Walkthrough: Exchange ActiveSync On Your iPhone 2.0

Walkthrough: Exchange ActiveSync for iPhone 2.0

If MobileMe is Apple's "Exchange for the rest of us", then ActiveSync is Microsoft's "Exchange for the most of them". After Windows and Office, it's arguably the 3rd pillar of Microsoft's business domination. Blackberry's can (and almost de facto do) connect to them, Windows Mobiles certainly connect to them. Even the aging Palm OS Treo's have ActiveSync support. And with the 2.0 software, the iPhone does as well.

Caveat: Microsoft loves them some monopoly power and proprietary solutions (in this case, for example, using their own MAPI rather than the IMAP IDLE standard for "push" email). They may be becoming increasingly open in the face of Web-based competition, but their crown jewels are still closely guarded. So, while Outlook connects directly to Exchange for -- according to them -- the "richest experience", and Windows Mobile probably follows a close second, iPhone like other ActiveSync licensees connects via something called Outlook Web Access, the same way a web browser might.

How does this experience stack up in richness? Read on to find out!

What is Exchange ActiveSync?

As mentioned above, ActiveSync "pushes" data from a Microsoft Exchange server to your iPhone. This means instead of you having to manually press a button to poll the server and ask for changes, or set up a scheduled polling (i.e. every 5 min., every hour, etc.), as soon as something changes on the server, it automatically sends the update out. So, if you change something in Outlook (client) or via Outlook Web Access (browser), within moments your iPhone will show the exact same changes (and vice versa).

This is similar to how Blackberry's work, though rather than every device being handled by a single central Network Operations Center (NOC), devices can connect to any Windows Server running Exchange (typically your business' Exchange Server, or a Hosted Exchange solution).

What Kind of Data Does ActiveSync Push?

Email messages, calendar events, and contact listings.

Setting up ActiveSync

Exchange is a magical yet mysterious beast, typically requiring regular IT supervision and administration. If you're interested in setting up Exchange for the iPhone, Apple provides a PDF overview, as well as utilities to aid in enterprise deployment.

To setup the iPhone for Exchange, start by setting up an email account by tapping Settings, then tapping Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and then Add Account..., and choose Microsoft Exchange.

iPhone 2.0: How to add an Exchange ActiveSync, Yahoo!, Google Gmail, or MobileMe account

What you do from there will depend on what version of Exchange you're running. Theoretically, if you have Exchange 2007, your iPhone will be able to almost configure itself. If you have an earlier version, like the Exchange 2003 Server I was connecting to, you'll have to enter your Exchange login info (user name, server name, password, etc.)

Using ActiveSync

Due to the problems with Apple's iTunes activation server on launch day, July 11, I left the store with a still bricked iPhone, and while I was able to unbrick it later at home, I couldn't connect to iTunes properly and therefore couldn't sync my data over.

So, while I had a working iPhone 3G, it was a working iPhone 3G with nothing on it, no email, no calendars, no contacts... But a perfect opportunity to try out ActiveSync!

I went through the setup and immediately saw my mail begin to download. I tapped over to calendars and there were my appointments for the day. Contacts? All there.

It's just that simple... which is really the point.

ActiveSync Email (and Spam!)

Email via ActiveSync works the same, with the same options, as any other mail account on the iPhone 3G, the only difference is the "push".

Drawback? "Push" spam. If you get a lot of spam (and due to the nature of what I do, my business address has been scraped for over a decade, and I get tons and tons and tons of spam), you'll immediately discover the annoyance of being buzzed/beeped whenever an "enhancement" or "warez" or "please help get my millions out of Africa" email comes in.

The server-based blacklists, heuristics, etc. filter some, but it's always a balancing act to nuke the garbage while keeping customer or partner messages from getting accidentally nuked along with them. I'm experimenting with filters via Web Access, but so far this is looking like a major problem for me, given that the iPhone doesn't seem to have any client side filtering of its own. Little help, Apple?

ActiveSync Contacts

Contacts enjoy both the standard iPhone 3G contact options -- and if you use Exchange 2007 this includes picture support -- and also Exchange Directory Search. Don't have someone from the MegaCorp in your local list? Just tap on Groups, Directory, and search away:

ActiveSync Calendars

Like contacts, ActiveSync calendars support all the basic functionality of iPhone 2.0 calendars, with the immediacy of "push" updates (add or delete an event on your iPhone, and it shows up or disappears on your Outlook client or Web access right away), and something else: invitations.

If a co-worker plans a meeting and adds your name to it, you receive an invitation in your Calendar Inbox:

Invitations will display a handy number badge, same as email or SMS, to tell you how many invitations you have. You can choose to accept or decline them. Very sweet.

Bonus: Sharepoint

At its simplest, Microsoft Sharepoint is an online directory for document sharing and collaboration. MobileSafari (the iPhone 3G's browser) can access corporate Sharepoint sites. Due to its high speed connection and its ability to open Office documents (Word, Excel, and now PowerPoint), and PDF files, the iPhone 3G becomes a good way to access your company's shared directory from pretty much anywhere.

Again, however, because it's not Internet Explorer and it's not using the proprietary ActiveX plugin technology, you won't get the "richest experience" possible. Hopefully Microsoft will continue their new push (pun intended) towards openess and provide non-IE browsers with a "richer experience" via better AJAX implementation. Maybe even SproutCore...

Using ActiveSync and MobileMe Together

Because I'd originally used ActiveSync with my old, indiscriminate Palm 680, when I hooked up my iPhone 3G, it pulled down a lot of Contact crud that was outdated, and that I'd never bothered to clean out of either Outlook (which I rarely use anymore). This also meant that I had a lot of duplicates from my prior MobileMe update. (But it did show off the awesome new color and translucency effects of the iPhone 3G's calendar!)

However since ActiveSync is "push", I just fired up Outlook Web Access in Safari and deleted all non-business, non-current contacts. Almost instantly, my iPhone 3G updated to reflect the changes, and the duplicates were dispatched, the crud cleansed. Likewise, I removed business events from iCal, removing them from MobileMe, which preventing duplicates on the iPhone 3G's calendar. Now MobileMe exclusively handles personal data, ActiveSync business data, and thus far they work together seamlessly.


ActiveSync, due both to Microsoft's enterprise domination and the magic of the technology, is an incredible addition to the iPhone 3G, and something that should make business users who value a large, multi-touch screen, not to mention the potential of Unix in your pocket, the polish of Apple's interfaces, and the promise of the App Store, seriously consider the iPhone in their Enterprise.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Walkthrough: Exchange ActiveSync On Your iPhone 2.0


what is i have exchange on my phone already and i add in mobileme, will the contacts from exchange already on my phone be pushed to mobileme, since they are already on my phone? and when i add new contacts in the future will they be pushed from iphone to both mobile me and exchange?

You claim that the iPhone connects to OWA is not correct. It connects to the same web server instance most likely but it uses a different URL path to connect to the activesync webapp. This is an xml-rpc type connection that is the same one that windows mobile phones use. Outlook connects in a completely different manor. For that matter entourage connects in its own unique way (webdav).

I have everything setup and cannot connect. Do I need to delete my IMMAP account to make it work?
I have checked all settings and there are identical to the ones I use to flawlessly connect to Exchange 2003 from my Tilt but the iPhone will not work.
I am using an original iPhone upgraded to 2.0.
Any help would be appreciated. Support for this is hard to find!!!

Word is that you can't have your personal calendar and the Outlook calendar on the phone at the same time. Also hearing that you can't have personal and Outlook contacts on the phone at the same time. Is this true? If so this new "feature" is 100% worthless.

Thanks - I will try deleting ALL accounts and see if it will connect. Not sure if that is the issue as it won't even try to connect but worth as shot!

I'm preparing documentation for our clients to connect IPhones using this method.
One thing this document does not make known is that once the phone is SYNCD up to Exchange... ALL of the local contacts and calendar entries are erased.
The whole local phone book was wiped out.

Can they not sync all local data to Outlook and then once it is synced, it will be there?
Mine won't do anything so I am going back to the Classic iPhone settings until someone can help me out.

