Edit outlook.com contacts in android

Updated 2017-01-17: Updated the blogpost to the new outlook.com experience (on the office 365 platform).

Edit outlook.com contacts in android is a real pain. But in this post I will explain to you have to fix this.

Because Google and Microsoft are in some kind of war in what the best way is to edit contacts, you could be having troubling with editing your Outlook.com contacts in Android. Follow these steps to edit your Outlook.com contacts again.

  1. If you have installed the Outlook.com application out of the play store, remove it from your device. It has been replaced by the new Outlook application some time ago.
  2. Setup the new Outlook application and disable contact sync. Contacts do get synced to your device very nice but you can’t edit them. So they are useless to use. We disable the sync so we can sync them another way. If you leave this enabled you will end up with dupplicates on your phone.
  3. On your phone, go to Settings -> Accounts & Sync
  4. Add an Exchange ActiveSync account. Do not use the outlook.com account. some phones will display an outlook.com sync possibility but that is an old obsolete one. If you can’t find an Exchange account, try to use the default email application on your phone. It should have one build in.
    1. Account name: whatever you want
    2. email adres: your outlook.com email adres (could also be hotmail, msn, live etc)
    3. Server adres: eas.outlook.com
    4. username: again your full email-address
    5. password: your outlook.com email-address password
    6. Enable SSL
    7. Leave the rest default
  5. Click next and select only to sync the Contacts.
  6. Finish the setup (wait a while to finish the syncing of your contacts). Now you can edit your contacts and they are synced to your outlook.com account.

40 thoughts to “Edit outlook.com contacts in android”

  1. Hereby I declare you my friend:-) …just what I was looking for since EAS is messed up!

  2. followed you guide and it has worked perfectly so far!
    however I cannot see a way of reinstalling outlook without syncing contacts?

    1. ignore that, the app permissions confused me before I got to the option to untick contact syncing

  3. Unless I’m doing something wrong, this doesn’t work on Marshmallow. Selecting Exchange doesn’t give you those options, just email, then password then fail. Selecting ‘manual’ requests incoming and outgoing server which wants server name, port and encryption type for each

      1. Entirely possible, as I’m new to Android (and finding the OS to be tad frustratingly inconsistent) but also possible something has changed with Marshmallow. Hoping it is the former. But here, with my Nexus 6P, there is no “accounts & sync” in Settings. This is Accounts (grouped under ‘personal). Clicking “Add an Account” gives you a lot of options including “Exchange” with a Gmail envelope icon (along with IMAP, and POP3).
        Selecting Exchange you only have an option to “Add your email address”. Then enter a password and then it fails. But, after entering you email address you have a (previously greyed out) option for Manual Setup.
        In manual setup it lets you select “what type of account is this?” with 3 options: Personal (POP3), Personal (IMAP), Exchange.
        After selecting Exchange again, you put in your password and are then taking to incoming server options with ability to edit server, port and security type only (and client certificate). Then Outgoing server options with the same fields. Using the server type of m.hotmail.com or any other listed on the web for setting up outlook.com on a local or web email client doesn’t work.

        1. Can you take a look to this article: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Set-up-email-on-an-Android-phone-or-tablet-886db551-8dfa-4fd5-b835-f8e532091872
          Under the section “Set up Outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, or iCloud accounts”, you see a table with two columns. You have to follow the right column with the header “Use the built-in Android mail app”. If you follow those steps (don’t let you fool with the strange screenshots) it must work. I just followed those steps last month when the old Outlook.com app was replaced with the new outlook mail app without edit contact functionality.

          1. I figured out that the issue wasn’t the fact the setup options don’t match what is being described, it was that I have two-factor authentication set up so my password wasn’t working. I didn’t notice it as I was focused on the settings and wasn’t getting any type of notification that I normally do from the “MSFT account” or an email noting failed attempt from unauthorized device. Once I created a device/temp password it set up fine and, aside from the fact that no user images are showing in the Contact app (notable irritation vs. Windows Phone’s use of pictures from Live, FB, Linked In etc), they are all there and are editable, syncing back to outlook.com/people.live.com.

            With Marshmallow, you have to go Settings – Accounts – New Account and select Exchange (there is an option for Windows Live for some reason but it says it isn’t a valid option when you select it). Then you simply put in your Hotmail/live/outlook email address, hit next, put in your password, hit next and then select what you what synced (Mail, Calendar, Contacts), frequency (defaults to push), and how far back you want mail. You don’t need to put in any server or other such ‘technical’ detail.

