How to Synchronise an Apple iPhone with Microsoft SBS 2003 Exchange

This method was tested in a Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 environment and shows how to synchronise an iPhone with Exchange.

Please note, the iPhone uses IMAP rather than POP to connect to exchange. First check that the IMAP service and protocol are running on the server. Second configure the iPhone. You might find it useful to use Outlook Express to test IMAP settings. Test on a PC connected to the Exchange server LAN and if successful connect across the WAN. If Outlook Express can connect using IMAP so too can an iPhone.

Settings to check on the Microsoft Exchange Server

  1.  Start the Microsoft Exchange IMAP4 service and set it to start automatically. Open port 143 on your router and point it to the exchange server. This port is required for IMAP. Start the default IMAP4 virtual server in exchange. In server management on the SBS server run the 'connect to the Internet' wizard and ensure that 'outlook via the Internet' is selected. Ensure that users have permission to access email over the Internet - i.e. they are members of the 'mobile users' and 'remote web workplace' security groups.

Settings to configuration on the iPhone

The user must first create an account at >  register > mobile number > continue > enter the verification code and complete the form.
When the o2 account is created settings are sent by text to the mobile handset; username, password and verification code.
Once these have been received the account is active. Set SMTP as follows on the iPhone handset:

Press settings > Mail contacts calendar > add account > other > add mail account > 

Enter the settings for:

  • Name.Address.Password.Description.

Press save - The iPhone will tell you it is looking up account information this will fail. You will be prompted to enter your account information.

Press IMAP and enter the settings for your account:

Incoming mail server:

  • hostname - IP address of the server - just the IP not http or www. NB. this is the public IP Address of your exchange server.username - your username at work.password - password at work.

Outgoing mail server:

  • host name - name - - Your o2 account password

Press save and expect the following error message: 'cannot connect using ssl. Do you want to try setting up the account without ssl'. Press YES. If the connection to the web is poor, you may have to do this more than once.

Ensure the account is turned on then exit to the main screen. Open email to test the account.

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