Aubie, you must make sure that the proper ports are published to your Exchange server through your firewall. In general I believe you need 443 and 80. I think you also need to set up RPC over HTTP on your Exchange server (it won't hurt for compatibility in many mobile scenarios). http://www.petri.co.il/configurerpcoverhttpsonasingle_server.htm
Also set up OWA on your Exchange server.
The default on most Exchange servers is for none of these services to be published through the firewall unless you already have other Windows Mobile and laptop users.
I have my iPhone up and running well with Exchange but I can not get my Calendars to push for some reason. Still working on it...
Regards, Chuck

I synced my phone Microsoft Exchange at work today with the help of my IT department. I immediately noticed a glaring glitch with the calendar. All of the appointments pushed from Microsoft Outlook to the phone were exaxctly an hour off! If this is happening on more then just my phone this is something Apple needs to address immediately.

The problem that I am having is in identifying the correct server address. As mentioned in a previous post, ActiveSync uses "xml-rpc type connection that is the same one that windows mobile phones use." Does anyone know the name of this server in IT speak so that I can ask my IT department? They dont support the iPhone so I need to be a sspecific as possible. We do currently use moto Qs with ActiveSync so it should work on the iphone...

Matthew, I would just tell them that because of the update iphones are now compatible with microsoft exchange servers. My IT department wasn't aware of the change but once I showed them the settings they understood how to set it up. The IT people should know the correct server address for your company.

I was just with an IT manager who was trying to setup his iPhone on ActiveSync, and while one of his techs had to use [domain].local\[username] to get it to work, his failed to connect with the same settings, on the same server, unless he used [domain]\[username] (no local).
Again, Exchange is a mysterious, magical beast. I still have one computer that just won't connect no matter what I do, even when another machine with the same settings will.
That's the problem with many tiny variations in setup causing major differences upstream. The tech butterfly effect.

I have my ipod upgraded with the 2.0 software, I am trying to get Exchange email to work but I think the problem is the server address, what address goes here? we have OWA and that address works flawlessly on my Enterouge, but this address does not work in the iPod....

It's not the OWA address in my experience. For example, our OWA address is sub.domain.com/exchange/ but for ActiveSync, the server is simply sub.domain.com/

Hmm... I tried both... our OWA which is email.Server.com/exchange (no dice) or webmail.server.com still no dice, I'm working with our Exchange guy, how can I describe the server address to him?

I got mine to work by using the IP address of our email server. Using the example above, if you do a "ping sub.domain.com" you will get the IP address. Port 993 (IMAP4) also had to be opened on our firewall. Hope this helps.

So, will Exchange 2003 not sync pictures? I have that and could not get my contact pictures to come through to the iphone.

On my old Windows Mobile device I could set push mail to only occur from 8am to 8pm. I can't figure out how to do this on the iPhone. I work at a global company and would prefer not to get emails all night. Is there any way to do this?

Can activesync be set not to do data roaming? I set this on Windows Mobile devices to stop staff where I work clocking up international data roaming charges. I can find no details on this anywhere. This becomes a big issue if you live in Europe and live near a border!

Hi all,
i just set mine up in two minutes to work with exchange server.
the only issue i found that is not explained anywhere is:-
You need to switch off SSL
However this is only offered to you as an option when you have saved the non-working) mail account.
so go through the set up steps and it won't work...save the new mail account so it shows up, Then go into > Settings > Mail > Accounts > select the account> Account Info > and magically a 'USE SSL' option appears, set to its default YES/ !
Change it to NO and it will instantly work

you can have both a mobileme and an exchange calendar on the iphone at the same time and view them together. they show up as two different calendars, same as with contacts, but you do have the option to view them all together.

I unchecked the SSL to no avail. My IT guys are hard at work and having fits. Is anyone else using CISCO? It is really good but the security is so darn strong it is hard to get through/around.

When I ping the mail.servername.com it times out. I am able to get the email fine using IMAP but not with Exchange. Very strange.

My company uses outlook web access 2003. I can login to the exchange account of my company in internet explorer under http://mail/domain.com/exchange.
Does anyone know what would likely be the correct server name for the exchange activesync setting.

I can't get my exchange activesync to work either, we use Outlook web access and all the firewalls are open. My blackberry never had a problem getting my mail.
The only weird thing is if i'm on the wi-fi in my office it logs on no problem, but as soon as i shut that off it quits working.

From my IT guy:
Both of these lines were copied out of your firewall configuration. The first line in your firewall is basically telling the firewall that any traffic coming in on port 993 (IMAP4) of IP address xxx.xx.xxx.xxx (which is your public IP address) should be allowed through. The second line tells it what to do with the traffic - any traffic coming from the "public" (outside) IP address of xxx.xx.xxx.xxx should be "forwarded" through the firewall to the "internal" network and sent to the "private" (inside) IP address xx.x.x.xxx (your server).
So, these statements are verifying that the traffic is, in fact, allowed through the firewall, and once through the firewall, it is making it to the correct place - your mail server.
I have tested it using a regular mail client trying to connect to your server via IMAP, and it works fine. So, at least we are 100% sure that it's not being "blocked" from a networking standpoint. It has to be either a server side configuration setting, or something on the iPhone itself. I am not 100% sure, but I'm leaning toward something on the iPhone, because other phones are able to access the server with no problems...even using Exchange ActiveSync. I've actually put in a help request w/ someone at Apple...so we'll see how that turns out.

For the off by one hour, make sure your timezone is set right in Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Calendar -> Time Zone Support
Fixed my issue

I don't have an Exchange Server, I'm just a home family with XP. What program can I use to push Outlook emails to my iPhone 3G?

Hey all,
We have it working perfectly, but there is one odd thing: In Entourage, look at your sent items - specifically, sent items sent from the iPhone.
They are not usable.
Can someone offer an explanation, or a way to change this?
It's the only real negative so far, with the exception of things that are missing like "out of office" and not being able to create meeting invites...

I couldn't connect for the longest time. All the user, pw and server information was correct but I kept getting a "failed to connect" error message. My colleague finally clued me in to the fact that you have to hit "next" when you get this error message then complete the activation by turning SSL off. If this is the process for everyone out there with Exchange 2003, this is the most unintuitive, frustrating and poor user experience Apple has ever put out. But, I have to admit, once it works...it's totally sweet.

@Marcus: I'm using iPhone ActiveSync with Exchange 2003 with SSL on right now, so it's definitely not the process for everyone, and likely something more to do with the infinite, unintuitive setup potential for Exchange server :) Again, I've seen an IT manager and user from the same company, on the same server, have to authenticate using 2 different sets of credentials (not just on the iPhone, but any client). The thing is a black box.
You can blame Apple for its partial ActiveSync services though:
@Don: MS Exchange running on a server is the only program that pushes ActiveSync/Outlook data. Microsoft will begin offering by subscription soon, and you can Google "Hosted Exchange" for free/pay Exchange mail if you don't have your own server.
@KyleTL: If it works on your in-office WiFi Network but not out of office, that's not the iPhone, that's your server settings. Absent changing your server (which would probably reduced security), look into using the VPN to log into your office network remotely for the mail push.
@ray: It depends entirely on how your Exchange server has been setup. You could try mail.domain.com but really they could have made it nearly anything...
Aubie Tiger: IMAP is a different protocol than the MAPI Exchange is using. Unfortunately, you'll need exact settings depending on how your Exchange server has been setup.
@Mark: You don't have to turn off SSL (I don't, and wouldn't, as its not secure). That's a setting on your server side. SSL (secure socket layer) prevents your user name/password from being sent as plain text, for example if you connect to a public WiFi router.
@AliG: You can turn off all data roaming in the Settings.
@JD: I don't think they provide time-based automated scheduling for push yet.
@RB: No, Exchange 2003 doesn't sync pictures. I believe you need Exchange 2007 for that.

My IT guy was on the phone with apple and he was having a hard time pushing contacts and calendar appointments to the iPhone.
On a related note, we discovered that SP2 MUST be installed. I was getting the "failed to verify server" message and upgrading to exchange SP 2 fixed it.
Also, just writing to confirm that if SSL is disabled on the exchange server, you must save your server settings on the iphone, (ignore the warning), then go into the account settings and disable SSL. I did this and bling, I now have push email, contacts, and calendar!!

Whoops. the first paragraph of my last post should have read, he was having a harding pushing contacts and calendar appointments to a server with a security certificate installed (another client). My server has no security certificate, so I didn't have the issue.

@Aubie Tiger: try omitting your domain from the username field, even though iPhone asks for it explicitly. I had the same issue (correct password was not working) and when I tried entering my username without the domain in front, it worked.

