If you’re among the many users who rely on access to your Office 365 e-mail by using a mobile device or desktop e-mail program, here’s some information that will help you keep your mobile device and desktop e-mail program connected to your Office 365 account.

This information applies to Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, IPad, iPod Touch, Nokia (Symbian), Windows Phone, and Windows Mobile devices. It also applies to desktop e-mail applications you may be using including Apple Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook, or Windows Live Mail.

Introduction to password expiration policies

The Office 365 service includes a password expiration policy that requires you to periodically change your password. Although this policy seems like a hassle, it helps protect the information in your e-mail account. Most Office 365 password policies require you to change your password every 90 days. This setting for your password may be more often or less if it’s been changed by the person who manages your e-mail account. It can even be set up to never expire.

A problem occurs when the e-mail account password that you entered on your mobile device or desktop e-mail program doesn’t match the current password for your account. So, if you allow your Office 365 password to expire, your mobile device or desktop e-mail program won’t be able to connect to your account. Similarly, if you change the password on your account without changing it on your mobile device or desktop e-mail program, your mobile device or desktop e-mail program won’t be able to connect.

What can I do to maintain or reestablish mobile device or desktop e-mail program access to my account?

Glad you asked—two things. You need to make sure that your Office 365 password doesn’t expire by regularly changing your password. You also need to make sure that the password that you entered into the e-mail account settings on your mobile device or desktop e-mail program matches your current Office 365 account password.

Here is some more information you should know.

  • If you regularly sign in to the Office 365 portal or regularly access your e-mail account using Outlook Web App, you’ll be prompted to create a new password when your password has expired. When that happens, that’s your cue to update the password setting on your mobile device or desktop e-mail program to match your new password.
  • If you don’t regularly sign in to the Office 365 portal or regularly access your e-mail account regularly using Outlook Web App, you may not be aware that your password that your password has expired.
  • If you’re an Office 365 for Enterprises user who uses the same credentials (that is, username and password) to log on to your organization’s computer network and or sign in to the Office 365 portal, you don’t change your password using the Office 365 portal. Instead, you’ll be prompted to change your password periodically when you log on to your organization’s computer network. When you change the password you use to log on to your organization’s network, the new password is used in the Office 365 environment. 
    Important   If that’s the case, you don’t need to follow all the steps below. You just need to remember to update the password on your mobile device or desktop e-mail program each time you change the password that you use for logging on to your organization’s computer network.

How to change a current Office 365 password and update it on your mobile device or desktop e-mail program

This procedure will help you proactively keep your mobile device and desktop e-mail program connected to your Office 365 e-mail account.

  1. In a Web browser, go to the Office 365 Portal at https://portal.microsoftonline.com/.
  2. In the Office 365 portal, in the top right corner near your name, click My profile. 
  3. On the My profile page, click Change password. Follow the prompts to create the new password. 
  4. Sign in to your Outlook Web App e-mail to make sure you’re able to connect to your account with your new password. 
  5. On your mobile device or desktop e-mail program, using the e-mail settings for your Office 365 e-mail account, edit the password to the match the one you created in the previous step. 
  6. Create a reminder to periodically update your Office 365 password. See “Create a reminder to periodically update your password” later in this topic.

How to create a new Office 365 password and update it on your mobile device or desktop e-mail program (if your password has expired)

This procedure will help you regain access to your account on your mobile device or desktop e-mail program if you’ve allowed your password to expire on your Office 365 account.

  1. In a Web browser, go to the Office 365 Portal at https://portal.microsoftonline.com/.
  2. Try to sign in to your account. You’ll see a message that your password has expired. Follow the prompts to change your password. 
  3. Sign in to your Outlook Web App e-mail to make sure you are able to connect to your account with your new password.
  4. On your mobile device or desktop e-mail program, using the e-mail settings for your Office 365 e-mail account, edit the password to match the one you created in the previous step. 
  5. Create a reminder to periodically update your Office 365 password. See “Create a reminder to periodically update your password” later in this topic.

Create a reminder to periodically update your password

To avoid any lapse in connectivity between your Office 365 account and your mobile devices or desktop e-mail programs, we recommend that you create a recurring appointment to remind you to periodically change the password on your Office 365 account and on your mobile device or desktop e-mail program. The default password expiration policy for Office 365 is 90 days. This may be different for your account if it has been changed by the person who manages your e-mail account.

For more information about changing your password, see Change your password for Office 365 for enterprises or Change your password for Office 365 for professionals and small businesses.

What else do I need to know?

  • After you change your password, you may need to wait a few minutes before you can sign in to your account.
  • If you’re having problems connecting to your account using your mobile phone or any desktop e-mail application, it’s possible that your password has expired or that you’ve recently changed it in the Office 365 portal or Outlook Web App. So if this is the case, follow the steps listed above to change your password and update it on your mobile device or desktop e-mail program.
  • If the person who manages your e-mail account resets your password for any reason, you’ll need to update your password on your e-mail account settings on your mobile phone or desktop e-mail program to match your new password. So if your password has been reset, follow the steps listed above to change your password and update it on your mobile device or desktop e-mail program.
  • If you’re an e-mail administrator, you may need to reset a user’s password, for example, if a user forgets their password or if they don’t change it before it expires. When you do this, be sure to select Send email to notify the user that you’ve reset their password. You should also remind them that they need to update the password on their mobile device to match their new password. For more information, see Reset a user's password for Office 365 for enterprises or Reset a user's password for Office 365 for professionals and small businesses
  • If you don’t see the option to change your password, or if the option is unavailable, contact the person who manages your e-mail account.