Download/Retrieve Email from Hotmail/Outlook/Live/Office 365 in VB.NET

In previous section, I introduced how to download email from Yahoo account. In this section, I will introduce how to download email from Hotmail/MSN Live/Outlook.com/Office 365 account in VB.NET.

Introduction

Hotmail/Outlook POP3 server address is pop3.live.com. It requires SSL connection on 995 port; Hotmail/Outlook IMAP4 server address is imap-mail.outlook.com. It requires SSL connection on 993 port;

You should use your Hotmail/Outlook email address as the user name for user authentication. For example: your email is liveid@hotmail.com, and then the user name should be liveid@hotmail.com.

Server Port SSL Protocol
pop3.live.com 995 SSL required Pop3
imap-mail.outlook.com 993 SSL required Imap4

Note

Remarks: All of examples in this section are based on first section: A simple VB.NET project. To compile and run the following example codes successfully, please click here to learn how to create the test project and add reference to your project.

[VB.NET Example - Retrieve emails from Hotmail/MSN Live/Outlook account using POP3]

The following example codes demonstrate how to download email from Hotmail/MSN Live/Outlook account using POP3 protocol.

Note

To get the full sample projects, please refer to Samples section.

Imports System.Globalization
Imports System.Text
Imports System.IO
Imports EAGetMail 'imports EAGetMail namespace

Module Module1

    Function _generateFileName(ByVal sequence As Integer) As String
        Dim currentDateTime As DateTime = DateTime.Now
        Return String.Format("{0}-{1:000}-{2:000}.eml",
                            currentDateTime.ToString("yyyyMMddHHmmss", New CultureInfo("en-US")),
                            currentDateTime.Millisecond,
                            sequence)
    End Function

    Sub Main()

        Try
            ' Create a folder named "inbox" under current directory
            ' to save the email retrieved.
            Dim localInbox As String = String.Format("{0}\inbox", Directory.GetCurrentDirectory())

            ' If the folder is not existed, create it.
            If Not Directory.Exists(localInbox) Then
                Directory.CreateDirectory(localInbox)
            End If

            ' Hotmail POP3 server is "pop3.live.com"
            Dim oServer As New MailServer("pop3.live.com",
                    "hotmailid@hotmail.com",
                    "yourpassword",
                    ServerProtocol.Pop3)

            ' Enable SSL/TLS connection, most modern email server require SSL/TLS connection by default.
            oServer.SSLConnection = True
            ' Set 995 POP3 SSL PORT
            oServer.Port = 995

            Console.WriteLine("Connecting server ...")

            Dim oClient As New MailClient("TryIt")
            oClient.Connect(oServer)

            Dim infos As MailInfo() = oClient.GetMailInfos()
            Console.WriteLine("Total {0} email(s)", infos.Length)

            For i As Integer = 0 To infos.Length - 1
                Dim info As MailInfo = infos(i)
                Console.WriteLine("Index: {0}; Size: {1}; UIDL: {2}",
                        info.Index, info.Size, info.UIDL)

                ' Retrieve email from POP3 server
                Dim oMail As Mail = oClient.GetMail(info)

                Console.WriteLine("From: {0}", oMail.From.ToString())
                Console.WriteLine("Subject: {0}" & vbCr & vbLf, oMail.Subject)

                ' Generate an unqiue email file name based on date time.
                Dim fileName As String = _generateFileName(i + 1)
                Dim fullPath As String = String.Format("{0}\{1}", localInbox, fileName)

                ' Save email to local disk
                oMail.SaveAs(fullPath, True)

                ' Mark email as deleted from POP3 server.
                oClient.Delete(info)

            Next

            ' Quit and expunge emails marked as deleted from POP3 server.
            oClient.Quit()
            Console.WriteLine("Completed!")

        Catch ep As Exception
            Console.WriteLine(ep.Message)
        End Try

    End Sub
End Module

[VB.NET Example - Retrieve emails from Hotmail/MSN Live/Outlook account using IMAP4]

The following example codes demonstrate how to download email from Hotmail/MSN Live/Outlook account using IMAP4 protocol.

Note

To get the full sample projects, please refer to Samples section.

Imports System.Globalization
Imports System.Text
Imports System.IO
Imports EAGetMail 'imports EAGetMail namespace

Module Module1

    Function _generateFileName(ByVal sequence As Integer) As String
        Dim currentDateTime As DateTime = DateTime.Now
        Return String.Format("{0}-{1:000}-{2:000}.eml",
                            currentDateTime.ToString("yyyyMMddHHmmss", New CultureInfo("en-US")),
                            currentDateTime.Millisecond,
                            sequence)
    End Function

    Sub Main()

        Try
            ' Create a folder named "inbox" under current directory
            ' to save the email retrieved.
            Dim localInbox As String = String.Format("{0}\inbox", Directory.GetCurrentDirectory())

            ' If the folder is not existed, create it.
            If Not Directory.Exists(localInbox) Then
                Directory.CreateDirectory(localInbox)
            End If

            ' Hotmail IMAP4 server is "imap-mail.outlook.com"
            Dim oServer As New MailServer("imap-mail.outlook.com",
                    "hotmailid@hotmail.com",
                    "yourpassword",
                    ServerProtocol.Imap4)

            ' Enable SSL/TLS connection, most modern email server require SSL/TLS connection by default.
            oServer.SSLConnection = True
            ' Set 993 IMAP SSL Port
            oServer.Port = 993

            Console.WriteLine("Connecting server ...")

