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Using Evolution with Outlook email

2022 July 15

[email] [tech] [tutorial]

My future school uses Microsoft 365 Outlook for email. It does not support POP/IMAP and instead uses Microsoft's proprietary Exchange Web Services (EWS) protocol.

For several obvious reasons, I don't want to use Outlook webmail, so I had to figure out how to set up an email client to work with my school email.

Why not Thunderbird?

Thunderbird, my preferred email client, does not natively support EWS. I saw some people recommending davmail (which is available in Debian's repos but not Fedora's), but I had some trouble figuring out how to use it. I discovered Evolution had a plugin for EWS, so I stopped trying with Thunderbird and switched to Evolution.


GNOME Evolution has a plugin for EWS. The package is called evolution-ews on both Fedora and Debian.

1. Install evolution-ews

On Fedora

sudo dnf install evolution evolution-ews

On Debian

sudo apt install evolution evolution-ews

2. Set up Evolution

Run Evolution. On first run, it will show a setup wizard. Follow through the prompts until you get to Receiving Email.

Welcome to Evolution wizard

Restore from backup settings menu

Identity settings menu

When you get to Receiving Email, choose the following settings:

Receiving Email settings menu

Click Apply to save your settings.


When Evolution tries to check your email the first time, it will launch a web dialog asking you to sign in with your organization. Follow this dialog.

Office365 account authentication request

Office365 account authentication request with password filled in

My school required Duo authentication as well. (Note, checking the "Remember me for 30 days" box caused problems. Don't do that.)

Duo authentication step 1

Duo authentication step 2

If Outlook asks you to authorize the Evolution client, obviously do that.

You should now be able to access your email with Evolution!

Evolution main window with an email in the inbox

(Tip: See Use plaintext email for more Evolution setup tips.)