Syncing Outlook Tasks with Hotmail and Windows Phone

Last reviewed on September 30, 2013   —  8 comments

Outlook 2013’s Active Sync support “fixes” this problem – task sync to Outlook.com and to the mobile devices that sync with Outlook.com.

We get the occasional question asking when the Outlook Connector will support syncing Tasks with Hotmail.  Over the past several weeks, I’ve had several users ask if the Hotmail Connector is going to sync tasks, since Windows Phone “Mango” now syncs Hotmail Tasks.

No, the Outlook Hotmail Connector will not sync Tasks to Hotmail Live accounts. At this time, there are no plans to add task syncing to the Connector.

Syncing with Mango will be between Hotmail and the device directly; it won’t go through Outlook.

At this time, I’m not aware of plans by Microsoft to develop a desktop sync utility for syncing between Outlook and Windows Phone. However, any sync tool that is made available would come from the Windows Phone product group or a 3rd party, not from the Outlook product group. Outlook just provides the data source for any sync process – it doesn’t handle the sync.

Tools

Akruto Sync

Use Akruto Sync to synchronize your Outlook Contacts and Calendar directly with Windows Phone and Android. Akruto Sync runs on your computer and makes your computer appear to mobile devices like a reduced functionality Microsoft Exchange server. Just run Akruto Sync on your computer and tell your phone that there is an Exchange Server in your house. Syncs via Wifi.

Magic Tasks

This Windows Phone task management tool allows you to sync your tasks directly to Outlook. You can create or edit your tasks on your phone and sync them down to outlook, or create them on outlook and sync them to your phone. Recurrence information is supported as well as reminders on your phone.

About Diane Poremsky

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.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlook forums by Slipstick.com.

8 responses to “Syncing Outlook Tasks with Hotmail and Windows Phone”

  1. Frank

    You can workaround the lack of Windows Live task syncing using Producteev. They've got a free Outlook plugin that sync Outlook task to their server. If you have Outlook on multiple computers, using the plugin, the tasks will flow between them. If you are an iPhone or Android user, they have an apps for viewing and editing the tasks. There currently isn't a Windows Phone 7 app, but the Producteev webapp is supposed to be mobile-friendly.

  2. Bobby Cannon

    We don't want Outlook to sync task for our phones. We want Outlook to sync tasks for our desktops... Why are we not supporting task for Outlook?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      When the Outlook Connector first came out (about 10 yrs ago), Hotmail didn't have tasks so it didn't support them. Now they do, but adding tasks would require major reworking. I can only guess that the usage stats aren't high enough to make it worth the cost - the number of users using Hotmail tasks and/or the number of users using the outlook connector is not high. I had read somewhere that only a small percentage of Hotmail users use the connector but i don't know how many use Hotmail tasks.

  3. Alejandro

    Diane, you're probably right but what MS misses out is that tasks are probably not used that much because they lack any sync possibility. A lot of friends of mine have turned to third party apps. What I do not understand: why doesn't MS kill the Connector all together and switches to their Exchange protocol. It works for the phone (including tasks!).

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Maybe more Hotmail users would use tasks if they synced with Outlook but a surprisingly small subset of Hotmail users use the connector - most use the website. Hotmail doesn't use the Exchange protocol - if you want that, you need Office 365. Winphones (apple & droids too) use Exchange ActiveSync to sync to Hotmail and they are looking into using it with Outlook (they'd be stupid not to look using EAS) but that is all I know. It's not as easy as taking it from the phone and porting it to outlook. :)

  4. Mahesh Mohan

    Is it now possible to sync Outlook.com Tasks with Outlook 2013?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Yes, Tasks are supported in EAS.

  5. Paul D

    I'm so confused. I use the outlook connector to sync my contacts, mail, and calendar items to my live.com account. My live.com account has tasks, but they do not sync with outlook even though they appear in the "calendars" tab.
    I use an exchange mail account on my android phone to sync my mail, calendar, and contacts. It also indicates that my tasks are live.com tasks and are syncing, but they are not. Outlook, live.com, and android phone will sync mail, contacts, and calendar, but they remain 3 separate groups of tasks.

    Would all of this go away if I moved to a hosted exchange account?
    Would upgrading outlook to 2013 remove some of these obstacles?
    is there a way to get these 4 basic functions to sync?

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