            Dim oClient As New MailClient("TryIt")
            oClient.Connect(oServer)

            Dim infos As MailInfo() = oClient.GetMailInfos()
            Console.WriteLine("Total {0} email(s)", infos.Length)

            For i As Integer = 0 To infos.Length - 1
                Dim info As MailInfo = infos(i)
                Console.WriteLine("Index: {0}; Size: {1}; UIDL: {2}",
                        info.Index, info.Size, info.UIDL)

                ' Retrieve email from IMAP server
                Dim oMail As Mail = oClient.GetMail(info)

                Console.WriteLine("From: {0}", oMail.From.ToString())
                Console.WriteLine("Subject: {0}" & vbCr & vbLf, oMail.Subject)

                ' Generate an unqiue email file name based on date time.
                Dim fileName As String = _generateFileName(i + 1)
                Dim fullPath As String = String.Format("{0}\{1}", localInbox, fileName)

                ' Save email to local disk
                oMail.SaveAs(fullPath, True)

                ' Mark email as deleted from IMAP server.
                oClient.Delete(info)

            Next

            ' Quit and expunge emails marked as deleted from IMAP server.
            oClient.Quit()
            Console.WriteLine("Completed!")

        Catch ep As Exception
            Console.WriteLine(ep.Message)
        End Try

    End Sub
End Module

Hotmail IMAP OAUTH

Microsoft Live SMTP servers (Hotmail, Oultook personal account) have been extended to support authorization via the industry-standard OAuth 2.0 protocol. Using OAUTH protocol, user can do authentication by Microsoft Web OAuth instead of inputting user and password directly in application.

Microsoft will disable traditional user authentication in the future, switching to Microsoft OAuth (Modern Authentication) is strongly recommended now.

Or you can generate App Passwords and use this app password instead of your user password.

Retrieve Email from Office 365

First of all, you should go to Office 365 Outlook -> Options -> See All Options -> Account -> My Account -> Settings for POP, IMAP, and SMTP access. You will get your Office 365 POP3/IMAP4 server address and port. The default POP3 server is outlook.office365.com on SSL 995 port; IMAP4 server is outlook.office365.com on SSL 993 port.

Server Port SSL Protocol
outlook.office365.com 995 SSL required Pop3
outlook.office365.com 993 SSL required Imap4

[VB.NET Example - Retrieve emails from Office 365 account using IMAP4]

The following example codes demonstrate how to download email from Offic 365 account using IMAP4 protocol.

Note

To get the full sample projects, please refer to Samples section.

Imports System.Globalization
Imports System.Text
Imports System.IO
Imports EAGetMail 'imports EAGetMail namespace

Module Module1

    Function _generateFileName(ByVal sequence As Integer) As String
        Dim currentDateTime As DateTime = DateTime.Now
        Return String.Format("{0}-{1:000}-{2:000}.eml",
                            currentDateTime.ToString("yyyyMMddHHmmss", New CultureInfo("en-US")),
                            currentDateTime.Millisecond,
                            sequence)
    End Function

    Sub Main()

        Try
            ' Create a folder named "inbox" under current directory
            ' to save the email retrieved.
            Dim localInbox As String = String.Format("{0}\inbox", Directory.GetCurrentDirectory())

            ' If the folder is not existed, create it.
            If Not Directory.Exists(localInbox) Then
                Directory.CreateDirectory(localInbox)
            End If

            ' Office 365 IMAP4 server is "outlook.office365.com"
            Dim oServer As New MailServer("outlook.office365.com",
                        "user@domain",
                        "yourpassword",
                        ServerProtocol.Imap4)

            ' Enable SSL/TLS connection, most modern email server require SSL/TLS connection by default.
            oServer.SSLConnection = True
            ' Set 993 IMAP SSL Port
            oServer.Port = 993

            Console.WriteLine("Connecting server ...")

            Dim oClient As New MailClient("TryIt")
            oClient.Connect(oServer)

            Dim infos As MailInfo() = oClient.GetMailInfos()
            Console.WriteLine("Total {0} email(s)", infos.Length)

            For i As Integer = 0 To infos.Length - 1
                Dim info As MailInfo = infos(i)
                Console.WriteLine("Index: {0}; Size: {1}; UIDL: {2}",
                        info.Index, info.Size, info.UIDL)

                ' Retrieve email from IMAP server
                Dim oMail As Mail = oClient.GetMail(info)

                Console.WriteLine("From: {0}", oMail.From.ToString())
                Console.WriteLine("Subject: {0}" & vbCr & vbLf, oMail.Subject)

                ' Generate an unqiue email file name based on date time.
                Dim fileName As String = _generateFileName(i + 1)
                Dim fullPath As String = String.Format("{0}\{1}", localInbox, fileName)

                ' Save email to local disk
                oMail.SaveAs(fullPath, True)

                ' Mark email as deleted from IMAP server.
                oClient.Delete(info)

            Next

            ' Quit and expunge emails marked as deleted from IMAP server.
            oClient.Quit()
            Console.WriteLine("Completed!")

