Revision as of 10:58, 3 December 2013 by Zachary Schuetz (talk | contribs) (ruthlessly cutting POP in favor of IMAP)

Some clients may not be able to connect to our Exchange servers using the regular email configuration. In these cases, an IMAP connection is recommended for users who do not wish to use WebMail.

What is IMAP?

IMAP is a standardized protocol for retrieving e-mail. Almost any e-mail program can be configured to connect to our servers using IMAP, and the connection works anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access. However, POP and IMAP do not allow you access to the advanced features of our Exchange email server, such as the Calendar, Contacts, Notes, or Journal folders. These features are only available through Microsoft Outlook (PC or Mac) or WebMail (any Internet-capable device).

IMAP keeps all mail on the server and accesses it remotely, so it will still be there no matter where you access your e-mail from.

POP (deprecated)

POP (often referred to as POP3, the current version) is an outdated way of retrieving mail from a server. By default, it deletes mail from the server as soon as it is downloaded, making it unsuitable for mail access from multiple devices. It also does not allow you to "subscribe" to folders other than the Inbox, such as a "Personal" or "Class" folder you might have created. We recommend the use of Exchange or IMAP instead.

Configuring email access

To configure IMAP email access, use the generic configuration settings listed below. While most alternate email clients aren't officially supported by the Helpdesk, we can offer some guidance if you're having trouble, so feel free to contact us if you're stuck.

Incoming Mail

  • Your Incoming mail server should be "mail.middlebury.edu".
  • Your Incoming mail DOES require SSL. Due to a security issue, changes have been made that now require ALL users of Middlebury email accounts to use a secure connection when sending or receiving mail. Make sure to change the port to 995 (for POP) or 993 (for IMAP).

Incoming Mail: Advanced port settings

If the basic configuration doesn't seem to work for you, try some of these port setting adjustments.

  • TLS can't be enabled for incoming mail using POP in outlook, but when using IMAP, TLS can be enabled and allows a connection to mail.middlebury.edu over the default port 143.
  • SSL can be enabled for incoming mail at mail.middlebury.edu, however it requires manually setting the port to 995 instead of 110 for POP, or the port to 993 instead of 143 for IMAP. At least gmail and outlook, and likely other clients allow the port to be set manually.
  • SSL cannot be used to connect to ssmtp.middlebury.edu over port 25 in Outlook. The error message in outlook is: "Send test e-mail message: Your server does not support the connection encryption type you have specified. Try changing the encryption method. Contact your mail server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP) for additional assistance."
  • SSL does appear to work to connect to ssmtp.middlebury.edu over port 25 using Macmail.

Our incoming mail server does requires authentication, which means that you need enter your middlebury username and password to receive mail. Your mail program will give you an option to save this username and password so you don't have to enter it every time you want to receive mail. We recommend that you do not choose this option, as you are required to change your Middlebury password every six months.

Outgoing Mail (SMTP)

  • Your Outgoing mail server should be "ssmtp.middlebury.edu"
  • Your Outgoing mail does require SSL (or TLS if available - use port 25 for this).
  • Your Outgoing mail server DOES require authentication, using the same credentials as the incoming server.
  • Do NOT use secure password authentication.

Instructions for specific email programs


Mozilla Thunderbird is a free, lightweight, fast, secure email client brought to you by the creators of Firefox. Though not officially supported at Middlebury, it is fairly popular.

When you first install Thunderbird or choose to add a new account, a small configuration window appears.

  1. Enter your Middlebury email address and password.
  2. The wizard will try to connect directly to the server, guessing at the connection settings, and offer you some initial configuration options. Modify these options by clicking the Edit button on the right.
  3. For the outgoing server: address is "ssmtp.middlebury.edu", port is 25, connect using username / PW (enter email address), DO NOT use secure authentication, and use STARTTLS connection security.
  4. For the incoming mail, use IMAP and try the default settings.