Houston Chronicle

Forgotten email accounts can come back to haunt Outlook users

- JAY LEE helpline@chron.com

Q: I keep getting a pop-up message that says my Outlook account settings are out of date. It doesn’t seem to be interferin­g with anything. It’s just annoying. Is there any way to get rid of this?

A: When I see this type of message coming from an email client, it is usually a sign that the user has more than one email account configured and one of the accounts has an issue.

This can happen if you set up a new email account and forget to remove the old one and then the old one gets deactivate­d or is changed in some way.

The reason it doesn’t seem to interfere is that it is likely affecting an account profile you are not using and not your main account.

To resolve this, open your Outlook account settings by clicking on the File tab and selecting Account Settings.

The window that pops up will show you any and all of the accounts that you have configured for access in Outlook.

If you see any that you are no longer using, go ahead and remove them. If you are using all of the listed accounts, then you need to review the settings for each one. Do this even if you have only the one account listed.

You can view the settings by double-clicking the account to bring up the configurat­ion menu.

Have a look at the settings as something may be slightly out of date. This can happen if your email provider made any changes to how it wants you to access your email, like using SSL, for example.

If in doubt about the settings, you can find complete configurat­ion informatio­n from your email provider that is broken down by type of access and the client used on your provider’s support site.

Once you confirm your settings, restart Outlook and see if the problem goes away.

Q: I am having trouble keeping my email synchroniz­ed between multiple devices. Especially my laptop and desktop computers. Do you have any recommenda­tions?

A: One reason email synchroniz­ation tends to work well on mobile devices is that the email client is configured using IMAP rather than POP. But most computer users, both laptop and desktop, configure their email client to use POP.

The basic difference between these two types of configurat­ions is that POP will show only changes to email on the computer where the changes were made. Changes on devices configured to use IMAP will show these changes on all devices configured for IMAP.

My personal preference is to use IMAP whenever possible. If I delete a message or mark it as read from one device, the change is reflected on all of my devices that are configured to access the account.

That being said, IMAP is not for everyone. How you use your email and interact with your messages is a matter of personal preference. Before you make any changes, you should review your options thoroughly.

A good article on this subject can be found at tinyurl.com/helplineim­ap.

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