Nowadays, the smartphone takes up a lot of room in our personal and professional lives. Being able to receive your work emails directly on a mobile device is becoming popular. Based on the latest numbers provided by Brad Anderson from Microsoft, companies are more willing to use mobile device management solutions like Microsoft Intune and let users access company data from outside the corporate network. Some companies shared beautiful stories of using Microsoft’s EMS solution, like Pepsi Cola and much more.

Companies benefit greatly from letting their employees access corporate data from everywhere, especially emails. Several mail applications are available in the App Store or Google Play Store for Android, but the iOS native mail and Outlook apps are the most popular for iOS platforms. Which one do you prefer?

Some users will gain more productivity with the iOS native mail app, while others will choose the Outlook app for preference and security. The good thing about the Outlook app with Intune is that it supports the MAM policy that protects data in the application.

Using a non-Microsoft mail app exposes you to the risk of getting minimum support. For example, a few months ago, Apple modified how iOS Mail native works; some users were affected by the new version and couldn’t synchronize with Office 365. If your MDM is Microsoft Intune and you want to secure your mobile devices, we highly recommend that you enforce the use of Outlook App without exception.

It’s not something hard to do as long as you follow a guideline if your goal is to do it smoothly. This blog post will explain how to move all users from the Native Mail app to the Outlook app with Intune.

Intune iOS Mail Outlook app – Better Together

The learning curve with a new application may seem obvious and accessible, but for some, it’s not. Each person manages emails differently and uses different options. Migrating to Outlook means changing how they work and learning the new app. There are good chances that you create a shock wave in your company if you coordinate to block the iOS mail native app and the installation of the Microsoft Outlook App simultaneously.

What about using both apps during a grace period? Users can test the Outlook App, report technical issues or request features. A kind of inside technical preview! Doing it this way won’t affect productivity.

Deploying Microsoft Outlook App

With Intune, you can configure a required deployment of the Microsoft Outlook app for iOS and target a group or all users. This ensures that all enrolled devices in Intune receive the Microsoft Outlook app.

Intune iOS Mail Outlook app

  • Click on Add and select App Type iOS.
  • Click on Search the App Store and type Outlook in the search field.
  • Once you find Microsoft Outlook, select the app and click Select at the bottom.

Intune iOS Mail Outlook app

  • Review the information provided automatically by clicking on the App information.

Intune iOS Mail Outlook app

  • Once you’re ready, click on Add at the bottom.
  • The application has been created but not assigned yet. To assign the application to a group, click on the Assignments blade and Add the group.

Intune iOS Mail Outlook app

  • Select Required at Assignment type to enforce the app on mobile devices
  • Select Included Groups and choose which group you want to target or use both switches to deploy to all users or all devices. Once you configure the included assignment, click on Ok at the bottom

Intune iOS Mail Outlook app

  • If you want to exclude a specific group that doesn’t like to receive the app automatically, click on Excluded Groups and select the group
  • To save the assignment, don’t forget to click on Save at the top of the assignments blade.

Intune iOS Mail Outlook app

Assign an App Protection Policy

Now that the application is currently being deployed to all your devices, you must secure your app data in the Microsoft Outlook App for iOS. This will make sure to containerize the content of your company data in the app and block copy-paste or save-in. MAM protects corporate data from managed apps to personal apps.

  • To create an app protection policy, open your browser and navigate to

Intune iOS Mail Outlook app

  • Click on Add a policy and type a policy name
  • Make sure the platform is iOS and click on Select required apps
  • For a better user experience, check all apps and click Select at the bottom

Intune Block iOS Mail App

  • Click on Configure required settings and change these settings
    • Allow the app to transfer data to other apps
      • Policy managed apps
    • Prevent “Save As”
      • Yes
    • Select which storage services corporate data can be saved to
      • OneDrive for Business
      • Sharepoint
    • Restrict cut, copy and paste with other apps
      • Policy-managed apps with paste-in
  • Click on OK at the bottom once you’re finished

Intune Block iOS Mail App

  • Click Create at the bottom to save the new policy

Now that the policy is created, we will assign it to the same group we used to deploy the Outlook app.