I have Exchange ActiveSync working on my 3G, but there appears to be no way to edit calendar events I made in OWA or Entourage. You can only edit events created on the phone itself! Am I missing something here? Or does Apple miss the whole point of the term "sync"? If I make an appointment on at my desktop, but then enroute have a scheduling change, I need to be able to change that appointment without driving back to my office, for dog's sake. Is there some kind of hidden protect switch on the Calendar? Is there any documentation for ActiveSync and iPhone anywhere? (I can find none).

I can edit Exchange calendars on the iPhone with no problem whatsoever. Check with your Exchange admin to make sure you have write permissions over ActiveSync.
(Many of the complaints remind me of that famous old saying: 99% of the time the error occurs somewhere between the user and the keyboard. The other 1% it's the Admin's keyboard... : ) )

I solved the "can't edit events" problem. It turns out that the iPhone must have exactly the same spelling, including upper/lower case, as the Exchange server does in its database. If it doesn't, iPhone erroneously treats the appointment as having come from a different person, and thus stores it as a cal invite, which can't be edited.
So if you're johnsmith@acme.com in Exchange, you can't config your iphone as JohnSmith@acme.com, even though officially (according to Internet RFC rules) email addresses are absolutely never case sensitive. Also, you can't use an email alias, such as jsmith@acme.com -- the iPhone has to match the Exchange config. In my case, my name actually has an underscore in it that I was never aware of -- the Exchange provider uses that internally and never published the fact.

@Mel: very good to know.
Exchange user id's cross-over into email addresses, but many not be treated as such (including case sensitivity) by the server. Same for alias'.
For example, my Exchange email address works with any cap combination as well. I'll have to check if I can do everything server side the same way.
I would guess best practices would involve always matching your root user id exactly including case.

I see a problem here.
I can edit meetings I created.
But if I save the changes - say a time change - the meeting notice is not updated on the invitees computers.
Pretty big omission - I have to test more as it's the end of the day.
Good discussions all...

I connected original iPhone with OS 2.0 to my companies Exchange server in a matter of seconds without any help. Only trick was realizing the name of the server was webmail.mycompaniesdomain.com (not going to give a hint to my IT staff who I am). And it works, didn't even have to ask my IT staff if it is supported or not!
A change to a contact on my iPhone is reflected on my Corporate Blackberry sitting a foot away in about 15 seconds or less. Amazing!
There are some limitations of the iPhone's support for Exchange compared to my Blackberry. When you accept a meeting invite on iPhone, you don't get a chance to accept/reject/tentative with email comments to the inviter. You can on Outlook and Blackberry. This is sorely needed. Imagine saying "maybe" to an urgent meeting invite from your second line VP thinking you will just indicate that you have an important commitment you are trying to reschedule... to find out that the "maybe" response just "went" with no chance to add comments. Hopefully Apple can do a gap analysis with Blackberry soon.
OS 2.0 is a bit unstable... but that is off topic here... happy with the Exchange integration... planning the phase out of my new blackberry as we speak :-)

Rene Ritchie (post 19), you are today's gold award winner. Thank you very much.
I hope this helps someone else.
To access OWA through the internet, I go:www.company.com/mail/
This takes me through a validation login/password, then puts me at:
This address was the important one for me. In the iPhone, I set the server to:
leaving out the "/exchange" part, and voila. After much head banging I'm now fully synced.

I got it to work! you need to get the name of your server from your Outlook by going into tols, Account Settings, and double clicking on "Microsoft Exchange Server" listed under "name". This will list this long complicated server name. Type that in exactly as it appear (case-sensitive).click "accept" that it is unable to validate certificate a few times, and then next to save the account settings (even though it doesn't work at this point). FINALLY, go into the account you just created to edit it, TURN OFF SSL, and choose what you want to sync (mail, contact, calendar).

Contacts w/Categories? Can anyone verify if the contacts, once they are sync'd, retain and understand the categories feature Outlook? (i.e. if I add a contact on the iPhone and want to add that contact to the "Holiday Card List" category that I have defined, will it sync that data back to Exchange/Outlook?).

The reason some of you are having issues getting SSL to work may be that your Exchange server is using a self-signed SSL certificate, or a certificate issued by a CA not recognized by Apple. You can add your self-signed cert to the iPhone to get rid of this problem. Apple tells you how to do this on p.36 of their Enterprise Deployment Guide, available here: http://support.apple.com/manuals/enUS/EnterpriseDeployment_Guide.pdf
You could also use the Apple iPhone configuration utility to add the certificate, via the "Credentials" tab in that utility. This utility can be downloaded from Apple here: http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/enterprise/
The solution that "Jen" wrote up will only work if your company allows OWA/Active Sync access via an unencrypted connection (ie. no SSL). I wouldn't recommend doing this, since this is sending your userid and password (and all of your email) over the air in clear text.

If synced contacts from outlook have multiple names for people who all work at the same company - how do you get the caller id to show the Name of a specific contact created with Firstname and Lastname = "Company Name"
instead of the caller id on the phone showing
John Smith and 25 others...
I would prefer the caller id to match the company name I have created in a generic contact.
Can i force that id to show up in preference to an individual employee name showing up?
all contacts have the phone number 222-333-5555 for 'work'

Thank you all for the advice. I think I am getting close. I have used exchange to find my domain name and turned off the SSL. I now have a folder under my inbox called 70FB9178.... It is empty. Any suggestions? I have been at this for hours. It should be much easier!

" FINALLY, go into the account you just created to edit it, TURN OFF SSL, and choose what you want to sync (mail, contact, calendar)."
Thanks Jen, that is what did it for me!

Hi, I have tried absolutely everything here and it is still not working... Jen, I tried the server address + turn off ssl and it did not work... I tried all the mentioned server names, but it is not not of them... Do you know how to check if Activesync is enabled to my account? In my company, only the directors and up can have a blackberry, so I am not sure if it can mean any restriction to the other employees...

Hey guys I think I have a simple question compared to others I've been reading. In setting up exchange I was pretty much given the password by IT supervision to get the ball rolling but Im clueless just as well as my IT guy to get the iformation needed to enter into the field of "Username" where it has "Domain/User" listed. Can anyone tell me what to type in this field or where to get this info from to move forward....Thanks in advance

Does anybody know if having the OWA means you are enabled for Activesync? (When I go to the Company's OWA website, it tells me that it is a SSL secured.)

Hey trphone - thanks for the info but do I hit that while I'm logged into my Mail on my PC. And is that ctrl+alt+del? I think you made a typo...and by any chance do you know what that command translates into on an Apple

First of all, there is no use trying every server listed in these comments, the server name can be anything and you'll need to ask your IT department what it is.
Just because your company uses OWA (Outlook Web Access) it does not mean you are able to connect your phone. Windows Mobile and now iPhone 3G requires OMA (Outlook Mobile Access) to be configured and it's Active-Sync working in order to connect. By default, all users have Mobile Access turned on so if your company uses OMA and have not change the default config you should be able to connect.
Lastly, if you are able to connect and do not require SSL, you need to inform you're IT department to make some changes as that is VERY poor security practice.

have new iphone & microsoft exchange server, how do i get the mobileme to grab calendar and contact info from the server? data isn't on the local device?

Great thread, guys. I have a unique problem. While doing the autodiscovery of account info, iphone shows the certificate warning, to which I respond with 'Accept'. After which it asks me for the server name, which I believe I have the correct one (owa.companyname.com). This seems to all work fine and I choose to sync my mail, calendar, contacts. But strangely enough, I get the contacts and calendar sync working just fine, and even the email folders seem to sync fine. The only thing that doesn't work for me is email messages. I can't get the phone to retrieve them. It give me 'Cannot Get Mail - The connection to the server failed." error every time! Any clue why this could be happening? THanks in advance for any help.

My ActiveSync is up and working fine, except I still have to delete emails from both my iPhone and my PC separately. Any suggestions?

My email exchange setup worked fine. Contacts and calendar works great. However, all my emails once read disappear and I can'r find them. Nothing stays in my email inbox. It goes blank. Why won't the iphone retain all my emails? Any ideas?

My Outlook calendar isn't syching right with my iPhone (just upgraded to 2.0 software). There are items appear on my iPhone calendar that were created using Outlook but no longer appear in my Outlook calendar. Any thoughts on how to fix this?

