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

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

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

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook (legacy add-in)

  • Microsoft Exchange folder tracking

As of the December 2016 update for Dynamics 365 (online and on-premises), Microsoft 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 Microsoft 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, Dynamics 365 information appears next to a user’s Outlook email messages or appointments. For example, people can preview information about contacts and leads stored in Dynamics 365 and add Dynamics 365 contacts directly from an email message. They can also link email, appointment, and contact records to new or existing Dynamics 365 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:  TechNet: Integrate your email system with Dynamics 365

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.

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 Microsoft 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, 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 Microsoft Dynamics 365 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 and Dynamics 365 for Outlook (legacy add-in)?

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

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


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

Privacy notice

If you use Microsoft Dynamics 365, when you use server-side sync, Dynamics 365 contacts and activities (including emails, appointments, contacts, and tasks) are synchronized to your specified email system (such as Exchange).

An administrator can configure server-side sync functionality to specify which users have the ability to send emails or appointments from Dynamics 365 or synchronize activities and contacts between Dynamics 365 and the user’s mailbox. Both the administrator and end users can further customize filter criteria, and administrators can even define which entity fields synchronize.

If you use Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online), when you use the Sync to Outlook feature, the Dynamics 365 data you are syncing is “exported” to Outlook. A link is maintained between the information in Outlook and the information in Dynamics 365 (online) to ensure that the information remains current between the two. Outlook Sync downloads only the relevant Dynamics 365 record IDs to use when a user attempts to track and set regarding an Outlook item. The company data is not stored on the device.

An administrator determines whether your organization’s users are permitted to sync Dynamics 365 data to Outlook by using security roles.

To use Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook, you are required to sign in by using your credentials (an email address and password). You may choose to save this information locally so that you are not prompted for your credentials each time you open Outlook. If you do choose to save this information locally, Dynamics 365 for Outlook will automatically connect to Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) every time you open Outlook.

After the first time you sign in and use Dynamics 365 for Outlook, the connection between your computer and Dynamics 365 (online) will always be open when you have access to the Internet. You may choose to turn off the connection between your computer and Dynamics 365 only by using a configuration setting, but if you do turn off the connection, Dynamics 365 for Outlook may exhibit decreased performance.

If you use Dynamics 365 for Outlook to track email, the email thread will be visible to users in your organization who have permission to view it.

For every email you receive, Dynamics 365 for Outlook will send Dynamics 365 (online) the sender’s email address, the recipient’s email address, and the subject line of the message. This allows Dynamics 365 (online) to validate whether or not a particular mail should be stored by the Dynamics 365 (online) service. When you track an item, a copy of that item will be maintained by the Dynamics 365 service and will be visible to other users in your organization who have the appropriate permissions. When you untrack an item, that copy is automatically deleted from Dynamics 365 (online) only if you own the item.