Can't sync calendar and contacts with my phone or tablet

It can be frustrating when your calendar and contacts aren't syncing to your phone or tablet. To help you resolve this, we've put together a handy guide to troubleshooting these sync issues when you setup email on your mobile device for the first time.

If your email, calendar, and contacts were syncing before and now they don't, see Fix email sync issues or remove a device from Outlook.com instead.

Which email app are you using? How you add your email account will determine how to fix sync on your calendar app.

Reset your account
  1. Open the Outlook mobile app.

  2. Go to Settings. Tap the account that is not syncing and then tap Reset Account.

    Select your account Reset Account

  3. Exit the Outlook app, wait a few seconds, and then open the app again.

  4. Go to Calendar and tap the three lines in the upper left-hand corner.

    Tap the menu

  5. If you see your email address in the list, make sure "Calendar" is selected. Wait and then check your calendar. If your calendar items are still not displaying, go to the next section.

    Check for calendar sync

    If your email address is not displayed in the list, it is not set up using Exchange ActiveSync. To double-check this, tap Settings at the bottom and see if your email address is set up as IMAP. If it is, use the instructions in the steps below to delete and re-add your account using Exchange ActiveSync.

Remove and re-add your email account
  1. Open the Outlook mobile app

  2. Go to Settings. Tap the account that is not syncing and then tap Delete Account > Delete From This Device.

    Select your account Delete account

  3. Now re-add your email account. See Set up email in Outlook for Android app or Set up email in Outlook for iOS app. In most cases, Outlook will automatically configure your email account using Exchange ActiveSync. If you are still prompted to set up your email as an IMAP account, your email provider may not be able to sync calendar and contacts. Contact them or your administrator for help.

    Note: Most common email providers are capable of using Exchange ActiveSync. If you do not have a common email provider such as Microsoft, Google, or Yahoo, you may have to contact them to see if it is possible to add email without using IMAP or POP. What are IMAP and POP?

Check your app settings and enable calendar/contacts
  1. Go to Settings > Accounts > Exchange > tap your email address.

    If it is added as an IMAP account, you will have to delete it and re-add as an Exchange account (directions below).

    Phone Settings > Accounts Choose your account

  2. Make sure "Sync Calendar" is enabled. Wait and check your device's calendar app.

    Syncing enabled

  3. If you don't see a calendar option or you see a sync error message, your email address may have been added incorrectly. Remove your account by tapping More > Remove account. Proceed to next steps

    Remove account and re-add

Re-add your account using Exchange ActiveSync
  1. Update your Gmail app to the latest version.

    Note: You can do this by opening the Play Store app on your phone. Search "Gmail" and then select Update. If update option is not available, you are already on the latest version.

  2. Open the Gmail app.

    Tap the menu icon in the upper left corner > Settings > Add account > Exchange.

    Important: Even if you have an Outlook.com email address such as @hotmail.com, do NOT choose Outlook, Hotmail, and Live.

    Choose Exchange

  3. Enter your full email address. Tap Next.

  4. Enter your password and tap Next.

    Note: Asked for server settings? See Server settings you'll need from your email provider.

  5. Follow any prompts you may get, including security permissions. You may also be asked to set your sync settings and a display name.

    If you use Office 365 for business you may also be asked to give additional security control. In this case, choose Activate.

  6. Proceed to next steps to complete the process.

Enable sync and give Gmail permissions
  1. Go to your inbox. If you see a message from "Microsoft account" with a subject that starts with "Action Required," follow these steps:

    Note: If you don't see a message like this and all your emails are syncing, there is no need to complete this step.

    • Tap the email message to open it.

    • Tap the click here link to enable sync with the Gmail app. If you want to download Outlook for Android instead, tap the button.

      Click the link to enable sync
  2. Check to make sure Gmail is allowed access to your calendar and contacts:

    • Pull down the Android notification bar by swiping down from the top of your device's screen.

    • If you see a notification that reads "Unable to sync calendar and contacts," tap it.

      Note: If you don't see a sync error notification, your calendar and contacts should be syncing.

      Open the notification bar
    • Gmail will ask for access. Tap Allow and follow the prompts.

      Allow contacts Allow calendar

  3. Wait a few minutes and then check your device's calendar.

    Note: We also recommend double-checking that your account was added as an Exchange account by going to Settings > Accounts.

Check your app settings and enable calendar
  1. Go to your iPhone or iPad's Settings > Mail > Accounts.