Aubie Tiger make sure your Exchange 2003 server has SP2. The iPhone ActiveSync requires SP2 installed in order to work properly.
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 6.5.6944 October 2003
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP1 6.5.7226 May 2004
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2 6.5.7638 October 2005

A few quick questions...
Once you accept a meeting can you then decline it as well as e-mail the organizer from the iPhone calendar? I think I read you cannot propose a new time for the meeting, is that correct? Finally, can you forward the invite on to other contacts?

I don't have the "use SSL" switch on my phone - how do I get it? My IT guy said it will make all the difference. Please help :(

my iPhone is not a company phone (they gave it to me) so i want to hold my personal contacts/calender/mail from my iMac and still get my work contacts/calender/mail from exchange.
p.s. and i don't like mobile me. oh and i live in Iceland aka. not supported.

any clues.
I've looked all over and cant find one way to do it not even a hint.
i dont like mobile me because it is still too new tor it to function they way it should.

have had problems synch with outlook. Very helpful thread-thanks. My question is when i finaly sync to outlook will I risk losing all the contacts and diary entries I have already entered on my iPhone? Thank you for any help

I have the same problem as Aubie Tiger and none of the solutions here have worked...Aubie were you finally able to bypass it? It has taken a day and it still doesnt like my password. In fact, it wont even save my password even after it verifies the exchange account.
I am a one man show so there is no IT guy to help or run from. My hosted exchange account is provided by 1and1.
Just to be clear, after setting Active Sync it varifies the Exchange account is valid. Anything I try to do after that simply asks me for a password or a new password, both of which I have done countless times to no avail

Got a strange one.
I set it up. All works.. but when you reboot the device it stops working! If I go into mail I just get a 'blank' screen that doesn't respond and clears of its own accord after 10 seconds or so?!

I real strange senario;
My Iphone works fine when I am on our company wifi, and it gets email,... Once the connection is made and email is flowing, I can even turn off the wifi and still works for few hours outside over the cell network. here is the strange part, if I turn my cell off and on, it can not make connection to the exhange server and I get "CANNOT GET MAIL" error. once I get into the office and on wifi, it will work.
Any help would be great

KK - I have the same problem you had with only the mail not working. Any solution?

wow, great stuff. I have been searching for an answer now for 2 days and it finally works. I tried all the web address' I could think of to connect and none of them would work. Finally I saw the post above to use the internal server address of our exchange server mailserver.mydomain.com and it worked! (Post #53) thanks Jen!

I have Outlook at home using it for a home business and I also sync with an Exchange server at work. Before on my Windows Mobile device I could have the same contact and calendar entries. Now with the iPhone I can only have one set of contacts and one set of calendar entries. Has anyone else seen this?

@Dustin: After entering all information hit next. You get a popup saying "This account may not be able to send or receive emails. Are you sure you want to save?" Hit save. Select what you want to sync with exchange then save again. Now you are at the Mail settings screen - select the acct. then account info. The SSL setting should be available now.

My IT department has been trying to no avail. the problem seems to be there are sooo many different servers with exchange 2003, how do you know which one to make the changes in? There is Exchange Server, there is Server Management, there is OMA, etc. There isn't one clear concise step by step instructions that tell you which server, which folders, etc. to make the changes in to get the iphone working. My IT department has exhauseted all efforts and are at the point of telling me to get a blackberry. I have been able to see the server and get verified, but when I click on refresh to get mail and calendar, it says updating and then finishes without bringing down any info from the server. No mail messages, no old messages, no folders, nothing.
Someone please help!!!!!!

Guys , i have the 3g . got the exchange emails sync going flawlessly . now any ideas as to getting the public calendar to sync with 3g ? any help appreciated ..tia

'The Hacker' post 85... I have the SAME issue, it verifies the account but does not sync anything. It will update the time updated, but nothing ever comes over. We are running Exchange 2003 (believed to be SP2, as far as IT could tell). We are a small location and no one is really an exchange expert.
I have tired using both internal and external addresses, as if I can narrow down if it is our world firewall, then I can talk to the group that manages the router. But right now, router people blame the exchange guy and the exchange guy blames the router guy. I got my gmail working but really need/want the exchange sync.
Anyone have thoughts how to go about testing this?

I´ve been trying so hard to set up my dads iphone to work with his exchange 2003 (the it guy is not really helping )
so I set up everything with the configuration tool and imported the certificate and everything
but the only thing that works is sending mails...
the phone does not receive mails, contacts, or the calender so is it a problem in the server settings or do I need to set up something in outlook ?
i did not get any error messages and like i said sending emails works so at least some of the settings should be correct. the it guy says all the ports are open.
so is there anything i am missing ???
Thank you,

This was crazy. After trying so many combinations for two days, I finally got it. Seems there's no rhyme or reason and my password doesn't show up right, but it works. All your comments were very helpful. Thank you! What worked was the server is the exchange address with the http: ex: outlook.name.org/ with the slash! and without the word exchange, and yes, turning off the SSL feature.

I'm a heavy user of mobile devices for large enterprises. I've owned 4 Windows Mobile phones in the last 2 years. I just wanted to take a minute to point out a few of the iPhone's shortcomings for the heavy enterprise user, which this review does not address.

  1. Calendaring is very weak. Calendar support for the iPhone is consumer-grade and doesn't give me the access I need to set OOF/busy/tenative/private parameters for events. There's no way to force a calendar sync. Calendar invitations have a weird seperate inbox. Updates to calendar events do not show the deltas between previous and later versions. Setting up recurrance and generally creating calendar events is a huge pain compared to my old Windows Mobile devices. There's no way to snooze or individually dismiss reminders. To see what room my next meeting is in, I have to pull out the device, unlock it, enter the unlock code, navigate to the first screen of the app launcher, find and launch the calendar app, navigate to the current day, switch to day view move, scroll around to find my event, and THEN see my meeting location. In Windows Mobile you just look at the phone and the convenient dashboard view shows you your next meeting, time, and location. You can't view resource/room/person availability from the iPhone. You can do all these things easily on WinMo.
  2. Contacts sync sucks. For some reason it synced my ENTIRE corporate GAL to my phone. Now every time I do anything that uses contacts, the phone freezes SOLID for 15 seconds. These are not contacts in my Outlook contacts, and I cannot delete them in any way except one by one on the phone. The guys at the genius bar at the local Apple store have no idea. By their suggestion I formatted the phone, resynced and got to the same thing again.
  3. Doesn't sync the Exchange "To do" list.
  4. Lack of WMA support means in a corporate environment you can't listen to your voice mail on the phone.
  5. Doesn't respect client-side Exchange mail sorting rules. I receive in the ballpark of 1000 work related e-mails per day due to all the distribution lists I have to track, so I have a long list of Exchange rules that magically sorts and files everything for me. The ones that don't run 100% server side are not respected by the iPhone, so I get hundreds of e-mails in my inbox until I sync an Outlook client on a PC. This effectively renders push e-mail useless, because it's perpetually firing if I leave it on.
  6. Browsing GAL contacts is difficult/impossible.
  7. Contacts search is incredibly slow.
  8. Contacts cannot cross reference local contacts and GAL contacts.
  9. Phone numbers from the GAL aren't parsed with extensions stripped -- so caller ID won't recognize contacts that I've added via the GAL. E.g. I look up Fred Flintstone in the GAL, his phone number is 555-555-1212 X51212. If I add this to my local contacts it's stored like that correctly, but the phone doesn't parse the extension; incoming calls show up as "Unknown" because calls from 555-555-1212 aren't matched to Fred Flintstone's number.
  10. Authentication does not gracefully fail when saved password fails. Wait until your corporate network forces you to change your password due to time restrictions, accidentally hit "Cancel" when the iPhone asks you to enter the new password, and see how hard it is to get it working again.

Again, these are all issues that a heavy business user is likely to run into but not a home user or small business user. Hopefully Apple does something to fix this stuff -- I love my iPhone for personal use but I find myself using my old Samsung Blackjack for when I need to actually work.

I've just got the iPhone 3G. I've got the certs from my IT department to allow me to set up exchange. However the guy in the IT department says that i need to install this on a Mac and then sync my iPhone with the Mac in order for this to work. I'm not convinced, can anyone help. Thanks a lot. Flyer

My problem is directly related to SSL being enabled on the Exchnage server. Event Viewer message:
The Maiolbox server has its virtual directory set to require SSL. Exchnage ActiveSync cannot access the server if SSL is set to be required.
I have to have this setting for my CA certicate I am using with OWA. There has to be thousands of people having this issue!! Please help!

