auris - Fotolia


How to configure Outlook on mobile devices with Intune

Intune admins must know how to enable mobile users' needs, including having quick access to Outlook. Learn the five steps that IT must take to configure Outlook on mobile devices.

The Microsoft Outlook mobile app can help users be more productive on their mobile devices by bringing mail, calendar, contacts and other files together in a single app, but as a mobile admin, you need to set up and configure Outlook on mobile devices properly before users can take advantage of these features.

Microsoft enables you to preconfigure certain settings in the Outlook mobile app and get users up and running faster.

What options are there to configure Outlook on mobile?

Over the past few years, Microsoft has expanded and improved configurable settings in the Outlook mobile app and combined them with a simple administrator experience for deploying those settings via Microsoft Intune.

Years ago, you had to configure an email profile by manually configuring key-value pairs. Now you can deploy email profiles by using the provided settings in the configuration designer of an app configuration policy. The configuration options for the Outlook mobile app in the configuration designer fit within the following categories:

Email account configuration

This category contains options for you to configure users' email profiles. For the configuration options in this category, you should consider deploying settings such as the type of authentication required and the attributes that make up the profile, such as username and email address. This category only works on  managed mobile devices

General app configuration

Today, you can configure email profiles by using the provided settings in the configuration designer of an app configuration policy.

This category contains options that enable you to configure general app settings for the user. You should consider turning on features such as focused inbox, save contacts and the default app signature. You can configure most of these options with a default configuration, which you can either enforce on the app or allow users to adjust. This category of configuration works for both managed devices and managed apps on unmanaged devices.

Additional configuration

You can use this category to configure settings that are not available with Intune's configuration designer. This is especially useful for custom settings that require you to configure specific key-value pairs. Depending on the Key-value pairs, this category of configuration options may work for managed apps and managed devices.

Intune's steps to configure Outlook on mobile devices

You can deploy the Outlook mobile configuration options with an app configuration policy for managed devices or managed apps. The following steps will allow you to configure users' Outlook mobile apps in Microsoft Intune.

Configure Outlook mobile with Intune
Step five in the process of configuring Outlook for mobile devices with Intune
  1. Open the Microsoft 365 Device Management portal and navigate to Apps > App configuration policies to open the Apps – App configuration policies blade
  2. On the Apps – App configuration policies blade, click Add > Managed devices to open the Add configuration policy blade
  3. On the Add configuration policy blade, provide at least the following required information and click Add once you're done
    1. Name: Provide a valid name
    2. Description: (Optional) Provide a valid description
    3. Device enrollment type: Select Managed devices
    4. Platform: Select Android or iOS/iPadOS depending on the platform of the devices. The configuration steps are similar for both platforms, but there might be differences in the configurable settings in the general app category.
    5. Associated app: See step 4
    6. Configuration settings: See step 5
  4. On the Associated app blade, select Outlook and click OK to return to the Add configuration policy blade
  5. On the Configuration settings blade, select Use configuration designer and all three configuration categories (Email account configuration, General configuration and Additional configuration) will be shown in the blade. For configuring an email profile, the settings in the Email account configuration category are required. Navigate to that category and select Yes with Configure email account settings. After that, configure the required Authentication type, the Username attribute from AAD, the Account domain, the Email address attribute from AAD, configure Allow only work or school accounts to Enabled or Disabled and click OK to return to the Add configuration policy

The example shown above (Image 1) will configure Outlook on mobile to associate with an email profile for just one type of Office 365 tenant, which requires modern authentication. The example also shows a user principal name as the username attribute and email address attribute. This setup only allows work or school accounts.

When you assign the app configuration policy to the user and the user has a managed device with the Outlook mobile app, the Outlook mobile app will detect that account. Outlook will then prompt the user to add that account once the user boots his or her application. The final step is for the users to provide their credentials -- if needed.

Dig Deeper on Mobile application strategy

Unified Communications