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Independent Experts. Real World Answers.

MVPs for Windows Phone 7: Syncing Outlook 2010 and Window Phone

MVPs for Windows Phone 7: Syncing Outlook 2010 and Window Phone

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Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by Windows Phone MVP Trent McMurray as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Windows Phone 7" series. Trent is the owner of LAMARCOMM, LLC, a mobile solutions company that provides everything from Mobile Proximity Application solutions to a National Online Retailer for all the major wireless carriers in the United States. Trent was an early evangelist of the Windows Mobile Platform helping customers and users with solutions and applications for their Windows Mobile devices. Trent contributes to the community through the Windows VIP forum and has recently taken on the project of his newest website http://windowsphoneconcierge.com . Which helps uses with "How To's" and FAQ's dedicated to Windows Phone.

Being in the mobile retail business for over 10 yrs., helping customers and clients stay connected with their mobile devices became the way I do business to this day. But things are changing swiftly in the smartphone space. And when it comes to syncing with a Windows Phone, it’s a brand new game! And when it comes to syncing Outlook 2010 with Windows Phone it couldn’t get any easier! We all remember the days of active sync. Well when it comes to Window s Phone there is no more active sync when syncing Outlook 2010 with your Windows Phone.

Syncing your Windows Phone with Outlook 2010 is as easy as creating a Hotmail account and letting the “cloud” deliver your mail, and appointments to your Windows Phone. But before your  up and running you will need to stall Microsoft’s “Outlook Connector” software, available here: 

http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/outlook-help/microsoft-office-outlook-hotmail-connector-overview-HA010222518.aspx .


After installing the connector for Hotmail/Live, now you simply just need to add the account to Outlook 2010. Basically these are the steps needed to add the account and move on to have your mail and calendar sync to your Windows Phone.

  1. You can add an account in Outlook by clicking “File,” the “Info” tab (if not already selected,) then clicking “+ Add Account”. Enter your information in the box that appears and click finish.
  2. Once the new live account is created its time to move your current contacts and calendar information into the new account. Go into Outlook Contact’s view and select all your contacts (Ctrl + A, will select all of the quick and easy.)
  3. Now select Move > Copy to Folder (you could also select “Other Folder,” but this would move the contacts rather than copy them.  By copying them, we’re leaving a copy in the original folder in case something goes wrong. Which I have done before!)
  4. In the pop-up dialog box, expand your Hotmail/Live then select the Contacts folder under it and click “OK”.
  5. You can view the folder by selecting it in the left hand pane to verify your contacts were copied. Your Contacts will now sync to the Live/Hotmail account you created. And will be available in the Live web interface, the Windows Live Mail clients, or Windows Phones.  Copying your Outlook Calendar data is pretty much the same, but requires an extra step to insure we get all of the Calendar information.
  6. Switch to your Calendar, and then select File > Change View > List View to show all of your Calendar items in a single list.
  7. Now, select all your calendar events.
  8. Remember to Copy them with Move > Copy to Folder.
  9. Select your Calendar folder under the Hotmail/Live Account, then click “Ok.
  10. Just like you checked your contacts after your copied them do the same in step 5 above to see that your calendar events have been copied.

Now that everything is setup the way you want it to be and it is all syncing correctly and in order you can now make the Live folders the Default Personal folders in Outlook, so that they are pre-selected each time you start Outlook. (Optional – some choose this option some don’t)

  1. Select File > Info > Account Settings,
  2. Then, in the “Account Settings” pop-up box, select the Data Files tab, your Live account, and then “Set as Default”
  3. dialog box will pop-up warning that you are changing the default folders.  Select “OK” and restart Outlook.

Now created your Windows Live account on your Windows Phone and your email and contacts should begin to show up!

If you have Outlook installed on other PCs, like your laptop or netbook, install the Outlook Connector and sign in to the Live account with those PCs, and your Outlook data will sync between all of your connected PCs and devices.  If they don’t have Outlook, you can download the free Windows Live Mail software for those PCs instead, and access your Outlook data on them. 

I would like to thank my fellow Windows Phone MVP Todd A. who addressed this same topic (with graphics and all) on my website http://www.windowsphoneconcierge.com , where you can find many How-To’s and FAQ’s for Windows Phone.


