I'm using an Exchange account. I configured it both on my iPhone and on the Mac (tried El Capitan and Sierra).

On iOS everything works fine (Calendar and Email work). On the Mac only email works. I talked to IT and they explained to me that it might have to do with the Exchange configuration ("on premise" vs something else - I don't remember).

Whatever the difference is: why would it work on iOS but not on OSX? Can I somehow force macOS to use the same type of connection (whatever that is on iOS)?

1 Answer 1


This is because your iOS device supports the Exchange Active Sync (which is for mobile only) protocol where Mail and Calendar do not.

For your OS X Mail and Calendar to work, you either need:

  • Exchange protocol support in Mail and Calendar meaning Apple has to pay for licensing (not likely to happen)
  • IMAP, CalDav, and/or POP3 service enabled on the Exchange Server

It sounds like your company has enabled IMAP and/or POP3 support, but nothing for the calendar which is why email works and calendar does not.

However, if you have Outlook 2016 and VPN in (or they enable services on an "edge server"), Outlook Mail and Calendar will be able to sync up.

  • Is this entirely true? Microsoft says that Activesync is only for mobile but they go ahead and do something different; under Windows 10 the built-in Mail client will connect to ActiveSync only servers (and give you full access) and Outlook 2013 and 2016 ONLY for Windows will also allow you to connect to Activesync servers (and no, it doesn't work with Outlook 2016 for Mac). Basically Microsoft is not following its own rules in order to give their in-house product a little competitive edge.
    – Olivier
    Nov 20, 2016 at 21:22

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