            I unselected Mail and Calendar and it pulled contacts down. I tested editing on the device and on the web and it was syncing immediately.

            Thanks for the help! Now to try to figure out why the #%$# won’t recognize my Google ID I set up the phone as the ME account…

  4. I do not seem to have the option of adding a new contact with the Outlook app. Have I installed something incorrectly? Thanks in advance.

    1. Your right. That is not possible with the latest version of the outlook.com application. I hope this will be added in the near future. For now I use the MailWise application for only the contact sync option. I diabled calendar and mail in that app. I think that your can use the regular Android mail application as well for contact sync but this one is better.

  5. I have a verzion note 5. there is no accounts & sync in settings. Just accounts. Will not let me set up a new account only preloaded

    1. What do you mean with preloaded? If your in accounts, you can setup a new account. Otherwise check you default mail application for setting up a new account.
      Also, see this article: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Set-up-email-on-an-Android-phone-or-tablet-886db551-8dfa-4fd5-b835-f8e532091872?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US
      Under the section “Set up Outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, or iCloud accounts”, you see a table with two columns. You have to follow the right column with the header “Use the built-in Android mail app”. If you follow those steps (don’t let you fool with the strange screenshots) it must work. I just followed those steps last month when the old Outlook.com app was replaced with the new outlook mail app without edit contact functionality.

  6. Hi Ralph. I happened across your blog post recently when trying to troubleshoot an issue I’ve been having with getting Outlook.com contacts to sync on my Android phone.

    I am actually familiar with the steps to manually set up an Exchange account that you’ve outlined here, and I recall it working in the past. However, for some reason contact edits I make on my phone are not syncing back to my Outlook.com account currently.

    To clarify: contacts are syncing TO my phone, but edits or additions I make are NOT syncing back to my account. It DOES, however, work fine with my Office 365 work account, so I don’t think it’s a bug with the Contacts app on my phone.

    Question: Are you still using an Android phone with Outlook.com contacts? Can you confirm that this method is still working for you? I am wondering if Microsoft’s recent migration of Outlook/Hotmail accounts to the Office 365 / Exchange infrastructure has caused an issue broadly, of if this is something specific to my account.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

    1. Hi, i still have an Android phone (S7). But I removed all my accounts because of the move to office 365 by Microsoft. I haven’t set it up since then. I need the syncing back up again as well. I was hoping that the upgrade to the O365 platform would fix a lot of things…

      1. Thanks Ralph. Setup is the same after the migration, except the server address is now ‘eas.outlook.com’.

        Let me know if you set this up again and get things syncing back to your account properly. Thanks!

      2. Well, here is the latest from Microsoft Outlook support. This is a direct quote from an email I received today:

        “Thanks for your reply. We have verified that, at this time, editing contacts from the Android Contact application when it is synced as an Exchange account is not possible and is not supported. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

        Please contact us again if you require further assistance.”

        Hard to know what Microsoft is thinking here. This seems likely to drive the few Android users who may actually want use Outlook.com straight to Gmail instead.

        I used to blame Google for most of the friction, due to its “forcing” of Outlook.com accounts to use IMAP instead of EAS in the Android new account wizard. At least, I figured, we could always work around it with the Exchange account setup.

        However, Microsoft seems to have really dropped the ball here too.


        1. Well, I just tested the old trick. It still works. So don’t sync your contacts with the outlook application. Add a new account in your phone (Create an exchange account if doesn’t do automatically). Disable calendar and email sync (because you will use the outlook application for that). And your good to go. The new server address is: eas.outlook.com. I will update the original blogpost.

          1. Thanks Ralph, appreciate it.

            Just to clarify, have you verified that edits to contacts on your phone are syncing back to your Outlook.com account?

            In my case, everything appeared to work at first, but I discovered that changes weren’t syncing back to my account, and Microsoft “confirmed” this is not supposed to work anymore (assuming the support engineer’s statement can be taken as fact).

            Thanks again.

