Want to use your Outlook account to improve email deliverability for your WordPress site? The Outlook mailer for WP Mail SMTP lets you securely use Microsoft’s API to authenticate your site’s emails.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you every step needed to set up the Microsoft Outlook mailer in WP Mail SMTP.
- What is the Outlook Mailer?
- Getting Started with WP Mail SMTP
- Configuring a Microsoft Azure Account
- Saving Settings and Authorizing WP Mail SMTP
- Sending a Test Email
- Frequently Asked Questions
Requirements: This mailer requires your site to have SSL (https) enabled. For setup details, please see WPBeginner’s guide to adding SSL and HTTPS in WordPress.
Also, while this mailer setup does not require use of any paid services, Microsoft will require that you enter a credit card to set up an account (to reduce spam signups).
What is the Outlook Mailer?
Microsoft offers not only email address/inbox services, but also a tool to improve the deliverability of your emails. They do this through an API, which means that you don’t have to enter any sensitive login details into your WordPress admin area (more secure than traditional SMTP).
Microsoft offers this service free to anyone with one of their email accounts (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or an Office 365 email address).
Also importantly, the Outlook mailer can send up to 10,000 emails per minute. That’s much higher than the limits on most other mailers. The tradeoff, though, is that Microsoft’s setup requirements are more complex than most other mailer options in WP Mail SMTP.
If this mailer sounds like a good fit for your site, then let’s get started!
1. Getting Started with WP Mail SMTP
To get started, you’ll need to install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin.
Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, go to WP Mail SMTP » Settings. At the top of the Settings page, you’ll see a From Email and From Name options. You can skip both of these settings, as anything here will be overridden by the settings within your Outlook account (later on, you’ll notice that these fields both end up disabled).
We recommend checking the optional Return Path checkbox to Set the return-path to match the From Email. With this enabled, you’ll be emailed if any messages bounce as a result of issues with the recipient’s email.
Next, you’ll need to scroll to the Mailer field and select the Outlook option.
Now that you’ve chosen the Outlook mailer, you should see a new section appear titled Outlook.
To generate the information needed for this section, you’ll need to set up a web application within a Microsoft Azure account. This process doesn’t require any coding, and we’ll show you exactly what to do in the next step.
Be sure to keep these WP Mail SMTP settings open in a separate tab or window, as you’ll come back to them soon.
2. Configuring a Microsoft Azure Account
In order to move forward with the setup process, you’ll need to have a Microsoft Azure account.
Since you most likely already have a Microsoft email account (through Hotmail, Live, Outlook, Office 365, etc), you can simply log into Microsoft Azure with your existing account credentials.
If you need to create a brand new account, you can click this link sign up for a free Microsoft Azure account.
Note: The email you use for the Azure account must be a Microsoft-based email address that includes email sending permissions. Further, this account email must be email address you’d like to use as the From Email on your website.
Next, you’ll need to open the Azure Portal.
Create an Application ID
Once the Azure Portal is open, click on All services in the left sidebar.
Next, you’ll see a list of categories. Go ahead and click on Identity. When an additional column appears, click on App registrations.
At the top of the App Registrations page, you’ll need to select the + New Registration option.
In the app registration form, here are the details you’ll need to fill out:
- Name: This is only for your personal organization, so we recommend naming it something like “WP Mail SMTP: yourdomain.com”.
- Supported Account Types: Select Accounts in any organizational directory and personal Microsoft accounts.
- Redirect URI: For the first dropdown, leave this set to Web. Then for the second field, you’ll need to copy this value from your WP Mail SMTP settings (see below).
In order to find the Redirect URI, you’ll need to flip back to the tab or window where you left your site’s WP Mail SMTP settings open. Under the Outlook section, you’ll see a field named Redirect URI.
You’ll need to copy this value, then paste it into your Microsoft Azure app registration form. Be sure to still keep both windows/tabs open in your browser, as we’ll continue to switch between the two.
When you’re ready, click the Register button to proceed.
As soon as this registration form is submitted, you should see a page that includes Application (client) ID.
You’ll need to copy this full value into your WP Mail SMTP settings, in the field labeled Application ID.
Create an Application Password
Next, we’ll need to generate a password for this app. To do that, click on Certificates & secrets in the white sidebar.
On this screen, skip down to the Client Secrets section. Then select + New client secret.
An overlay will appear, and here you’ll need to fill out a short form:
- Description: This name is only for your own use, so we recommend a logical and simple name such as
- Expires: Never
After you submit the client secret form, the Application Password will be generated.
You’ll need to copy this into your WP Mail SMTP settings. Once you’ve returned to the tab or window where these settings are still open, paste this value into the Application Password field.
Set Up API Permissions
Now that you’ve got both the Application ID and Application password filled out in WP Mail SMTP, the next step is to set up API permissions. To get started, you’ll need to click on API permissions in the white left menu.
Then, click on the + Add a permission option.
This will open a page titled Request API Permissions. Here, you’ll need to click the large top option named Microsoft Graph.
You’ll only need to fill out a couple pieces of information on this page:
- What type of permissions does your API require: Choose the option named Delegated permissions
- Select permissions: Type in
send. Then, from the options that appear, check Mail.Send.Shared.
When you’re ready, click the Add permissions button to proceed.
Next, you’ll need to go through this permissions process once more in a slightly different way. To do this, go ahead and again click on + Add a permission, followed by the Microsoft Graph option.
Here are the new details you’ll need for this additional set of permissions:
- What type of permissions does your API require: Choose the option named Application permissions.
- Select permissions: Type in
send. Then, from the options that appear, check Mail.Send.
Once again, click the Add permissions button when you’re ready to proceed.
Now your API permissions are all set in Microsoft’s system, and we can finish up the configuration in WP Mail SMTP.
3. Saving Settings and Authorizing WP Mail SMTP
Back in the WP Mail SMTP settings, you should now have all fields filled out. After checking this over, you can click Save Settings at the bottom of the page.
After you’ve saved, you’ll need to scroll down to the Authorization setting. You should now see a button labeled Allow plugin to send emails using your Microsoft account.
As soon as you click this button, you should be redirected to a Microsoft permissions form.
At the bottom of this form, click Yes.
Next, you will be redirected back to your WP Mail SMTP settings. At the top of these settings, you should see a notice letting you know that you’ve successfully connected your Microsoft account.
4. Sending a Test Email
Now that your Microsoft API is set up and connected, it’s important to send a test email to ensure that everything is working properly. To do this, make sure you’re on the Settings » WP Mail SMTP page and then open the Email Test tab.
On this tab, you can enter any email address that you have access to (the default will be the site’s admin email). Then, click the Send Email button.
After sending the email, you should see a success message.
If you check the inbox for that email address, you should receive the email for this test.
Frequently Asked Questions
I use Two Factor Authentication / Multi Factor Authentication (2FA / MFA) on my Microsoft-based email account. Will that work with the Outlook mailer?
If you already have 2FA/MFA configured before completing the setup steps in this tutorial, then you shouldn’t run into any issues (just follow the steps as normal).
If you complete this tutorial and then decide to later enable 2FA/MFA, however, then in most cases you’ll need to re-authorize the mailer (see Step #3).
That’s it! You have successfully set up your site to send WordPress emails with the Outlook mailer in WP Mail SMTP.
Next, would you also like to control which emails WordPress core sends out? Be sure to check out our Email Controls tutorial for all the details.