Did I miss the announcement of the end of support for SMS messaging from Exchange Online?

Regular Contributor

Some of our users have been using SMS alerts from exchange online as described here.


But it looks like the options to modify those alerts have been removed (or put somewhere very hard to find).  The alerts appear to still function if you have set them up in the past - so something is still out there.

Is this another case of the ribbon police taking away "unneeded" options - or is the service being discontinued?

16 Replies
best response confirmed by Adrian Hyde (Regular Contributor)

Hi @Adrian Hyde 


Searched - nothing to say that the functionality has been deprecated. 


Follow the link Victor provided ( and it will take you to the Text Messaging section under General mailbox options


Select Set Up Text Messaging and it will give you the options




AFAIK on 365 this is for Web App Only, so wouldn't likely appear in the ribbon.


Hope that answers your question.


Best, Chris

Thanks @Christopher Hoard .  I did mix my terminology...what I meant to say was that when you have selected the "New Outlook", the option to get to these settings cannot be found.

But thank you - I had forgotten to switch back to the "old outlook" when looking for these settings.



Does this mean it is being phased out?  Or just an oversight?

Thanks @Adrian Hyde

Glad we have a solution and that you can now do this.

Not all of the existing functionality is in the new Outlook experience yet. I had another example the other day where a user had to switch back to use retention tags in OWA which are also not there yet. I guess this is why there is a period of coexistence between the two experiences.

I would assume all the functionality will be there going forward unless Microsoft issue a list of deprecated items.

Hope I have managed to answer your question! If I have please set a like and solution to the response. Hope to answer more of your questions in the future!

Best, Chris
Yes - I hope that is the case. As we've been finding in the new Office ribbon, some features are being removed without documentation.

@Christopher Hoard- I guess this was indeed an omen of things to come!  SMS capability is going away.


 Feature update: new Outlook on the web - retiring ability to edit text messaging notifications
Plan For Change
Published On : April 23, 2019
"We will continue to support text messaging notifications for users who have it enabled for roughly one year after we retire edit capabilities."
Yeah, I had a feeling they were winding it down. Thanks @Adrian Hyde for confirmation this is the case - and confirmation on the eventual fate of this functionality.

Best, Chris

@Adrian Hyde - If there was an announcement, I think we all missed it. I wanted to change my SMS notifications (Office 365) and found there was no edit. I deleted my SMS notifications settings. I thought 'well, it's Microsoft Office, maybe you have to delete and recreate instead of edit.' Instead I found the feature is deprecated. Frustrating. 

Is there any news about why this is was deprecated and any plans to replace it?

I used it all of the time and it was exceptionally useful. I just changed phone carriers and it stopped working, so I accidentally deleted it.


Getting a text message every time a change occurred to a meeting on your calendar was exceptionally useful and there is no way to replicate that as far as I know. I also used to get get messages when a VIP emailed me, but that I can replicate in an Outlook forwarding rule.

@TdewarI am going to guess that MSFT didn't want to deal with the hassle of managing text messages with multiple carriers.  IF you recall when it was working that they only had a small number of carriers available to choose from.

I am also guessing this led to lots of complaints about "Why is my carrier not available". 

You could take two paths - work on adding more carriers, or just turn it off for everyone.


P.S. I agree - it was very useful.

@Adrian Hyde I get it, but that is not even a good excuse. Just change the implementation to use the email address of the SMS receiver instead of the phone number. Every carrier has an equivalent email address. Put it on the user to figure it out and enter that. Can I create a rule to forward emails to that email address now, sure, but the SMS system allowed me to get a text every time an appointment was changed, There is no equivalent mailbox rule. This was a great feature. I can't count the number of times I got a text message an appointment was changed as I was on my way out the door to that appointment. It was very useful. I didn't need to check email to see it. If they created an equivalent mailbox rule, they could set it up as an email rule and we could enter the SMS email instead. That would also help people who just wanted it as an email alert. Problem solved.

Wow, no announcements, no alternatives, no support. Pathetic.


I have been using the flow app to replace it.  Put the flow app on the phone and then configure notifications.  It has been working for me.

@CGiles-72 Thanks. I have done something similar for email notifications, but are you able to use that for a calendar appointments? That is the one thing I have been unable to replace.

@Adrian Hyde I think it had more to do with the following, per their announcement: 


"If you want to receive notifications on your phone, download Outlook for Android or Outlook for iOS."


Unfortunately, contractors to the Fed Gov that have connectivity to an agency's outlook server get that via virtue of an agency issued laptop.  Agencies rarely issue a mobile device as well.