iPhone Fix: “Cannot Get Mail – The connection to the server failed” with Exchange Activesync
Posted by Xeno on December 23, 2010
It seems AT&T has to have your iPhone on the Microsoft Push (aka Enterprise Data) plan.
If you purchased an Unlimited data plan and your iPhone stops working, check that they didn’t slyly switch you to a different smaller data plan. You should be grandfathered in… at the same price. I may have to still argue with them about that. I think mine was $30 for unlimited, a few years ago.
Your Exchange Server may be set up correctly and others may be having now problems. You may be able to set up your account, and that works. After entering your Exchange server information on your iPhone, you see “Configuring Sync” and no error, but still … you get the “Cannot Get Mail – The connection to the server failed” message.
- - Call AT&T at 611 from your phone and make sure you have the Enterprise Data plan. This gives you unlimited email and web data access. Without it, you won’t be able to sync your mail and calendar with Exchange server.
- - Turn off WiFi.
- - Delete the Exchange account on your iPhone.
- - Make sure your cellular network is working, that your browser can connect to http://www.att.com/ttr while WiFi is turned off.
- - Re-add your exchange server account. Be sure your username and password are correct. You should see Configuring Sync, and no errors.
- - Reset your network settings under Settings | General | Reset | Reset Network Settings. Your phone will reboot.
You should now get email and your calendar items from your Exchange server. I have not seen this fix on the net, but this is what worked for me today.
Here are some links for your Exchange Server Admin if everyone is having problems:
- Configuring Outlook Mobile Access (OMA) in Exchange Server 2003
- Enterprise firewall configuration for Exchange ActiveSync Direct Push Technology
- Error Message: 403.6 – Forbidden: IP address rejected
- How to reset the default virtual directories that are required to provide Outlook Web Access, Exchange ActiveSync, and Outlook Mobile Access services in Exchange Server 2003
- Apple Support Forum: Topic : “Cannot Get Mail – The connection to the server failed”
- Direct Push does not work in Exchange Server 2003 SP2 after you create a secondary virtual directory
- Topic : My ActiveSync and OMA issues
Hints for Exchange server admins: Check the logs to see if your mobile users are getting in: (Default is C:\WINDOWS\system32\LogFiles\W3SVC1). In my case, my iPhone was showing up in the Exchange Server logs as making requests, and Exchange server was set up correctly, but I still could not get email due to my AT&T data plan!
I hope this saves someone hours, days, or even weeks of frustration and work.