Change password in your email program

The previous tutorial explained how to change email password in a variety of scenarios, based on the email provider you are using: this could be your cable/internet provider, your employer, or your school; it could also be a third-party, commercial webmail provider like Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, or Gmail. When you check your messages from a desktop email program like Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, or Microsoft Outlook, that application is just the frontend tool you use to access an online service. In other words, the email program cannot do much in terms of controlling your email account; it is designed to use the "mail server" (special computer available online) of your provider in the background. When you want to change your email account password, you'll first need to it with the email provider itself. At that point only, will you be able to update your credentials in the email software package you are using to check that very account!


Why change my desktop email client password?

The email program you are using to check your emails is like a web browser when you surf the web and visit websites: it is just a piece of software designed to show you some kind of data. In the case of a web browser, we are taking about Facebook, your online banking information, news websites, etc. For a "desktop email client", we are taking about email messages that have reached a certain email address, namely one of the email accounts you have configured inside that particular email program.

Whenever you check for new emails, the email program will send your username (which typically is your full email address), and your password, to the mail server of the email provider (this is the internet address specified in the "incoming mail server" field when you first setup that account in your email program). If the password is incorrect, the mail server will refuse to let the email program download new messages, or access online email folders, etc. This is of course a security measure.
Authentication when sending or receiving emails
Whenever you send an email, your email program will also supply these credentials (username and password) to the mail server, using this time the "outgoing mail server" setting your configured when first setting up your email account in that email program. If the

Tip: it used to be quite common for email providers to allow their servers to be used to send messages without "authentication" (entering a password, in this case). But, with the advent and astronomic growth of spam, email providers have started requiring full credentials, to avoid having their server used as "spam relay", and potentially see all emails from their account holders blacklisted by third-party spam filters (who'd associate lots of spam with that particular server!)

How to change password in your particular email program

So, if you change your email password with the provider, you will also need to update your email account credentials inside your email program; here are the most popular options: remember to first change your email password with the provider, otherwise you will get an error message in your email program - some of these may check your credentials for validity and prevent you from saving your new settings if they don't validate on the server (this is usually not the case, since you sometimes change password offline).

If your email program is not included in the list above, check its "Help" menu or contact the software creator or vendor for tech support; alternatively, you can let us know about it, and we'll consider writing a tutorial on changing your email account password from that particular application!

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