Microsoft Finally Adds Contact Editing to Outlook for Android and iOS

Posted on June 5, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Office, Office 365 with 22 Comments

Here’s some great news for users of Outlook for Android and iOS: Microsoft is delivering a major update that adds the ability to edit contacts.

I know. It’s a crazy omission. But this app has never supported contact editing, a feature that has emerged, predictably, as a top feature request. And it is coming soon, Microsoft says.

“With our latest release, we’re addressing one of our most highly requested features with improvements to our People experience,” a post credited to the Outlook team explains. “You will now have the ability to add and edit contacts right from Outlook on iOS, coming soon on Android. We’ve also completely redesigned the contact card to show more details—including latest conversations and shared files—and enabled easier calling and messaging with your contacts.”

The ability to edit (and add) contacts on the go is obviously huge. And based on the screenshots Microsoft has provided, it looks like it will work as expected. Any changes made in Outlook for iOS will be synced and available across all versions of Outlook, the firm says.

As important, you can now save new and edited contacts to the default contacts app on your phone. Meaning that this information will show up in phone and text alerts.

“Due to the underlying capabilities of iOS and Android, Outlook provides a one-way push of contact information from Outlook to your phone,” the company explains. “Newly added contacts and changes made in Outlook will sync to your built-in Contacts app. However, edits made in the contacts app will not sync back to Outlook or your email service.” So there’s still room for improvement.

Finally, Microsoft has also redesigned the contact cards in Outlook so that their key information is up front. And this new contact card now also displays your recent conversations, shared attachments and any upcoming meetings you have with that person.

There’s no word on when this new version of the app will be available. Just “coming soon.”


Tagged with ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (22)

22 responses to “Microsoft Finally Adds Contact Editing to Outlook for Android and iOS”

  1. Johan Rios

    just does not make any sense

    That's the only reason why I keep syncing my with Exchange ActiveSync integration on Android

    Why going to an extra app to manage your contacts when you can use the integrated Contact manager for your phone?

    In Windows Phone that's seamless, obviously, but on Android and IOS is still cumbersome (again, unless you sync your email with Exchange ActiveSync)

    NOTE: I don't sync my email, I actually de-select email and calendar from Exchange ActiveSync, I only sync my contacts and it's been working very fine since I had to move from my Nokia Lumia 925

    • reluna

      In reply to Johan Rios:

      I also use this aproach which Paul outilined in an old post, but there is an issue whit this.

      For some reason, when you create a new contact on the Android Contact App and select to save it to your account, the contact is created in a list called "Agent Registry Contacts" instead of the default "Contacts" list.

      The problem is that if you reset your device or want to sync your contacts to a new android device, the "Agent Registry Contacts" do not sync back to the device, only contacts in the default list do.

  2. Trapp

    I'm one of those weird people who just use the stock apps for email and contacts on iOS. Will contacts added to my phone continue to sync back to outlook contacts on my PC as they've always done? Also doesn't iOS use it's stock contacts app for the phone app? If I add a contact's phone # in outlook on my pc will it sync back to my phone? I've never had problems with this in the past.

  3. wright_is

    I fell into the trap on holiday. I met an old friend, who I hadn't seen in years, added their name and number to my contacts and whoosh! Gone.

  4. Daekar

    Thank God, I have been wanting this for... Well, since I installed this app!

  5. sharpsone

    Finally! Thank you MS! Now I can update my contacts in Outlook and ditch the built in contacts for Android. Seriously Android contacts has gone sideways on me multiple times with lost contact info. A serious POS folks.

  6. emanon2121

    Changes made in the Outlook app syncs but changes made in the fault contacts app do not?

  7. Chris_Kez

    Still fails to let me add a photo to a contact. I click "edit" then "add photo". If I choose "Take Photo" the camera just shows a black screen and nothing happens. If I select "Choose Photo", it lets me pick, move and scale, then apply the photo; but then I press "Done" to save it and I get a pop-up saying "Couldn't save contact. Sorry, photo is not supported. Please remove it before saving."


  8. Bart

    Paul, I don't think a new version of the app is necessary. Go to the Contacts section in the Outlook app on iOS now and tap the + on the top right.

  9. harmjr

    I look forward to this update. I dont want to configure my email on the Samsung stock and android app. One way sync is better then no way sync.

  10. Pbike908

    Hmmm. Will wait to see how this works on Android. I don't understand how contacts changed in the contact app won't sync back to the Outlook server since contacts changed in Android Contact App currently DO sync back to the Outlook server.

    Perhaps this is referring to folks that run their own mail server as opposed to folks like me who use

    As an added note, I often have to read anything about Outlook very closely since and Outlook often refer to completely different applications yet Microsoft and the tech media often refer to them interchangeably.

  11. dallasnorth40

    "However, edits made in the contacts app will not sync back to Outlook or your email service."

    Then, what is the point?

    • Chris_Kez

      In reply to dallasnorth40:

      I guess they expect you to just use Outlook for contacts and mail. The problem right now is that there was no way to edit Contacts in the Outlook apps for iOS/Android.

    • slbailey1

      In reply to dallasnorth40:
      The way I am reading this is to always use Outlook for Android to create and edit contracts. That way you will get your 2-way sync of all changes to and from your phone. Outlook for Android will sync with the Outlook servers and push changes to your phone contract list.
      If your make changes directly in your PHONE contract list, Outlook for Android will not pull the changes in and sync them to the Outlook servers.

  12. Hal9000

    Sorry, I will not switch back from Nine

    • bassoprofundo

      In reply to Hal9000:

      I'm right here with you so far. I do want to like the Outlook app, but Nine is humming along just fine for me as is. I can't see what Outlook would provide at this point that Nine doesn't already. I guess if you haven't switched to (and paid for) Nine at this point, it might be worth holding off to see if you can live with the updates to the Outlook app.

  13. tonynguyen

    The best of Email app, i usually use on iOS and Windows 10 laptop! i'm from Vietnam

Leave a Reply