Email Client Configuration

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When you need to configure email on any mail client, you'll need to know specific information in order create the account. This information includes which protocol you intend to use to connect, incoming/outgoing ports and servernames, and if you want to enable secure connections. This article walks you through your options to configure the email account however you like.

Client Setup Parameters

Dh-kb-important-icon.fw.png Important: Read this section first before proceeding with more specific set up instructions elsewhere! This section provides the most basic information you'll need to set up your stand-alone email client software (no matter what it is).

Username and Password

You can create your email address through your (Panel > ‘Mail’ > ‘Manage Emails’) page.

View the following article for detailed instructions on how to add an email address:

Once you create an email address, you will have your Username and Password.

  • The Username is the part before your domain. For example However if your mail client asks for the username, enter your full email address.
  • The Password for the user is what you chose when creating the address.
The Password can be changed at any time through your (Panel > ‘Mail’ > ‘Manage Emails’) page or through the Mailboxes interface

When setting up your mail program with your user, the Username and Password details are required. The Username field should always be populated with the full email address and the Password should be entered exactly as it was set when creating the email address.

Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.png Notes:
  • The Username/Password Authentication setting must be enabled and set to ‘Password’.
  • Passwords are CaSe SeNsItIvE!
  • Passwords for your email users can be changed at anytime.
  • View the Passwords article to help choose a strong password.

Server Names

Your servernames (aka hostnames) control where your email is sent from and sent to. There are two versions of your servername (hostname) you can use.

  1. The most common and easiest setup is to use the following format:
    • outgoing -
    • incoming -
    In the examples above just replace with your actual domain name.
  2. The alternative server names you can use would be your mail cluster server name. For example:
    You can find your specific mail cluster in your panel.
    Navigate to the (Panel > 'Support' > 'Data Centers') page.
    04 mail servernames.png
    Your mail cluster is to the right of any domain in the 'Mail services' section.
    Whatever mail cluster your account is set up on should be used as the incoming and outgoing servers.
    In this example you would use
Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.png Note: Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) require that you use their SMTP server to send mail (example: You must check with your ISP to see if they require you to use their SMTP server for outgoing mail, or if you can use your domain's mail server for outgoing mail.

Protocols and Port Numbers

See also: Secure Email

The port numbers you set determine the protocol your email uses. There are four basic options. IMAP secure is the recommended configuration:

  • IMAP (insecure)
  • IMAP (secure)
  • POP3 (insecure)
  • POP3 (secure)

Below are the settings you can use for each protocol along with the security settings.


  • IMAP | Port 143 (Insecure Transport - No SSL function enabled)
  • IMAP | Port 993 (Secure Transport   - SSL function enabled)
  • POP3 | Port 110 (Insecure Transport - No SSL function enabled)
  • POP3 | Port 995 (Secure Transport   - SSL function enabled)


  • SMTP | Port 587 (Insecure Transport - No SSL function enabled)
  • SMTP | Port 465 (Secure Transport   - SSL function enabled)
  • SMTP | Port 25 (username/password authentication MUST also be enabled!)
Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.png Note: Port 587 is a highly recommended alternative port because port 25 is often blocked by ISPs.


See also: SMTP on Wikipedia, SMTP quota
  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is the de facto standard for outgoing email transmissions across the internet.
  • SMTP is a relatively simple, text-based protocol, where one or more recipients of a message are specified (and in most cases verified to exist) and then the message text is transferred.
  • It is a client-server protocol, where the client transmits an email message to the server.


POP3 and IMAP are two different ways of checking mail. A mail client program connects to the mail server using either POP3 or IMAP. All DreamHost mail accounts support both POP3 and IMAP connections automatically.

What is POP3?

POP3 downloads all mail from the server from the Inbox and stores it on your computer. The emails are removed from the server and only stored locally in your mail client program. Emails are available when you're not connected to the internet.

Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.png Note: The POP setup will only download mail from the Inbox folder. Any other emails in folders or sub-folders (such as Trash, Draft, and Sent) must be moved to the Inbox in order for that to be viewed or downloaded via POP.

What is IMAP?

IMAP syncs your mail client program with the server. Emails stay on the server, and you can make and view mail folders on the server in addition to the Inbox. Most mail client program have a feature to initially sync just the email headers, so you can quickly see what emails you have, then download the message body when you want to read the email. Since emails stay on the server, you can see all your emails from any mail client program or device. Webmail uses IMAP.

IMAP is the preferred protocol for accessing your mail from various locations as well as through multiple devices. For example, having your email address set up on your home computer, a tablet, and a phone, IMAP centralizes the storage of your emails to your DreamHost mail server; as long as you have an internet connection, you can connect to your IMAP servers to access your mail from anywhere on any device.

Which should I choose?

Use IMAP if you want to check email from multiple computers or devices. Use POP3 if you want your email always accessible, even when there's no internet connection. But, be aware that email will only be available on the device to which you downloaded them.

If you have been using IMAP and have some mail stored in folders other than the Inbox, move the emails to the Inbox before using POP3.

Example setup using a secure IMAP connection

Secure IMAP incoming configuration

IMAP secure.fw.png
  • This example shows the ‘’ user being set up as an IMAP user with SSL enabled using Port 993 for incoming mail.
  • The server name being used is ‘’ with ‘Authentication’ set to ‘Normal password’.

Secure outgoing settings

IMAP outgoing.fw.png
  • This setup shows the SMTP settings with SSL enabled for the ‘’ email address.
  • The user is set to use Port 465 with SSL for secure connections and the ‘Authentication’ is set here as ‘Normal password’.
    Dh-kb-note-icon.fw.png Notes:
    • The port setting and the SSL option must match each other – i.e., if you’re using SSL/TLS you must use secure ports.
    • Enabling SSL (Secure Transport) will require an additional step in confirming and accepting the certificate for the secure connection for both incoming and outgoing mail.
    • It's normal to get a certificate warning when attempting to connect using a secure connection. View the Certificate Domain Mismatch Error article for solutions.

Webmail Interface

See also: Webmail

When you create the first email address for a domain (that is configured to be hosted with DreamHost), the system will also set up hostnames for Webmail service.

These are URLs you can use to access the Webmail interface (unless you change them).

  • – Used to log into your Webmail service and send/receive email.
  • – Used to log into your mailboxes interface. There you can change your password, view client setup parameters, manage junk filters, manage keyword filters, auto-responses, and other configuration settings.

DreamHost also provides secure URLs. Just use https instead of http. You can ignore the SSL certificate warning message when you access these URLs.

Troubleshooting Webmail

You may notice that the JUNK folder is not available when viewing over HTTPS. For example, in Chrome the JUNK folder over HTTPS will show a sad face icon at first.

To fix it and view the JUNK folder, do the following (replace "example" with your domain name):

  1. Visit
  2. Accept the certificate presented.
  3. Log into
  4. Accept any other certificate that may appear.

The JUNK folder will then be visible in Webmail.

Third Party Email Client Configuration

See also: Email-related topics

Follow these links for specific instructions on how to set up the corresponding email clients.

See Also