Syncing Outlook with an Android smartphone

Last reviewed on September 13, 2013

Android phones support "Exchange ActiveSync", or EAS, which allows the phones to sync "over-the-air" with mailboxes that use EAS.

At this time, Gmail, Hotmail and, of course, Exchange server (including Office 365) support EAS and will sync calendar, contacts, and tasks (if supported by the device) directly with the smartphone. Note that while Gmail can sync it's calendar and contacts with the phone using EAS, you will need to export your Outlook calendar and contacts to gmail or use a sync utility.

You can use a "Microsoft Account" (LiveID/passport) to sync calendar and contacts over-the-air. Create a Microsoft Account for your email address and set it up in Outlook using the Outlook Connector or EAS (Outlook 2013). For more information, see Use a non-Microsoft email address at Hotmail or Outlook.com

Email accounts should be configured directly on the smartphone, preferably as an IMAP account so sent items, deleted items, and read state are synced with Outlook (also configured for IMAP).

I want to sync my contacts and calendar back and forth with my Android smartphone. Will Outlook 2010 sync freely with Android?

To sync an Android phone directly with Outlook requires the use of a third party utility. Outlook has no part in the sync process, it only supplies the data you want to sync. Sync software does all of the work.

Your phone manufacturer may include sync software, if not, you'll need to purchase sync software. Companionlink supports most phones. MyPhoneExplorer from the Android App Store will sync calendar and contacts (and more). Mobiledit is another option.

Boppy2010 made this recommendation in OutlookForums for syncing Outlook to Android: "Installing icloud, transferring all my personal appointments to that calendar and then opening that icloud calendar on my iphone. Then I installed an app for $4 to sync the icloud calendar to my android tablet - it's called "smooth sync for cloud calendar". So while not a free solution, considerably cheaper than the suggested alternatives on the interwebs that all involve Google."

Another user recommended Outlook Calendar Transfer Sync.

It is possible to configure a POP3 account in Hotmail, which will allow you to sync over the air with phones that support Exchange ActiveSync (EAS). Sync calendar and contacts using Outlook.com and a non-Microsoft LiveID

Sync droids with Outlook and iCloud

An Android user who is using the iCloud to sync Outlook and an iPad asked if it would be possible to sync their Android smart phone with iCloud. They wanted to avoid installing another sync utility when the iCloud worked great.

There are two Android apps, CardDav-Sync and CalDav-Sync, that can connect to the iCloud calendar and contacts. The iCloud will handle the Outlook-to-iCloud sync and the Droid connects to the iCloud website to sync.

Tools in the Spotlight

CompanionLink for Android

CompanionLink keeps Microsoft Outlook and your Android device synchronized. No Exchange Server required. Choose a USB connection or the secure DejaCloud wireless service. Both options include DejaOffice app for Android that provides an Outlook-like experience on your device. The app enables business features like color categories, database encryption and password-lock, integration with Caller ID and voice dial, and much more.

Tools

CodeTwo Exchange Folders

CodeTwo Exchange Folders is an easy to use application which synchronizes contact, calendar and task items from Exchange public and personal folders to mobile phones and back. It allows for central folder and access rights management and is totally secure thanks to Triple DES 168-bit encryption.

CodeTwo Public Folders for Android

Mobile version of CodeTwo Public Folders allows you to access your public Outlook contacts, calendars and tasks on your Android phone or tablet. Requires CodeTwo Public Folders desktop installation.

gSyncit

gSyncit is an Outlook add-in that allows for two-way synchronization between Google and Outlook calendars, contacts, notes, and tasks with your Google account. In addition, gSyncit also supports synchronization between Outlook and Toodledo, Pocket Informant Online, Evernote, Dropbox, Simplenote and Nozbe. Version 3.6 and higher support Windows 8 and Outlook 2013. Supports Outlook 2010 and 2013 64-bit.

Mobiledit

MOBILedit! allows you to control your phone from a PC. After downloading MOBILedit! to any computer, you can connect your phone via cable, Bluetooth, or IrDA. You will then be able to view the entire contents of the phone where you can synchronize, add, edit, or delete.

