Ever since BlackBerry turned a nation of phone users into email-addicts, most mobile phones these days enable you to access your email.

However, to set your phone up for email access requires a few steps that aren’t immediately obvious. Fortunately, help is at hand. This How To will guide you through the process, helping you to configure your phone to access an existing email account.


Note: This is an old Howto guide from 2005, way back before smartphones when having email on a phone was a novelty! As such, most phones these days should already have email setup for you out of the box, and an extremely simply wizzard to guide you through the process of setting up email on your phone. However, many older phones or super-cheap phones will need the info below, so if you’re struggling to work out how to use your email on one of these phones, then the following should really help.

1. Before you begin

Before you begin, you will need:

  • A mobile phone that definitely can send and receive email (check your instructions or on the manufacturer’s web site)
  • A subscription with your network provider that supports data transfer (if you can use WAP or connect to the Internet, your subscription supports data transfer. If not, you still may have an appropriate subscription, but you haven’t set it up yet; Check with your network operator – their web site should provide appropriate instructions for setting up your phone for data services)
  • A valid email account

If you have all of these things, you can begin setting up your phone. If you need to setup data services with your operator, call their customer service number.

Note that the following HowTo describes the email settings you should use to setup email on your mobile phone using GPRS. It doesn’t tell you exactly how to enter the settings, as this differs with every handset out there., and it doesn’t tell you how to configure your phone for email via dial-up WAP services. For information on what menu to use to enter your settings, read your handset’s manual, or check the manufacturer’s web site.

2. Automatic Configuration

Obviously the easiest way to configure your phone is to do it automatically. Many operators and device manufacturers will let you do just that with configurators, which are basically wizards that ask you for various details, and then configure your phone for you over the air.

However, they don’t always work, not all devices or network operators support this service, and the configurator may not work in your country. As such, check with your network to see if such a configurator exists.

2.1 Network operator configurators

Your network operator may provide a configurator for you. If they do, note that some will be offering their own email solution (e.g. T-Mobile’s Instant Email, or Vodafone’s Vodafone Mail). These are services specific to the operator. They either cost you money as a value-add, or restrict you to email from the network operator’s own email server.

They are not generic email solutions, and may not let you connect to an email server of your choice (such as your home or work email account). Obviously you can use these if you wish, but just be aware of the limitations/costs imposed. In contrast, this HowTo is all about how to set up your mobile phone for any email account that you already have.

2.2 Handset manufacturers’ configurators

Many of the handset manufacturers offer their own configurators, not all of which will work with your network operator/phone combination. Try them first, though, because automatic configuration is always easier than manual! Some useful places to visit include:

Other manufacturers offer more limited/harder to find information, so check your manual for any web addresses given there.


This Howto will show you how to setup your mobile phone for email access using any email server and account that you have access to.