ActiveSync not deleting messages in Outlook automatically

Posted on 2007-08-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-05
We are running Exchange 2003 SP2 and have a number of phones using Mobile 5.0 getting email using ActiveSync. I noticed that when a user deletes a message on their phone, it stays in the Inbox in Outlook until one of two things. 1) The user receives another new email at which point the new email goes to the phone and the previously deleted message leaves the Outlook Inbox. or 2) The user initiates a Send/Receive from the phone which removes the mssage in Outlook.

Isn't the message supposed to delete itself from Outlook automatically when the user deletes it on the phone? Also, how do I tell which version of ActiveSync I am running on my Exchange server. They are no management utilities to see what is going on.
Question by:mikedotm
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Expert Comment

ID: 19630013
I actually have a Samsung Blackjack that has Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone - and I know when I delete an email on there, it doesn't fully get deleted until it syncs back up with the server.  I need to mention I also use IMAP as my protocol.

This makes sense because when I check my email on my desktop in Outlook (through IMAP as well), the messages stay on there (although they have a line through them indicating 'marked for deletion') - but since IMAP is a somewhat 'hosted' account like Exchange is - the message is not deleted until I hit 'Purge all marked for deletion' - which I believe is the same thing happening on the Exchange client on the phone.

The message technically is not deleted until it syncs back up with the Exchange server - actually tells it to delete it from the actual account's mailbox - and let's the phone know it deleted it.

If you/they were using POP3, which actually downloads the email of course and is not a hosted and 'synchronized' account like IMAP and Exchange, then that would be totally different.  It would be immediately deleted because it has already been permanently downloaded to the phone.

Hope this helps.

Author Comment

ID: 19638720
So what you are saying is other than a manual sync, or the arrival of a new message, deleted items on the phone do not automatically remove themselves from Outook. How about the Active Sync version? Is there such a thing. There little to no management function within Exchange for Active Sync. How do I know if I have the latest version?

Accepted Solution

kmruss earned 2000 total points
ID: 19639727

I believe that is correct.  That's the way it works on my phone.

I believe there is a way around this by using direct 'push' technology - but there will be a little legwork involved in this method.  This synchronizes from Exchange by sending a SMS (text message) when something is updated FROM the Exchange server.  I can't guarantee this would automatically delete emails not long after you deleted them FROM the phone - but it SHOULD delete them once email is synchronized again with the Exchange server - which should be a lot more often than doing it manually.

The main thing I noticed though is, you would probably want to change the notification to 'Enable up-to-date notifications via SMTP and Text Messaging' instead of what they have (Enable user initiated synchronization).

This first link talks about it in detail:  (although you may have to view in Firefox - IE6 locked me up almost everytime trying to view this page):

The second is actually a good step by step Powerpoint presentation about setting it up as well:


Expert Comment

ID: 19648693
Thanks Mike.

Let me know how that works for you.

Author Comment

ID: 19649113
OK. Thank you for your help.

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