Outlook 2016 Setup Error for Office 365 Mailbox


When configuring Outlook 2016 client for Office 365 be aware that you may not be able to do this through the Control Panel|Mail icon anymore.   On a recent Exchange to Office 365 migration I was caught out by this “feature” change from Microsoft.

On Outlook 2013 you could happily use the Control Panel|Mail icon to Add a new Outlook Profile for the O365 mailbox.

However, on Windows 10 devices, that had a pre-installed copy of Outlook 2016 that had been used to connect to Exchange 2010, they could not connect to Office 365 via Control Panel | Add Account.   The email address and password authentication step would always fail.


Outlook 2016 Workaround to add O365 Mail Account

In Outlook 2016 I used the following workaround to get it connected to the Office 365 mailbox.

  • Use Control Panel|Mail to add a new Outlook Profile, but only for a local PST file.  You can do this by selecting Show Profile|Add  .
  • Then select a Manual setup, and POP or IMAP
  • Select Next
  • Then, on the POP and IMAP Account Settings page, select Cancel
  • When warned about creating a profile with no email accounts, select OK
  • You now have a new Profile with just a local PST file
  • Start Outlook 2016 against that new Profile, and go to the File tab, and Account Settings, and Add Account.
  • When prompted, add the email address of the email account you are trying to add.
  • When prompted, enter the password.
  • Outlook setup should add your Office 365 mailbox into your new Outlook Profile.
  • All that is left to do, is to remove the PST file from the Outlook Profile.  Right-click on it in Outlook and select Remove, or remove it via the Profile properties|Data Files in the Control Panel|Mail settings.


There are lots of different ways of configuring the Outlook 2016 client for Office 365, but I found the above method to work consistently for me on Windows 10 devices.    Hopefully I will find a clear explanation of why I have to do this, and use a simpler resolution.