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How to Set Up an SMTP Server on Windows

All companies use emails at some point for communication or marketing. Emails are a primary communication channel for many enterprises. These could include emails to clients, partners, employees, the management team, or stakeholders. Reliable SMTP services come in handy for organizations that send or receive bulk emails during their operations.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, or SMTP, enables businesses to process mass emails faster, more accurately, and more efficiently. Ideally, an SMTP can process mass emails in a single click, ensuring that emails land in the recipient’s inboxes and not in the spam folders. This feature is handy as it saves enterprises from investing in exorbitant email server management solutions.

But SMTP does not come on Windows servers by default, hence the need to install and configure it. Thus, this article will focus on how to install and configure the SMTP service on various Windows Server versions.

Step-by-Step Guide on Installing and Configuring the SMTP Server on Windows

Creating an SMTP server for SQL Server Databases is a pretty straightforward process. You will need an SQL Server Database Mail to configure BAM alerts. Notably, this is always ideal for all SQL server versions, including SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, and SQL Server 2016.

It is also exciting to note that all the previous server versions have inbuilt tools for this setup. SQL Server Database Mail leverages SMTP Servers to send BAM Alerts. And for devices and applications that cannot connect with email exchange servers, setting up an intermediary, such as the Internet Information Service (IIS), is a viable solution.

The SMTP server setup procedure for Windows devices is as follows:

Step 1: Install an SMTP Service

As mentioned, installing an SMTP service on Windows servers is pretty easy as these servers already have inbuilt features for the procedure. Installing the SMTP Service on Windows involves the following steps:

  1. Initiate the process via the Server Manager of your device. On the left pane, select Dashboard and open the Add Roles and Features tab. You can also access this Add Roles and Features tab from the Manage menu, which is available at the top right corner of your dashboard.
  2. Scroll down to the Before You Begin option and select Next. This action will take you to the Role-Based or Feature-Based Installation prompt. Again, press Next.
  3. At this point, you will need to choose a server from your pool of Windows servers. Therefore, click Select a server from the server pool and press Next. Click the Server Selection window. This window lists all the servers in the Server Manager and will select the local server by default.
  4. Proceed to the Server Roles tab and click on Next. Go to Features and mark SMTP Server. This should set the SMTP server. However, some Windows versions may prompt you to Add Features. Select Next if prompted.
  5. Click the Confirmation section and choose Restart Destination Server. Select Install, and once the installation process is complete, select Close.

Step 2: Configure Your Newly Installed SMTP Server

You will also need to configure the SMTP server. This tutorial will discuss how you can configure a Virtual SMTP Virtual Server with the Internet Information Service (IIS 6.0) Manager. The following steps will come in handy:

  1. Open IIS Manager by clicking on Start. Once there, type inetmgr6.exe and open it. Expand your device name and right-click SMTP Virtual Server #1. Choose Properties and select the Access tab. Once there, choose the Relay option.
  2. This is where you need to add the IP address of your computer. So, click on the Add tab and choose Single Computer. Now, enter the IP address of your device. For our case, we will enter and press OK. Adding this IP address allows the local server to send emails from this SMTP server. You can add additional computers by adding their IP addresses if you want them to send messages from the configured SMTP server.
  3. Scroll to the Delivery Tab, click, and select Outbound Security. The options available here include Anonymous Access, Basic Authentication, Integrated Windows Authentication, and TLS Encryption. Choose appropriately based on your needs and regulations.
  4. Back to the Delivery tab, click on Outbound Connections. SMTP runs on port 25 by default. You can press OK. But if you have another open port within your firewall.
  5. On the Delivery tab, choose Advanced. You will find your server’s Fully Qualified Domain Name listed by default. You can leave the Smart Host section empty. Press OK and continue.
  6. Restart your newly configured SMTP server to apply the new settings. You can accomplish this by right-clicking SMTP Virtual Server #1, Stop, and Start in that order.

Step 3: Test Your SMTP Server

Once installed and configured, you will need to test your SMTP server. The following steps should help:

Open a command window in your server as an Admin. Type the following command in the command prompt.

Initiate communication using the following command:

Enter your email address in the following format:

Enter the recipient’s email address. For example:

Instruct the SMTP server by typing DATA. This informs the server that you intend to serve data. Enter the subject of your message and press the Enter button twice before entering the message body. Finally, press enter, type a full stop/period (.), and hit the Enter button again.


Windows 10, Windows 7, and other versions do not come with SMTP Server capabilities by default. However, setting up the system is not a difficult task. This article discussed the procedure that provides you with an elaborate illustration to achieve this goal.

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Source: linuxhint.com

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