I'm an IT guy with an Exchange server and I'm supporting 3 iPhone users now.
One difference with the iPhone Exchange configuration from most Windows Mobile phone is that it didn't like the "http://" prefix. Once I deleted that, and just used the server name without the http, it sync'd fine.
One user reports that her calender appointments are all reporting as a "Maybe" confirmation, but when she looks in Outlook it appears with the correct confirmation. Anyone seen this?

@David Hyde I just tried your suggestion about leaving out the "/exchange" part of the server name and it worked. THANK YOU!!!! I have been trying to get this to work for a month now.

turning off SSL on your iphone only works if you do not have SSL enable on your exchange server.
Then you are sending your username and password in plain text.

Nobody knows about this one?
The Mailbox server has its virtual directory set to require SSL. Exchnage ActiveSync cannot access the server if SSL is set to be required.

I have a strange problem with the IPhone, I have an Exchange 2007 SP1, I am able to get my emails through ActiveSync, but there is a delay receive the emails. When I do a manual sync then the activesync would work great for a couple of hours then it would stop. When I do another manual sync I will receive all the emails on my Outlook that I have not received on the IPhone. Then the activesync would work for couple hours again.. Any thoughts?

we have the exact same situation..and the solution looks iffy. did you do method 2?

KK and JA, it seem I have a problem somewhat similar to yours - my contacts sync fine, however the calendar doesn't sync at all, and the email only downloads the folders, but none of the emails in them. When I attempt to sync the individual folders it tells me "connection to the server failed". I have already talked to resident geniuses at the apple store and the exchange admin people - all are clueless... Please let me know if you or anyone know how to fix this. Ahh... missing my n95 so much...

I have spent a week trying to get this to work and wanted to share....
Exchange 2003
OWA (Exch 2003) front end published through ISA 2004 array
I had to change the publishing rule on ISA to include a new path:
It already had /exchange/* and the other usual ones but this is the one you need to get the iPhone to connect using Activesync
Then the servername is the same as OWA without the /exchange
Username does not need the domain prefix either.
I hope this helps someone.

Hey Folks,
Will an i-phone work while Blackberries are also being used with Exchange? One of my users is visually impaired and likes the screen of the i-phone, but everyone else is using Blackberries. Any known problems in a mixed environment?

I did not try method 2, because it involved modifying the registry and creating a new virtual directory and I do not wnat to mess up my OWA that is working great. Iphone is just going to have to support SSl and forms based authentication or we will stick with BB phones.

I just got an iphone 3G and am trying to set up my live.com (Exchange) account. I put in all the information but it asks for "Server." In my ignorance, I don't know what this is. Can anyone tell me what to type into this line? Thanks.

I have read all the logs: I have a new Iphone and I have one the settings, my server still fails to connect. I have SSL off. The Iphone keeeps asking foir my password as it looks like it does not recognise it, no matter how many times I enter it and verify that it works. Same settins workon my Blackberry and my Treo750V. Does any one have an idea of what to do? Apple techs are helpless and useless!!!

Hi Danielle G
Did you resolve your issue? Pls tell us how!! Indeed allApple people are clueless and border line icomp[etent and rrogant, telling that we do not know wht we are doing, that we probably have wroing exchange setup!! my setupos are fine with Blackberry and Palm, why not Apple?? Go figure those geniuses!!!!!

We have MS Exchange Server 2007. It already supports ms mobile devices. When I try to connect my iphone it verifies the account and then fails to accept the password. Contacts sync, calendar syncs, no email and Exchange server locks me out after two pw entries. Nobody at Apple can figure it out. Any ideas?

I'm am an Exchange administrator. I arrived at this site because today is my first attempt to get a user's iPhone setup to access his Exchange mailbox. Like all the tech threads I've found so far there is way to much misinformation being thrown around. No. 1 - Apple does not need to be telling Exchange administrators that they don't have Exchange server (or firewalls, etc.) setup correctly. I currently have many Windows Mobile devices syncing flawlessly and if iPhone has additional requirements then Apple has misrepresented the product. I fully understand why many IT departments will not support iPhone for Exchange access. If I spend more than a day getting this working then I won't support it either since it takes 5 minutes to setup a WM device.
I have NEVER seen an installation of Exchange Outlook Web Access or ActiveSync that can be accessed from the Internet that didn't require Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Such a configuration is an invitation to disaster. Also, IMAP and POP are outdated and insecure protocols. Because you might use them to access Gmail or Yahoo has no bearing on why they are a choice of last resort for Exchange server.
For clarity, if you get to your organizations OWA with a URL of https://www.mycompany.com/exchange then normally configuring a mobile device for ActiveSync only requires the fully qualified domain name www.mycompany.com because ActiveSync "knows" to append the correct sub-directory (or virtual directory). Also, you must be using the Internet name that reaches your Exchange web site. If that name does not work when you are WiFi or otherwise connected at your place of business then you need the assistance of your IT people for a DNS issue. They may need to add a www.mycompany.com DNS record to your internal network.
The issue that I am having is getting the iPhone to install our server's SSL certificate. We create our own server certificates and can copy and install our Root CA certificate to a Windows mobile device with no problem, but this iPhone just says that it can't install the certificate. The Apple documentation is worthless on this subject.

Hi Guys n Gals,
Spent the best part of 2 weeks hacking at this and i've finally got it working with SSL and Exchange 2007 and Active Sync & iPhone 2.0.2
The clue is in DNS.

  1. Configure a DNS entry to both external and internal ip that point to your live external DNS forwarder.
  2. Configure SSL on the default website of the server
  3. Open Exchange MMC and go to Server Config - Client Access. Configure all of the OWA, Exchange AS, OAB, to be the external DNS forwarder that you're using for exchange server.
  4. eg I have yourdomain.uk.com - internal IP and yourdomain.uk.com external IP entered on my DNS as HOST A entries.

Eg if your internal domain is company.com but the external DNS forwarder is exchange.yourdomain.uk.com then you configure each connector as follows;
My external outlook anywhere name is also set to be the dns forwarder as mentioned above.
You'll know if you get this right if you try and use the OWA on your internal internet. When mine wasn't working, i could load OWA via either the internal address or the external address and it would let me log in. However it would only give me full send, recieve and reply etc when i accessed it via the https://externalhostname/OWA address.

I can address 2 issues. First the guy who complained about the cal time issue being 1 hour off when syncing. iPhone has it's own time zone settings: to fix the issue go to Settings, then - mail, contacts, calendars and scroll down to calandar settings change the time zone support setting to your current or u can disable Time Zone support here by turning it off here. This will fix the issue. Other issue I saw here was the guy with the OWA url problem. try removing the http:// prefix which is what I did to have exchange work. My exchange settings work perfectly with iPhone.

Someone was mentioning additional draft folders etc not getting updates. What I found is the problem was related to your "mail days to sync" setting under >settings --->mail, contacts, calendars---> accounts---> under "exchange active sync" mail days to sync ---> default is set to 3 days. So, if u then have mail in other folders older than sync date it seems to be a problem when I changed to one week and moved mail less than one week old all was fine. Try this -good luck.

Also note that a post submitted here that contains a fully qualified domain name that begins with a "www" label automatically gets "http://" prefixed to it even though the post author didn't intend to include the "http://."

hi does any one know why i can successfully sync with wifi both at home and office over the sbs 2003, but I can not with 3G? phone indicates 3g working ok?

I had the same problems. First, the phone phone gave me the no certificate error. Then it proceeded to "fake download" mail, contacts and calendar, but nothing populated. I followed the MS link for the Exchange SP2 update, and viola! everything worked. I didn't even have to import my (self signed) certificate! Woohoo! Thanks for the tip!

  1. iPhone 3G
  2. SBS 2003 with self signed certificate

New questions:

  1. Is there any way to subscribe to certain folders? I have about 200 folders, but only want to subscribe to a few of them.
  2. I've seen a few programs that allow you to use an iPhone as a flash drive. Do any of them allow bluetooth transfers? And how do I include such files as attachments?
  3. Is there a good word processor for iPhone? (Basically, I want to have a word doc stored on the iPhone to which I can make a quick edit, and then email to a client.)

