Use Groups in the Outlook mobile app; Outlook Groups app is retiring


Hi folks, 


Today, we announced that we're focusing on improving group functionality inside the Outlook mobile app, with new features coming soon like the ability to view your groups' files as well as favoriting groups important to you. This removes the need to install and use the standalone Outlook Groups app. With that, we will be retiring the Outlook Groups app over the next few months.


Rest assured, these changes are part of both our continued efforts to refine Microsoft 365 as the universal toolkit for teamwork and the investments we’re making in Microsoft Teams and Yammer. With this annoucement, there's no change with your experience with groups in other Outlook clients or other Office 365 Groups-enabled services.


Read more about this in the Outlook blog post.

12 Replies

Outlook needs to make it easier to access the other Groups tools.


Its not all about the Inbox.  For us Inbox is the least-useful part of the Group.  From Outlook, user needs to easily get to files (if that launched OneDrive or SharePoint fine), the notebook (if that launches OneNote then fine), the planner (if that launches Planner then fine), the SharePoint site (if that launches SharePoint then fine).


But as it stands right now, there will be no launching point to easily access the Groups tools without going out of the way to each individual workload's app.  That was the real benefit of the Groups app.

So how on my phone using Outlook "app" do I access a Group? They do not appear to be listed under the Folders list? and then as Brent says, navigate to the Files, OneNote etc for that Group?

Hi Brent, check out our roadmap here on the improvements we are working on -


You will soon be able to add groups to your favorites so you can quickly access the groups that are important to you. In addition, we are working on bringing group files stored in SP right into the groups experience in Outlook mobile, so you can complete core tasks in the app. 


We are constantly looking to make more improvements, keep giving us feedback on more things we can do here. The feedback about adding the other group resources is interesting and we will look into that. 

David - that is odd. If you are groups enabled, it should show up in the folder pane as an entry point. If you cant find it, can you contact support through the app?

Files is just one aspect, still need Planner, Notebook, SharePoint, updating Membership, Stream (eventually).

I definitely would not take away the Groups app until you can at least give us what we are losing.

People love the tools that Groups gives, but will hate the mobile experience if you have to bounce between 6 apps to actually "use" it.

If anything, it would be better to just keep the Groups app as a separate independent unifying app, and leave the individual email workload accessible from the Outlook app. If you have to kill the Groups app, you need to make Outlook have all of the same capabilities (which to me greatly complicates what the purpose of Outlook even is).

The Outlook groups app today does not support linking to Sharepoint, Planner, or stream. It contains files from SP group documents library which we are working on in Outlook mobile. The Onenote link in the groups app is also just a deep link to the OneNote app or the web. We also support the full experience in groups on Outlook for iOS and Android for create, membership changes and more. Can you try it out and let us know what we can do more there?

In our opinion, this is a very bad idea. First of all: The Outlook App is forbidden here at our site for security reasons. This is a management decision. We might be able to undo them, but it'll take a few months. And in the meantime? And there is another problem. Mail and calendar are natively connected directly to the smartphone. For mail, calendar and people we don't need the Outlook App. So notifications for appointments and mails are completely disabled. 400 users are affected.


How does this now work with notifications for new group mails that are not followed in the Inbox? Some of us are in up to 30 groups, but only have notification enabled for 4 or 5 groups.


And what about mobile data consumption? All users have limited plans. But due to the interlocking with mails and appointments, all appointment invitations and all (partly very long) mails are loaded twice (once for the native mail client and once for the Outlook app), or how does it work? Please reconsider the decision. It is not customer friendly.


Do these questions ever get a response or a comment? I follow these threads waiting for some advice or enlightenment but nothing :(

@Tony Redmond

Doubt it, decision's been made unfortunately, and I suppose we are just the vocal minority that found lots of value in it.

The mobile experience for Groups (when you exclude the Groups app) is absolutely frustrating at best.

None of the current ways things work I would describe are "user friendly". The number one compliant for everything Microsoft in our organization is going to too many places to find content. This sets us back years of progress and we are right back to the same complaints.

My only hope is Teams takes off in the organization, and we can use that as a buffer for the frustration. Teams can be complicated to end users, whereas Groups had a simple no-nonsense concept. Here are your tools, here is where you go to get them.
Hi Brent, I would love to get on a call with you to talk about our investments on these fronts
1. Better access to groups that matter to you
2. Access to groups shared resources
We are making a ton of investments on these two for Outlook mobile so that the groups experiences shines through. Please send me an email so we can figure out the times that we can talk.
Hi Robert, It will be great to understand your concerns with respect to security for Outlook apps. On the notification front, we are working on a feature where you can favorite your top groups and get quick access to content in them. We also have a plan to enable notifications for your favorite folders and groups so you can get notified on what matters to you.
David - Is groups working for you? Can you send a support ticket through the app and tag Maria Kang on it so we can take a look at what could be the issue why you aren't seeing groups?