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Tech tips

Millions of iPhone users will soon lose access to Outlook – How to make sure you don’t

There is a real danger when you use outdated software, whether on your computer or your mobile phone. Operating systems get updated frequently, and they usually include security updates and new functions.

Known as Patch Tuesday, Microsoft updates its operating system on the second Tuesday of every month. Google and Apple don’t usually follow this trend, but they still update their mobile phones regularly.

Other times, companies stop development or support for certain programs altogether. Whether it is due to outdated security or lower functionality, some apps will no longer work if you have an older version of iOS. And this is exactly what is happening with Microsoft’s Outlook app.

Here’s the backstory

Microsoft’s email program, Outlook, is used by millions of people globally. It is available for desktop computers and as an iOS app. At the last count, there were around 400 million users.

But if you have an iPhone with an older version of iOS on it, you will potentially lose access to your Outlook app and emails. It isn’t so much a problem with Outlook itself, but rather that iOS 13 and below will no longer be supported by the program.

Why the Outlook change is incoming

Simply put, Microsoft is focusing all its developmental efforts on the latest version of the Outlook app. Maintaining a version for an outdated operating system isn’t viable. The company announced that it would soon only support the latest two versions of iOS.

And with iOS 15 launching later next month, it means that iOS 13 will unceremoniously fall by the wayside. The same change is also being implemented for Apple’s WatchOS.

A new version of the operating system for the Apple Watch will be released next month as well, so watchOS 6 will lose support. That means to continue seeing emails from Outlook on your Apple Watch, you’ll need watchOS 7 or the new watchOS 8.

It is unclear whether Outlook will cease to work on the old OS versions or continue to function without support. Microsoft made similar changes for iOS 12 last year when iOS 14 became widely available.

How to update your iPhone

If you use an iPhone still running iOS 13 or earlier, you’ll need to update the operating system. That is the only way to continue using the Outlook app. To download iOS 14, the process is the same as any other software update. Plus, it is always a good idea to back up your device’s data first before continuing.

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Updating iOS:

  • On your iPhone, tap Settings.
  • Scroll down and tap General.
  • Tap Software Update.
  • The update should be available for download, so tap on Download and Install.

While you are there, you can also enable Automatic Updates so that your device automatically downloads and install iOS updates in the future. Note: If you are using a really old iPhone that Apple no longer supports, you won’t be eligible to update to iOS 14.

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