Common Fixes for iOS and Exchange Server

iOS_errorWhile every mobile operating system is different from another, it’s important to make sure you know how to fix some common problems on iOS. Most of these problems revolve around one simple issue: syncing. iOS has been having problems with Exchange Server ever since it came out. To give its manufacturer credit, they are usually always on top of releasing software updates to correct problems as soon as they become known. And although most of these fixes are successful, there are always a couple fixes that still need workarounds.

Unfortunately these issues don’t become known until after an update has been applied and a particular condition occurs where the update was not tested against during beta testing. Not every condition or application can be tested so it’s understandable, though unfortunate, that customers often are the ones to complete the final debugging of patches and updates. That’s why workarounds are usually implemented after an official update has been released to the public. These workarounds are meant to be temporary but on rare occasions they can become de facto long term fixes.

One example of this is when users of iOS are prevented from accessing an Active Directory account. If you skim across the net you will not find an official fix for this problem. However the issue is known by the manufacturer and if you want an official fix then you will need to open a support case with them. The specific problem occurs when users have changed their Active directory password on their mobile device. When users enter their new password their account will get locked.

The workaround for this situation is as follows:

On your device, head to the Settings on your iOS device.

Change the profile to force your new password to be used by the mobile device.

Note: if you have multiple devices with the same problem, you should change them all at the same time, to prevent confusion on the Active Directory.

Another example is that when you receive a message, instead of getting the contents of that message, you receive an error stating that nothing has been downloaded from the server. You’ll only see this error if you try to open up a message from your inbox. Sometimes you won’t even be able to receive incoming mail on your device.

Unlike the last workaround, this one requires access to the Exchange Management Shell (EMS). The following command will be needed to ensure you have a valid domain name:

Get-AcceptedDomain | fl

You can expect an output such as the following: is the new accepted domain.

DomainName         :
DomainType         : Authoritative
AddressBookEnabled : True

If the accepted domain is correct, and you’re still having a problem, then you may need to stop and restart the transport service.

Once that operation is complete then you can run the EMS command :

Set-AcceptedDomain –Identity “somecompany” –Name “”

The error might have been caused because the domain name had a space in it such as: “some”. This is of course an invalid URL which most likely caused the error.

Our last example occurs when a condition does not allow a user to synchronize to the exchange server mailbox. The symptoms will include not being able to perform any operations with ActiveSync mail, contacts, or calendar. This is because those operations will fail to synchronize with the server. And if the user attempts to synchronize they may find they are sitting there waiting and waiting while they could have instead gone out for a cup of coffee. In effect, it’s taking an unusually long time to sync.

This error mostly happens for iOS 4.0 users who haven’t updated their device. It is recommended that you update your device. Once your device has been updated then the problem should go away almost immediately. If for some reason you are unable to update to the most recent version of the OS, then you can follow the steps below as a temporary workaround.

  1. Email or download a signed configuration profile to your device.
  2. Install the configuration profile.
  3. Enter your passcode if needed.
  4. Once it has completed, restart your device.
  5. Finally, wait for everything to synchronize.

And don’t forget to notify the maker of your device about any problems you have with your device. It may seem like another item to add to your to do list and you’re probably ready to start working once your issue has been resolved but remember that updates are always the results of user complaints about problems that need to be fixed.


Written by Jacob Rede

1 Comment

  1. Mario Joaquin · May 29, 2013

    My friends advised me against updating my OS as (they say) it may cause some errors. Then I find out that I need to update in order to solve a problem I’ve long been experiencing! I followed the steps for the temporary workaround and things are all good now. I never thought that solving my problem would be as easy as updating my OS! Also, I’m one of those who are too lazy to give feedback no matter how many times I’ve been asked. So now I’m going to call or email whenever I encounter problems with my iOS device.

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