How to Sync Email and Account Related Data to a Windows Phone

When you create a new account on Windows Phone by going to settings > email + accounts, you can choose how often you want to sync the data between the account and the phone by tapping the area under “Download new content” and selecting from the available options you find there.

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Using the Outlook Hotmail Connector

Windows Phone devices do not sync contacts and appointments to a local computer via ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center.  Instead Windows Phone syncs contact and appointment data directly to web-based services, such as Outlook.com or to an Exchange Server account.

When I switched over from Windows Mobile devices to my first Windows Phone 7 device, I spent some time exploring the Outlook Hotmail Connector as a way to manage my contacts and appointments on my local computer while also providing a way to make the data available for my new Windows Phone 7. In this tutorial I use Outlook 2010 to demonstrate setting up the Outlook Hotmail Connector. The menu settings are similar for Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007, but you may have to hunt around for them a bit to find them.

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Sync Outlook 2013 to a Microsoft Account

If you’ve installed Outlook 2013 to your computer, you can sync your Contacts, Calendar AND Tasks (yes, Tasks) to your Microsoft account and you don’t need to install the Outlook Hotmail Connector to do it – the functionality is built into the software.

Once the data is synced to your Microsoft account, it is available to be synced to a wide array of devices (phones, tablets, computers) that encompass all the most popular mobile operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows Phone). You can enjoy the full power and feature set of Outlook 2013 on your desktop or laptop and be completely flexible in your choice and use of mobile devices!

This article will guide you through the steps to set up Outlook 2013 to sync your data to your Microsoft account. Continue reading Sync Outlook 2013 to a Microsoft Account

Sync your Windows Mobile 6.x Phone to your Windows Live account

windowsmobile2 If you’re using a Windows Mobile phone and thinking about moving to Windows Phone 7 sometime in the future, you’ll find this article to be useful.

NOTE:  This article was originally published in March 2012. In May 2014, Windows Mobile devices stopped syncing to a Windows Live (Outlook.com) account.  It appears that Microsoft disabled this ability on their end and does not intend to enable this ability again.  The steps that are outlined in this article no longer work.

I decided to leave this blog article active on my blog more for historical reasons since it is linked to some of my forum posts in the Microsoft’s Community forums.

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How to restore contact pictures to your windows phone

If you sync your contacts and appointments from the desktop version of Outlook 2010 (or earlier versions of Outlook) to your online Outlook.com (Microsoft) account, and then sync this information to your Windows Phone, you’ll probably notice that any pictures that were included with your Outlook contacts did not sync to your Outlook.com account or to your Windows Phone.

Outlook.com stores photos with contacts, but the only contacts you’ll see in the Outlook.com People hub with photos are your Live Messenger contacts who have posted a picture of themselves to their Messenger profile. You can’t edit those pictures and you can’t add your own pictures to those contacts.

You’ll need to manually add the photographs to your contacts on the phone.

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Use Windows Live to handle tasks on a Windows Phone

There is no task application on Windows Phone 7 and so there’s no way to sync tasks from Outlook 2010 (or earlier versions of Outlook) to WP7.  Windows Live (which is now known as Outlook.com) includes a task option that is buried within the Calendar hub, which is still quite limited.

I recently published an article that documents one method you could use to handle your tasks on a windows phone, which you can read here.  At the time I also mentioned another method that I was formulating.  This method uses a windows live account to manage tasks. It’s a little complicated to set up, but it’s  free and integrates nicely with Outlook and the phone’s calendar.

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Manage Your Tasks on a Windows Phone with Remember The Milk

Windows Phone 7 does not include a tasks application and there’s no way to sync Outlook tasks to the device.  Even if there were a way to sync tasks, there’s no place to store them once they get there.  This to me is one of the greatest deficiencies of windows phone.

A few years ago I signed up for a free “Remember the Milk” (RTM) account.  At the time I didn’t have a prevailing reason to move my tasks to the cloud and there was no windows mobile support for RTM, so I didn’t seriously consider using it.

But now with windows phone 7, I had a strong incentive to find a different way to work with tasks on my phone, so I rummaged around and found my RTM login credentials and took another look at this well known, well regarded, cloud-based tasks application.  I figured I could at least have access to my tasks through RTM’s mobile website.

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