Outlook 2003's Advanced Settings are automatically configured to the most common ports, timeout, and delivery options when you setup an email account.
To customize your email accounts in Outlook 2003, go to Tools > Options.
Select the Mail Setup tab from the Options dialog, and click E-mail Accounts.
Select the email account and click Next.
Outlook 2003's Advanced Settings allow you to configure the ports to use when interacting with the mail server, quite analogous to physical ports on your computer; TCP/IP ports used by Outlook are "software" ports, however.
Outlook 2003's advanced settings also include the time span (or timeout/delays) allowed to Outlook to establish a connection to the mail server, before throwing a connection error.
Outlook 2003 can automatically delete your emails from the mail server after a certain time has elapsed, or after given conditions are met; these email options can be configured from Outlook 2003's Advanced settings tab.
Ports are numbers that define how a connection is made over a network. Whenever you use your web browser to connect to a website, your browser automatically uses port 80, which is why you do not have to specify it. For example, when you go to the URL www.FreeEmailTutorials.com, your browser actually connects to www.FreeEmailTutorials.com:80 (i.e. through port 80).
The values you see on the Advanced tab under Server Port Numbers depend on the type of email account you setup. The settings shown on the screenshot are by far the most common. To change port numbers in Outlook 2003 for a given email account, update the port values of these Server Port Numbers settings.
The default Incoming server (POP3) value is 110, and 25 for Outgoing server (SMTP). As you can experience yourself, the Incoming port number changes to 995 if you use SSL. SSL (Secure Socket Layers) is a technology used to encrypt transactions. Unless specifically required by your email provider, leave the This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL) checkboxes unchecked.
Port 25 is the standard for outgoing emails. A sizeable exception is AOL which, to limit the amount spam relayed from its network, forces third-party email providers to support port 587 for SMTP.
In practical terms, this means that the user must use 587 as outgoing port for any non-AOL email account. The majority of email providers do, but this means that after an email account is setup, the user must go back to his or her email client's port settings and modify port information.
If your Internet Service Provider is AOL, this is what you need to do to use Outlook 2003 with a non-AOL email account.
The settings under Server Timeouts define how long Outlook 2003 will attempt to establish a connection with the mail server before calling it an unsuccessful attempt.
Outlook 2003 uses by default a 1 minute time span. This means that Outlook will wait up to 1 minute to get a response from the mail server before concluding that it cannot connect, and give you a connection error message.
One minute is a long enough server timeout, even for web hosting companies' overcrowded mail servers. However, if you experience regular connection problems, try increasing the Server Timeouts value, it may fix the problem.
Outlook 2003's Server Timeouts settings only take into account the time needed connecting with and authenticating to the mail server.
It does not mean that your emails should be downloaded in less than a minute.
Under the Delivery section of the Advanced tab, Outlook 2003 lets you define how to handle downloaded and old emails on the mail server.
By default, Outlook 2003 downloads your emails from the server, and in effect deletes them from the server after successful downloads. Without needing access to the mail server itself, you can customize Outlook's email deletion behavior. Outlook 2003 gives you thee options.
Checking the Leave a copy of messages on the server checkbox instructs Outlook 2003 to leave a copy of your emails on the server indefinitely. You or your System Administrator will then need to delete the emails from the mail server itself.
Complementary options can refine how long, and under what conditions Outlook 2003 should leave a copy of your emails on the mail server.
If the Remove from server after X days checkbox is checked, Outlook will automatically delete the copies of emails that are that many days old.
Again, this option instructs Outlook 2003 to automate email deletion, which removes some control from you (Outlook will not request confirmation before deleting from the mail server emails that meet your time span conditions.)
The Remove from server when deleted from 'Deleted Items' option is the next best thing after full access to the mail server.The only problem with this configuration pertains to emails you want to keep, which Outlook 2003 will never remove from your mail server.
To get the best of both worlds (short of having unrestricted access to the mail server or webmail), use the two options above in conjunction:
Outlook 2003 will automatically remove from the mail server emails that are either older than X days, or emails which were in Deleted Items (Outlook's recycle bin) when it was emptied.
Outlook 2003 automatically deleting downloaded emails from the server spares you or your System Administrator from the task of cleaning up old emails from the mail server, but it also means that your emails are now only on your computer: if your computer crashes, and you have not backed up your Outlook profile, they are gone for ever.
Other cases where Outlook 2003 automatically deleting emails off the server is not desirable include sharing an email address between several users: in such case, the first user to connect to the mail server would download all emails, and others sharing that email address would be told by the server that there are no new emails. Another case includes your work email address that you also access from home: since you use the same email account, emails must be available to Outlook (or other email program) from both locations.