All about Public Folders and Androids

Syncing Public Folders to Androids

Public Folders have been an incredible tool for businesses hosted on Microsoft Exchange and Office 365 since their inception. Public Folders have been a part of company IT and database structure for more than a decade. With the utility they provide, it’s no surprise that they continue to be enterprise solution.

The Advantages of Public Folders

Public Folders are flexible

Microsoft Public Folders allow companies to have a complex database because they can contain contacts, calendar items, notes, or journal entries. Furthermore, the ability to store multiple data types gives Public Folders flexibility within a company’s IT structure.

Public Folders as a Group Hub

Public Folders are able to store multiple types of data structures, which allows it to be a Group Hub of information that can be used by any employee with a mailbox. One of the common uses for Public Folders is to manage company contacts and shared calendars. For example, construction employees have a constantly changing cast of personnel on projects. Almost everyone in the company needs contacts and calendars synced from a Public Folder to their Android to contact their personnel and track their project benchmarks. 

Public Folders are easy to use

Creating and using a Public Folder to store up-to-date contact information and shared calendars is easy. Any user of an On-Premise Exchange Server or Office 365 can create Public Folders, and they can easily allow any user with a mailbox to access them.

Public Folders and Outlook

Microsoft also introduced Public Folder support for Outlook, which happens to be the best way to use them. It’s easy to figure out how they work within Outlook. Anyone with an Outlook mailbox can be authorized to view, edit, or manage a Public Folder. What’s more is how simple they are to use through the Outlook client. Outlook allows users to drag and drop files into Public Folders, and its user friendly style makes navigation and organization of Public Folders quick and easy. 

As great as Public Folders sound, Microsoft has slowly been limiting and rolling back support for Public Folders on their software applications. This has created drawbacks for using Public Folders within a company’s IT and database structure.

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The Disadvantages of Public Folders

Pull is not push

It’s great to be able to manage contacts in one central location. On the flip side, your users won’t know when their Public Folder contacts and calendars have been updated. You can send email notifications, but people with stuffed inboxes might miss them.

They can be too complex

Public Folder’s flexibility can be its downfall when integrated with a massive data hierarchy. Users often complain about sorting through massive collections of Public Folders to find vendor contacts folders.

They are not in the one place they should be—on Androids

When does an employee need up-to-date shared company contacts? When they are away from the office and using their Android phone. However, Microsoft doesn’t provide support for syncing Public Folders to Androids. What’s more, users cannot view the contents of Public Folders while using their Androids.


Even with these drawbacks, Public Folders continue to exist and proliferate. For many companies, these issues aren’t enough to deter from their utility. For those who heavily rely on their smartphones, there are solutions that can bridge the compatibility gap between Public Folders and Androids.

Solutions for Syncing Public Folders to Androids

Manually dragging data into the mailboxes of everyone who needs them

This is excellent solution for small organizations, but for large organizations with hundreds of employees, this solution becomes unwieldy and cumbersome. Creating a subfolder and overwriting it when it’s time for an update can work, but employees will still need to be notified about the update.

For On-premise users, utilize itrezzo UCM

This is the fastest and easiest server-side solution to sync Public Folders to Androids. It takes less than a minute to sync Public Folders to hundreds of employees, and it requires no user training.

Companies working on Office 365, try CiraSync

CiraSync is the quickest, most user-friendly solution for syncing Office 365 Public Folders to Androids. The 10-user free trial allows companies to begin syncing Public Folders to their company Androids in less than five minutes.

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Access Public Folder Contacts on Smartphones

This is a short explanatory video showing a step-by-step example of how to sync the Global Address List when using itrezzo.

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