Hi -
I have a weird issue, and maybe others are also experiencing this. First, I agree with a number of points Dave (heavy enterprise user) makes.
When I send out a calendar invitation from outlook it shows up as an invitation, from myself to myself, on the iphone. So, it doesn't allow me to edit or change the details, and in fact, expects me to accept or decline the invitation.
Also, I don't see how you can create an invitation calendar event on the phone at all. It seems you can only create appointments.
And there is no "default" reminder time for calendar events—it always starts at 0, which is an inconvenient default setting.
Have other people run into these issues, or solved them?

I just purchased a new 16g iPhone and I need help. I just switched from a blackberry and was use to getting emails real-time. Here are my issues.
1) I setup my email, contacts and calendar to sync through the exchange server at work.
2) I setup a VPN to connect to the server at work.
3) When the VPN and 3G are connected, everything works great.
4) When the 3G drops or when I connect to a WIFI, the VPN drops and I can not get a sync for email, contacts or calendar. I am also not able to get my Yahoo or personal email from another account until I have VPN/3G or WIFI connections.
Am I missing something?
Why can't I get my Yahoo email unless I am connected to a VPN or WIFI?
Do I have to have a VPN to allow the exchange server to work properly?
Any help would be appreciated.

I set up my microsoft exchange and it worked fine--for one day, now I can't get any mail from any of my accounts! Please help. The dial just turns around and around and nothing comes!

The downfall of apple is... they assume it will simply work. Poor documentations is not helping. This has been the biggest wast of time since I had to upgrade Exchange 2003 to SP1 to expand the maximum size of the database. I am now going on 26 hours of wasted effort and time.... thank you Apple, I love you...

Horrible. Email activsync crashes daily. Only solution appears to be to delete account and reenter account information. Once re-entered, account repopulates emails, calendar and contacts and all works for (i) a day, or (ii) until I use some web based program or WIFI. Then - try to look at email and I get a blank screen, frozen. Hold down the home button (10 secs) returns to home screen. Try mail - 2d account (not an activsync account) displays emails, but does not allow selection for reading or deletion and displays a "connecting" message at the screen bottom that will not end forcing a home button(10 sec) cancel to get back to the home screen. Swapped phones at the istore. The replacement does same thing. When the activesync works it works fine, but never works more than a few days, usually less. Have used WM phones, treos and blackberries - all without problem, at least not requiring this much effort to get basic email sync. Phone is of no use with this problem. IT will not, and should not need to, change server settings to address this - at least not unless Apple fully discloses the problem and the solution. Any phone based solutions?

On the Windows server:
Start > Program Files > Administrative Tools > DNS
Right click on Forward Lookup Zones and choose New Zone
Click Next, leave Primary Zone selected and click Next
Leave "To all domain controllers....." and click Next
In "Zone Name", type your mail server (ie: mail.domainname.com) and click Next
Leave "Allow only secure....." and click Next
Click Finish
In the Forward Lookup Zones pane on the right, double click the new zone and then right click in the empty area and choose New Host (A)
Leave the name blank and enter the IP address of your internal mail server (ie: 192.168.1.xxx) and select create PTR record, then Add Host
Click Start > Run, type CMD and in then type ipconfig /flushdns
That should be it...

Here is our situation.
iPhone 3g, latest sw
Exchange 2003
OWA: mail.xyz.com/exchange....works from my PC from outside
Active Sync on iPhone works internally using mail.xyz.com
Internal DNS is configured properly
Firewall has 993 open to the Exchange server
When connected via 3G I get the message:
Cannot Get Mail
The connection to the server failed.
I do not have a Certificate configured yet. I am working on it.
Is it a firewall problem? (But OWA works from outside on a PC.)

This is what worked for us. You need to grant access to ActiveSync for any IP address.
-ISS > WebSites > Default Website > Microsoft Server ActiveSync
-Right Click > Properties
-Directory Restrictions Tab
-Edit IP address and Domain Restrictions
-Grant access
Finally got it to work after 4 weeks of pain and frustration.
Hope this helps.

there is no OWA url problem. I have this in the Event Viewer of the Exchange 2003 box!
The Mailbox server has its virtual directory set to require SSL. Exchnage ActiveSync cannot access the server if SSL is set to be required.

OK, I had the same problem as many of you. I have setup plenty of Windows Mobile devices before and know what the settings should be, however i simply could not make my iphone work...
After far more reading than i have ever wanted to do, I discovered that the server I was trying to connect to was only running Exchange SP1. After upgrading to SP2, it all came to life!
Still can't say I'm a fan of the iPhone, but I do love the iPods and iTouch...

Exchange setup is a breeze so long as you swithc off SSL.... Afer upgrading to 2.1 the other day my email is not sync'ing properly with Exchange. There are 4 or 5 emails showing on the iPhone that have been deleted from Exchange using Outlook on my office PC. So now the iPgone is unable to delete them. Weird. Anyone else see this?

Hi, I have 2G iPhone, running 2.1 jailbreak just updated.
can i connect to the internet via GPRS? or it only work as push emails when connected via wifi?
please any answer?

I have been unable to get the iPhone 3G to sync with our exchange server (2003 SP2). When I first setup the account on the iPhone, enter the user credentials and server address etc, it verifies the account ok. Now I assumed from this that all would be ok, but when I try and sync mail account, I get the "Cannot Get Mail" "The connection to the server failed", which makes no sense to me at all as it has already connected and confirmed the account when I set the mail account up.
I am using iPhone 2.0 and MS Exchange 2003 SP2.
Thanks in advance

my company's IT policy disallows the use of active sync .... Is there any way I can sync my office mail using the OTHER mail option on iPhone - thanks

Those of you who are getting the "Cannot Get Mail The connection to the server failed." error when syncing to Exchange need to make sure that Allow Anonymous Authentication is turned off for the exchange_owa virtual directory in IIS. This fixed our integration problems immediately.

i have Exchange 2007 at our head office with exchange 2004 in my region, i added all he settings but it cannot validate the user.
please assist

I have multiple calanders in outlook exchange, every things works like a charm except one of the caleanders iphone is not pickup the time eg: I have a meeting at 10am iphone is showing at an all day event how do i fix this issue as some of the meeting i have reminder and it comes at midnight

I have first generation iphone with firmware release 2.0 that has support for exchange
1 Do I use OMA or OWA to connect to Exchange?
2 Have tried OWA address and fails to authenticate taking into account case sensitive addresses. Tried ip address/exchange same problem
3 Not using my iphone I can connect to OMA on my internal network but get error below when trying to access OMA Externally.
Any help greatly appreciated

i have been able to verify the account on iphone with exchange but no sync happening and unable to send email. Any ideas?

I just tried using the new iNotes on Apple from IBM, since it just uses Safari and iNotes I didn't have to configure anything, go to the URL, type in the user ID and password I use to connect to my Notes desktop when in the office, and presto! There is my email, calendar, contacts, etc, all without changing anything on my iPhone. Sounds like Microsoft is still a pain in the arse to setup and support.

I had successfully connected my iPhone 3G using ActiveSync to one MS SBS server. No problem. When I tried connecting the next one to another SBS 2003 server, no luck. It took me several times to realize to realize that I did not have Service Pack 2 installed for the Exchange 2003 component (not to be confused with the MS Windows Server SP2) of MS Small Business Server. As soon as the update finished and it restarted the services, the mail started streaming in.
MS Small Business Server 2003 SP2, Exchange Service Pack 2
Watchguard router
iPhone 3G configured as prescribed (used the external OWA address for connection)
Works great!

hi guys,
Gave up on post No. 100 but went and "borrowed" the settings off someone more senior than me here at my company. What finally worked for me was this in the server field: oma.companyname.com
i think I was trying owa.companyname.com before
Hope this helps someone.

you are a freakin genius. your advise to save the email account that does not work, then turn ssl to off worked like a charm, when even my IT guy could not figure it out. Such a simple solution. I spent hours researching this and you solved it in ten seconds for me. Thank you so much

I'm working for two diff company and they both have activesync avaialble. Is there a way to config Iphone to talk to two diff activesync server? I can config it to work with one, but when trying to config for second one, iphone indicated that account is already existed.

Are you mad?
Exchange is a server product and Outlook is a desktop product. Activesync synchronizes via Outlook, not Exchange. There's a "special" mode where it can talk to an Exchange server, but it doesn't know anything about Exchange by default.

