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BTconnect email: pop3 and smtp settings and setup for Mail on an Apple Mac

June 12, 2008 12 Comments

This is now the most popular page on my blog. If you have any tips on setting up BT connect email once you work out how, why not come back and share them. Thanks!

This took some fiddling around. And the instructions in BT's help are out of date. So here's how to set up Mail (Apple's email program) if you use BTconnect.

Start, by starting Mail. Obviously.

Add account stage

  1. Full name: Your name
  2. Email address: The address you want the account set up for (so if you're registered with BT, it would be something like:
  3. Password: Your BTconnect password

Incoming mail server

  1. Account type: POP
  2. Description: Something to help you remember it (eg my email account - something memorable if you hav more than one).
  3. Incoming Mail server:
  4. User name: Your username from your btconnect account (ie the bit before when you first log on)
  5. Password: Your BTconnect password

Mail will then check the connection.

Outgoing Mail Server

  1. Description: Anything you like
  2. Outgoing Mail Server:

Don't click Use authentication. It will check the connection again at this point.

Outgoing Mail Security

Don't tick use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

Click continue, then create.

When the problems start ...

Whatever I try, it just won't work until you then go round in a seemingly stupid circle.

So try to send an email - if it doesn't work, click 'Edit server list'. Then under Advanced, tick the Secure Sockets Layer button, change the dropdown to password authentication, and reenter your username and password. Close and save the 'Accounts window'.

If it still won't work, go to the preferences menu and make sure your outgoing mail server is still set. And if it still won't work, go and do it all again and remove the SSL setting.

Why do you have to do all this? Why can't you add the SSL setting during the wizard? Why does adding it and removing it help? Why does it keep unselecting the outgoing mail server?

Who knows - but I've set an account up about 20 times now just to check, and I keep having to do all this ...

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  • Sam says:

    did you find the solution to this problem as i have it too

    • Only by constantly stepping through the stages above. It did work eventually (I've had to reset it up a couple of times for one reason or another). I still can't send emails when on any wifi network except my home one, even when authentication is set. Pah.

      • Mike says:


        The problem id due to the fact that ISP's block mail ports to stop spam will work when you are connected at home when you are on a different network you need to findout the relay name e.g. then you become a trusted user and you can send mail. Blame the spammers

  • Chris says:

    I think this is due to the 'allow' preferences on BT's servers. Basically they need to register your domain name with their servers so that it is recognised as a real address, rather than spam. One quick call should rectify this.

    Hope this helps.

  • Dave Levy says:

    Thanks for this. I can't get this to work though and since Thunderbird does, and I am losing the line in a couple of days I suspect I won't fix it.

    I tried to connect iMail to my tiscali account, which works, to the BT connect SMTP server which doesn't because it can't/won't login. I then configured the btconnect pop3 account, which in retrospect must be done, because the smtp server makes sure you have sent the mail from its own account. I don't know how it does this.

    My bliki notes are at

    I can't believe that this remains a problem and that Apple & BT care more about their competing business plans than those customers who want to use them both.

    I am going to poll my work colleagues to see how they solve the problem, but it seems to be a choice between using another smtp server or another mail client at the moment.

    Congratulations on your persistance, you obviously have more than me.

    • Tim Gray says:

      I fought with the dammed thing half the night, over this same problem.

      "A curse on both their houses" is what I say..

      Got round it by using the O2 email account to SEND email. This now works on EDGE, GPRS and 3G as well as my home Wi-Fi.

      The O2 smtp gateway is
      use your whole O2 username (including the bit)
      and your o2 email password.

      The emails still arrive with my btconnect address in the reply section.

  • Pop...whatever asks me for my password. I have been with bt....for years and the password is lost and forgotten

    Please how can I recover my password and satisfy POP....
    as they sometimes ask for it and as I'm just about to throw the computer out of the window the e-mail system proceeds as normal. Please help!!

    Thanks -

  • Mark Foster says:

    Hi Everyone

    Bt do good adverts thou dont they ????

    anyway the problem im having is that my email send but the reciever only see's my bt connect email address and not my company email address which is on my business cards and kinda would be nice for your customers to think you are professional any ideas ???

    Kind Regards


  • Paul Naybour says:


    I just spoke to Apple Care they are dating my OS. It is stange because the btconnect account works fin on my PC but not iMac. Apple assure me the update will fix the problem.

    LOL my brother is the chair of the Mac user group and he is not amused.

  • Dave Levy says:

    It's been a while.

    I changed my smtp server from BT to 1and1; I wanted a hosted single 'sent' folder and it is now immaterial who my connecting ISP is. I did not test if imail was working after this.

    I have upgraded from Leopard to Mavericks and tested imail as part of my performance remediation testing and it seems to be working.

    So two changes, and its now working.

    Hope this helps everyone and thanks for hosting this page.


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