The new Outlook may give Microsoft access to third-party emails and logins

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 10, 2023
Microsoft Outlook

The new Outlook for Windows application will replace Mail and Calendar, and also classic Outlook. Problem is, it may transfer third-party email logins to Microsoft and gives Microsoft full access to all emails, contacts and events.

The new Outlook is available already. Users of the latest Windows 11 version may have the app installed on their devices. It is also available as a standalone download from the Microsoft Store.

new outlook windows

Even classic Outlook contains an option to test the new Outlook for Windows. Microsoft plans to replace Mail and Calendar on Windows 11 with the new Outlook for Windows in 2024. Microsoft employee Caitlin Hart revealed in a Tech Community post that the new app will also replace classic Outlook eventually.

The article lists features that Microsoft is working on currently and features that it has added to the new Outlook for Windows already.

Your emails and login information may be transferred to Microsoft

new outlook sync emails

A reminder is shown to users when they add a new third-party email account to the new Outlook. It links to the Sync your account in Outlook to the Microsoft Cloud support website. There, users are informed that emails, contacts and events of that account are synced with the Microsoft cloud to enhance the Microsoft 365 experience.

This works with a limited number of third-party email providers and also depends on the platform. The Windows version supports the feature for Gmail and Yahoo accounts, while the iOS, Outlook for Android and Mac versions support Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud and IMAP accounts.

Microsoft gets full read access to the emails and other information that it syncs. The only options that users have is to select continue or cancel. Continue proceeds with the setup, cancel stops it at that point.

Apart from gaining access to emails, contacts and events for supported email providers, users may also wonder how the syncing is established.

German computer magazine CT discovered that Outlook may transfer the target server, username and password to Microsoft servers. This was, for instance, the case for test IMAP accounts.

TLS is used to encrypt the data in transit, but Microsoft gains cleartext access to the data. I confirmed the findings using a test account.

Users are not informed about this by Microsoft during setup. Microsoft gets full access to the email account, including the username and password, and does not inform users about it.

To be fair, this is not the case for all third-party email accounts. Gmail, for instance, uses OAuth2 for authentication. Microsoft still gets read access to emails and other data, but it does not get the user's login information.

Gmail users may retract these permissions in their Google account at any time.

The new Outlook and third-party accounts

Windows users need to be very careful when it comes to the new Outlook. We recommend not to use it with third-party accounts at the time of writing until Microsoft publishes an official statement about this.

The new Outlook has a 3.5 out of 5 rating on the Microsoft Store. Reviews are mixed, and so are reviews on third-party websites.

Now You: which email app(s) do you use?

The new Outlook may transfer emails and logins to Microsoft
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The new Outlook may transfer emails and logins to Microsoft
The new Outlook app gives Microsoft full access to emails, contacts and events of third-party accounts, and sometimes also login information.
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  1. Robboman said on November 18, 2023 at 9:56 pm

    Not only the “new” Outlook but the same things happens to me with Outlook 2016 part of Office Professional Plus 2016!

    Unbelievable! Click on their privacy policy and it’s right there: they will sell your data for ads!

  2. GatesFoundation said on November 13, 2023 at 12:27 am

    A subpar web version of Outlook was not demanded by anyone. Customers desire native programs. Until people stop using their malicious malware, Microsoft won’t get the message.

  3. Coranth said on November 12, 2023 at 10:44 pm

    This article made me switch to Thunderbird. No more fake “email ads” from Microsoft!

  4. me said on November 10, 2023 at 8:08 pm

    Edge stealing bookmarks redux.

    But I assume if you blocked every M$ app from the internet (other than svchost, for Windows updates), the Outlook app wouldn’t be able to sync anything to anyone.

    That amounts to running Windows Firewall (the group policy version) in ‘block outbound traffic by default’ mode.

  5. msm said on November 10, 2023 at 5:34 pm

    I tried connected to my email account at It doesn’t allow me to download the email attachments (password protected pdfs)…

  6. Tachy said on November 10, 2023 at 4:38 pm

    People need to remember where Microsoft even got the idea to profit from user data aquired through it’s windows os as they weren’t always like this.