No, klamerus, Microsoft is mad. They used the same name, ActiveSync, for both their desktop Outlook PIM/device syncing program, and for their server side Exchange push sync technology.
Both are called ActiveSync, both sync data, but they're two different products.
Apple uses the "over the air", server-side Exchange ActiveSync.

Hi All,
I do know how to fix it....I just did it yesterday and now all of my corporate customers are enjoying exchange on their iphones.

I have a crazy issue: I had exchange working perfectly on my iphone for months and suddenly a "server upgrade" at work and the exchange mail is no longer working. The weird issue is that coworkers with non-company issued blackberries still get email with the same login info I was using on the iphone. Does the iphone identify its self as an iphone to the mail server? Can the company setup the server to only allow blackberries in? I can still log onto the exchange website with the same login username/pass on the hone but the push/cal is what made it awesome.

Have you removed the exchange account from the iphone and attempted to set it up fresh again? If that doesn't fix it you'll probably have to go into the virtual directory in the IIS store and tweak the settings. The update probably defaulted it back to it's original settings.

BINGO MO FO!I've been trying over a year to get Active Synch on Windows Small Business Server to work and more recently the IPhone and I've jsut managed to get it working. I remembered someone posting a message somewhere that you need to run the 'Internet Connection and Email' wizard from the Server Management Console in SBS. The wizard creates a large vbscript which runs when it has finished and makes a load of changes to the Server config. Did that, and it worked. Beleive me, I have tried everything else under the sun and this was what made it work in the end. I also (about 2 months ago) added a basic SSL Web Certificate from Versign.

Exchange configuration validates the user, but then no data is displayed. When I go back to review the configuration it then reports that it can not connect to the server (this does not happen the first time around). I have reconfigured the account, using different names -as instructed by Apple, restarted the phone, and everything suggested. I have also tested OMA using the phone's browser and that works. I'm thinking it may be because of the SSL certificate, although it seems to have installed it. This protocol is working just fine on Windows Mobile Pocket PC. Any thoughts?

This tip is for everyone that are having problem with SSL certificate that isn't trusted by IPhone. I had this for 2 days, and finally I could figure out.
That's what you need to do:
1º-Export your certificate from your Web Access Server to a .pfx file. If you don't know what I'm talking about, search at microsoft, a lot of articles teaching this.
2º-You need to have a Application Server published at internet, then you need to create a new virtual directory.
3º-Put the .pfx file into this new virtual directory.
4º-On the Iphone, go to safari and then type: www.yourcompany.com/VirtualDirectory/certificate.pfx.
5º-IPhone will prompt you to install the new certificate.
After this, your certificate is trusted by your Iphone and should work now.

I have yet to see it where someone needs to install a SSL certificate on their iPhone 3G. Yet, if you continue to read all of these comments on various blog posts, you will see everyone stating this false step.
1.Save yourself time, don't install the certificate on the phone because it will not improve your chances of syncing to your Exchange Server.

  1. This post about changing the LIMIT to NO LIMIT also does not do anything.
  2. Changing firmware on the iPhone 3G. Again, I have setup more than 400 installations, yet to find a situation where the orgional firmware doesn't work.
  3. If you want a step by step cookbook to where you can at least test the basics, visit TechnoKOZ cookbook:


  1. Still having troubles, contact TechnoKOZ

My office just upgraded to an Exchange 2007 server, and I spent 2 days trying to get my email, calendar, and contacts syncing again.
THE SIMPLE FIX was to turn on/set the iPhone's "Passcode Lock". The server address was the simple mail.mycompany.com that I'd tried originally.
Apparently the servers have "Enforce password on device" set to true by default.
My IT guy is reluctant to turn it off or set an exception for me on the server (which means I have to type in a 4-digit code to make a call) but I'd rather everything sync over the Exchange server than have to access mail via Safari.

HELP ME PLEASE! I have a 16G iPhone 2nd Gen phone. We use exchange and I can access my mail via webmail without any issues. We have activesync setup on our exchange server for 'mobile' types ...
I have setup the exchange settings on iPhone and get NEW MAIL ONLY when i've logged into my outlook account ?! this is really wierd ... does anybody have anything that would help? I've tried lots of combo's on the iPhone's setup but nothing seems to be working and its VERY FRUSTRATING!!
thanks in advance for any help ..

just to clarify .. i can get old mail, but new stuff only gets pushed to my iPhone once i've logged into my standards webmail account on the internet ..all seems a little odd ..its almost like some sort of trigger going off once logged into webmail ..

I just bought an iphone runing 2.2. I had no problem setting up and my calendar and contacts were synched in minutes but no email. In mu inbox i see all of my folders the same as outlook but there are no messages.
i get a message that says the serer can not be reached but everything else is working?

Great article.
We've been testing three iPhones in our environment since Exchange support came out. Personally I love the iPhone but it is not ready for enterprise deployment yet. Users have control of updates and there is no way to push policy to the phone or iTunes. When Apple finally wakes up and realizes that IT managers ARE CONTROL FREEKS and gives us the ability to actually manage these phones they will see sales sky rocket in the business world. My conclusion has been to allow no more iPhones in until we can apply policy and control updates . . . we'll keep using Good and Blackberry.
Having said all that - there ain't know way I'm giving my iPhone up - this is going to be one long BETA test!

I had a phone based on windows mobile 6.1 when I connected the phone to my server using the activesync I had no problem. The only thing is that the server is configured by our IT department to use 18 digits password and stand by every minute, but I could change this on the phone with the regedit program of windows.
now I have an iphone and I connected the phone to my server and everything connected very well but how can I change on the phone se policy of 18 digits password and every minute stand by, as i did with the windows based smartphone?

I cannot get the 3G Apple iPhone to verify server
we are using MS SBS 2003
when entering IP address xx.xx.xxx.xxx/oma cannot verify
does Ap[ple require an exchange name ?

I have the Exchange sync up and running on my 3G. The problem is, I have a TON of folders and auto-sorting rules active to manage my email.
And here's the problem: iPhone /and push/ automatically refreshes the inbox folder but not the other dozens of folders, where a lot of unread mail ends up. To see if there's a new email in the "CEO" folder I have to manually navigate to it. THEN the iPhone connects and refreshes the folder, grabbing new email.
On WM devices it's easy to set up synchronization of specific folders besides the inbox. Is there a way to do in on iPhone?

help... I have a new iphone 3G and it appears that it orginally connects to the exchange server and then it doesn't sync.
I get a message " failed ot connect to server"
I tried talking to the iphone techy's and they say it is my companies server. My companies IT dept says it is the iphone. Currently they have 9 iphones set up on the server ,but mine won't sync. Plus it causes my phone to freeze. Any suggestions??? thanks!

Is there any way I can sync my office mail using the OTHER mail option on the iPhone? I do not want to use the EXCHANGE option for my office mail because I intend to set that up to sync my contacts and calendars with my personal Gmail account. Unfortunately the iPhoned doesn't allow more than one EXCHANGE options to be set up simultaneously even if they point to different servers!

The Exchange ActiveSync thing for iPhone sounded great until I actually tried to use it. The IT Manager says that to set up Exchange Server, he has to expose Exchange ports to the outside world, which is an unacceptable security risk. So I'm stuck with Outlook Web Access, which stinks on the tiny iPhone screen. The Blackberry users at my company have a desktop client which gives them a workable solution to this situation, including mail notification, which I DON'T get with Web Access.

I am having an issue where once a day I cannot connect to my Exchange Server and the only fix is to delete the Exchange Account and re-enter the information...as soon as I do that it runs fine again. My company is on Exchange 2007. Any suggestions?

Problem here, too. I am trying only set up my GMAIL account using the microsoft exchange process. There is no office email or anything. It works great with the calendar and the contacts, but not the email! I get the "connection to the server has failed" message every time. Should I just forget the exchange process and just get emails via safari? not the end of the world, but very very annoying and lame.... any ideas? thanks ken

Well I was also having the "Cannot Get Mail - The connection to the server failed" even though the exchange account was verified during setup. I got it to work my turning off, then back on mail in the email settings. Once I did this I started receiving mail and all my mail folders showed up.

Please help..
a. My exchange account was not verified during the setup
b. I am having "Can not Get mail" message
c. If I delete the domain, it says password incorrect
there are two other guy set it up with the same configuration in the same company with the same server and got his iphone 3g verified and running. I have tried turning on and off ssl, but it still not working.
Any idea? thanks .. Ray

I have recently deployed iphones (2.2) with my exchange server. Everything is working except that when mu users delete an email from the inbox on the iphone - it doesn't show in the trash folder. Has anyone seen this behavior before?

