At my company we have Exchange 2k3 with OWA being public, serving up Activesync and webmail. There is no pop3 or imap support from our admins. Outlook 2k3's RPC over HTTP is also disabled

Is there a desktop client that can connect to Activesync or OWA? If my ipod touch can connect to activesync, why can't my pc? I'd preferably like a linux daemon that could simply forward emails to my gmail address, but I guess I'll take what I can get.


EDIT: In case it was not clear, our Exchange server is hidden completely behind a firewall, and a second exchange server has only activesync and https ports opened to the world.

6 Answers 6


I think DavMail should be able to solve your problem. To quote from the page

Ever wanted to get rid of Outlook? DavMail is a POP/IMAP/SMTP/Caldav/LDAP exchange gateway allowing users to use any mail/calendar client (e.g. Thunderbird with Lightning or Apple iCal) with an Exchange server, even from the internet or behind a firewall through Outlook Web Access.

It will provide POP/IMAP/SMTP/CalDav/LDAP backends to an Exchange OWA gateway.

  • 1
    OWA and ActiveSync are not the same thing. Unless the client actually uses EWS.
    – mbrownnyc
    Mar 16, 2014 at 14:26

... You just got me thinking, Why doesn't Outlook support Activesync! I guess it would just be a redundant feature for Microsoft to support when RPC is so much more feature rich and complete...

A quick thing that may work is just to set up a rule on Outlook (if you use it) or through OWA that will forward all your emails to the external Gmail account.

Another thing may be to beg your administrator (or bribe with Pizza!) to enable POP3 or RPc over HTTP, even if it is just for your IP.

Anyway, Sorry I cannot really think of a proper easy solution, I cannot find an PC Activesync addons - Other than downloading a Pocket PC Emulator!.

  • Thanks for the answer. How is RPC more feature rich then active sync? Sep 18, 2009 at 12:44
  • No Outlook on the emulator... :-(
    – Ðаn
    Mar 3, 2011 at 14:44
  • As a sysadmin, take it from me: we prefer beer over pizza.
    – Zac B
    Jul 18, 2012 at 17:27

Outlook 2013 now supports ActiveSync natively (no Hotmail connector); however, there appear to be problems with non-Hotmail connections.

The built-in Windows 8 mail client also supports ActiveSync connections.

Edit: It looks like Outlook 2013 will only support ActiveSync connections to non-Exchange servers; see Exchange, EAS, and Outlook 2013 for details.

  • Apparently not with Google though - just tried it, and no joy.
    – Chris K
    Dec 12, 2012 at 17:52
  • Outlook 2013 supports ActiveSync for Hotmail but Google Apps uses an outdated version and will not sync.
    – Monstieur
    Jan 6, 2014 at 10:44

Actually there is a way to have lightweight desktop client with ActiveSync.. its a workaround. you will need a modern mobileOS simulator to achieve this.

The simplest for our purpose is 'Firefox mobile OS Simulator'. It runs as add-on for Firefox browser, this lightweight simulator has an ActiveSync Client built in for emails.

Have put step-by-step instructions here

  1. Open firefox browser, browse to mozilla add-on page
  2. Search for 'Firefox OS Simulator'
  3. Click "Add to Firefox".
  4. Once the add-on has downloaded you will be prompted to install it: click "Install Now". ( its a big download about 50 MB)
  5. The simulator Dashboard opens automatically after installation - you can reopen it at any time by going to the "Firefox" menu (or the "Tools" menu on OS X and Linux), then "Web Developer", then "Firefox OS Simulator"
  6. To start the simulator -- Click the button labeled "Stopped" on the left-hand side of the Dashboard, the Simulator will boot to the Home screen and you'll need to navigate to your app
  7. On the mobile simulator swipe/scroll Right to find the E-Mail app.
  8. In E-mail settings click ' manual setup' fill-in the user and exchange server details.
  9. Thats it!! enjoy the Active-sync client running on your desktop.
  10. for help with any issue refer - https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Tools/Firefox_OS_Simulator

had posted my original answer at Quora http://qr.ae/NTVAl


Evolution will do this, and there is a Thunderbird plugin. Also, there exist some OWA->IMAP bridges out there.


You can use Outlook with ActiveSync - you add an account as Exchange Active Sync (from Control Panel, Outlook not running) , when you get "Log onto Exchange Active Sync mail server (EAS): The server cannot be found" - kill the host process from Task Manager - start Outlook and you will find ActiveSync access in Outlook.

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