  • Click on your new policy and then click Assignments

Intune Block iOS Mail App

  • Click on Select Groups to Include, choose the same group previously selected for the Outlook app assignment and click Select

From now on, users who have already installed the Outlook app will start to get this popup on their iPhone

Blocking Mail Native App with Conditional Access

The Outlook app is now deployed, and users can use it securely. Users will start to use the application side by side with the iOS mail app. Consequently, users will use this time to learn functionalities and become familiar with the new app.

By experience, try to educate your users with videos or step-by-step guides. Explain to them the use of Microsoft support directly in the Outlook app. User Voice is also available to see which features are coming soon.

Suppose some users don’t want to use the iOS mail app anymore and you are deploying an email profile with Intune. In that case, you can disable the mail synchronization on the mobile device by going to Settings – Accounts & Passwords.

  • Click on your account and deactivate Mail.

Email profile iOS

Important Info

If you deploy an email profile with your MDM, the email profile won’t be removed once you remove the profile deployment. Only a new enrollment will remove the email profile on your iOS devices.

Before going to the next step, wait 2 weeks to 2 months based on the user’s expectations or CSO requirements. It’s a balance between productivity and security. Try to educate yourself the most you can your users before going further.

Are you now ready to block the Mail native app? Follow this step-by-step guide by using conditional access.

  • Open your browser and navigate to conditional access blade
  • Click on New and type a policy name like Mail Native Block
  • In the Assignments section, click on Users and Groups and within the Include section, choose Select Users and Groups, which is the same group you have been using till the beginning.
  • Once you’re finished, click Done at the bottom.

Conditional access blocking Basic Authentication

  • Click on Cloud apps, select Office 365 Exchange Online to target email service and select Done at the bottom.

Conditional access blocking Basic Authentication

  • Click on Conditions blade, and select Device Platforms
  • Configure the conditions by clicking Yes, click on Include, select iOS platform and click Done at the bottom

Conditional access blocking Exchange ActiveSync

  • Select Client apps (preview) and enable by selecting Yes
  • Enable these checkboxes
    • Mobile apps and desktop clients
    • Exchange ActiveSync clients
    • Other clients
  • Once you’re finished, click on Done twice at the bottom

Conditional access blocking Exchange ActiveSync

  • In the Access controls section, click on Grant blade
  • Select Block access in the Grant section, then click Select at the bottom

Conditional access blocking Exchange ActiveSync

  • The conditional access rule is now ready and configured. Enable the policy by choosing Enable Policy at Yes.

Conditional access blocking Exchange ActiveSync

User Behavior

Ask your users to open the Mail native app, and if your rule works, you will see this warning email telling the user that the access has been blocked.

Conditional access blocking Exchange ActiveSync

For now, users will need to use Microsoft Outlook app. 🙂

Happy migration!

Comments (6)


03.15.2020 AT 09:31 PM
For iOS Native Mail make sure you set the "Prevent Move" restriction in the native mail app configuration. Plus set the two Managed open in restrictions. The demos of native mail leaking will have these restrictions disabled. Alos do not set the Only in Mail restriction as the mail will not be available in your managed work apps

Nicolas Pilon

04.02.2020 AT 10:53 AM
Thanks Frewy for the details. A lot of stuff changed since the creation of this post.

Vinayak Bhagwat

12.19.2018 AT 09:22 AM
Hi Nicolas, the provided solution is not working on iOS device. Still Email profile has been configured in Native mail client app while enrolling iOS device into Intune. Conditional access policy, configuration policy and compliance policies are live in the environment. Still by default the native Email client will be configured automatically while enrolling the device into Intune. Need your immediate assistance to rectified the same.

Nicolas Pilon

04.02.2020 AT 10:55 AM
Hello Vinayak, I know it's a 2 years comment. I hope you rectified the issue fast. Have you removed the native profile deployment at that time? Thanks


11.29.2018 AT 12:55 PM
Hi, Thanks for your nice article. I think the best option to migration users to Outlook is not to create a block rule but to create a Grant with condition "Require Approved Application". With that settings, users will receive a mail to download or open outlook to continue to read email. Thanks for your good article,

Nicolas Pilon

11.29.2018 AT 04:41 PM
Yeah! You're right. Things changed since that post. You can do it with Required Apps clients.