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The Android experience is built around Google’s services. But what if you use a different provider for your email? Outlook (which Hotmail is now a part of) is one of the most popular free email services on the web.
If you use an Outlook or Hotmail email address then you’ll need to get them set up on your Android device. Fortunately, it’s quite easy.
Two Ways to Get Connected
There are a huge number of email apps for Android, especially for power users who have to deal with a large amount of email every day. Most people are better served sticking with the two big name apps.
If you use Gmail along with your Microsoft account, then you should stick with the official Gmail app. We’ll take a look at benefits of both, and how to set them up.
The Official Outlook for Android App
Although it shares a name, Outlook for Android doesn’t have much in common with its desktop counterpart. It’s clean, easy to use, and isn’t overladen with features — though the features it does have help to make it one of the very best mobile email apps:
- Multiple account support. Outlook isn’t just limited to your Outlook or Hotmail accounts. It also works with Google, Yahoo, and iCloud accounts, as well as Exchange and IMAP.
- A focused inbox. Outlook filters your most important messages into a Focused inbox for easy access. It continues to learn what’s important based on what you read and reply to, etc. Everything else goes into the Other inbox.
- Comprehensive cloud integration. Outlook automatically integrates with your OneDrive cloud storage account, and you can add Dropbox and Box accounts too. It’s perfect for adding and saving attachments.
- Scheduled messages. Got an important email that can wait until later? You can reschedule it with a single swipe. It’ll be temporarily hidden from your inbox until a set time and date, at which point you’ll also get a new notification to remind you to reply.
How to Setup the Outlook App on Android
When you launch the Outlook app, you’ll see the Add Account screen. Choose Outlook for your Microsoft account, even if your email address is @hotmail.com or even @live.com.
Now follow the simple onscreen instructions, adding your email address and password. If you have two-factor authentication turned on — as you should if you want to keep your account secure — you’ll need to enter the code here as well.
That’s all there is to it. Hit the cog icon in the top right corner to access the Settings. From there turn on Focused Inbox if it isn’t already. The Filter button on the inbox screen enables you to filter your messages further, showing only unread or flagged messages, or those with attachments.
At the bottom of the screen, you get quick access to your Microsoft Calendar and Contacts, as well as Files, which shows you attachments and files from your linked cloud accounts.
Download: Outlook for Android (Free)
Use Outlook with the Gmail App
Gmail works with virtually every type of email account and will set up an Outlook, Hotmail, or Live account without any manual configuration.
By default, a non-Gmail account in Gmail doesn’t offer push email. Instead, the app will poll your account every 15 minutes — or on a schedule of your choosing — to check if there any new messages. However, you can add push support using the “Gmailify” option. This is one of several great features in Gmail, including:
- A unified inbox. Select the All inboxes option from the sidebar and you will be able to see all your messages from all your accounts in a single, unified inbox. It’s much easier than constantly switching accounts.
- Integration with Android. Using your Outlook or Hotmail account with Gmail gives you more integration with the rest of Android, including the default Contacts app.
- Gmailify. Once setup, you get the option to “Gmailify” your account. This effectively turns your third-party email account into a Gmail account, without changing your email address.
- Spam control and filtering. A Gmailified account gives you access to Gmail’s advanced filtering to help you keep control of a busy inbox. You also get the powerful spam controls that keep your inbox completely junk free.
How to Access Outlook in the Gmail App
Open Gmail and slide out the sidebar from the left edge of the screen. Tap the small arrow next to your account name and select Add account.
Tap Outlook, Hotmail and Live from the list of available setup options. Enter your email address, password, and two-factor authentication code if you use it.
Finally, you’ll need to give the Gmail app permission to access your account, so tap Yes when prompted. The Account options page completes the setup. You can keep the defaults, which include checking for new emails every 15 minutes.
It’ll take a few seconds for your emails to load from your Outlook account. Once done, you’ll be able to see your inbox. At the top of the screen is the option to use Gmailify. Tap Give it a try to get started, then click through the subsequent screens.
When you Gmailify an account, all your emails are automatically imported into your Gmail account. They will be sorted and filtered just as normal Gmail emails are. When you reply to any of those emails, you will continue to use your Outlook (or other) email address.
Gmailify also has other benefits. It gives you more powerful search options. It integrates the account with Google Now cards. And it gives you more advanced notifications, especially on Nougat. The downside to Gmailify is that Google is able to scan the data from your non-Google emails, which you may or may not be happy with.
Either way, it’s easy to opt out again. Click through to the connected Google account in the Gmail sidebar, and choose the Unlink account option for your Microsoft account.
Download: Gmail for Android (Free)
What Works for You?
Setting up Outlook or Hotmail to work on your Android device is pretty easy. Even if you don’t like to use the Outlook or Gmail apps, you’ve still got plenty of options. Check out our guide to the best alternative Android email apps for more.
In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you use Outlook instead of Gmail? Have you used the Gmailify feature? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Originally written by Chris Hoffman on August 27th, 2012.