Setting email up under Mac OS 9 and earlier has become much more difficult with modern security standards, however it is still possible.

Custom Domain setup

At this stage I’ve managed to set up a functional email account by using a custom domain ( and email hosting service, rather than using a free email provider such as Gmail etc.

This method will only work with Outlook Express 5.0.6 since it’s the only client I’ve found that supports different authentication for SMTP.

Services required:

  • A domain name typically costs between $10-$30/year. They can be registered from Namecheap, or any other domain registrar.
  • I have chosen to use MXRoute as my email provider since it’s one of the cheapest email hosting platforms, is super easy to use, they provide great service and have an excellent support community. The beginner plan costs $30USD/year but lets you use an unlimited number of domain names, and offers 10GB storage.
  • I haven’t found any email hosting providers that offer support for older SMTP protocols which means you can often retrieve your IMAP, or POP3 inbox, but can’t send anything. To get around this I’ve used SMTP2GO to manage SMTP and sending emails. Their free plan allows up to 1000 emails a month.

Short description of flow:

  • Your domain points to an email hosting provider (MXroute) via it’s DNS settings
  • Outlook Express can retrieve your mailboxes and messages from MXroute, but they can’t send messages due to MXroute’s modern SMTP protocols
  • Instead of entering MXroute’s SMTP servers into Outlook SMTP2GO’s servers are entered and they take over the sending of your emails.


  1. Create an account and add your domain to Sender Domains
  2. Add the three CNAME records provided by STMP2GO, to your domain’s DNS records. This can be done within the account with your domain registrar, or whatever service you use for DNS management.
  3. Click the verify button to ensure you’ve performed these steps correctly
  4. Now navigate to the SMTP Users section
  5. Add a user, take note of the SMTP server settings and your user settings

Outlook Express 5.0.6

Outlook Express 5.0.6 runs on Mac OS 8.0 - 9.2.2

Only POP works with Outlook Express

  1. After adding your domain to MXroute they will email you the server information to add to your email client. Otherwise go through the CPanel and find this information under “Connect to Devices”. Copy the server, and note the port number for POP3.
  2. Open Outlook and go through the Account Setup Assistant until you get to the E-Mail Server Names section.
  3. Add the POP server (e.g. from MXroute to the Incoming mail field (use the Secure SSL/TLS Settings)
  4. Add the SMTP server (e.g. obtained from SMTP2GO to the Outgoing mail field
  5. Continue to the next step and add your email address as the Account ID
  6. Enter your MXroute email address’s password to the password and check the Save Password button
  7. Continue to the next step and add an account name. Before finishing, click the Configure account manually button
  8. Under the Receiving mail section click advanced receiving option and override the port number with the relevant one from MXroute.
  9. Do the same for Sending mail and use the port provided by SMTP2GO
  10. Check the SMTP server requires authentication option and select Log on using, then enter your SMTP user credentials from SMTP2GO.
  11. Click the Ok button, then the Send and Receive button