Sync Outlook 2013 to a Microsoft Account

If you've installed Outlook 2013 to your computer, you can sync your Contacts, Calendar AND Tasks (yes, Tasks) to your Microsoft account and you don't need to install the Outlook Hotmail Connector to do it - the functionality is built into the software.

Once the data is synced to your Microsoft account, it is available to be synced to a wide array of devices (phones, tablets, computers) that encompass all the most popular mobile operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows Phone). You can enjoy the full power and feature set of Outlook 2013 on your desktop or laptop and be completely flexible in your choice and use of mobile devices!

This article will guide you through the steps to set up Outlook 2013 to sync your data to your Microsoft account.

First, you'll open up Outlook 2013 on your computer and click "File" >  +Add Account button (on the  Account Information screen).

Outlook Add Account

The "Add Account" screen shown below will be displayed and you can proceed with the "E-mail Account" option (which is selected by default) to let Outlook attempt to configure your account automatically or you can choose the "Manual setup" option to set the account up manually. 

1) Email Account: Let Outlook automatically configure your account

Input your Name, your Microsoft account email address (windows live or outlook.com) and Password in the spaces provided > click the "Next" button.

Outlook Email Account

Outlook will search for your mail server settings, configure the email account, and sync any related email, contacts, appointments or tasks from the Microsoft account to the computer.

Outlook Configuring

Then, "Congratulations! Your email account was successfully configured and is ready to use."

Outlook Success

When I selected this option, I ran into problems, so I selected the second "Manual setup or additional server types" option and manually configured my Microsoft account.

2) Manual setup or additional server types: Manually Configure the Account

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Choose the service that matches the type of account you want to configure. 

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Input your name, email address, mail server, and password in the spaces provided.  The Mail server that I used for:

  • outlook.com accounts is bay-m.hotmail
  • live.com accounts is blu-m.hotmail.com

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Click the Next button. Outlook will test the account settings to verify a successful connection is achieved.

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You've created the account and and when you click the finish button, Outlook will begin its first sync between the computer and the Microsoft account.

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Converting your local Outlook folders to your newly created online folders

If you used an earlier version of Outlook to manage your Contacts, Appointments and Tasks from local personal folders and now want to sync this data to your online Microsoft account, you'll need to copy your Contact, Calendar, and Task data to the newly created folders that were created when you set up the Microsoft account on your computer. Unless you copy this data to these newly created folders none of your data will sync from your computer to your Microsoft account.

After you copy this data over to your newly created Microsoft account folders, you'll STOP adding any new data or modifying the records in the Personal folders that you want to sync to your Microsoft account. Instead you'll modify and add new entries to the folders in the new Microsoft account folders.

You may also want to change some Outlook account settings to make the conversion as transparent as possible.

I've detailed how to do these things in my article entitled "Using the Outlook Hotmail Connector". You can skip over the first part of the article that discusses the Outlook Hotmail Connection and focus on the sections of the article that are titled:

  • Copy Contact & Calendar data to the Windows Live folders and
  • Change Outlook Account Settings.

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