Outlook.com account with a personal address or custom domain can’t be added to Outlook

My Outlook.com mailbox just got migrated to the new Outlook Mail infrastructure but I still can’t add my mailbox as an Exchange account in Outlook.

I’m not using an @outlook.com address but an address from my own domain. I also have an @gmail.com address connected to my Outlook.com account but that fails too.

This used to work with the Outlook Hotmail Connector and as an Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) account but not as an Exchange account. How can I make it work as an Exchange account as well?

Outlook.com buttonSetting a custom domain as the primary alias is currently not supported in the new Outlook.com platform. Only native domains (@outlook, @hotmail, @live, @msn, @passport) are supported as the primary address.

Adding personal aliases are still supported when they are added as a Connected Account.

Full support for custom domains is available via Outlook.com Premium and via Exchange Online.

Fixing your account and connecting it to Outlook

To “fix” your current Outlook.com account, visit the Manage how you sign it to Microsoft page and click on the “Make primary” link behind the @outlook.com address of your account.

If you don’t have any @outlook address configured or don’t like the current one, you can press the “Add email” link to add a new @outlook.com address to your account.

Switching your Primary Alias to an @outlook.com address.
Switching your Primary Alias to an @outlook.com address.

Once you’ve done that, you can use that address to configure your account as an actual Exchange account via the Auto Account Setup. You only need to supply your name, email address and password (or a special App Password in case you have enabled Two-Step Verification for your account).

Configuring an Outlook.com account in Outlook via Auto Account Setup (click on image to enlarge)
Configuring an Outlook.com account in Outlook via Auto Account Setup (click on image to enlarge)

Alternative 1: Connected Accounts

Connected Accounts buttonWhen you have an email address that belongs to a mailbox hosted by another provider (like for instance an @gmail.com or @yahoo.com address), you can configure that as a Connected Account so you will be able to send and receive emails for that address via your Outlook.com mailbox.

To add a connected account, logon to Outlook.com and press the Gear icon in the top-right corner (left from your display picture) and choose: Connected accounts.

For most accounts, Outlook.com will automatically find the required IMAP/POP3 and SMTP server settings so it can be set up quite quickly.

Connected accounts are checked for new emails at least once per hour but the first sync could take a little bit longer to be processed.

Connected Account added to an @outlook.com mailbox. (click on image to enlarge)
Connected Account added to an @outlook.com mailbox. (click on image to enlarge)

Note: There currently is a limitation issue that will still have you send out with your @outlook address when sending via Outlook. It does work correctly when using the Outlook.com website. You can work around this by adding your other account as a send only account in Outlook.

Alternative 2: Outlook.com Premium

Outlook.com Premium buttonA more direct approach would be to upgrade to an Outlook.com Premium account. This is a subscription service for Outlook.com that allows you to add your own domain name or create a new one and use tat address as your primary address without any restrictions; It works the same as having a native @outlook.com address.

As it behaves just like a native @outlook.com address, it means you can actually send out with that address on any platform, new emails that are sent to you are received instantly and you’ll have no problems configuring Outlook with that address either.

This subscription service allows you to create personalized addresses for up to 5 people. Other benefits are that being able to share calendars, contacts and documents between each other and no banner ads when using the Outlook.com website.

Note: Outlook.com Premium is currently only available in he United States.

Alternative 3: Exchange Online

Exchange Online buttonIf you need to use personal addresses with your domain for more than 5 people or want greater control in general, then it is time to look at Exchange Online.

Exchange Online is part of Office 365 for Business and gives you total control over your email domain. This also includes creating email enabled distribution lists and shared mailboxes.

You can also sign up for Exchange Online even when you only need 1 mailbox. For instance, when you are an IT-Pro or a small shop owner.

You can also combine this subscription with Office 365 Desktop so you’ll always have the latest version of Office available to you.

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