For instance, you might use a server to access your email instead of using our supported software.

Whether you use supported software or not, you're going to need something called 'SSL encryption'. If your software doesn't have an SSL encryption option, then your best option is to use the supported software to access your email (as this will have SSL encryption).  

You can get software that enables SSL encryption from a third-party company, like Stunnel, but this is at your own risk and we would not support it. Find out more about Stunnel


Setting up Exchange 2003 using Stunnel

  1. Run the installer and tick all of the options in Select components to install:  
    Note: Self-signed Certificate Tools is not required if installed on a client installation i.e. XP, Vista or Windows 7.

    Stunnel installer
  2. Once installed, follow the on-screen instructions and enter the requested information:

    1. Country name
    2. State or Province name
    3. Locality Name
    4. Organization Name
    5. Organizational Unit name
    6. Common Name (FQDN of your server)

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  3. From the Start menu, go to All Programs > Stunnel > Edit Stunnel.conf

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  4. Select all data and delete.
  5. Use Copy and Paste to replace the original text with the information below:

    # Stunnel configuration file for Office 365 SMTP and POP3
    # Author: MessageOps, www.messageops.com
    # GLOBAL OPTIONS
    client = yes
    output = stunnel-log.txt
    debug=4
    taskbar=yes
    # SERVICE-LEVEL OPTIONS
    [POP3 Incoming]
    accept = 110
    connect = office365.com:995
    [SMTP Outgoing]
    protocol = smtp
    accept = 25
    connect = smtp.office365.com:587
  6. Next go to All Programs > Stunnel and select in this order:

    1. Service Install   (this will allow it to start every time the server restarts)
    2. Service Start
    3. Service Run

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  7. At the last step, open Exchange and navigate to pop connectors. Update the pop3 mailbox email server for any mail box that has been migrated to Office 365. You should now have 127.0.0.1 for the mail server and the username updated to the full email address.


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Congratulations. You should now be able to receive email using your unsupported software.

Microsoft ends its support for Windows XP, find out more.

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