Ok, I would like to get my MSOutlook Webaccess email on my iPhone, but I do not care enough to want all those contacts in my phone. Is there a way to use ActiveSync or anything else and only have email pushed to my phone without adding contacts? I keep a paper calendar so don't have an online one. Should I use gmail and forward the Exchange email to that? Wouldn't it look like everything is coming from me? Thanks for any help.

Hmmm. There is lots of great stuff here, but I have a slightly different issue. I am able to connect to OWA (Exchange 2007) through Safari (Exchange Sync is blocked by IT), but it only provides 'light' version access. I need regular access to a public calendar which is accessed through the "all folders" tabe in Outlook and OWA (when accessed through IE). I seem to have no access to the same through Safari. Any ideas?

Hello all
Some very good comments here but none which can answer my question.
The issue I have, as follows.
I have a new iphone 3gs.
I want to use my exhcnage email from work on the iphone. However company I work for only support blackberrys and I dont qualify for one. I have asked for the settings which they say they cant give as they dont support iphones. So I figured to do it myself.
The issue is I dont know how to get the server address.
i do have desktop Exchange at work computer and wonder whether or not this can help with getting this server address? Equally I dont know the domain address.
How can I find this out anyone?
Thanks in advance.

I have two bosses with iPhones. One of them is syncing brilliantly with Exchange server for email, calendars and contacts, but the other won't work with the same settings. It's driving me nuts.

Iäve been thinking about buying a Iphone 3GS, But I've heard that the "old" Iphone has a problem with activesync/Outlook, that if a calenderpost has a lot of text, it will only sync the fisrt 256 characters, and the next time you sync with Outlook, the Iphone overwrites the original text in Outlook leaving you with only the first 256 characters on both the phone and Outlook = the rest of the text lost!
Have any of you heard about this? Can it be fixed? Has it been fixed in the new Iphone???

Comment #144 by John H. was right on! I am running SBS 2003 with SP. I was confusing the SP2 upgrade on the SERVER 2003 OS with the integrated Exchange SP2! I downloaded Exchange 2003 SP2 and the #@!$ING thing works now! THANKS! I have been working on this for two days and was thinking about going back to my BJII with Windows Mobile 6...at least it worked. Thanks again!

I'm able to access exchange with my windows computer and via web on firefox, but I don't have an iphone!!! Somebody helps me!!!

Do you know if the data (email) is encrypted during transport when using ActiveSync on iPhone?

to 177 go to your MicroSoft Outlook/Tools/Account Settings/ Choose the Exchange account and then choose Change. Do not change or delete any information simply take the server name from it! Hope this helps

Let me just start by saying that I have no affiliation with the company I am about to pass recommend.
I read through most of this blog and tried every suggestion I could use to no avail.
I like many of you am an administrator of a small network. I have about 75 clients and am about to deploy 15 iphones. For the last month I have struggled with trying to get my Iphone active and accepting and syncing mail to no avail. Blackberries worked straight from the get go.
I found this blog and read down post after post hoping to find something that would get my phone working. Finally at post # 157 by Robert, he made the suggestion to go to the following link :http://iphone-activesync.net/?page_id=16
I went there and decided to make the call. It was the best $175 I spent!
It took creating a cert via IIS self cert (download from Microsoft), about 12 changes to my server settings in Exchange manager, a registry edit and opening port 443 on my router. After doing all that, deleting the previous attempt at a mail account and doing it all over again, it worked flawlessly! In fact mail will sometimes hit my phone before it hits my outlook!
So long story short, you may have to spend a few bucks to get it to work, but it will be well spent and you will be happily on your way to deploying your fleet of iphones.
His configuration had me use the shortened version of my owa access. IE, mail.company.com without the /exchange at the end. This boils down to how your particular exchange box is configured. Any variations there in lie in those settings.
I am on my way to deploying my 15 phones thanks to the work of the people at TechnoKOZ.
Many thanks again to Robert #157 for passing that along!

I heard that he was to eager do a Neighbours cameo :O. Sounds a bit dodgy to me. There's a bit of me that kind of wishes this is true lol.

I agree with the above post. Personally I cannot understand why you would not want to make an effort in this regard anyway. Only the other day, at work we had exactly the same conversation and came to a similar closing

How can I find more information related to this post? Its very interesting and I think this will benefit others after reading through the provided material. Thank you and keep up the good work!

I had an issue with iPhone not sending or receiving email, even though the setup on the unit was successful (according to the iPhone). The Microsoft tech walked me through setting up an exchange-oma virtual directory under the Default Web Site in the IIS, and that did the trick (see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/817379). We have a Verisign SSL certificate and everything was happy.
My question is that now that the iPhone is syncing email, calendar & contacts, the user is reporting that the power is draining faster and - of course - it's hot. Is there someway to modify the frequency with which the iPhone queries for data (I don't have one, so it might be something simple), or this some other issue?

I spent countless hours with my iPhone trying to sync my iphone. There is no real documentation on the process or where to start. I spent many weeks with my tech guy ---(and many sleepless nights!!). He kept on wanting me to upgrade my server to 2008. Yet, we just purchased this system. Finally came across these flat rate guys. Boy, worth every penny. I think from start to payment it was only about 20 minutes. Check them out. By the way we tried the godaddy cert. not much help either. I suspect they can assist you with your setup as well. It looks like others here have already have used their assistance.http://computerrepairservice.net/blog/activesync-iphone-2/

I had been dealing with my sync issues for weeks. Could not get my iphone to work with our exchange 2003 server. I tried many suggestions from the internet. Kept on getting that crazy “Cannot Get Mail the Connection to the Server failed” message. I am glad I had contacted and went through with their flat rate setup process. It truly was amazing to see my iphone working within 30 minutes. Do yourself a favor, give them a call.

Question: Anyone on here using the G3 iphone wifi connection to activesync to an exchange server 2010 WITHOUT a service plan???
We had it syncing perfectly in the office but it stopped working.

Have iPhone 3gs - working on MS Exchange 7, when adding a calander event on the iPhone, it wont show up in my outlook 2007... can t find any solution to this... all contacts syn no problem... any help out there

No sé bien cómo llegué a tu blog y descubrí bastantes cosas interesantes. Hace varios minutos que estoy viendo tus artículos. Ya mismo te agrego al RSS. Si tienes ganas, accede a mi blog. Nos vemos!

I'm growing tired reading all of these sync error posts with exchange. I keep on reading many that say I have to have RPC configured. researched site on comment #40 to find this post http://computerrepairservice.net/blog/iphone-4-exchange-2003/ It appears there is a lot of garbage out there. my computer guy wants me to load the certificate on the phone, but these guys say it is a waste of time. I'm going to call them on monday. I will let you know my success.

I used to be able to access to Exchange for my company's emails. It was really fantastic. However, I recently failed to get them as my IT colleague said that the Active Sync has been disabled. Is there any way I can get connected again without having to go back to my IT? I am able to use Safari but it's not as good as Exchange. PLEASE HELP.

Gareth - Not sure if you resolved this but here goes.
If you right click on My Computer on the office PC and go to Computer Name, that should show you the internal domain name if your iPhone requires it.
To get your server external IP address (assuming all mail is pushed directly to it) is to do an nslookup on your email domain name - the bit after the @ in your address, say garethswork.co.uk for example.
Click Start ->Run
Type CMD and click OK
Type 'nslookup -querytype=mx garethswork.co.uk' without the quotes and press enter.
That will give you the name of your mail server(s), eg mail1.garethswork.co.uk.
Type 'ping mail1.garethswork.co.uk' and press enter and it will give you the ip address of your mail server.
I know it's an old post but if it doesn't help you, it may still help a fellow googler.

I totally agree with everything you have mentioned. Actually, I browsed through your several other blogposts and I believe you are completely right. Great job with this particular website.

The dumbest thing is that when you finally connect to Exchange you cannot sync any Exchange folders unless they are synced e.g. with your Outlook defualt folders and then through active sync to iPhone.
We spent 5 days trying to figure it out only to come up with one solution called Exchange Sync: http://www.codetwo.com/exchange-folder-sync/?sts=889
I'm just sharing this with you so you won't have to spend that much time on searching for this like we did...

Is there a way to still get iphon outlook email with your main PC turned off or outlook shut down?

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