A fix for broken email syncing with your Microsoft Account without resetting


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Nov 7, 2012
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As you all probably know, you can't delete/remove the windows account you use for your phone. So what happens if the email stops being able to sync with it? The only answer I've seen is to wipe and reinstall the phone. When my wife (who does not take kindly to resetting her phone) ran into the email problem, I knew I had to find a better answer.

What I wound up doing was adding the account again, and having a broken account (which really doesn't get in the way of anything) and the new working account. The problem is that Windows checks to see if there's an existing account with the same name, and won't let you proceed. The solution is that it only checks this at the first step, and then exposes the account info so you can change it to your account in a later step.

This fix is specific to Outlook or Office365, but is probably applicable to most any other email system. The big requirement is that you have a second account on the same system (which I know is a deal breaker for some) to get this to work.

Here's what you need to do:

1) Turn off syncing for your Microsoft account. Note - pretty much all the instructions require you to go to (All Settings.Accounts.Email and App accounts). You then select the account in the "Email, Calendar, and Contacts" section and press Manage to get to the options. It'll generally only have email listed, but also turn off calendar and contacts if they're there and on.
2) Add an account. Instead of your account, give it another valid account on the same email system.
3) It'll check the account, and when it's confirmed, ask for your password. At the same time, the name is editable. Here's the magic: Change the name to your account name, and give it your password. It doesn't do the verification to see if it's adding the same email twice, and allows you to proceed without a problem.

Tada! You'll still have your broken Microsoft account along with the new, working one that you made, but that's a small price to pay. Plus, it doesn't show up when you select "Manage Accounts" from inside Outlook or the calendar or Contacts.

Make sure to go the check the sync options for the new account and set them as you wish.

I suspect this won't work if you don't have a valid, secondary account, but you might want to try it if you don't have any other choices.

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