Do your Dynamics 365 work in Outlook using Dynamics 365 for Outlook

Dynamics CRM 2016

Updated: November 1, 2016

Applies To: Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics 365 (on-premises), Dynamics CRM 2013, Dynamics CRM 2015, Dynamics CRM Online, Dynamics CRM 2016

If you’re like many people, you use Microsoft Outlook as your communications, scheduling, and contact management hub for business. You can continue to use the familiar Outlook interface and integrate Microsoft Dynamics 365 at the same time by using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook, an Outlook client provided by Microsoft Dynamics 365.

On this page:

Down arrow buttonWhat Dynamics 365 for Outlook offers

Down arrow buttonExplore Dynamics 365 for Outlook

Down arrow buttonWhat Outlook features are unavailable in Dynamics 365 for Outlook?

Down arrow buttonPrivacy notices

When you use Dynamics 365 for Outlook, you can access all the Dynamics 365 core functionality directly from Outlook. Dynamics 365 for Outlook also provides extra functionality that isn’t available in the web client. For example, you can:

  • Track Outlook email, appointments, contacts, and tasks. When you track a record in Dynamics 365 for Outlook, a copy of that record is “pushed” to Dynamics 365 and the two records are synchronized. After a record is tracked, you can update it in Dynamics 365 for Outlook or in Dynamics 365. Tracking provides a great way to keep your personal information separate from your business information, because only the information you manually track is pushed to Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 for Outlook also automatically synchronizes records you own from Dynamics 365 to Dynamics 365 for Outlook. More information:  Overview of tracking records in Dynamics 365 for Outlook

  • Apply Dynamics 365 email templates, or attach sales literature and Knowledge Base articles from Dynamics 365 when you are sending an Outlook email message to customers.

  • Take advantage of native Outlook functionality to customize views of Dynamics 365 data. For example, you can sort, filter, format, group, and categorize views the same way you manage views in Outlook, and you can open multiple views at once. You can also add conditional formatting and set follow-ups.

  • Access your Dynamics 365 data on the go by working in offline mode. Dynamics 365 for Outlook provides offline synchronization filters that you can modify before you go offline so you take just the data you need with you. When you’re offline, changes are stored to your local drive. When you go back online, Dynamics 365 for Outlook automatically synchronizes the data again with the Dynamics 365 server. More information:  Work offline with Dynamics 365 for Outlook

  • Create MicrosoftWord mail-merge documents to send form letters or form email messages to contacts, accounts, or marketing mailing lists. You can also use mail merge to create faxes and quotes. More information:  Create a Microsoft Word mail-merge document with Dynamics 365 for Outlook


If people in your organization share the same computer by using different user accounts, each person can install and use Dynamics 365 for Outlook for their own account.

When you Install Dynamics 365 for Outlook, the software adds several user interface elements to your Outlook screen.

Navigation pane

You’ll see a folder for your organization in the navigation pane on the left side of the screen. Under your organization name, you’ll see a list of Dynamics 365 folders. Use these folders to navigate to your area and open different record types.

Dynamics 365 for Outlook navigation pane

If you connect to more than one organization, you’ll see a separate folder for each organization in the navigation pane.


You access commands in Dynamics 365 for Outlook through the ribbon. The ribbon displays different buttons and features depending on context. For example, if you view a list of opportunities, the ribbon displays buttons that apply to opportunities. For appointments, contacts, and tasks, you’ll see a special Dynamics 365 section on the ribbon.

Dynamics 365 highlighted on ribbon in Dynamics 365 for Outlook

Lists, views, and the reading pane

When you use the navigation pane to open a folder for a type of record (Accounts, for example), you’ll see a list of records. The list is determined by the view you’re in and any search criteria or filter you have applied.

When you select a record in a list, the details for that record are displayed in the reading pane below the list. Data in the reading pane is read only—it’s a quick way to view the contents of a record. If you want to edit the data in Dynamics 365, just double-click the record in the list.

List and reading pane in Dynamics 365 for Outlook

You can change the location of the reading pane or turn it off or on. You can also customize what you see in the reading pane. More information:  Customize the Reading Pane in Dynamics 365 for Outlook

Microsoft Dynamics 365 uses standard Internet Explorer controls, so some Outlook features are unavailable in Dynamics 365 for Outlook. Use the workarounds in the following table for features that aren’t available.



Email signatures

Use a global email template or use native email signatures in Outlook.

Full-text editing features

Use standard editing controls. For example, press Enter for double-spaced lines and Shift+Enter for single-spaced lines.

Attach files during creation

Save an email activity before attaching files.

Move records by dragging and dropping.

There’s no workaround for dragging and dropping records. Dragging and dropping records causes data loss.


After synchronization with Outlook, 15-minute reminders are created for appointments and service activities created in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 folders or in the web application.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Service calendar

The Dynamics 365 Service calendar isn’t available by default, but you can ask your system administrator to add it.

To use Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook, you are required to sign in by using your credentials (an email address and password). You may choose to save this information locally so that you are not prompted for your credentials each time you open Outlook. If you do choose to save this information locally, Dynamics 365 for Outlook will automatically connect to Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) every time you open Outlook.

After the first time you sign in and use Dynamics 365 for Outlook, the connection between your computer and Dynamics 365 (online) will always be open when you have access to the Internet. You may choose to turn off the connection between your computer and Dynamics 365 only by using a configuration setting, but if you do turn off the connection, Dynamics 365 for Outlook may exhibit decreased performance.

If you use Dynamics 365 for Outlook to track email, the email thread will be visible to users in your organization who have permission to view it.

For every email you receive, Dynamics 365 for Outlook will send Dynamics 365 (online) the sender’s email address, the recipient’s email address, and the subject line of the message. This allows Dynamics 365 (online) to validate whether or not a particular mail should be stored by the Dynamics 365 (online) service. When you track an item, a copy of that item will be maintained by the Dynamics 365 service and will be visible to other users in your organization who have the appropriate permissions. When you untrack an item, that copy is automatically deleted from Dynamics 365 (online) only if you own the item.

If you use Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online), when you use the Sync to Outlook feature, the Dynamics 365 data you are syncing is “exported” to Outlook. A link is maintained between the information in Outlook and the information in Dynamics 365 (online) to ensure that the information remains current between the two. Outlook Sync downloads only the relevant Dynamics 365 record IDs to use when a user attempts to track and set regarding an Outlook item. The company data is not stored on the device.

An administrator determines whether your organization’s users are permitted to sync Dynamics 365 data to Outlook by using security roles.