Frequently asked questions about synchronizing records between Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps and Microsoft Outlook

What's the best way to use Outlook and Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps together?

There are three ways to use Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Outlook together:

  • Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

  • Dynamics 365 for Outlook (legacy add-in)

  • Microsoft Exchange folder tracking

    As of the December 2016 Update for Dynamics 365 (online and on-premises), Dynamics 365 App for Outlook paired with server-side synchronization is the preferred way to view Microsoft Dynamics 365 data in Outlook and track Outlook records in Microsoft Dynamics 365. You can use Dynamics 365 App for Outlook together with Microsoft Outlook on the web, the Outlook desktop application, or with Outlook mobile. With Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, Customer Engagement information appears next to a user’s Outlook email messages or appointments. For example, people can preview information about contacts and leads stored in Customer Engagement and add Customer Engagement contacts directly from an email message. They can also link email, appointment, and contact records to new or existing Customer Engagement records, such as opportunity, account, or case records. To use Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, you must synchronize email with server-side synchronization. More information: Integrate (synchronize) your email system

How often are records synchronized through server-side sync?

If you synchronize records with server-side synchronization, the process is dynamic and unique for each user’s mailbox. The synchronization algorithm ensures that mailboxes are synced according to dynamic parameters such as the number of email messages and the activity within the mailbox. Normally, email synchronization occurs every 5 minutes. When a mailbox has many email messages, the interval can be reduced dynamically to 2 minutes. If the mailbox is less active, the interval can be increased up to 12 minutes. Generally speaking, you can assume that a mailbox will be synced at least once every 12 minutes. Note that you can’t manually synchronize records through server-side synchronization but when you track or link (set the regarding record) for email, appointments, or tasks, synchronization happens immediately.

Where can I find information on troubleshooting server-side synchronization issues?

You can find information on troubleshooting and known issues here: Troubleshooting and things to know about Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook

Do security permissions affect synchronization?

Yes. If a system administrator has implemented security for particular fields or records, it can affect the data that’s synchronized.

If I synchronize records with Dynamics 365 for Outlook (legacy add-in), how do I change the synchronizing computer (client)?

If you use Dynamics 365 for Outlook (legacy add-in and not the same thing as Dynamics 365 App for Outlook) to synchronize records, and if you have Dynamics 365 for Outlook installed on more than one computer, you have to select one computer as the synchronizing computer for email, appointments, contacts, and tasks. To change the synchronizing computer:

  1. In Dynamics 365 for Outlook, on the File menu, choose Dynamics 365 apps, and then choose Options.

  2. On the Set Personal Options page, choose the Synchronization tab.

  3. In the Set synchronization client section, select Set this computer to be the client to perform synchronization between Outlook and your primary Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement organization.


This option only appears when you have multiple computers connected to the same organization.

Can I view or control the fields that are synchronized between Dynamics 365 apps and Dynamics 365 for Outlook (legacy add-in)?

You can view the synchronizing fields and whether fields are synced one way (from Outlook to Customer Engagement), two ways (back and forth between Outlook and Customer Engagement), or not at all. More information: View the fields that are synchronized between Dynamics 365 apps and Dynamics 365 for Outlook.

If you’re a system administrator, you can control field synchronization and sync direction. More information: Control field synchronization between Dynamics 365 apps and Outlook or Exchange


This feature was introduced in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 and CRM 2016 (on-premises).

See also

Dynamics 365 App for Outlook User's Guide
Dynamics 365 for Outlook User's Guide
Track Outlook email by moving it to a tracked Exchange folder
Set personal options that affect tracking and synchronization between Dynamics 365 apps and Outlook or Exchange