SmarterMail 3.x Help
This documentation is for a product that is no longer supported by SmarterTools.

Getting Started

This help topic will help you understand how to get SmarterMail up and running, and explains the best practice for installing SmarterMail for the first time.

Installing SmarterMail

SmarterMail comes as a single installation file that contains everything necessary to run the product. The SmarterMail installer can be downloaded from The free version and the licensed version of SmarterMail are both contained within this installation file, so it will not be necessary to download or install the file again if you purchase a license after trying the free version.

Note: Users of Windows 2003 Advanced Server need to install SmarterMail from Add/Remove Programs in the control panel in order for file permissions to be properly set.


Run the installer, and choose a location to install the files.

Setup IIS (optional)

SmarterMail comes equipped with a web server that allows those that do not have IIS to use the webmail. SmarterTools recommends using IIS if you have it, however, as it is more capable than the included web server. If your computer is equiped with IIS 5.0 or later, follow the instructions in the topic Running as an IIS Site.


If you have IIS 5.0 or later, convert the web interface to run under IIS.

Log in as the Administrator

NOTE: The shortcut placed on your desktop when you install the software will automatically log you in as the system administrator, but only until you change the URL of the interface or the system administrator login. After that, you will need to update the shortcut.

All administration of SmarterMail is performed through the web interface. There are three different levels of user that determine what can be seen when using the web interface:

  • System Administrator - This account lets you manage all facets of your mail server
  • Domain Administrator - Every domain added to SmarterMail needs to have a domain administrator that is in charge of the domain. This offloads the responsibility of managing users and domain-specific settings from the System Administrator.
  • Email User - This level of access is for people who are logging in to view their webmail.

Use your browser to navigate to If you have converted SmarterMail to run with IIS, browse to the URL you chose when adding the IIS web site.


Use "admin" for the email address field, and "admin" for the password field (without the quotes). If you have changed the system administrator's username or password, you should use those values instead.

Activate SmarterMail

Upon logging in as the administrator for the first time, the product will run as the Free Edition, limited to 1 domain with up to 10 users. If you have a license key for SmarterMail, go to Help -> Activate Product, and you will be presented with the activation wizard. Please refer to the help topic Activating SmarterMail for more information on this process.


Activate SmarterMail, if necessary.

Change the Administrator Password

The most important step in locking down the security of your mail server is changing the System Administrator username and password. Once you change the username and password, you will need to remember the values you used, so either write them down, or use information you can remember. Also, bear in mind that the password is case-sensitive. To change the login, follow the steps below:


From the Settings menu at the top of the page, choose General Settings.


Enter a new system administrator username and password into the fields in the Security section.


Write down the username and password and store it in a secure location.


Click on the Save button to save your changes to the system.

Add an Email Domain to SmarterMail

Detailed instructions for adding a domain can be found in the topic Adding a Domain.


From the Manage menu at the top of the page, choose Add Domain.


Add a domain to SmarterMail, noting it's IP address for the DNS changes below.

Configure DNS for the Domain

There are three major things to set up on your DNS server for each site you add to SmarterMail: An A Record, an MX Record, and a Reverse DNS Record. How you set these up is dependant on who hosts your DNS, and what DNS software is used. Check your DNS server documentation for instructions on how to set up the following records (replace with the proper domain name).

Also, please bear in mind that your DNS may need to be set up differently. This is only a guideline that is recommended for most installations.


WebMail URL (A Record) - Add an A or CNAME record for that points to the IP address of the webmail interface. This will allow users of that domain to access the webmail by typing in or in their web browser (depending on whether you use the included web server or IIS).


Mail Pointer (MX Record) - Add an MX record for that points to the IP address that you assigned when adding the domain to SmarterMail. This will allow other email servers to locate your mail server.


Reverse DNS Record - Add a reverse DNS record for IP addresses assigned on the server to provide extra assurance to other mail servers. Also, it is recommended that the primary IP address of the server also have a reverse DNS record.