Sync basics - what you can and cannot sync

You can sync your Outlook data with mobile devices and with other applications. Outlook also syncs regularly with Microsoft Exchange account (Microsoft Exchange account: An account managed by Microsoft Exchange Server. Microsoft Exchange accounts are used by organizations with many users. They make it possible to synchronize e-mail, calendars, and contacts between multiple computers.) accounts and e-mail accounts. The descriptions below provide details about how Outlook syncs information.

Service Mail Contacts Calendar Tasks Notes

Exchange

When you use a Microsoft Exchange account (Microsoft Exchange account: An account managed by Microsoft Exchange Server. Microsoft Exchange accounts are used by organizations with many users. They make it possible to synchronize e-mail, calendars, and contacts between multiple computers.) in Outlook, your e-mail messages, contacts, calendar events, and any other Microsoft Exchange folders are synchronized automatically. Your information is always up to date in Outlook and on the server that is running Microsoft Exchange Server.

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Outlook.com

IMAP e-mail account

Yes No No No No

Google

IMAP e-mail account

Yes No No No No

Yahoo

POP e-mail account

Yes No No No No

ShowMicrosoft Exchange accounts

The following table lists the Outlook items that synchronize and do not synchronize with the Exchange server.

Outlook item Exchange server
Messages All Exchange folders, including subfolders, can be accessed by using Outlook, and Outlook is continually synchronized with the Exchange server automatically. Outlook completes a check for new messages on the server once every minute.
Rules

If you have a Microsoft Exchange account (Microsoft Exchange account: An account managed by Microsoft Exchange Server. Microsoft Exchange accounts are used by organizations with many users. They make it possible to synchronize e-mail, calendars, and contacts between multiple computers.) managed by Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or later, you can use Outlook for Mac to create and edit rules that are saved on the Exchange server. You cannot view or edit rules that are set to run only in Outlook for Windows.

With a Microsoft Exchange account (Microsoft Exchange account: An account managed by Microsoft Exchange Server. Microsoft Exchange accounts are used by organizations with many users. They make it possible to synchronize e-mail, calendars, and contacts between multiple computers.) managed by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, you cannot use Outlook for Mac to edit or create rules that are saved on the Exchange server (such as rules you created in Outlook for Windows). Rules that you create in Outlook for Mac are saved on your computer and run on messages only as they are synchronized with Outlook for Mac. For more information, see Server-based rules versus On My Computer rules.

Contacts

All Exchange account contacts and contact folders in Outlook are continually synchronized with the Exchange server automatically.

Contact groups created in Outlook do not synchronize with the Exchange server.

Calendar events All Exchange account calendars and their events in Outlook are continually synchronized with the Exchange server automatically.
Notes Notes and notes folders are synchronized with the Exchange server.
Tasks Tasks and tasks folders are synchronized with the Exchange server.
Follow up flags Messages and contacts that have been flagged for follow up are synchronized with the Exchange server, along with due dates, start dates, reminder dates, and completed dates.
Categories Category information that you apply to items in Outlook is synchronized with the Exchange server. However, colors associated with categories may vary between Outlook for Mac and Outlook for Windows.

Your information is also available to any other applications that you use to connect to your Exchange server, such as Outlook for Windows. If you are using both Outlook for Mac and Outlook for Windows to access the same Microsoft Exchange account, you should be aware of some differences in how the two applications display information:

Type of information Differences between Outlook for Mac and Outlook for Windows
Contacts' e-mail addresses In Outlook for Mac, you can store up to 13 e-mail addresses in a single contact. In Outlook for Windows, you can store up to three e-mail addresses. When contacts are synchronized, Outlook for Mac synchronizes the default e-mail address with the E-mail field in Outlook for Windows. The next two addresses listed in the Outlook for Mac contact are synchronized with the E-mail 2 and E-mail 3 fields in Outlook for Windows.
Contacts' mailing addresses

Some fields, such as Middle Name, are available in Outlook for Mac but not in Outlook for Windows. As a result, if you enter information in the Middle Name field, you will not be able to see that information in Outlook for Windows. Similarly, Outlook for Windows provides fields for contacts that are not in Outlook for Mac.

To work around this issue, you can enter information in the Notes tab in Outlook for Mac, and that information is displayed in the Notes box in Outlook for Windows.

ShowMobile devices and other applications

You cannot sync Outlook calendar, contacts, tasks, and notes with other applications, such as the Apple Address Book, iCal, and Apple Mail.

ShowIMAP e-mail accounts

If you want to sync your IMAP (IMAP: A common type of Internet-based mail account such as Gmail, AOL Mail, and many others. Messages from these accounts appear in folders in the Outlook folder list, under the name of the account.) e-mail, you first need to add the account to Outlook. For more information about how to add an account, see Add an e-mail account.

After that, there are two synchronization (synchronization: When Outlook compares its information with the corresponding information in another location, such as in a different application, on a mobile device, or on a server and then updates both locations with the most recent information.) options: using IMAP IDLE (also known as "Live Sync") and creating schedules for subscribed folders. You can use IMAP IDLE to maintain the connection to the IMAP server and apply changes that you make to the read, unread, or flagged status of messages on the server. But you can maintain the connection to only one folder at a time. You can also create schedules that synchronize your subscribed folders in Outlook with the IMAP mail server.

You can use IMAP IDLE and schedules to perform the following actions:

Use To
IMAP IDLE Maintain your connection to the IMAP server for one folder.
IMAP IDLE Apply changes to the read, unread, and flagged message status of messages on the IMAP server.
Schedules Receive new mail messages or news from the server at a time that you set.
Schedules Send all messages at a time that you set.
Schedules Delete mail messages in your Deleted Items folder or another folder at a set time when the messages are older than a set number of days.
Schedules Delete junk e-mail at a time that you set.

For more information about IMAP IDLE, see IMAP account server settings.

ShowPOP e-mail accounts

If you want to sync your POP (POP: A common type of Internet-based mail account. Examples are Windows Live Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail. After you add a POP account to Outlook, messages from the account appear in the folder list under On My Computer.) e-mail, you first need to add the account to Outlook. For more information about how to add an account, see Add an e-mail account.

After that, you can use schedules to set when you want Outlook to synchronize with the POP mail server by sending or receiving mail messages.

You can also set your POP account's server options to leave a copy of each message on the server, delete messages after a set number of days, or delete messages after you delete them in Outlook.

You can use schedules or server options to perform the following actions:

Use To
Schedules Receive new mail messages at a time that you set.
Schedules Send all messages at a time that you set.
Server options Leave a copy of each message on the server.
Server options Delete messages from the server after they are deleted in Outlook.
Schedules Delete mail messages that are older than a set number of days.

For more information about POP server settings, see POP account server settings. For more information about schedules, see Create, change, or delete a schedule.

 
 
Applies to:
Outlook for Mac 2011