How to Encrypt Email in Outlook? – Best Encryption Technique in 2021

Encrypting an Outlook email has become essential in present times. Outlook message contains confidential details that the sender and receiver do not want to share among the masses. So, we will clear your query How to Encrypt Email in Outlook? Encrypting messages will save your email messages from data breaches and data leaks.  

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Encrypting an email means converting the email messages to a scrambled ciphertext. Decrypting the encrypted message is a simple task as the receiver has the key to decipher the coded message for further reading. The key is a code used to encrypt the message. 

So, let’s begin with What kind of encryption methods are supported by MS Outlook? The encryption method used in MS Outlook is S/MIME, and OME, used in Office 365. Keep on going to learn How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?

Types of Encryption Methods

The two types of encryption methods currently used to secure an email message in MS Outlook are as given below:

  1. S/MIME
  2. OME

S/MIME: This encryption works only on Outlook or S/MIME support email applications. To encrypt an email message, both the sender and receiver must have installed and shared digitally signed certificates that prevent phishing attacks. S/MIME encryption is an abbreviation to Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. 

OME: Office 365 Message Encryption is a secure service provided by Microsoft Azure Rights Management Services. Azure RMS is a cloud-based protection service that uses encryption, identity, and authorization policies to secure files and email messages. Using RMS will allow you to choose between the Do not forward and Encrypt-Only options. The various Outlook-supported clients are Outlook desktop, Outlook web, Outlook Mac, Outlook mobile: iOS, and Android.

Note: If you are a third-party email client user such as Gmail, Yahoo mail, etc., you will receive a link that will direct you to the OME portal to authenticate using account credentials.

The methods described above help to secure email messages in MS Outlook. Now we will learn the steps to encrypt emails in MS Outlook through S/MIME.

How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?

The encryption methods have improved in Outlook with the latest Office updates. For Office 365 users, the encryption button has replaced the older Permission button. Now, we will look at how encryption through S/MIME and Office 365 methods are applied.

1. Steps to Apply S/MIME Encryption

The S/MIME encryption method requires applying a Digital ID, so to configure a certificate to Outlook, there are two steps:

1- Purchasing a Digital ID.

2- Have a Digital ID.

To Purchase a Digital ID:

  • Run MS Outlook.
How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?
  • Go to the File menu, and click on the Options button.
How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?
  • Here, select the Trust Centre from the left panel, and go to Trust Centre Settings.
  • In the next dialog box, select the Email Security option, and tap on the Settings button under the Encrypted email section.
  • Now, click on the Get Digital ID option to purchase a new certificate via a third party.

Already have a Digital ID:

To import a Digital ID, follow the given steps:

  • Open MS Outlook
How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?
  • Tap the File tab, and select the Options menu.
  • Now, go to Trust Centre >> Trust Centre Settings.
How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?
  • Here, select the Email Security button and tap on the Import/Export button under Digital IDs(Certificate) panel.
How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?
  • In the next dialog box, tap on Browse to Import existing Digital ID. Search and select a certificate (generally a .pfx or a .p12 file) and give the password associated with it and click Ok.
How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?
  • Next, you can set the security level settings of the password provided by you and tap Ok.
How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?

The above method explains How to Encrypt Email in Outlook through the S/MIME. Now, we will see how to send a secure email in Outlook. But first, you need to send a message using your Digital ID so that your contact adds you and the associated certificate to receive encrypted mail. 

Follow the Steps to Send a Digitally Signed Mail:

  • Run MS Outlook and click on New Email to open a new mail window.
How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?
  • Here, click on the Options tab, and select the Message Options icon (shown in the picture).
How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?
  • In the Properties dialog box, select the Security Settings option.
How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?
  • Check the Add digital signature option. Or click on the Change Settings to see which certificate you are using. Click on the Ok button.
How to Encrypt Email in Outlook?
    • Now, compose a new mail and include the Public Key and instructions for the recipient to set encryption settings on their system. Use the Private Key to decrypt the encrypted message by the sender.

    Till here, you have learned How to Encrypt Email in Outlook using the S/MIME method. Now, you will know how to send an encrypted email. Read the following section thoroughly.

    How to Send a Secure Email in Outlook via S/MIME Approach?

    To proceed with sending an encrypted email to your contact. You would require a (public key) to operate. Or, if your recipient has provided you with the digitally signed certificate, then you need to follow the steps given below:

    • Open up the email from your contact that is digitally signed by them using their encryption certificate.
    • Right-click on the sender’s name to add or edit/update them to your contact list.
    • Click on the certificates option to show associated certificates in the contact card.
    • Select the New Email option.
    • Go to the Options tab, and click on the Message Options button.
    • In the Properties dialogue box, select the Security Settings option.
    • Here, check the Encrypt message option and click Ok to proceed.
    • Now, compose a new mail and add attachments to it. Next, tap on the Send button.

    The above-given procedure tells How to Encrypt Emails in Outlook and send them via the S/MIME method. Both the sender and receiver must use the key associated with them for decrypting the message.


    1. Steps to Encrypt Email in Office 365 using OME

    The OME email encryption method allows the sender to encrypt an email and send it to the Outlook receiver. This method only works on Office 365. The recipient has to use an extra effort to open up an encrypted email.

    To encrypt the email in Office 365, follow the steps mentioned below:

    • Open Office 365, and click on the New Message tab and select the Options button.
    • Now, go to Encrypt and select the encryption type from the dropdown list.
how to send a secure email in outlook

There are two types of receivers: Office 365 users and other email clients users.

To open an encrypted email in Office 365:

  • The recipient receives a mail containing a link to the actual content. 
  • Once they click on the link, they will have to sign in to their Outlook ID and provide a one-time passcode.

To open an encrypted email in other email clients:

  • If your receiver is from an email client that is not Office 365, they will get a link that opens up another webpage.
  • They have to provide an OTP sent to their registered email account on the web page to open up the encoded email.

The above method justifies the query on How to Encrypt Email in Outlook. But users might face limitations such as:

  • The steps could be lengthy and time taking.
  • Using the steps may not protect data from hackers.
  • Using the above steps may not recover data from corrupted PST files. 

To recover the corrupted PST Files, you can opt for an expert solution (Outlook PST Recovery tool). 

Repair Corrupt Outlook PST File

Outlook PST files can be transferred to other email clients using an Outlook PST Recovery tool. The Outlook PST Recovery tool can save emails from a PST file to HTML, PDF, EML, and other file formats. This tool lets users export Outlook mail messages to Windows Live Mail. The software can recover PST emails, calendars, tasks, contacts, etc. With the preview features, users can preview the PST files before conversion. 

Summing Up

Outlook email messages are significant for many entrepreneurs and people who have sensitive work processes. So, we have enlightened how to Encrypt Email in Outlook?. The methods provided will help users encrypt the data between the sender and receiver. While using the Outlook PST Recovery tool, users can recover any PST file and save time while working.

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