Smartphones optimize

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.

Troubleshooting

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.

About

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

26 comments
jim.green
jim.green

If I click on the email app on my Motorola MB860 it launches my yahoo mail account. There is no option to add an account.

Arasu Pandiyan
Arasu Pandiyan

hi there,

i am  using samsung Galaxy S3, when i tried to setup it says: setup could not finish. You entered an incorrect server addressor the server requires a protocol version that email does not support. what is the problem behind it?


Regards,

Arasu


jaggwire
jaggwire

The settings seemed to take, and I received a message that I would need to allow security settings, etc. A security feature was added, and then--nothing. Mail didn't work, and when I looked for it, it seemed to be a dud account. I tried re-adding it, and I'm given the message "You're already using this username for the account 'null.'" There is no account, though. I've cleared the cache, deleted ALL mail accounts (including gmail one), and still, I'm unable to create the account. 

Where is this "null" account hiding so that I might find and destroy it? Help! (Pretty please . . .) ;)

manishdshah28
manishdshah28

I absolutely agree with you John. I am using S4 but I really miss my BES. I was definitely more productive. Android basic interface doesn't even sync notes. What a pity.

mitch_mccarley
mitch_mccarley

I like being able to sync my Outlook Contacts/Email/Calendar using Exchange and Android, but what about Notes? I miss the Note sync that Blackberry server gave me. Any tips?

WCA42
WCA42

Forgive me-I'm not super Tech savvy, but can know enough to cause problems...I have an employee that has a Samsung phone that we set up with her exchange email. It worked fine for a few months but stopped updating incoming email in August. It will still send email from her exchange account. I checked the settings on the Exchange Server (2008), and removed her device from exchange and then started the service again. I also removed the settings on her phone, powered down, and reentered the the email account info. When I check the device on Outlook for web, it shows the device is active and updated. BUT- no new emails will sync to the phone. Any ideas on what to do here? I have an iphone and dont have these issues... Thanks for the help, Warren

dsn13
dsn13

@chrisgianti - Many many thanks. I must have spent almost as much time as you looking for a solution to this problem. For the past 24 hours I have tried an infinite number of combinations in order to get it to work and I feel you have saved me more hours of frustration as I am obsessive as yourself. Thanks again!

Sherry Jobs
Sherry Jobs

Software based Outlook Sync can simplify the process of cable based sync. For seamless, Over-the-Air sync of Outlook with any Smart phone or Tablet, you need ActiveSync enabled Email system, known as Exchange Mail. One option is Google Apps for Businesses although it requires modification to your domain and server settings. A simpler one is triosync active sync mail. It is easy to setup and doesn???t require any modification to your email account or domain settings

KevinH40
KevinH40

running Android 2.3.3 I installed the demo of Touchdown and using the same login info, servers etc. was able to get it working. But I don't need all the functions of Touchdown and would prefer to have my work (exchange) calendar in the same app as my personal (google) calendar. Any ideas?

chrisgianti
chrisgianti

This might be relevant to you and many other android users. I got outlook 365 (outlook web app) to work on my samsung epic/galaxy phone. The first field is misleading DOMAIN: USER NAME actually enter it like this... emailsuffix.com\name@emailsuffix.com (whatever yours is) EX: mindhead.onmicrosoft.com\tony@mindhead.onmicrosoft.com or EX: mindhead.us\tony@mindhead.us (or whatever yours is) PW: your password EXCHANGE SERVER: NOT what is auto populated, not what is instructed by the outlook 365 portal website, not what is instructed by techrepublic, but this... if you are logged into outlook 365 portal on the browser, look at the address field, in my case it was this... XXXXXXXXXX.outlook.com (I put Xs in place of characters, yours are probably unique, perhaps something like ch1prd0709) Some people's phones might require something slightly different...but this is what was successful on the Samsung Epic/Galaxy phone. It took me hours to figure this out because all of the information out there that was wrong, trying different combinations of the false information...but I was obsessed, so I did it.

kevmel822
kevmel822

It only syncs for a day. Calendar appts seem great and no issues. Contacts only synced by personal contact list not my company Global contact list like my iPhone and iPad did. Tomorrow when I try and sync I will get a message like "Cannot connect to server because of a security concern" or something like that. It also did not sync up any of my Saved folder emails. All the folders are there just no emails. I have removed and added the account twice now with the same results. Any direction would be great.

cybergrrl
cybergrrl

I've looked at numerous discussion boards and forums online and none have come up with this explanation. In fact, most say there's no way to do all 3 (email, contacts, calendar) without at least 1 third party app.

jmaboud
jmaboud

On my Droid X, under the account settings, there are three check boxes that enable sync for calendar, contacts and mail. Make sure that all three are checked. I have had no problems syncing contacts/calendars. They only problem I have had is trying to make sure I keep the information appropriate to the respective exchange account. But it's not a problem. Edit- FYI, calendar and contact sync are only available through Exchange (without 3rd party tools).

jmorillo
jmorillo

What about the Calendar sync?. I can sync my mail directly, but I cannot find the way to do the same with my calendar entries.

ccdillon2000
ccdillon2000

Hmmmm...I see no option for this...is it hiding somewhere

ietianvijay
ietianvijay

where to set up http proxy connection as my microsoft exchange server is connected through a proxy.

steve
steve

I had an issue with the contacts not all pulling in on my Droid. Email and calendar sync fine but I was missing some of my contacts. Not sure why but I installed touchdown trial, downloaded all my contacts to my droid contacts, then uninstalled touchdown and setup exchange again so I would have all my contacts.

John Hanks
John Hanks

I've got them on my Blackberry and it works great. Doesn't anybody use Memo pad or Task List?

kburrows
kburrows

Without using Touchdown, you are not able to get notification of mail in subfolders if you using rules. Seems like this should have been a part of the settings with the Droid os.

Juanita Marquez
Juanita Marquez

I can think of half a dozen friends that will be very interested in this.

John Hanks
John Hanks

That's why I happily use BlackBerry BES and am quite productive. I suspect that the people that designed Android are all young people that never need to makes notes and don't use Outlook.

SmartChristy
SmartChristy

Delete the temporary files on the phone. Chances are, if she was able to receive email and now can't the memory is full which is why no messages are being received but she can still send email which means the problem is not with the configuration.

damasb
damasb

you only need too put on the server(field) the name that you put on your mail client. like webmail.server.com with ssl (if used)

jmaboud
jmaboud

I have 2 separate exchange accounts configured on my Droid X. Contacts and Calendars are available from both or either accounts (which can be kind of confusing).

mitch_mccarley
mitch_mccarley

I just wish Blackberry sold the Galaxy S III! It is a little sad to be wishing for a solution for Android that Blackberry had years ago. BES was the best at Outlook sync.