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Knowledge base

Knowledge Base
Knowledge Base - How to connect a desktop mail client (e.g. Outlook or Thunderbird) to Wabash
by Brad Weaver
07/27/2007 (Network)


All students have access to their Wabash email through Webmail, but some of you may prefer the features of a standard desktop mail client when connecting to email from your personal computer in your room. This is fairly straightforward to set up. However, all mail clients and versions are slightly different, so in this knowledge base entry we'll provide the necessary information but not the exact steps to create the connection. If you have any trouble with your specific setup, please contact the Help Desk and we'd be glad to walk you through.

Off-Campus Access
NOTE: If you take your computer off campus, you will still be able to check and read your email, but you will need to make additional changes in order to send messages from off campus.

Choosing between Pop and IMAP
POP and IMAP are two protocols mail programs use to read mail. The main difference is that with IMAP, your email messages remain on Wabash's mail server, and with POP, messages are downloaded to your computer's hard drive. In most cases we recommend that you use IMAP, as this will offer the most flexibility for reading your mail (you can still access your messages from Webmail, for example). However, if you will only read your email from your computer, POP is generally faster and under this circumstance may be preferable.

Mail Client Settings
You will need to provide several bits of information when setting up your program. Most programs have a "wizard" installation that will step you through the process of making the connection. For Wabash, here are the relevant settings:

  • POP/IMAP (incoming mail) server: mail.wabash.edu
  • SMTP (outgoing) server: smtp.wabash.edu
  • Mail protocol: can use either POP or IMAP (see above for benefits of each)
  • IMAP server directory: leave this blank  (use only if you select IMAP, and only if your mail program has this setting)

Online Tutorials
Many mail clients have online tutorials with installation help. Here are links to some of the more popular options:

Special Notes for Departing Students
Email accounts for Wabash graduates are turned off on August 1 of the year following graduation (e.g. August 1, 2006 for 2005 graduates). Email accounts for students who withdraw from the College are turned off immediately. If you would like to permanently save your email messages when you leave Wabash, the easiest way is to move any messages you want to save into your Inbox, then set up a mail client as described above using POP. When you first connect, all of your Inbox will immediately download to your local computer hard drive and you will be able to continue to read these messages.

If you have lots of mail folders this may be cumbersome. In this case, the best option is to set up a connection via IMAP, and create local folders and then copy the messages folder-by-folder that you would like to save.

Please contact the Help Desk for assistance with your particular situation.