What's new for administrators in Outlook 2016 for Windows


Applies to: Office 365 ProPlus, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016

Topic Last Modified: 2016-12-20

Summary:Learn about the new and changed features for administrators in Outlook 2016.

Audience: IT Professionals

The Microsoft Outlook you know keeps getting better. This article gives you the highlights from an administrator's perspective, so you can plan Outlook 2016 deployment and configuration.


Are you a user?

If you’re not an administrator, this article is not for you. But we can point you in the right direction if you'e looking for What's new in Outlook 2016 for Windows.

Are you an admin?

If you’re an administrator, this article tells you about the new Outlook 2016 features you need to be aware of before you roll out this release or updates to your organization.

In this article:

What’s new

What’s changed

The following table highlights new features in Outlook 2016.

  • Outlook 2016 does not support connecting to Exchange Server 2007.

  • Outlook 2016 now requires AutoDiscover to be configured, or it will be unable to connect to Exchange Server. Outlook 2016 retrieves Exchange connectivity settings directly from AutoDiscover instead of the registry, making profiles more reliable, but that also makes AutoDiscover a required feature. For more information, see Account Auto Configuration process (Autodiscover).

Additions/Changes in Outlook 2016

Addition/change Description

AutoDiscover profiles

Exchange connectivity settings are now retrieved directly from AutoDiscover instead of the registry, making profiles more reliable. As a result, Outlook 2016 administrators must configure AutoDiscover.

Office 365 Groups support

Outlook 2016 now supports connecting to Group mailboxes. This feature increases organization by putting shared conversations, calendars, documents, and resources together in one place.

Cloud attachments

Attachments can be a reference to files in SharePoint, OneDrive, and OneDrive for Business. Also, when someone chooses an attachment remotely, Outlook attempts to keep it as a cloud attachment. 

Sync slider changes

Provides increased granularity to control Exchange synchronization, for example by specifying a smaller synchronization window. By default, the synchronization slider also applies to shared mailboxes, but you can set a registry key to change that.

OAuth support

Requires Exchange Online. This feature provides a higher level of data protection and helps organizations that require multi-factor authentication through integration of Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL). In addition, this feature eliminates some situations when users might see multiple credential prompts. This functionality has also been added to the previously released Outlook 2013.

Search improvements

When you use Outlook 2016 with Exchange Online or on-premises Exchange Server 2016, Outlook uses the server to assist with searches when possible. This provides better, faster search suggestions when you look for mail items.

Email Address Internationalization (EAI)

Lets users have addresses localized in a native language script or character set, for example Japanese. EAI is gaining popularity, especially in China, Japan, Russia, and other regions with non-Latin-based writing systems. Outlook users can send and receive email and calendar items to users with EAI addresses. Also, Outlook users can configure their own EAI address for both Office 365 and POP/IMAP accounts.

Large archive support

Provides the appearance of unlimited storage for a user mailbox by chaining multiple mailboxes together. For example, a user with greater than 100 GB of data will have a primary mailbox, an archive hierarchy mailbox, and one or more archive content mailboxes. The archive mailboxes will appear together as a single mailbox.


Accounts in Outlook.com (or any other Microsoft-owned consumer domain, like Hotmail, Live, an so on) that have been migrated into Office 365 will connect over MAPI by default when you add them to the desktop.

The following table highlights features that are removed or deprecated in Outlook 2016.

Features removed in Outlook 2016

Feature Description

PRF files for configuring Exchange accounts

PRF files do not work and are no longer needed in Outlook 2016 because accounts should be configured automatically in the account wizard when you use AutoDiscover.

Outlook Social Connector

Access to LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media sites have been removed.  In some cases, these social sites have built Office Add-in solutions that you can use instead.  Visit the Office Store for additional solutions.

InfoPath Forms

InfoPath Forms are no longer supported in Outlook 2016.