Can't get your e-mail working with BT Broadband?
Please note I don't work for BT. There's no point writing or calling me to complain about your broadband service, or to ask me what your password is. The BT Broadband (and BT Yahoo!) help line is on 0800 111 4567 or here or here. I have written these pages to help BT customers simply because they seem to have a hard time getting this information out of BT.
This page applies to home users1 with BT Broadband and BT Total Broadband and similar products from BT. Business users will often have BT Business Broadband which is a different product and for which different mail arrangements apply. If you have been given a BTConnect mail address (such as firstname.lastname@example.org) you are a BT Business Broadband customer and this page does not apply to you. Contact me if you need help, or see my BT Business Broadband page.
If you have BT Broadband (this is not necessarily the same as having broadband on a BT line) you can set up Outlook or Outlook Express or similar programs to send and receive e-mail. But for this to work, you must have a BT Yahoo! account. This is normally set up by BT when your broadband order is processed, and BT should have told you your Yahoo! username and password. This will be in the form email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and is not the same thing as your ADSL logon password (which may look like email@example.com). Nov 7th 2008: I had had recent reports that BT has started using BT Yahoo! logon details as the ADSL logon, so I suppose it's possible that some people may have valid ADSL logon details which end in @btinternet.com. Very confusing.
Note that the login name for your broadband line (example: firstname.lastname@example.org) is not an e-mail address, and will not work as one. (But see above.)
First log in to BT Yahoo!2 and check that your BT Yahoo! login name and password actually work. There are lots of help pages there to show you how to set up your e-mail program. See, for example, this.
To set up a BT Internet account with Outlook 2010, see my page here.
The most common fault is to provide your ADSL username and password when your BT Yahoo! username and password is what's required.
Want to keep an e-mail address from a previous supplier (such as Freeserve/Wanadoo)?
If you've got a non-BT e-mail address which you want to keep using (possibly from a previous supplier) you'll need to set up your e-mail program to receive incoming e-mail from the non-BT address, but to send outgoing e-mail via BT Broadband. There are two stages to setting up your outgoing e-mail:
If you live anywhere else, it may be possible for me to "remote control" your PC to set this up, for a small fee (typically £30). Again, e-mail me to arrange this.
1 This whole process only affects some users; trouble is, even if it doesn't affect you today, it might affect you tomorrow. It's attracted some press comment.
2 BT Yahoo! users can log in through the Yahoo! UK logon screen (or indeed the American version) and vice versa. Yahoo! has at least two different interfaces, plus the older "classic" interface, and BT has customised versions of all three, and also users can personalise their menu layout. Add to this the fact the Yahoo are forever tinkering with things, and you get a situation where it becomes very hard to predict what the wording and layout of various options will be for any user. So some users will find that Mail Accounts is actually called Mail Settings or Mail Addresses, and Options may be a simple link or a drop down-down list from which one then has to choose Mail Options and then Accounts. Finally, some users will get an apology that the system is reverting to "classic" menus, and will then have to choose Add or edit an account. This page reflects things as they were on 16th November 2010.
3 There is in fact a whole other set of e-mail addresses for each BT account at My Accout | My Account & Billing | View/Edit Contact Information | Yahoo! alternat email addresses - Edit. This seems to be the list that is actually used for SMTP verification, and if an account is here (and verified) it can send outgoing mail via mail.btinternet.com, whether or not it appears in the approved accounts describe above. Putting an e-mail address in the approved list, as descriped above, seems to insert it here as well, but the list here can also be separately edited. Quite why BT or Yahoo! have made such a maze of this isn't quite clear to me!