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Outlook 365/Outlook.Com syncing

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Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 27
Registered: ‎19-10-2018

Outlook 365/Outlook.Com syncing

I'm a long-standing Plusnet customer with a PC, laptop, iPhone 8 and iPad.

I have recently streamlined my system by:

1) Switching my Plusnet email to IMAP on all devices

2) New PC with Windows 10 (Windows 7 before)

3) Subscribed to MS Office 365.

4) Created Outlook.com account

I don't need Outlook.com for its email, but I'm told it's a good way to sync Outook Contacts, Calendars and Tasks between all my devices automatically.

What I don't know is how to set this up.

At present, my PC (which I use as the master device for data) is configured so that Plusnet IMAP email is stored in its native .ost file. I have created a separate .pst file to store other data (Contacts and Tasks) and set that as default so I can back it up.

The question is: what exactly do I need to do now to configure Outlook 365 so that it syncs Contacts and Tasks with my laptop, iPhone and iPad via Outlook.com?

If possible, I'm keen to do this in such a way that I can always back up the file storing Contacts and Tasks - just in case,

Any advice hugely appreciated!

Best to all,

Peter Bell

8 REPLIES 8
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Pro
Posts: 579
Thanks: 109
Fixes: 7
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Outlook 365/Outlook.Com syncing

As I understand it, I'm not sure you can do what you want. I don't use MS products that way for just this reason.

I think Office 365 defaults to an Exchange relationship with Outlook.com. If you create an Outlook.com account within Outlook on the PC, you will get Contacts, Diary, Tasks and Inbox folders that have their data stored on the Exchange server at Outlook.com.

If you set up the same account on your Laptop, Ipad and Iphone using the appropriate Outlook apps, then they will all access the shared contacts, Diary and Inbox (and any other folders you create) on the Exchange server - hence you get synchronisation between the devices.

You will probably need to populate ( drag & drop should work) the contacts folder in the new account from the old one. Ditto the diary although I've never tried drag and drop from one diary to the other.

But backing up the exchange stuff locally is (I think) fairly hard. You can backup the .ost file, but you can't easily access the data in it. MS assume that the Exchange server is secure storage and see it as quicker to simply rebuild it from the server if anything goes wrong.

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Rising Star
Posts: 415
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Re: Outlook 365/Outlook.Com syncing

I'm not an expert on this by any means but I have given it some thought over the years so here's my experience and where I ended up. it may or may not help you, hope it does.

I think you need to think about contacts, tasks and email accounts quite separately, albeit that you might use an email client like outlook365 or thunderbird etc to view your contacts calendar tasks and emails i one place. Getting the right application to manage these things in such a way that worked for me was the most important thing. Once you are bought into that swapping to a different app is a bit of a chore. Contacts in particular are a pain if you have a lot of detail stored beyonde email addresses and phone numbers

On Emails
I gave up on my plusnet email account for security reasons. It still exists but I have everything diverted to an outlook.com email. You can't forward the default or catch all email account, so I use outlook.com to pick that up as a POP so it effectively empties the plusnet mail and sends it to my outlook.com address. The result is all my email ends up in my outlook.com address inbox. This is accessible on my phone PC ( I use outlook 2010 but ll need to upgrade this year to 365 I think)

For contacts
The most important thing for me was to have a single list of contacts mastered in one place. The most active one for me was my phone and I am an android person so Google contacts was the one for me. You can sync this with things like thunderbird but not easily with outlook 2010. Despite this I like the fact that my contacts are all there in google's universe and i can access them on my phone and via a web browser on any device connected to the internet. Not having them perfectly synced in outlook 2010 is  a limitation I can live with.

For Calendar (which i use for tasks and appointments) 
Again its phone driven for me so I use Google calendar, Outlook will allow you to bring your calendar appointments over so you can see them in outlook 365, outlook.com can sync these but not reminders. 

Good luck.

Be good to know what you end up doing in the end.

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Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 27
Registered: ‎19-10-2018

Re: Outlook 365/Outlook.Com syncing

Thanks, Wisty.

I first had a conversation about this with Townman on this forum some time ago.

I know he uses Outlook.Com to sync Outlook data on a multiplicity of devices and has found it works very well, but I didn't discuss with him the issue of a local backing up for things like Contacts and Tasks.

II keep a lot of crucial stuff inj Contacts especially beyond just phone numbers and email addresses and I'm nervous about relying 100% on the Outlook.com server to keep it all safe.

I'll give it some further thought.

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Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 27
Registered: ‎19-10-2018

Re: Outlook 365/Outlook.Com syncing

Thanks groundsman.

Good to know I'm not the only one who finds this somewhat complicated!

As I said in my reply to wisty, I first discussed this with Townman on this  forum some time ago.

I know he's used outlook.com very successfully  to sync Outlook data on a multitude of devices, but I don't know if he's able to do local backups.

I'll try to keep you posted when (if?) I find a solution!

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All Star
Posts: 1,259
Thanks: 393
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Registered: ‎25-07-2007

Re: Outlook 365/Outlook.Com syncing

I use Gsyncit to sync outlook calendar and contacts between devices.

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Rising Star
Posts: 415
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Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Re: Outlook 365/Outlook.Com syncing

@Champnet does that cost actual money though?
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All Star
Posts: 1,259
Thanks: 393
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎25-07-2007

Re: Outlook 365/Outlook.Com syncing

One off payment of $20. It's the concept that's interesting and I'm sure there's many more similar products around, some maybe free....

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Pro
Posts: 579
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Outlook 365/Outlook.Com syncing


@supercooper wrote:


have you found a way to do that ? i'm looking for something similar...


Can't help with the iPad or iPhone as I'm an Android (old Samsung) phone user and my tablet/laptop runs Windows 10 as does my desktop. I have a way that keeps all the data under my control and as far away from Google etc as possible - but it's not automatic.

I have Outlook on the desktop and Laptop/Tablet (Microsoft Surface) both set up to keep default Contacts, Calendar, Notes etc. in a local .pst file - one that is not associated with any of my (many) mail accounts. I sync these two every day/couple of days by copying the .pst file from one to the other. (FreefileSync https://freefilesync.org) at the same time I sync my working files/documents between the two.

I use Android-Sync (https://www.android-sync.com ) to sync the .pst data to my phone. However this program costs - I bought it about seven years ago, and it hasn't been updated in a while - but it still works fine for me. 

I can back the data up by backing up the .pst file, and none of my contact data or working files go anywhere near the cloud.