If you use an Android phone or tablet, you can sync calendar and contacts between Outlook and your phone one of two ways: using a Microsoft Exchange account (which includes Outlook.com) or using a third party utility (listed below).
If you already use Outlook.com or an Exchange account, you'll obviously use it. If you have a Microsoft account using a Gmail or other non-Microsoft address, you will need to add an Outlook.com alias to the Microsoft account in order to use it to sync calendar and contacts. See "add an alias to an existing account" for instructions.
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Microsoft Exchange server accounts (including Office 365 and Outlook.com) set up on Android devices will sync Calendar and Contacts; Tasks and Notes can be synced if you have an app that supports them as the native Android app and Outlook app do not sync Tasks or Notes at this time.
If you don't use Outlook.com for your email (using a POP3 or IMAP account instead), you'll need to use a sync utility to sync Outlook desktop with your Gmail account, or switch to Outlook.com. You can use Outlook.com for your calendar and contacts and your usual email account, however meeting invitations and responses will be sent from the Outlook.com account. (Microsoft is working on a cloud service that will sync Gmail with Outlook desktop - including Gmail calendar & contacts - as a Microsoft Exchange account.)
If you added your email address to Outlook.com as connected account, it is generally better (IMHO) to configure the email directly on the smartphone, preferably as an IMAP account (so sent items, deleted items, and read state sync with Outlook desktop, which is also configured for IMAP) and use the Outlook.com account to sync only calendar & contacts.
The video below uses a Gmail email account and an Android device, but the same method works on Apple and Windows devices. If the Microsoft Account/Outlook.com account is your email address, you'll need to add an Outlook.com alias to the account and use it to set the account up in Outlook desktop using auto account setup. See "Add an Alias to an Outlook.com Account" for the steps needed to add an alias to an existing Outlook.com account.
These are the basic steps. You need to use Outlook 2010 or newer. (Outlook 2007 will eventually stop connecting to Outlook.com using Exchange services, with degraded service beginning in October 2017).
- Add the Outlook.com account to an Outlook profile. You must use auto account setup and will need to have an Outlook.com address on the account to use auto account setup. If the Outlook.com address is not the default address, the address will show in Outlook as firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Add your email account to the profile
- The Outlook.com data file should be the default data file
- Your email account is the default email account
On the device:
- Add your email account (it's the Android account in my video demo and already configured in the Gmail app)
- Add the Outlook.com account as an Active Sync account in the Android mail app. Depending on your device, the account type might be called Exchange, Outlook.com, or Corporate. Choose the manual option if it's not an outlook.com, Hotmail, Live, or MSN email address. Use m.hotmail.com or eas.outlook.com as the server name but send a test message from the phone using the account. If the email address is 'email@example.com', set it up using an Outlook.com address instead.
- Turn off email sync on the outlook.com account if you aren't using it for email.
- Turn off calendar and contact sync on your personal account or hide those folders, if needed. Set the Outlook.com calendar and contacts to be your default.
Sync Directly Between Outlook and Android
I want to sync my contacts and calendar back and forth with my Android smartphone. Will Outlook 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 or AkrutoSync are additional options.
It is possible to configure a POP3 account in Outlook.com as a connected account, which will allow you to sync over the air with phones that support Exchange ActiveSync (EAS).
Sync Androids 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 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. Version 9
Use AkrutoSync to synchronize your Outlook Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Notes directly with any Android, iOS (iPhone or iPad) or Windows Phone devices. AkrutoSync runs on your computer, not in the cloud. The program works with the phone's built-in apps, so there are no additional apps to install on the phone. After the initial set-up, the program syncs automatically. It works over Wi-Fi or the Internet. Akruto syncs Outlook with unlimited number of phones and tablets even if they are different brands and operating systems. Synchronization history feature lets you restore data if you change or delete something inadvertently.
This utility synchronizes Outlook calendar entries to a designated Google calendar. It allows user to choose Outlook Profile, Mailbox and Calendar. It deletes old entries from Google calendar and updates new appointments. User can Setup Sync Frequency as Hourly, Daily, or Weekly. Uses .Net framework 4.5. Outlook 2007 and above are supported.
Software to sync Outlook Calendar appointments with Google Calendar events. Allows you to sync one-way with either Outlook or Google as master as well as 2way sync by last changed appointments/events. Option to schedule a sync at regular intervals.
CompanionLink for Mac keeps Outlook for Mac contacts, calendars, tasks, and categories synchronized with either a Google account, smartphone, or tablet. You can choose your destination in the Settings menu of the software. Two-way direct sync.
GeneralSync can sync between any number of Android devices and PCs with Thunderbird and/or Outlook. In contrast to other options it does not require a designated computer to be powered on at all times and works without uploading your data to any cloud. The synchronization is instead performed directly between the devices that are connected to each other at a given time (decentral, peer-to-peer). That way, it can be used in small offices or at home, without setting up or administering any kind of server. Currently, GeneralSync is available for free during a public beta phase.
GO Contact Sync Mod synchronizes your Microsoft Outlook contacts with your Google Mail address book, including pictures, categories and notes. Since version 3.5.6 it also syncs your Outlook Notes on demand to Google Drive. Since version 3.7.0 it also syncs your Outlook Calendar Appointments on demand to Google Calendar. This Mod fork adds many enhancements and bug fixes to the obviously dead project 'Go Contact Sync'.
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! 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.
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.
Sync Google calendars and contacts with Outlook. Requires yearly subscription.
Outlook Google Calendar Sync is completely free and syncs between any Outlook calendar and a Google calendar of your choice - either in a single direction or two-way. Attendees, reminders, free/busy attributes are all synced, events can be merged with existing if necessary, and even words in calendar subject's can be obfuscated if you have security concerns. Syncs can be configured on an automatic schedule, or simply upon request. It does not need to be installed (can just be unzipped) and works behind web proxies. Supports Outlook 2003 right through to Outlook 2016 64-bit!
Automatically synchronize your Outlook calendar and contacts with Google or iCloud. Access Outlook calendar and contacts on your Android phone or iPhone/iPad.