How to change mail auto-check frequency to less than 15min?

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by HOiYA, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. HOiYA macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Anyone know how to change how often the iPhone checks for new mail? I'd like to change it from 15min down to 5min.
  2. liketom macrumors 601


    Apr 8, 2004
    not sure you can - unless you can get into the file and edit 15 to 5 ?
  3. HOiYA thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Just in case anyone else is interested....

    in the /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/, change the AutoFetchInterval value to what ever you want.
  4. liketom macrumors 601


    Apr 8, 2004
    sweet - happy bunny now then :D
  5. rje macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008

    Sorry, I don't know where that is. Is that on a Mac, an iPhone? Where is /private/var? I can't find it on my Mac. So then what? If I find it, and I change the numbers, what next? How do you get it to the phone? It would be great if a really important adjustment like this were fully explained for the sake of civilians like me.
  6. Gromet macrumors regular


    Jul 27, 2007
    How do I edit these files? I am using FileZilla for browse my iphone, and I have found but I'm not sure how to edit it... I made a copy on mylocal hard drive, and when I try to open, it sais there is no program associated with the file...

    Update, I got the file to open with Notepad, but what do I changem i see:


    What do I change????
  7. rje macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    With respect. I really wish people would realize that most of us are idiots and need some serious guidance with stuff like this.
  8. HOiYA thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    My bad.... I was thinking 2 steps ahead when I posted the instructions. The path to the file is indeed on your iPhone. Here are the steps I used:

    1. I SFTP'd (secure ftp) to my iphone. This is assuming that you have your iPhone connected to your home network via wifi.

    2. Browse to /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences

    3. Download the and open it with your favourite text editor.

    4. To change it to an interval of 5min, make the following change:


    5. Save your changes and upload the file back onto your iPhone.

    Since 5min is not an option on the phone, if you open up your iphone mail preferences, it will revert it back to 15min. Hope these steps are clear. ;)
  9. rje macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    Sorry. I don't understand.

    What does SFTP mean?
    Browse where? Where is this thing called /private/var------?
    Download from where?
    Upload how?

    I really don't get it.
  10. ajx22 macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2008
    Honolulu (Hawai'i Kai), Hawai'i
    A Google of SFTP would answer the what. ie.

    Editing code in Notepad or any other text editor not designed for editing code is a bad idea.

    Honestly - if you don't already understand basic Unix code; then making edits to files isn't likely a good idea.

    Do some research/learning about Unix file structure before heading down this even the smallest mistake can render the entire file useless.
  11. rje macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    Thanks. I realize this is something I just can't do. Mac's are supposed to be easy. iPhones are a different story I guess.

    One last question. Where is /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences?

    I'm determined to find that out.
  12. iCantwait macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    inside your iphone, are you jailbroken or not? (if not you cant do it)
  13. rje macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    Yeah. Please someone just tell me where in the phone it is. Why is this so hard to extract?
  14. tim370 macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2007
    for starters chill out a bit... There's no need to be so demanding. everyone here is just helping out for the sake of helping out, so some appreciation wouldnt go astray.

    Now with the directory you're wondering about. Im no authority on this sort of stuff (far from it) but from my experience with using sftp on my touch, the best answer i can give you is this:

    A sftp program is something you install on your mac. You open the program, connect your phone, open a new connection and bingo! You can see the directory of files that make up your iPhone and all its applications. This directory is broken up into folders and sub folders and it is in this list that you should find the directory you're looking for. So you can't actually get to that file unless you have an sftp program like cyberduck (please anyone correct me if I'm wrong about any of this)

    And as for your comment that macs are meants to be easy, but iphones arent, well they are... You're just attempting to do something tricky

    I hope that helps a little

  15. rje macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    I'm just frustrated that in several days of monitoring this thread, nobody has opened the door on exactly how to do this, for the average person with limited tech skills. I'll give this a try. Thanks.

    Update: I downloaded Cyberduck. It won't connect to the iPhone.
  16. HOiYA thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    As another poster mentioned, your iPhone needs to be jailbroken. In addition, you need to have BSD and SSH installed. You can install these from the Install app of your jailbroken phone.

    I logged into my iPhone as "root" with the default password of "alpine". If you are not familiar with the unix filesystem, I would tell you to stop and not try this. With the root user, you can essentially do anything with the files (including delete). This could seriously mess up your iPhone.

    Also as another posted mentioned, you might also need to do some of your own due diligence and search the web for some common faqs on how to modify your iPhone. :p
  17. rje macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    It's jailbroken. BSD and SSH are installed. I'm making headway. I'm in there now. This should all turn out okay.

    Okay. Final update. I used he Property List Manager and uploaded it back to the phone. The uploaded file when sent back to the Mac now says 5 minutes. However, the iPhone is not checking mail every 5 minutes or every 15 for that matter. But thanks for your help and patience. This is actually easy, if you know how. Now get me push email please. Not Yahoo. One that works.

    Real final update: It is now picking up mail in 5 minutes or less. So again, thank you to all of you. Took some time, but the penny dropped.
  18. rje macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    Sorry to post twice in a row. Here's something I read on the Boy Genius site about this operation:

    "If you go into Settings/Mail on the iPhone, it will reset the .plist and your changes will be lost. You can feel free to go into Settings and change anything else, just don’t go into the Mail section or this will be undone. That’s it! Let us know how it works for you. We got ours set to 2 minutes and don’t notice a big drop in battery life, if any!"
  19. DannyBres macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2007
    i have this too what text editor did u open the file with
  20. DannyBres macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2007
  21. StophMac24 macrumors 6502


    Jul 14, 2007
    make sure when using cyberduck that you set the connection to SFTP and enter in the ip address shown either in boss pref if you have it, or from your settings. Make sure SSH is installed and reboot. I recommend installing Boss pref, as this allows you to turn SSH on and off and also shows you your ip address without having to do anything.
  22. princemarko macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2007
    First make sure you have OpenSSH installed from installer.

    open up Cyberduck, click open connection.... where it says FTP at the top, click on it and change it to SFTP...

    Then, make sure your iphone is connected to your wifi, go to settings, network, wifi and click on the little blue arrow next to your wifi name... write down your ip address (192.168 or 10.10.etc etc). In your open connection, type that address down, your user name will be root, and password is alpine. It will take about 30-40 seconds to connect, if it fails, just try again. Once you are in your phone, click on the up arrow until the address bar in cyberduck looks like this: /

    then click on var, then mobile then preferences and find that specific file.
  23. BiikeMike macrumors 65816


    Sep 17, 2005
    For those of you that do not understand the directions, there is a full explination and illustrations here.

    For those of you that do understand the directions, and have done it, does it work? is there a noticeable effect on the battery life going from 15 minutes to 5?
  24. rje macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    It works. I read somewhere that is you open Mail settings at any time, it reverts to the Apple settings. It may be true. I mess around with the phone all the time and I open things. I've had to go back to Cyberduck and redo this many times. As far as battery life goes, the battery life on this phone is so inferior to that of other high end phones, that the extra usage from mail checking doesn't make it that much worse. I've had it set to 1 minute for a long time. It's okay.
  25. aceslick911 macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2007
    2.0 people

    Anyone who's slightly confused and using 2.2+, i've made a P-List file for you which will check every 1 minute. Just put it into /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/

    (you should make a backup of the existing file)

    Interval is 60 seconds, go nuts changing it if you want!

    Attached Files:

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