          2. Just checked in again for you and it works. I’ve got notes synced and a phone number synced.

          3. Ralph, I’ve tried this a few times now with no luck. I’m not 100% sure I actually understand the goal for final outcome. I was able to get the android contact app to sync with the outlook mobile app, and it would then push new contacts to it; however, I could not get a new contacts to push down to my computer or back up to my phone if added on computer. When we finish the install, you’ve outlined above, where are you stating that we can edit contacts at? I can’t imagine that we would now be able to edit contacts in outlook people’s tab, as there is no coding for an edit/add button, etc. Is this simply allowing us to add/edit contacts on S7’s contact app, and then it pushes to outlook phone app, but not to the webmail or computer that is synced via outlook.com email setup?

          4. Hi Ferris,
            The outlook official app can’t edit contacts (yet). So we have to sync the contacts on another way. In the outlook app disable contact sync because it is useless. Then setup a default Exchange account to your outlook.com account. This will take some time to sync. If you then create a new contact from the default android contact app (On the Galaxy S7 it is a tab by the phone) you have an option where you would create the new contact. So you have options like gmail, outlook (that is outlook app that you don’t want to use), the new exchange account etc. Choose the new exchange account. When you save it, it will sync to your pc. When you edit a contact, choose again the right tab from where you want to edit it from. So choose again the exchange account.

  7. Is it still working? For me it sync the contacts but it is not possible to edit them on the phone – it says that they are read-only.

    1. Still using this everyday on Samsung Galaxy s7. Make sure you select the exchange contact when you edit the contact.

      1. I am editing the exchange contact. It even says “Imported from Exchange”. But I cannot edit it.
        Strange thing is that immediately after the setup of the account, I was able to edit one contact. But not anymore. I even tried to remove and add the account again, but no luck. :(

  8. This did not work for me. Selecting “sync contacts” on the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync account did nothing. The only way to get the contacts to even appear is to select “sync contacts” in the Outlook app itself.

    1. Will you might have to go in to Settings in the Contacts app and choose which contacts to display, it may be set to the Outlook account, you will need to change that to the Exchange Active Sync account you just created.

  9. Thanks for this solution, works perfectly on my Galaxy S7 Edge Android 7.0! Happy days.

  10. Thank you! Works fine on Samsung a5 2016 with android 7.

    When you first select new account and then “Microsoft exchange activesync”, you end up with two fields. Enter your mail address here and then hit “manual setup”. After that you will be redirected to a Microsoft page. Login here and confirm the access of the email app. Now you can setup the server from m.hotmail.com to eas.outlook.com.

    After setup has finished, you will be on a Microsoft page again. Here I choose “another email app” instead of “install outlook app”. The choice will be confirmed (the response sounds a little bit confusing… but don’t worry)

    Now click on the new exchange account in your list and set up only to sync contacts (as described here). It worked fine. You can confirm that, as you will find the changes made to a contact though the native android contact app directly afterwards in the outlook app :)

  11. So frustrating to see that it works for everyone but me…
    When I register my Exchange (Corporate) account, it only lets me put the e-mail, password, and username. It detects the accounts, but doesn’t synchronize anything. Zero contacts added after sync.
    Please help me…

    1. FINALLY I found the solution.
      When you register the Exchange app you receive a mail (only in the app) asking you to use the Outlook app in order to complete the synchronization (“synchronization incomplete, action required”) something like this. You need to select that you prefer NOT to use the Outlook app, and after clicking the link and seeing the confirmation on the browser it finally starts syncing everything on the phone!

      1. Good to hear that it works. Microsoft updated his app so you CAN edit and create contacts on your Android phone. The feature is finally there. No clue if there are any bugs. So since a month or so, I don’t this blog anymore but just the outlook app. And it works. This weekend I created a contact on my phone and I can see him on my desktop Outlook 2016 program and on the outlook.com site.

        1. Well for me it didn’t work with the Outlook app, that’s why I turned up here.
          It was impossible to edit my contacts yesterday, and the Microsoft support confirmed it to me.
          I thought this feature update only concerned iOS.

  12. Thanks for the great tip. Maybe you can help me with a related problem. When I edit contacts on my phone, I sometimes have multiple “phone” entries to work through, plus one called “Cloud.” I cannot edit the “cloud” info, and often it is wrong or outdated.

    Any idea how I get to this so I can correct it?

    1. I don’t know… Maybe check accounts section in phone settings. Check if an unknown app is syncing contacts

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