  • Lonnie, thanks for this useful blog.  Can a similar process allow e-mail aliases to work on Win Phone 7?  I use an alias e-mail address (effectively an address for life) that I point to my current ISP (Windows Live, in this case) and this allows me to send and receive e-mails from the alias e-mail address, but using all the features of Windows Live.  This works in Outlook 2010 and www.live.co.uk, but I am unsure how it would work on WP7.  I've posted this on Microsoft Answers, but no one has been able to help, yet.  Grateful for any words of wisdom.

    Thanks, Jon

  • Hi Jon, Thanks for your comment! I have forwarded this question on. Thank you for using Microsoft Answers as a first point of contact for this.

  • Hi, I think a direct sync with Outlook is much more expected than to share my contacts on Hotmail. I understand that WP7 is "cloud based", however there are lots of people (like me) who appreciate the old sync.

  • Syncing via the cloud/live/hotmail is just plain dumb. Why would I want to send all of my personal data to a free unsecure account and then back down to me again. Dumd, illogical and craps on privacy. Not to mention the linitations.

  • Nice article thanks.

    How do I do the same for Outlook 2007? There I don't see a Move to Folder option - only a Move option and I'd like to keep a copy locally as per your Outlook 2010 recipe.

  • Aside from the dubious security of sending all your information to the cloud, there is a limit to the amount of information it will sync from Outlook. Solution: fail.

  • Can we expect direct sync via USB will be available in Mango?

  • What a stupid system...MS phone wont even sync with its own software Outlook via USB on the desktop.  Will not even consider a phone that wont sync all functions of the Outlook contacts, calendar, tasks, notes etc with ONE button push to sync all.  

    If Apple can sync their phone with one button....MS can do the same.    And whats up with doing it on an Exchange server but not via USB on my home PC.   If you can do it via exchange you can do it via USB.

    WTF is up with this.   I suppose some outside vendor will put a kludge in the cloud and make it even worse.  

    Utter nonsense.   Don't buy the Win7 Phone.  Our family was in tune to buy 5 of them....but not now.  Gone.

  • You better be working on a direct USB sync for this.....wont work and folks are EXPECTING MS to work with other MS products.

    Better hop to it.

  • I don't care where Windows Phone 7 wants to go with syncing. I work on a secure computer with sensitive law enforcement info and our server will not allow this kind of free exchange with the cloud. I want the option of syncing directly via USB or Bluetooth with my phone. I can do that now with my dumb old Nokia and its free software. I'm ready to move up to a smartphone but will not by a Windows phone that won't allow me to do this.

  • I will be buying 4 new phones in the coming two weeks. I was in the process researching various phones and was heavily leaning toward Windows 7 phones when I stumbled across this thread while looking for something else. I am dumbfounded that Microsoft would even consider for half a second NOT allowing a sync directly to outlook.

    It is so incomprehensible that it was not part of the planning it makes me question the entire concept of a windows 7 phone. I simply can't believe what I am reading here.....wow. I have never used this phrase because until this moment I never thought it warranted, but...EPIC FAIL.

  • I just wish I'd found this link a week ago before buying a WP7 phone. I've had a Palm for years but it's starting to fail so I wanted to update. Guess what even Palm all those years ago gave you the option, use the Palm OS or sync with Outlook. Now the world's leader (supposedly) releases an OS that won't sync with it's own product. And they have the nerve to call it Windows Mobile 7 - that's mis-representation in my books.

  • Well, now that the cloud has been down for awhile...how is that cloud working out for you.    That is why we need our USB back.  Im hearing it is coming but sometime after Mango.   Need to hop to getting it available.  Maybe Joe Belfiore the VP for the Phone section will put a fire under the developers to get the USB sync app up and running.

    And the Connector app needs updating for Mango anyway to accommodate TASK sync which is now in the Mango update.

  • It's a joke right? I will not put my data in the cloud. Read this MS: I will not. What a stupid system, and it is obviously on purpose.

    Let's all go buy a WM7 phone and return it the day after: maybe someone will take notice?

  • Been an MS guy for a long time. Just got winmo 7 phone today. Read all of this (and the rest of the web) and cant believe what MS have done here. Phone going back tomorrow, hello Android.

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