How to Sync Windows Phone 7 with Outlook


A number of years ago, Windows Mobile 6.5 was released to the public. Though it had its quirks, the Windows Mobile platform gathered a small but loyal following of business professionals and productivity enthusiasts. Perhaps the biggest reason for this following was just how easy the platform made it to sync with Microsoft Outlook.

When Microsoft released Windows Phone 7 last year, they completely revamped the interface to make it much easier to interact with. Some would even say they’ve made it pretty. At this time, many existing Windows Mobile owners assumed that Outlook sync would work the same way it had before. It didn’t. Disappointed, confused, and upset are only a few of the words that would describe the general reaction to the situation. Amazingly, Microsoft offers no method to sync Windows Phone 7 to Outlook directly via USB.

What are Windows Phone 7 owners supposed to do? Microsoft offers two official solutions: Sync via a hosted Exchange server or use the Outlook Hotmail Connector. Exchange setup is fairly straightforward – if you have an Exchange server, that is. For those who don’t, the Outlook Hotmail Connecter is the only other option from Microsoft. This option requires you to sync your Outlook data to Windows Live/Hotmail, which then wirelessly syncs to your phone. Both options limit you to syncing contacts and calendars only.

While current Windows Phone 7 API’s prevent CompanionLink from providing a direct sync option, we can sync Outlook to Windows Phone 7 devices via Google. This option offers advanced wireless sync of contacts and calendars, as well as tasks and categories. We sync your Outlook tasks to the calendar as untimed entries, and we sync Outlook contact categories as Google Groups. Once CompanionLink syncs your data to your Google account, it is automatically synced to your phone, courtesy of Google. This happens through your phone’s wireless data connection. Two-way sync is fully supported too, so you can make changes from anywhere.

To get started, simply download CompanionLink for Outlook and configure it with your Google username and password. Detailed setup instructions can be found on our support page. Next, set up your Windows Phone 7 device to sync with your Google account and you’ll be done. It’s that simple!

We’ll be keeping an eye on the Windows Phone platform. With any luck, perhaps a future update will allow developers such as ourselves to implement a more robust sync solution.

If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments.

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  • Frustrated

    Forget outlook connectors, forget clouds. After 3 months of total frustration I found Akruto. It took 5 minutes to do the job. I have nearly 300 contacts to transfer. No way do I want business contacts in cyberspace. In fact the only time I have had security problems was with hotmail, which is beyond my security control so I did not want to load my business contacts on that!! I recommend Akutro to everyone trying to sync their outlook contacts with a windows 7 phone – it goes from PC to phone!!

  • intacam

    Just astonishing. My WM7 mobile is now parked in a drawer, after I’d otherwise been able to sync past WM phones easily to Oulook via USB-ActiveSync for the last 8 or so years. My solution? Dump the WM7 mobile in disgust, and buy an Adroid phone. I can now quickly and easily sync all my Outlook 2010 data (calendar, tasks, contacts, notes) to my Android phone, using CompanionLink for Android, directly by USB and running (free) DejaOffice on my Android. Works great, just like I used to be able to do. So here I am, 8 years on with WM and less functionality than I used to have, but recovered by an Android easily talking to Outlook. As I say, astonishing…or pathetic on the part of Microsoft. No more WM for me.

  • Sparsen

    This is crazy.
    These people are unbelievable.
    Why you did not advertize this feature to let every body know that we will have to upload all our info to the NET before we can use it.
    OUR CONTACT LIST TO THE NET BEFORE WE CAN USE IT.
    I AM VERY VERY SORRY FOR SPENDING THE MONEY TO BUY IT.
    NOW I WILL THROW IT AWAY AND NEVER BUY NOKIA AGAIN.
    VERY VERY SORRY

  • Speedbike1

    Hate is a strong word…..But I can’t find another word for what I feel right now. I have bought a win Phone 7 that I can´t use because they dont allow usb sync and I REFUSE to sync over the cloud!!! Why should I let google or Microsoft lifetime access to my private information??? Yes, that is what you all aggree on if you sign up for a Google account.

    More people must Tell microsoft what we think about this!! Don´t stop writing and calling them!!

  • Menno Panneman

    Good reaseon to buy  a Mac !

  • Movieapple

    My Microsoft Windows Mobile 7 phone is sitting right next to my Microsoft Windows 7 computer with Microsoft Outlook 2010 – and they completely don’t know how to talk to eachother without some stupid messing about with Exchange servers and the like – how am I supposed to sync when my plane is coming in to land before a meeting?  Microsoft completely screwed this up, this phone is going on eBay tonight and I’m buying a Blackberry tomorrow.  Nice work Microsoft.  Thanks for the clear blog post David.

  • Bridgecityman

    I’d really like to see a wireless network sync for my Windows phone and my new Outlook system via usb…any cance?

    • http://www.companionlink.com David Z

      I’m not sure I completely understand your question – could you clarify what you mean?

      • Bridgecityman

        I have a home wireless network, and of course I have a USB cable, but from what I can see, I cannot sync my calendar and contacts from my LG-C900B to my new windows Outlook. Has me thinking there must be a way, or there are going to have to be some changes…including “bye-bye microsoft”

        • http://www.companionlink.com David Z

          WiFi and USB sync are options we’re not able to offer for Windows Phone due to the current nature of the platform. I’m not aware of any solutions out there that offer these sync methods.

          That said, we do offer sync via Windows Live (or Google, if you like), and Microsoft has built in support for Exchange. At this point, these are your best options. Let me know if you have questions on any of them.