Outlook App on phone not showing colors for categories

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Occasional Contributor

Can someone tell me if the Outlook phone app is capable of displaying the colors set up for categories in the calendar? We have numerous teams using resource calendars and color coding the appointments with a different color for each person. They are complaining that they don't see the colors in the Outlook App on their phone. I tested this on my Android phone and don't see any colors. The user that submitted the complaint has an iPhone. I am having difficulty finding out from googling whether this feature is available in the Outlook phone app or not because the results just keep coming up for Outlook not the Outlook phone app. And if it is available, is it available for both Android & iOS or only one of those?

27 Replies
I've had this same problem in the past. And it recently has become a problem again since I logged in using a new profile. I would also love an answer if anyone out there knows of one!

@marerose when working with an exchange online account your labels will be shown in the Outlook app for iOS, however you can't apply them.

So for viewing and changing them I would advise the mobile view.

 

This was tested with an exchange online account. When working with exchange on premises this behaviour is different I noticed :(

The only app I have found that has a calendar widget and can read categories is Nine for Android. I really wish that the Outlook app had this capability.
To assign a color category to a message from the message list, right-click the message. Select Categorize, then select a category from the list. Tip: If you right-click the message and you only see options to flag the message, try right-clicking in the blank space to the right of the sender's name.
@Lewis-H: tell me if I'm wrong, but your describing the steps for for a desktop app. I don't think it answers the initial question of using the categories in the Android app / mobile version) .
Would a similar step by step process exist for the Outlook Android / iOS app??

@LauranneS @Lewis-H I concur, the steps described are for a desktop app. I can confirm the Outlook mobile app does not show categories anywhere... that's really disappointing, as that's an important way I use to visually organize my messages.

@Margaret Auld-Louie 

You can if you use the online version. Go in your browser to outlook calendar, from there you can add the calendar to home on your phone.  Find the calendar icon and login from online not to the app. There you can  color code from  - more options - categories.  You can not add this as a widget, only the app. 

But at least you can color code in your phone :D

The Outlook app on Android will show category colours if you add them using the main Outlook app on your PC (& presumably the web versions too). However, you'll only see the entries in colour if you select the "Month" view in the Android app (Calendar, top right). The "Agenda/Day/3 Day" options don't yet support the colour coding!

@Allan Clarke 

The only color coding I see in the month view  is for different calendars, not for different categories within one calendar.

Am I correct?

 

Thanks,

 

Chris

@cbatenAThome 

 

No, If a calendar has a color assigned to it (You cannot assign a category to a calendar) all events within that calendar will adhere to that color, unless a category that has a different color is applied to the specific event. You would then see the color for the calendar, and the color of the category which was assigned to that event. If you click on the specific event, you would see what category is assigned. You will see on my attached screenshot that I have assigned the Holiday category (Pink) to St. Patrick's Day. However, at the present time, you cannot assign/change categories on the mobile Outlook app.

I have Outlook 2016 on my PC with Color coded categories Categories that I use across Tasks & Calendar. All Calendar entries are color coded and in Outlook 2016 appear in all Calendar views. In Outlook Mobile, on Android, the color coding only gets reflected in the "Month" view. It may be you need a Microsoft365 account for the functionality to work on mobile. Mobile for M365 accounts seems to have some additional functionality.

@Allan Clarke the issue isn't viewing to be honest.

The issue is editing.

 

I can see my color coded events in my calendar view (also in day/week view on iOS btw), but I can't create a new event on Outlook for iOS and set a certain category to it.

I don't think you can set any categories via mobile versions (iOS or Android). The mobile app is just presenting what it finds on the server and if it was color coded at creation in Outlook 2016 then it will appear in mobile. I find that, if I create a Calendar entry in mobile, I tend to go to Outlook 2016 and add a category next time I'm there. Hopefully its an update to a future mobile version!
This is so disappointing that you can’t use categories on mobile. This is a organizational tool I use, so I have to make a to go onto the desktop to update when I get back into the office. Google calendar has this function and moving to Gsuites to run my business is looking more appealing. and may have to switch
I guess it will get added one day as they do seem to slowly be bringing the functionality of the other Outlook variants all in line. As a workaround you could try setting a condition in Outlook 2016 (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCSWzvGYktg ) which may work. With the conditioning set in Outlook 2016 I'm presuming a Calendar entry created on your mobile will get the condition applied when you next open the Calendar on your PC. This would presumably then filter back to the calendar on your phone. Would at least save you having to go in and color code manually. Give it a try!
For years I’ve been the App Nine specifically because it supports categories in the Calendar. First on Android and since a year and a half on iOS. The iOS App is a little behind the Android version and and have some minor usability issues. I’m still waiting for developer to catch up with the iOS version. He said he would but is taking his time.

You will have to sync colours manually but this is a one time job. Nine also supports merging several calendars, just like you can do in Outlook.

@Rob354 I recently found Nine. It works great but costly. I wish MS would add this same functionality into the Outlook app.

I’ve noticed the price went up to about 16 euro lifetime. It’s more than the 10 euro I paid on special but still a no brainier for me.