Can Apple Mail (Snow leopard) work with activesync?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by MorgensterBE, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. MorgensterBE macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008

    I've searched and searched to find a solution to the following problem:
    For some mysterious reason IT at work will not open up exchange to mailclients other than outlook installed on company laptops. Yet, amazingly they allow the use of activesync on my iphone, so yay for that at least.

    So knowing that exchange over the web won't work (though webmail in safari will work) but activesync for my iphone will work, I was wondering if it's possible to set up mail to use activesync protocols instead of exchange?

    I'm sure I won't get access through exchange webmail anytime in the future, but would appreicate a workaround through activesync.

    I was also wondering if the 'missing sync' tool could be helpful? Read about it in another thread here.

    Many thanks for ideas or hopefully an URL to a tool/gadget/program/plugin that 'll help me out.

  2. acurafan macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2008
    exchange 2007 ports are 80/443, so you should be able to connect if you can get to your 'webmail' address (and your webmail address is secured with a SSL certificate) [no reason any legit company will not be using at this time].

    unless your IT has not updated exchange to SP1/RU4 package, or completed autodiscover service. what problem(s) are you getting from these steps,

    no, you can't redirect activesync to your SL mail client.
  3. MorgensterBE thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    I get what you're saying and I'm curious how exactly they can make it so that the system will work on outlook (on my work laptop) but not with mail.

    The laptop doesn't need VPN connection to intranet for outlook to access the server. Any internet connection will do. Which makes me think it should be easy to set up Mail with the configuration settings of outlook on my laptop.
    At work I simply connect to the internal server on LAN
    At home it simply connects through a different channel.

    Any idea how I can get the necessary info/certificates out of my outlook on wintel laptop and use that to configure Mail. I'd try that first if it's possible.

    Mail will sometimes recognise the server but then ask if the certificates are OK to trust. After that it's nothing.

    It's a little awkward because the stubborn ITers won't tell me how to make it work when it is obviously possible.

    I was looking at Activesync as a workaround in such a way that I could maybe use it to set up my Mac as a 'mobile device' for syncing with exchange at work (fooling their servers into thinking my mac is like an iphone).
  4. HenryAZ macrumors 6502


    Jan 9, 2010
    South Congress AZ
    It sounds like your IT has the Outlook clients set up to use RPC over HTTP(S) with the OWA server. This is a preferred solution for laptops because all of your mail (server side and local pst's) remain available from the laptop. With webmail, you only get the mail stored on the server. RPC over HTTP(S) requires Outlook, though.

    ActiveSync is another protocol, and requires an ActiveSync client that has licensed the protocol from Microsoft, such as your iPhone.

    I know this is not what you asked, but Entourage will do nicely because it does not need the RPC stuff; it uses WebDAV to communicate with OWA, which is open because webmail is open. You can have a setup identical to the Windows/Outlook setup, with server side mail, local folders, calendar, tasks, etc. The only downside there is purchasing Office:Mac 2008. You can set up Entourage on your own as long as OWA is open on the server (which you indicate it is).
  5. acurafan macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2008
    your IT hates mac. :D j/k

    your SL mail client connects and works fine when you're at workplace network?? if so, then you need to work with your IT, i won't get into the technicalities of setting it up - there are things beyond your control.
  6. MorgensterBE thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    Fair enough.
    Many thanks for the answers!
    I'll probably stick to using Mail for personal mail and combine both accounts on the iPhone alone then.
  7. thankins macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2007
    I work in IT and use my Mac in all our Windows environment and can hopefully help here.

    If you already find your answer then maybe this will help someone else

    Exchange 2007: If your IT staff is using Exchange 2007 you can sync your iCal app and to your ActiveDirectory account. This is allowed via a service called web services which is a feature of '07. I found it works great, iCal has some issues when you go to edit an appointment that someone else put on your calendar.

    Exchange 2003: This is were things get a little tricker. I would say that the majority of IT groups are still using this. You can't get mail to sync with Exchange without having your IT staff open up the IMAP ports and start the IMAP service on the server. Many of us won't do that do to the fact that it is a small security threat.

    If they will (beg with beer and food always works for me) you can setup to access your inbox and all folders via IMAP. It works very well for what it is. Sorta like GMail in and any other IMAP account.

    Of course with Exchange 2003 you can't sync your calendar/contacts unless you use some third party software running on your work PC that sends info to a Google account and then to your Mac.

    If you need any help drop me a PM. I would be happy to assist if I can.

  8. MorgensterBE thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    Thanks for the time and effort.

    What makes this a bit of a tough case is that internal IT basically said 'no' to my request for having my account available on my Mac. If my laptop accesses exchange through RPC over HTTP(S) with the OWA server than I'm basically not getting anything through to ical or mail on my iMac at home.

    So how can I find out (without going through uncooperative IT people at work) wether the laptop outlook client uses RPC over HTTP(S)?
    If it does then that's the end of the line for me.
    If it uses web services I could still maybe hook up Mail to the web services. If so how?

    Just to clarify:
    -I have a wintel laptop from work with outlook 2007 that I use at work on LAN and at home through VPN or when not using VPN, outlook goes through RPC or web services. (This definitely works)
    -I have an iMac at home on which I want my calendar and maybe mail from work available. But IT is making me go through a stupid browser to get to it.
  9. thankins macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2007

    Glad I could be of some help.

    Sounds like your IT department is still using Exchange 2003. The easiest way to tell this is if you go to your webmail (like you were logging in from a web browser if you didn't have your winintel laptop with you)it should say Exchange 2003 on the log in page. If it says 'Outlook Anywhere' then they are using Exchange 2007 which makes everything a lot easier.

    If it says Outlook Anywhere then you can configure your iMac at home with no help from your IT Staff. Just go to and add a new account - and select Exchange 2007. It will ask your for your log in info and do it all for you.

    If it says Exchange 2003 then it is probably the end of the line for you.

    Hope that helps!
  10. MorgensterBE thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    Oh, if life were only this simple... I get a logon screen that's devoid of this type of information. Instead it just says 'Microsoft Outlook web access'. No mention of exchange versions. Any other way I can tell?
  11. Ostinsfriend macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2010
    Use of exchange on all Apple Products

    My company use MS Exchange for use on PC computrers issued by the company. Naturally I use outlook on my laptop pc to download mail. As an alternative I can navigate to enter my credentials and access the email.

    I work from home and have an Imac and MacBook both on snow leopard. They are configured to use MS Exchange using Mail (from this article This setup works great as I can read and send work email via mail and they are marked as read both in my PC laptop outlook and on the webmail portal.

    Taking this 1 step further, I have both an iPhone and iPad which refuse to play nice with MS Exchange. I am able to get the account verified when enter the email addy and password, but once prompted to enter the mail server ( the account is not authenticated. Oddly enough the server is the same one that I have configured on both the iMac and MacBook.

    We do have a company policy which disallows email to be stored on personal devices, however being that I can get it on the 2 macs- i should be able to use it on the iPad and iPhone in the same manner.

    As an alternative I can setupnthe account on the mobile devices as an POP account; however read emails don't get updated like thy do on the physical computers nor do sent emails get filed in the sent items. I know that this should be possible and often think that exchange is recognizing the iPhone and iPad as mobile devices rather than the real computers that they are. Any advice would be welcomed.

    All od my Apple products should play harmoniously with exchange!

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