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iPhone or iPod Touch: ActiveSync Limitations

iPhone and iPod Touch use built-in ActiveSync to sync email, calendar, and contact data via direct push with Microsoft Exchange. Although Apple has implemented a number of Exchange functions on the iPhone, it has not included all of the features found in Outlook or on Windows Mobile devices. The following is a list of some of the known limitations of iPhone OS 3.0 ActiveSync.


  • Only inbox email is "pushed."

  • Other mail folders will download when clicked (note that this may cause an annoyance for users who have server-side email filters enabled).

  • Cannot set out-of-office auto-replies.

  • Message flagging is not supported. This means that basic reply and forwarding flags will not sync to the server and you cannot mark messages for follow-up.


  • Meeting attendee status is not available.

  • Cannot delete a single occurrence of a recurring meeting.

  • When responding to meeting invites, there is no option to edit response or not send a response.

  • Cannot reply or reply-all to meeting invites.

  • Cannot "snooze" meeting alerts.


  • Syncing of tasks is not supported.

  • Cannot schedule ActiveSync (i.e. disable push) to limit battery consumption.

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