Attention adults working in the real world: Do not upgrade to iOS 11 if you use Outlook, Exchange

Kiss your Microsoft email goodbye for now


Updated Apple's latest version of iOS, namely version 11, may struggle or flat-out fail to connect to Microsoft Office and Exchange mailboxes. That's a rather annoying pain for anyone working in a typical Windows-based work environment.

The Cupertino idiot-tax operation admitted this week that iOS 11 contains a bug that potentially leaves users locked out of Microsoft Office 365, Outlook.com and Exchange inboxes, and that the mobile OS pops up an alert that reads "Cannot Send Mail. The message was rejected by the server."

"If your email account is hosted by Microsoft on Outlook.com or Office 365, or an Exchange Server 2016 running on Windows Server 2016, you might see this error message when you try to send an email with iOS 11: 'Cannot Send Mail. The message was rejected by the server'," the owner of ClarisWorks claimed.

"Apple is working closely with Microsoft to resolve the issue and will release a fix soon in an upcoming software update."

No word yet on when a fix for the problem will be pushed out to fans.

While Apple hasn't made the iOS 11 update mandatory, those lining up for a new handset Friday will have no choice but to use the latest flavor of the operating system. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are set to hit shelves on Friday, September 22.

People who rely on Outlook.com, Office 365 or Exchange for their work and/or personal accounts should obviously avoid installing the update – or try using the crippled Outlook app, which apparently still works. If you don't much mind being locked out of inbox, you can get iOS 11 on your iPhone or iPad by going to:

Settings > General > Software Update

The bug is the latest problem to befall iOS 11 since its September 19 release. El Reg has already sounded the alarm about potential pitfalls in the update: it won't run any of your older 32-bit-only apps, and you can't easily turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi because they're needed for file and smart watch synchronization.

In addition to some new features, the iOS 11 update contains a handful of security bug fixes, and fortunately none of them critical. These flaws can be exploited to crash software and perform cross-site scripting and address bar spoofing. So the choice is: update now and, on top of the usual point-zero Apple release bugs, lose access to Outlook and Exchange and have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth stuck on – or don't upgrade and don't get the security fixes.

Given the security vulnerabilities are not critical, you may be better off just waiting for the more polished 11.1 version to land (and the inevitable 11.1.2 update that'll fix bugs in the bug fixes). Your humble vultures have heard of businesses stressing to staff this week to not install iOS 11 on their devices or they'll be locked out of their corporate Microsoft-powered email. ®

Updated to add

Apple has released iOS 11.0.1 to fix the connection headaches. Install it to avoid any troubles reaching Microsoft-powered inboxes.


Other stories you might like

  • We sat through Apple's product launch disguised as a dev event so you don't have to
    M2 chip teased plus MacBooks, iOS 16, macOS 13, watchOS 9 and more

    WWDC Apple opened its 33rd annual Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday with a preview of upcoming hardware and planned changes in its mobile, desktop, and wrist accessory operating systems.

    The confab consists primarily of streamed video, as it did in 2020 and 2021, though there is a limited in-person component for the favored few. Apart from the preview of Apple's homegrown Arm-compatible M2 chip – coming next month in a redesigned MacBook Air and 13" MacBook Pro – there was not much meaningful innovation. The M2 Air has a full-size touch ID button, apparently.

    Apple's software-oriented enhancements consist mainly of worthy but not particularly thrilling interface and workflow improvements, alongside a handful of useful APIs and personalization capabilities. Company video performers made no mention of Apple's anticipated AR/VR headset.

    Continue reading
  • Workers win vote to form first-ever US Apple Store union
    Results set to be ratified by labor board by end of the week

    Workers at an Apple Store in Towson, Maryland have voted to form a union, making them the first of the iGiant's retail staff to do so in the United States.

    Out of 110 eligible voters, 65 employees voted in support of unionization versus 33 who voted against it. The organizing committee, known as the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE), has now filed to certify the results with America's National Labor Relations Board. Members joining this first-ever US Apple Store union will be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

    "I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory," IAM's international president Robert Martinez Jr said in a statement on Saturday. "They made a huge sacrifice for thousands of Apple employees across the nation who had all eyes on this election."

    Continue reading
  • How refactoring code in Safari's WebKit resurrected 'zombie' security bug
    Fixed in 2013, reinstated in 2016, exploited in the wild this year

    A security flaw in Apple's Safari web browser that was patched nine years ago was exploited in the wild again some months ago – a perfect example of a "zombie" vulnerability.

    That's a bug that's been patched, but for whatever reason can be abused all over again on up-to-date systems and devices – or a bug closely related to a patched one.

    In a write-up this month, Maddie Stone, a top researcher on Google's Project Zero team, shared details of a Safari vulnerability that folks realized in January this year was being exploited in the wild. This remote-code-execution flaw could be abused by a specially crafted website, for example, to run spyware on someone's device when viewed in their browser.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022