Tablets

How to access Microsoft Office 365 from an Android tablet

Learn how to setup and configure an Android tablet to access Microsoft Office 365.

Mobile access to Microsoft Office 365 isn't just for iPhone and iPad users. After my post about connecting Office 365 to an iPhone, readers inquired how to access Office 365 from an Android device. Some critics say that Microsoft Office 365 isn't very mobile friendly, but you can get Office 365 working on your Android tablet fairly quickly.

In this post, I'm going to show you how to setup and configure your Android tablet to send and receive email using Exchange Online, the hosted email server component of Office 365.

Prerequisites

Setting up an Android tablet to access Office 365 doesn't require any additional apps. However, you do need a full Office 365 account for each Android tablet user.

Setup Exchange ActiveSync email on an Android tablet

The exact steps for email setup may vary between Android versions. In the example below, I used a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 running Android 4.0.2.

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Accounts and sync (Figure A)
  3. Figure A

    Accounts and Sync screen.
  4. Tap Add account (Figure B)
  5. Figure B

    Add Account dialog box.
  6. Tap Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync
  7. Enter your Office 365 email address and password
  8. Tap Next, and Android will retrieve your account information
  9. When the Remote security administration dialog box appears (Figure C), tap OK
  10. Figure C

    Remote security administration dialog box.
  11. From the Account options screen (Figure D), you have the following options:
    • Peak schedule: The default setting is Push, which downloads email to your Android tablet as it arrives in your Exchange Online inbox
    • Off-peak schedule: The default setting is Push
    • Period to sync email: The default setting is Automatic
    • Emails retrieval size: The default size is 2KB
    • Period to sync Calendar: The default period is two weeks
  12. Figure D

    Account options screen.
    Note: Account options settings may vary, depending on your version of Android. Keep in mind that the more frequent you set email and calendar synchronization, scheduling, and email retrieval size will impact your data plan and/or need for a Wi-Fi hotspot.
  13. Optionally, select Send email from this account by default
  14. Tap Next, and Android will validate your account options
  15. When the Activate device administrator? dialog box appears, tap Activate
  16. From the Set up email screen, type a name for the account and the name that you want displayed to email recipients
  17. Tap Done to complete the email setup

After completing this setup, you may have to wait 10-15 minutes before you can send and receive email from your Office 365 account.

Troubleshooting Exchange server setup

If you have a different device and version of Android, the steps in the previous section may not work. While I was writing this post, the setup on my Galaxy Tab 2 worked almost flawlessly. However, the setup on my Google Nexus 7 tablet was another story.

Some versions of Android choke on podxxxxx.outlook.com (Exchange server name: m.outlook.com). So, if you follow the steps above and your Android tablet doesn't connect with Office 365, try connecting using your host name for your mailbox.

Here's how to find out your Office 365 host name:

  1. Open the Outlook Web Application (OWA)
  2. Click Help
  3. Click About, and your Office 365 host name will appears under Host Name

Some other setup/configuration tips to remember:

  • Type your full email address in the Domain\Username dialog box. If Domain and Username are separate text boxes in your version of Android, leave the Domain field empty. Type your full email address (for your Office 365 account) in the Username field.
  • Some versions of Android require the domain/username format, so type in your domain\Office 365 username.

Determine your Exchange ActiveSync server

If Android doesn't find your Office 365 Exchange Server Online information, you may need to access your account information in OWA. You can get the URL to access OWA when you setup Office 365 for your organization.

Follow these steps to find your Exchange ActiveSync server name in OWA:

  1. Sign in to OWA using your Office 365 email address and password
  2. Click Settings
  3. Click Options
  4. Click Account
  5. Click My account
  6. Click Settings for POP and IMAP access
  7. Under POP setting, look at the value for Server name

Depending on your organization's Office 365 configuration, your email server may end in outlook.com or your organization's domain name.

Onto the cloud

You should now be able to send and receive email from your Office 365 account using your Android tablet. Do you use Office 365 on your Android tablet? If so, please share your experience, including any tips or difficulties you experienced along the way.

About

Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management ap...

4 comments
cwhjr
cwhjr

For anyone researching help in getting the web version of 365 to work, try setting your browser to request the desktop version of the site. This worked for a 2012 nexus 7 4.4.2 and using chrome. Hope this helps. 

carstensens
carstensens

It would have been useful if article addressed the particulars of how to use a MS Office 365 license to install on an Android Tablet e.g. the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The objective would be to integrate w/ the cloud e.g. documents on SkyDrive via the tablet. Everything I've read provides instructions for installing MS Outlook as an email client vice other MS Office 365 Apps e.g MS Word.

jennifer bush
jennifer bush

Which tablet should I buy to be able to use microsoft office

CSamuels1010
CSamuels1010

Will: You never addressed your topic "How to access MS Office 365 from Android". SO how do Android Tablet and smart Phone users access and use MS Office 365, and Office Web App?

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