The little secret to synchronize your Office 365 and your Android calendars

If you’re like me, your life is managed in Office 365. But when I use Android phones, I find this endless frustration of trying to sync the calendar from Office 365 into the Android’s native calendar.

“Why would you want to synchronize the calendar from Office 365 into Android, if Outlook has a great calendar built in?”

I hear you. Outlook’s calendar not only looks much better, it’s functionally so much easier to use than the built in Android calendar. And if you disagree with me, don’t bother posting a comment because I’ll delete it as this is MY BLOG and I say whatever I want here.

Anyways, back to why: The thing is a lot of integration scenarios in Android require your calendar to be synchronized there. For example, if you use a Wear OS watch, you will see that the notifications are a little useless without it. Almost everywhere else, you will have the same problem. Name the app: Do you drive a Tesla? Then your calendar won’t show up in the car unless you sync Office 365 with the Android calendar. That’s life.

“How hard can that be?”

Well, in theory should be the simplest thing in the world, right? But if you search around the web, everybody and their dog complain that once they set the calendars to sync, eventually the Android calendar runs stale, as if something stopped the synchronization after a while. Then folks point to a variety of third party solutions and tools that are far from friendly.

I had the same problem… Until I did this (disclaimer: This was like 30 minutes ago so I might very well be celebrating too soon :P)

1-Go to your Android settings, Accounts and Backup, Accounts.

2-If you already have an Exchange ActiveSync account set there, delete it

3-Now tap the “Add account”

4-Choose “Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync”

5-Type your e-mail

6-HOLD ON, YOU’RE GOING TOO FAST. After typing your e-mail, there’s a tiny “manual setup” at the bottom. Click at it

7-Type your password in that advanced screen

8-Make sure your domain name is right (it should NOT be domain\username BUT INSTEAD it should be your actual e-mail address.

9-Set the exchange server to outlook.office365.com

10-YOU’RE GOING TOO FAST AGAIN, WAIT. Now here in this screen, note the “Calendar sync period”. For me, it defaults to “6 months”. Change that to: “Always stay synced”. AHA! Wink, wink. Go ahead and finish the setup now.

11-You are now a happy user with a calendar that gets synchronized.

12-NO WAIT, WHAT? NOTHING IS SHOWING UP ON MY CALENDAR, YOU LIED TO ME

13-Have faith. It will come. It will take a while, maybe several minutes (I said SEVERAL), but eventually you will see it. If you have access to shared calendars from your co workers, they will show up too. You will also notice that you can create events on either side, Outlook or on this calendar in Android and they will sync to each other just fine. You can also delete them from either side and the sync will take care of it. Amazeballs!