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Initial Setup of Outlook 2016 for Mac

This article applies to: Outlook 2016 for Mac


This page is for people who

  • have a CIT-managed Office 365 account (all faculty, staff, and graduate and professional students), and
  • want to start using Outlook 2016 for Mac.

If your unit's computers are centrally managed, check with your local IT support staff before installing any software.

Outlook 2016 for Mac works with Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), and macOS 10.12 (Sierra).

To download and install Office 2016 for Mac (which includes Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote), see our Microsoft Office Licensing article.

Initial Setup

  1. Run Outlook.
  2. On the Set up my Inbox screen, click Add Account. The Accounts dialog box will open.
    (If you see the main Outlook screen instead of the Set up my Inbox screen, see the Alternate Path note below.)
  3. In the panel titled Add an Account, click the icon next to Exchange or Office 365.
  4. In the form that pops up,
    • For E-mail address, enter your NetID@cornell.edu address.
    • For Method, select User Name and Password.
    • For User name, enter your NetID@cornell.edu address again.
    • For Password, enter the password associated with your NetID.
    • Click to put a check next to Configure automatically.
  5. Click Add Account. You'll be taken back to the Accounts dialog box, where your Cornell account is now listed.

Outlook will start downloading messages and items from the Office 365 server. Depending on how much email and calendar information is already in your account, this could take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. You can use Outlook while this information downloads, but it will probably respond sluggishly.

Turn On Automatic Junk Mail Filtering in Outlook on the Web

See our Turn On Automatic Junk Mail Filtering in Outlook on the Web article for the steps needed. We recommend using the Outlook on the Web settings, as they are processed on Microsoft's servers, so they will be consistently applied no matter what client or app you use to read your mail.

Alternate Path

If, when you start Outlook, you see the main Outlook screen instead of the Set up my Inbox screen mentioned in step 2 above, follow these lettered steps.

  1. In the main Outlook window, in the ribbon, click Tools, then click Accounts.
  2. In the Accounts dialog box, in the lower-left corner, click the plus sign, then select Exchange.
  3. Jump up to step 4 above and continue from there.

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