Set up an Exchange account on your Android phone

The Android mobile platform allows Exchange accounts to reside on the same system as non-Exchange accounts. Here's how to set up Android's built-in Exchange support.

You love your Android phone's flexibility, the amazing number of configurations, the apps, the interface... the only thing that can be a real kick in the pants is the lack of Outlook support (without a third-party application). The good news is that Android has built-in Exchange support, and you can set it up in no time. Once you follow the steps in this tutorial, you will have your Exchange email, Exchange Calendar, and Exchange Contacts happily syncing on your Android-based device.

What you will need

First and foremost, you will need an Android phone with a data plan. You will also need a working Exchange account with which to connect your Android phone.

The following information is necessary in order to set up your Exchange account:

  • Exchange server address (this will most likely be an OWA address).
  • Username and password for account.
  • Domain name for account.

Step-by-step instructions

If you already have an account on the phone (such as a Google or a POP account), you will need to follow these steps first:

  1. Open the Email application.
  2. Click the Menu button and then click the Accounts button.
  3. Click the Menu button again and click Add Account.
  4. Enter your email address and password.

I completed the following steps on a Samsung Epic 4G from Sprint. You should find that the same instructions will work with all Android-based phones running at least 2.0 with very little modification. You might find that you have fewer options than the Epic, but the setup will be the same.

  1. Open the Mail application.
  2. Enter your email address and password.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Click Exchange Account.
  5. Enter your: DOMAIN\username, password, and Exchange server address.
  6. Check Use Secure Connection and Accept All SSL Certificates.
  7. After authentication, check the boxes associated with the features you want to include such as Push, Amount To Sync, Notifications, Sync Contacts, Sync Calendar, Sync Calendar Amount.
  8. Click Next.
  9. In the next screen, you need to give an account name and your name (this will be displayed on outgoing email messages).

Note: Make sure the DOMAIN\username is set up in exactly that format, and the domain is most likely in all caps.

With an Exchange account set up on your Android phone, you will not find one built-in application to handle all of the apps in one location; instead, you have to view the email, calendar, and contacts separately. Fortunately, when you set up the email account for an Exchange server, it automatically pulls the information for calendar and contacts — as long as you've set it up to do so.

Battery drain warning

If you set up an Exchange account that you know has very heavy traffic, you might want to be careful about setting Automatic (Push); instead, you should set that at a more reasonable option, such as every 5 or 10 minutes. If you're not as concerned about your battery (for instance, if you have multiple means of charging your phone), go ahead and Push away!

Multiple accounts

After setting up Exchange, you might wonder if you can have multiple accounts. You can only set up one Exchange account with the built-in tools, but you can purchase a tool, such as TouchDown, to allow you to configure unlimited Exchange accounts. TouchDown will set you back around $20.00, and on a smaller screen (such as the HTC Hero), the app can be a bit of a headache. But if you really need more than one Exchange account, it's the way to go to have as many non-Exchange accounts as you need.


It should be very simple to set up these accounts. If you have trouble with this process, the cause is most likely an incorrect address, domain, or password.


Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website

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