    Note: If you're using iOS 9 or earlier, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Select the account you are trying to sync.

    Settings > Mail Select Accounts

  2. Select the account you are trying to sync.

    Choose account type

  3. Make sure "Calendars" and "Contacts" are enabled and then check your sync again.

    Account sync settings

  4. If you don't see a calendar option, your email address may have been added as an IMAP account.

    To fix this, select Delete Account and re-add your email by selecting Outlook.com if you have an Outlook, Hotmail, or Live account. You can also choose Exchange to setup your email. For detailed steps see, Set up email in the iOS Mail app.

    Note: Most common email providers are capable of using Exchange ActiveSync. If you do not have a common email provider such as Microsoft, Google, or Yahoo, you may have to contact them to see if it is possible to add email without using IMAP or POP. What are IMAP and POP?

If you are having issues setting up an email capable of using Exchange ActiveSync to the iOS Mail app, contact Apple Support.

Check your app settings and enable calendar
  1. Go to Settings > Accounts > Exchange > tap your email address.

    If it is added as an IMAP account, you will have to delete it and re-add as an Exchange account (directions below).

    Phone Settings > Accounts Choose your account

  2. Make sure "Sync Calendar" is enabled. Wait and check your calendar app.

    Check sync settings

  3. If you don't see a calendar option, tap More and select Remove account.

    Remove your email account

  4. Re-add your email account to the Email app by selecting Exchange ActiveSync or Exchange. For detailed directions, see the Samsung tab in Set up email in Android email app.

    Note: Most common email providers are capable of using Exchange ActiveSync. If you do not have a common email provider such as Microsoft, Google, or Yahoo, you may have to contact them to see if it is possible to add email without using IMAP or POP. What are IMAP and POP?

If you are using a tablet with a screen size larger than 10.1 inches like a Surface Pro tablet, you most likely have the desktop version of Outlook. See Resolve sync issues in Mail and Calendar apps in Windows 10, as well as Mail and Calendar for Windows 10 FAQ.

Check your app settings and enable calendar
  1. Open the Outlook Mail app. Tap the three dots at the bottom to open the menu. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Accounts > tap the account you wish to sync.

  3. Tap Change mailbox sync settings. Check to make sure the settings are as you want them.

    Change Server to eas.outlook.com if you use an Outlook.com account such as hotmail.com, or use outlook.office365.com if you have an Office 365 for business account. For all other accounts see Server settings to request from your email provider.

Remove and re-add account
  1. In the Outlook Mail app; open the menu, tap Settings > Accounts > tap your email account > Delete.

  2. Go back to the Accounts page and tap Add Account.

  3. Tap the kind of account you wish to add:

    • Choose Outlook.com if you have an @outlook.com, @hotmail.com, @live.com, or @msn.com email account.

    • Tap Exchange to set up an Office 365 for business account, an Exchange account, or any email provider with Exchange ActiveSync enabled.

    • If you don't see your email provider on the list, tap Other account. This will set up the email account as IMAP or POP and won't sync calendar or contacts.

  4. Enter your full email address and tap Next.

  5. Add your password and tap Sign In or Next. Follow any prompts you may get.

Check your app settings and enable calendar
  1. Go to your phone's settings for mail, select the account you are trying to sync, and make sure calendars are enabled.

  2. If you don't see a calendar option, your email address may have been added as an IMAP account. To fix this, delete your email account and re-add it using Exchange ActiveSync or Exchange.

    Note: Most common email providers are capable of using Exchange ActiveSync. If you do not have a common email provider such as Microsoft, Google, or Yahoo, you may have to contact them to see if it is possible to add email without using IMAP or POP. What are IMAP and POP?

Having trouble? We can help.

Some key things to remember:

  • To get calendar, contacts, and tasks, you must set up your email using Exchange ActiveSync, not IMAP or POP. What are IMAP and POP?

  • Your must have an email provider that uses Exchange ActiveSync. Most common providers do.

  • For the easiest way to manage email, calendar, contacts, use the Outlook for Android or Outlook for iOS mobile app.

Need to contact someone?

  • If you have a work or school account that uses Office 365 for business or Exchange-based accounts, talk to your Office 365 admin for support. Office 365 admins can contact Office 365 for business support.

  • Contact Microsoft support for questions related to the Outlook app or Outlook.com accounts.

If you still need help syncing your calendar or contacts to your mobile device, tell us about your question in detail using the comment box below so we can address it in the future.

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