MyPhoneExplorer

Connect your phone via cable, bluetooth or wifi to manage your Android phone. Direct sync Address Book to Outlook, GMail, Windows contacts, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, and Lotus Notes. Sync Organizer to Outlook, Google, Sunbird, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, Windows calendar(Vista), Rainlendar, Lotus Notes, and net shared calendars (WebDAV, FTP, local). See wbsite for complete list of features.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

36 responses to “Syncing Outlook with an Android smartphone”

  1. Ginefra Fabio

    Hi,

    Is it possible to syn Outlook tasks and/or notes without a 3rd party app?
    If yes, how can it be done?
    If no, what app would you recommend?

    Kind regards,
    Fabio Ginefra
    Samsung Galaxy Y Pro GT-B5510 (Gingerbread 2.3.6).

  2. Dorothy

    I have all my gmail and other e-mail forwarded to my Outlook e-mail. I would like to sync my 2007 outlook mail with my Galaxy S 111 and don't have any idea how?

  3. Chuck

    I have Outlook 2013 with BCM on Windows 8 and a HTC one phone. The HTC Sync Manager program is extremely buggy. While I prefer desktop sync, I would not mind going to some kind of cloud sync.
    I have several POP accounts including Gmail and one IMAP account (Hotmail).
    I really need to have seamless sync for Contacts and Calendar. Tasks sync is nice but not necessary.
    How do you suggest that I proceed if I were to go to the cloud option?
    How do you suggest I proceed if I were to stay with Desktop sync?

    Thanks.

  4. Chuck

    All my contacts are consolidated to single contact folder on Outlook 2013 in a PST file where I consolidate all my POP accounts. (not Hotmail folder - Hotmail with IMAP shows up in a separate folder). The BCM syncs to the Outlook contacts folder (Not Hotmail).
    Calendar is similar - it is an Outlook folder (not Hotmail).
    Don't know if moving the contacts and calendar to Hotmail folder on Outlook will do the trick or if I will lose any significant functionality in terms of details and notes in the contact file (not even sure if BCM will even sync to a Hotmail contacts folder)
    BCM tasks is another potential issue - not sure if they can be synced to Hotmail.
    To work around the HTC Sync Manager issue, I have temporarily installed MyPhoneExplorer and that should get me through for now but not sure if it is a good long term solution.
    Thanks.

  5. Sue

    I would like to sync my Outlook calendar subfolders (user-created calendars) to my Samsung Galaxy s4. My outlook default calendar syncs perfectly. However, my Samdung refuses to find the other 3 Outlook calendars (in the same account) that I use for my business. Is there an app that can sync multiple calendars from the same Outlook profile?

  6. Sue

    I use MS Exchange

  7. Raymond

    I was looking for such informative article on syncing outlook with my smartphone, Finally i will be able to sync now.

    Thanks,

  8. Carey Vandenberg (@CareyVandenberg)

    I am so amazed at how may times you have helped me out with the info on your site and your personal guidance Diane.

    I just migrated from a BB Phone to Android and the MyPhoneExplorer is absolutely awesome. I was familiar with CompanionLink and had used it before but actually seems better.

    I did have one problem with the desktop software not finding my phone via usb, wifi and bluetooth however going to the Developer options on the phone and allowing debugging fixed it.

  9. matt smith

    Help!!
    I have two email accounts one is a btinternet account which works fine, the other is an exchange account for work emails which worked fine for the first month then as a security procedure we have to change our password which i did but now i cant recieve emails on my phone!?! I can send them but not recieve ive taken my phone to my employers i.t dept and they are stumped. Im new to android i have switched from the iphone and now im frustrated. Does anyone have or come accross this problem before??

  10. matt smith

    Forgot to mention my phonde is a samsung galaxy s4

  11. Gregory Peterson

    Our IT guy just synched up my Thunderbolt HTC Verizon with my Microsoft Outlook so that I can get my email, contacts and calendar on my phone. I had always kept a separate calendar on my phone and copied it onto the PC. Now I have double calendar items on my phone, but the real prpoblem is that the PC to phone works fine, but if i make an entry on the phone, it won't go to my Outlook on the PC when synched.