        Catch ep As Exception
            Console.WriteLine(ep.Message)
        End Try

    End Sub
End Module

[VB.NET Example - Retrieve unread/new email from Hotmail/Outlook/Office 365]

Because IMAP/EWS/WebDAV support read mail flag, with this feature, we can also retrieve unread/new email only from Hotmail/Outlook/Office 365 like this

Imports System.Globalization
Imports System.Text
Imports System.IO
Imports EAGetMail 'imports EAGetMail namespace

Module Module1

    Function _generateFileName(ByVal sequence As Integer) As String
        Dim currentDateTime As DateTime = DateTime.Now
        Return String.Format("{0}-{1:000}-{2:000}.eml",
                            currentDateTime.ToString("yyyyMMddHHmmss", New CultureInfo("en-US")),
                            currentDateTime.Millisecond,
                            sequence)
    End Function

    Sub Main()

        Try
            ' Create a folder named "inbox" under current directory
            ' to save the email retrieved.
            Dim localInbox As String = String.Format("{0}\inbox", Directory.GetCurrentDirectory())

            ' If the folder is not existed, create it.
            If Not Directory.Exists(localInbox) Then
                Directory.CreateDirectory(localInbox)
            End If

            ' Hotmail/MSN IMAP4 server is "imap-mail.outlook.com"
            Dim oServer As New MailServer("imap-mail.outlook.com",
                "liveid@hotmail.com", "yourpassword", ServerProtocol.Imap4)

            ' For office 365 user, please change server to:
            ' Dim oServer As New MailServer("outlook.office365.com",
            '    "yourid@domain", "yourpassword", ServerProtocol.Imap4)

            ' Enable SSL/TLS connection, most modern email server require SSL/TLS connection by default.
            oServer.SSLConnection = True
            ' Set 993 IMAP SSL Port
            oServer.Port = 993

            Console.WriteLine("Connecting server ...")

            Dim oClient As New MailClient("TryIt")
            oClient.Connect(oServer)

            ' retrieve unread/new email only
            oClient.GetMailInfosParam.Reset()
            oClient.GetMailInfosParam.GetMailInfosOptions = GetMailInfosOptionType.NewOnly

            Dim infos As MailInfo() = oClient.GetMailInfos()
            Console.WriteLine("Total {0} unread email(s)", infos.Length)

            For i As Integer = 0 To infos.Length - 1
                Dim info As MailInfo = infos(i)
                Console.WriteLine("Index: {0}; Size: {1}; UIDL: {2}",
                        info.Index, info.Size, info.UIDL)

                ' Retrieve email from IMAP server
                Dim oMail As Mail = oClient.GetMail(info)

                Console.WriteLine("From: {0}", oMail.From.ToString())
                Console.WriteLine("Subject: {0}" & vbCr & vbLf, oMail.Subject)

                ' Generate an unqiue email file name based on date time.
                Dim fileName As String = _generateFileName(i + 1)
                Dim fullPath As String = String.Format("{0}\{1}", localInbox, fileName)

                ' Save email to local disk
                oMail.SaveAs(fullPath, True)

                    ' mark unread email as read, next time this email won't be retrieved again
                If Not info.Read Then
                    oClient.MarkAsRead(info, True)
                End If

                ' if you don't want to leave a copy on server, please use
                ' oClient.Delete(info)
                ' instead of MarkAsRead

            Next

            ' Quit and expunge emails marked as deleted from IMAP server.
            oClient.Quit()
            Console.WriteLine("Completed!")

        Catch ep As Exception
            Console.WriteLine(ep.Message)
        End Try

    End Sub
End Module

Office365 POP/IMAP/EWS OAUTH

Microsoft Office365 servers have been extended to support authorization via the industry-standard OAuth 2.0 protocol. Using OAUTH protocol, user can do authentication by Microsoft Web OAuth instead of inputting user and password directly in application.

Microsoft will disable traditional user authentication in the future, switching to Microsoft OAuth (Modern Authentication) is strongly recommended now.

Or you can generate App Passwords and use this app password instead of your user password.

TLS 1.2

TLS is the successor of SSL, more and more Email servers require TLS 1.2 encryption now.

If your operating system is Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 2003/2008/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2, and you got connection error with SSL/TLS connection, you need to enable TLS 1.2 protocol in your operating system like this:

Enable TLS 1.2 on Windows XP/Vista/7/10/Windows 2008/2008 R2/2012

Next Section

At next section I will introduce how to retrieve email with event handler.

Appendix

Comments

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