I have been working with a small internet provider for years and all of a sudden I can't get my email. When I try to retrieve the email, I see an error that says that POP (Post Office Protocol) is no longer supported. I use Outlook. What's going on? How do I solve this problem?
It is very frustrating when you can’t receive your email, especially when it was working fine previously. It’s almost certain that Outlook is not the culprit here; instead, the problem is that your service provider has changed their email handling and you haven’t modified your settings to accommodate their changes.
A little background first: in the world of email, there are two “popular” incoming protocols for communications between email clients (like Outlook) and email servers (at your ISP). The older, simpler, more limited protocol is POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3); the newer, more versatile, more secure protocol is IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol). IMAP provides many features that make working and living with email better and simpler (our favorite is that IMAP supports synchronization between client applications and the email server, making it possible for you to have the same inbox and see the same emails on multiple devices, such as your desktop and your phone). If at all possible, you should choose IMAP for your email protocol, and you do have this choice if your ISP supports it. With either incoming protocol, you use a protocol called SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) for sending.
When you configured your email settings in Outlook, you selected the POP3 protocol for receiving email, and at the time you set it up, it worked fine. It’s possible that your ISP decided to deprecate support for POP3, leaving you without any way to receive your incoming email. This is an easy problem to fix: You simply need to find the ISP’s IMAP protocol settings (generally, a server name like imap.google.com, for Gmail) along with optional settings for security. All modern ISP’s support IMAP, and every modern email client application supports it, as well.
To find your ISP’s IMAP settings, search for “<your ISP> IMAP settings” (for example “Gmail IMAP settings” or “Yahoo IMAP settings”). You’ll find the information you need to set up incoming email in your email client. To get exact instructions, add the name of your email client to the search string (“Outlook Gmail IMAP settings”)—that way, you’ll find instructions that show you exactly what to do!