Connecting to Exchange 2007 from Snow Leopard Mail Client


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With the release of Mac OS 10.6 (aka “Snow Leopard”), Apple has incorporated the ability to connect the Mail, iCal, and Address Book apps natively with Exchange 2007. Unfortunately, support for this is NOT available for Exchange 2003 servers. Here’s how to set up Apple Mail:

  1. Open the Mail app.
  2. From the Mail menu, select Preferences (or press Apple-; to open Preferences).
  3. Select the Accounts tab in the Preferences window.
  4. Click the Add button (the “+” button in the lower left corner of the Accounts window).
  5. Enter the Full Name, Email Address, and Password for the Exchange account (NOTE: the e-mail address needs to match the default e-mail address on the Exchange account. In other words, if your outbound e-mail shows your address as Jonathan.Dough@smallbizco.net, then enter it exactly that way. Entering it as jonathan.dough@smallbizco.net may cause problems) and click Continue.
  6. If your Exchange server is correct set up for Autodiscover, the server will be found and automatic configuration will be attempted. Also, if your mail server is using a private SSL certificate, you may see one or more prompts about not being able to identify the server. If you have concerns, contact the team responsible for your mail server. Otherwise, click Continue or Connect if you see these prompts, but understand that you may be putting some account information at risk by doing so.
  7. If your e-mail address does not match your login name (i.e., the address is Jonathan.Dough@smallbizco.net, but the login is jonathandough), you will be prompted to enter your login credentials. Change the username to match the username you use to sign into Outlook Web Access, then click Continue.
  8. Once the account setup has confirmed the connection to the server, you will be prompted to set up your Address Book contacts and iCal calendars. Uncheck these boxes if you do not want to synchronize your iCal calendars with your Exchange calendars or your Address Book contacts with your Exchange contacts. Click Create when finished.
  9. Close the Accounts window when complete.

Now you will see a set of mail folders for your Exchange account under the Mailboxes section of Apple Mail. It may take some time for the folders to synchronize if you have quite a bit of mail on the server.

NOTE 1: When setting up Apple Mail to communicate with your Exchange 2007 server in this way, you are working directly with the information that is on the server, NOT on a local copy that has been downloaded on your Mac. That means that if you delete an e-mail from Apple Mail, it is immediately deleted from the server and will NOT be available to any other mail clients you may be using to access the information on your Exchange server (i.e., Outlook on a PC or a mobild phone that has native Exchange connectivity).

NOTE 2: If you have done an in-place upgrade from a previous version of Mac OS 10 to 10.6, there is a change that iCal may not be able to synchronize with the Exchange server. I have run into this issue and have not yet been able to find a solution, but others have not encountered this problem, so it’s unclear what the exact cause is at this point.