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

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
. Which helps uses with "How To's" and FAQ's dedicated to Windows

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: .

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
  7. Now, select all your calendar events.
  8. Remember to Copy them with Move > Copy to
  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.

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

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

Comments (25)

  1. Jon Stevens says:

    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, 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

  2. Lonnie Webb says:

    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.

  3. Janos says:

    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.

  4. Joe says:

    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.

  5. Neville says:

    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.

  6. Christopher says:

    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.

  7. Faizal says:

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

  8. mrbill says:

    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.

  9. lil jonny says:

    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.

  10. AJL says:

    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.

  11. gerry says:

    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… I have never used this phrase because until this moment I never thought it warranted, but…EPIC FAIL.

  12. Col says:

    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.

  13. Bill says:

    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.

  14. Lollus says:

    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?

  15. bob anderson says:

    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.

  16. carofe says:

    I just want to say two this:

    You need internet to sync and the sync with hotmail using the outlook connector is not encrypted. We would like to see a professional solution, a USB sync soon.

  17. johnboy says:

    Will the next update Apollo finally have a USB sync direct to Outlook?   Why isnt there a full blown Outlook app on the phone for every field in desktop outlook.  

  18. Alan says:

    It is unbelievable that MS have produced this stupid, difficult, expensive and insecure method of replacing Activesync. Why? I have used secure, free, USB synching every day since I bought my first Ipaq – must have been in the late 1990s. I tried synching via the cloud with my new Nokia. Firstly it failed. Secondly I got a £30 bill for transferring data in excess of my allowance from my phone provider. Never again. Goodbye Microsoft.

  19. Matthew L says:

    MS must develop a usb sync software for this. Many of work in parts of the world where there is often no internet access for days at a time. No internet=no sync

  20. Clay H says:

    I agree with the many other commenters, about the bone-headedness of not supporting local Outlook sync. I think I see the marketing logic behind the decision, (trying to push everyone into the cloud), but I can assure you that it's misguided and will make it very difficult for Windows Phone to make headway in the smartphone marketplace. I am personally evaluating new phones, and as long as there is no local Outlook sync, Windows Phone won't be on the list of candidates. This is a deal-breaker for me, and it looks like for a lot of other people as well. I hope MSFT will fix this soon, otherwise things look grim for their mobile initiative.

  21. Greg says:

    I am dumbfounded that MS have abandoned USB sync.

    Microsoft obviously have not considered people who live in countries ruled by oppressive regimes.

    In these circumstances syncing to an insecure Windows Live account is likely to see you end up in gaol or dead.

    This is the most moronic backward thing Microsoft have ever done.

    It is a disgrace.

    Windows Phone deserves to fail!

  22. Stewart says:

    There is an interesting flaw I have found after a couple of days troubleshooting. I have c450 contacts and only 300 synced with hotmail using the latest connector and Outlook 2007, even though you could see the counter incrementing the uploads to the 450 mark.

    I have discovered that if the MessageClass is anything other than IPM.Contact then the contacts stay on the outlook client. Resetting the message classes to the standard solved the problem.

    I can see this being a huge issue for anyone that uses custom forms in Outlook.

  23. Benny says:

    Very disappointing that Microsoft not able or wanting to sync their own mobile devices (wp7) via their own the mobile device center (windows7). I have one HTC Radar with WP7 for sale!

  24. Ristretto says:

    This really dumb,no matter MS has only 1.9% of the market. I always was a MS guy, but this way I'm also going to Android. This is really a stupid move. I sure hope you guys at MS will introducethe syncing between Outlook 20xx and Windows Mango really soon in an update

  25. Roger says:

    Hi everyone, I am with you on your frustration, but i recently stumbled upon Akruto Sync.  It is a piece of software that will allow you to synchronize your outlook contacts, tasks and calendar with your Windows phone wirelessly either via your WiFi connection or over the Internet.  It is a direct two-way sync, by-passing using the cloud.  It worked out really well for me.  Check this out:

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