How to setup Exchange or Google mail, calendar, contacts using ActiveSync on your iPhone or iPad

Exchange is Microsoft's corporate email, calendar, and contact system, and ActiveSync is their fairly awesome protocol to keep it all updated on all of your devices, including iPhone and iPad. Google licenses ActiveSync for Google Sync, which used to be available for all Gmail accounts but is now restricted to paid Google accounts. No matter whether you use Exchange directly from Microsoft, from Google, or from your company or a third-party service, it's all setup the same way. All you need to know are your credentials.

How to setup mail, calendar, and contacts on your iPhone or iPad using Exchange ActiveSync

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Tap Add Account.
  4. Tap Microsoft Exchange.
  5. Enter your Exchange ActiveSync account settings (ask your IT administrator or service provider if you don't know them).
  6. Tap Next
  7. Enter any additional information it asks for (Server, Domain).
  8. Tap Next
  9. Select what you want to sync (Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Reminders).
  10. Tap Save

You can go back to Settings and configure how many days of mail you want to sync, as well away messages, and advanced settings like SSL and S/MIME as well.

How to setup Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Contacts on your iPhone or iPad using Exchange ActiveSync

The setup for Google Sync is identical to Exchange ActiveSync, since that's all it really is. You don't get Notes sync when you use Exchange, but you do get incredibly fast email. You just need to have a paid Google account and enter the following settings:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Tap Add Account.
  4. Tap Microsoft Exchange.
  5. For Email, enter your full Gmail or Google Account email address (i.e. name@gmail.com or name@mygoogleaccountdomain.com).
  6. Leave the Domain field blank. (Really.)
  7. Again, enter your Gmail or Google Account email address as the Username. (Yup, that's twice.)
  8. Enter your Gmail/Google Account password for Password.
  9. Tap Next.
  10. When the Server field appears, enter m.google.com.
  11. Tap Next.
  12. Select what you want to sync (Mail, Calendar, and Contacts).

Note: Originally written in February 2011. Updated November 2013.