  7. ECJ said on November 10, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Ditch Windows email clients and use either eM Client or Thunderbird instead. I use eM Client, which has native MS Exchange support, however as per the below reply from a business development manager at Thunderbird, Thunderbird will get native Exchange support in the future as well:

    Unlike previous Microsoft email clients, the new Outlook for Windows will now also put ads in your inbox as well. Not just for Microsoft email accounts, but for Gmail accounts as well. See the Microsoft FAQ at the bottom of the below link:

    Will the new Outlook for Windows have ads?
    The new Outlook for Windows also provides a free, ad-supported version for customers who don’t have a paid subscription. If you use a free email service such as, Hotmail, or Gmail without a Microsoft 365 subscription, you’ll see ads in the new Outlook for Windows. If you prefer not to see ads, you may purchase a Microsoft 365 subscription to remove any advertising served by Microsoft.

  8. barryzee said on November 10, 2023 at 3:36 pm

    I’m not sure why anyone is surprised by this. This has been the case for years with not only Google and Microsoft but other free products as well. If you don’t pay for a product or a service, your data as well as the requirement to watch ads is your payment. I choose to avoid that by paying for email with at least basic encryption and a VPN.

    1. ECJ said on November 10, 2023 at 6:00 pm

      It’s quite simple, for 30 years Microsoft never had ads in their email clients, it was paid for by the money users paid for the Windows licence (Windows isn’t free, we all have to pay for it either directly when buying a licence, or indirectly as part of the cost when buying a computer). A genuine Windows 11 Pro retail license costs $200 for example.

      Now after 30 years (and after making a Microsoft Account almost mandatory to log into Windows), Microsoft have decided to put ads in it – along with other scummy business practices. Understandably, Microsoft customers don’t like the direction Microsoft have been going in under Satya Nadella. While some of us never liked Google, Microsoft was at one point tolerable. However, now that Microsoft is becoming the same as Google, we are letting it known we are not happy and they can go f*ck themselves.

      I don’t see Microsoft going back to being more respectable again – they are likely going to double-down on Microsoft Advertising and Bing instead; therefore people like myself are almost certainly going to ditch Microsoft and move to the Apple ecosystem when we need to replace our current devices – as Apple are a much more suitable match for people like us. But in the mean time, it will not stop us from calling Microsoft out on their BS.

      1. Tony said on December 8, 2023 at 6:36 pm

        I agree. Except I Apple is also a closed proprietary ecosystem with some questionable privacy practices, Instead, I’ll be moving to Linux on my next system replacement, probably dual boot with Windows in case I really, really need it for some odd work-related task.

        There’s even Wubuntu now that’s basically a very convincing Windows 11-like skin to ease migration for users new to Linux who might otherwise think it’d all be too hard to switch. That, or Mint would be good options, IMHO.

  9. JohnIL said on November 10, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    Well, now I know why Microsoft is installing this app automatically. It’s just another personal data sucking app for Microsoft. I think Microsoft people just sit around dreaming up ways to collect more personal data. I agree, that if this keeps up it will drive me away from Windows.

  10. Andy Prough said on November 10, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    Most email is sending cleartext, at least in the message headers if not the body. You could use an email service with very extensive encryption like Tutanota, running through a good privacy browser like Tor Browser. That would be one way to handle email more privately.

    Otherwise, all these free email providers like gmail and outlook are only paying for you to have free email just so they can read your messages for advertising purposes.

  11. Anonymous said on November 10, 2023 at 1:40 pm

    Every time Microsoft makes a move I get closer to Linux.

  12. Mike said on November 10, 2023 at 1:37 pm

    Ten years from now, when the class action lawsuit goes through, you will receive $5 off a digital game purchase in the Microsoft store as compensation. (Offer not valid for new releases.)

    For those who still don’t understand, in the era of forced cloud migration and overly aggressive sales tactics, nothing on your PC will be private. Nothing.

    1. VioletMoon said on November 10, 2023 at 3:01 pm

      @Mike–“Nothing on your PC will be private.”

      Thinking . . . wondering . . . not so sure anything ever was private. It would be a difficult “assumption” to prove or disprove. There may have been a “golden age” of privacy, but that was eons ago.

  13. Milo Pope said on November 10, 2023 at 7:20 am

    This move is absolutely unacceptable. Users who are forced to migrate are als forced to sync their third party mail, contacts and calendar to the Microsoft cloud. I recommend to switch to Mozilla Thunderbird, who does keep the content where it belongs.

    1. 45 RPM said on November 10, 2023 at 10:44 am

      Agree 100%

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