  12. AJ Karleton

    I have searched many time on the web, so I have decided to ask you directly, since your website and posts have regularly helped me with other office issues. I have Exchange email at work and use Outlook 2010. I recently upgraded to an Android phone, and I have been frustrated that the color of my calendar appointments doesn't sync (all the appointments are the same color). I'm not sure if this is an issue with how Android deals with the Exchange data or with what data Exchange sends for syncing, but is there any way to fix this? Or is there an app that would import the color data along with the date/time data? (If you know which company is at fault and could recommend a place to submit suggestions, I wouldn't mind that information too.)

    Thanks for all the help you provide with MS products!

  13. Iftikhar

    Hi Diane
    I need your help regarding sync anriod contacts with outlook 2007.I am using micrsoft exhange server email account with outlook 2007 and have problem with email address fromat when it is sync with outlook,then it changes to e.g. Smith("Smith" ) and I can't send email through outlook to this accountdue to change of format.But on anriod samsung glaxy S4 ,there is no problem for sending email & format remain same as abc@gmail.com.

    Please advise how to fix. thanks

  14. elanbuendia

    This is awesome info!

    So, I have a hotmail email acct that is run via outlook and I use a Samsung S3.
    My calendar in hotmail does not sync to my phone and vice versa, though my email does!
    Am I missing something!?

    Thanks for any help you can provide!

    Best,

  15. elanbuendia

    Thanks tons!!

    It didn't 'look' exactly as you described, but because of your input, I was able to figure out what to do!

    Thanks!

  16. iftikhar

    Hi Diane
    Thanks for your reply. Contacts were created on S4 have mapping problem but contacts which were created by outlook have no problem .
    Please advise thanks

  17. Dan Liberman

    Hi Diane. i am a reader but never asked for help before. I have 3 different primary email accounts representing 3 business units. One is on Office 365 (the one I can control) and the others are attached accounts. I have been using Touchdown for sometime and it is ok. My real problem is with outlook 2010. Attached accounts come through but a reply goes out on the primary account with the wrong signature. i have created imap accounts for some of the attached in outlook but often forget to use them directly. It seems my only option is to eliminate the attached accounts and use imap to force myself into using the correct reply account. Touchdown, however, does not support anything but exchange. So 2 questions: 1) Is there an Android app that supports full sync with exchange (tasks, notes, calendar, email...) that I can use instead of touchdown? 2) is ther a better solution that I ma overlooking?

    many thanks. - Dan

  18. Dan Liberman

    Touchdown only does exchange accounts. No imap or POP. The problem does seem to be in Outlook so I will try a Macro. If I could find a droid client that could handle exchange and imap/pop and still sync things besides email (tasks, calendar...) i would just eliminate the attached accounts and let outlook handle it on Windows and that droid client on android. - thanks very much.

  19. Greg C.

    Hello, Diane, I'm reading all this with interest and hope you can provide a bit more of your excellent advice. Having recently left the corporate world with automatic Exchange-supported synchronization of my Outlook information on a PC with my iPad and Samsung S4, I'm looking to replicate that functionality (tracking mail, calendar, tasks and contacts).

    I will continue to use Outlook, and my e-mail currently all flows through Gmail. I'm using Apple's mail app and the Gmail app on the S4, but am not averse to changing those. I've done a one-time contacts sync from Outlook to the mobile devices, but am not yet using the mobile calendars because of the lack of sync. It's the mobile calendar that I miss the most, but dynamic syncing of tasks and contacts would be very helpful also.

    Gsyncit looks like a good app to accomplish what I need, but I've also discovered the option of Exchange Online. Exchange is more expensive, certainly, but I can't quite figure out if it would be a better solution or not. What are the pros and cons of each of these solutions?

    That's a pretty general question, but any insights would be helpful. One specific concern does come to mind: if I accept a meeting request from a third party (meaning that I don't own the meeting), will that meeting be propogated amongst my three client devices using either or both solutions?

    Finally, I'm using POP access to Gmail right now so that I can use Outlook as the master repository for viewing and filing e-mail. I could switch to IMAP but am concerned about "messing up" the "master view" in Outlook by cleaning out mail on the mobile devices. Any tips in this area would also be appreciated.

    Thanks very much.

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