FIX – OS X YOSEMITE mail.app The Exchange Server “null” is not responding

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I love my MAC. With the introduction of Hand Off I wanted to be able to move between

microsoft exchange osx yosemite mail.app

my Rivit Mail on my iphone to my Rivit Mail on my MAC workbook pro.  Easy enough – Right?   Not if your an office365 or exchange user.

Handoff currently only works with the OS X mail.app.  Outlook doesn’t support it yet.  Maybe when Microsoft gets around to updating Mac Office (come on Microsoft – 2011?  That’s ancient in computing years) it will work.  I have to use the Mail.app.

It isn’t bad.  I get to federate all my mail files in one account.  Calendaring, notes and contacts are integrated.  Pretty neat.

So the first thing I did was try to configure the mail.app to use by Office365 account. The system chugs for a bit and then comes back with the following error:

The Exchange Server “null” is not responding.

For the past couple of days I tried to fix this. Couldn’t do it.  But I did notice one thing.  I could enter the wrong information and it would create an exchange account.  I then tried to find the plist to see if I could  correct it in the back end.  Searched all over for it… Couldn’t do it.

So I went back to square one.  I could create a dummy account… Maybe the front end will allow me to configure before I commit and move on.  So its still a bug.  But this provides a workaround.  So here is the steps that I did to correct it

1:  In the System Preferences > Internet Accounts

  • Create an Exchange Account
  • Name Field – Enter your name.
  • Email Address – Enter your email address but modify the domain so that it’s incorrect.  ie: add an extra letter or number.
  • Password – Enter your real password for your email account.
  • Continue.

2: Account Settings

  • Description – enter your mail box description
  • User Name – Enter your real name.
  • Password – leave password alone. Its already correct from step one.
  • Server Address – Since I use office 365 its outlook.office365.com. Enter what ever your exchange server is.
  • Continue.

3: Correct the wrong email you entered in Step 1.

  • You should now be at the summary screen. Don’t hit continue. This will commit the account with the wrong info and they you can’t change it. That’s what happened to me.  I tried to find the plist to modify it and never found it. If you do this you’ll have to delete the account and start over.
  • But the preference screen allows you to go back and correct the information. Just click on back until you reach the screen where you can change your address. Find the incorrect address and fix it.
  • press continue until you commit the change.

You now have a working exchange/office 365 account in OSX Yosemite!

18

Comments

  1. KV  October 8, 2014

    Thank you! It’s really terrible that Apple has this glitch that require this workaround, but you figured out the workaround, and I can’t thank you enough. KV

    reply
    • MG  October 13, 2014

      Absolutely brilliant. Thank you for posting this workaround. I have been pulling my hair out for the last couple of months because of this issue.

      reply
      • rob  October 13, 2014

        Glad I could help. Drove me crazy… And I can’t believe that Apple hasn’t fixed it.

        reply
    • rob  October 13, 2014

      I must have spend days trying to figure it out. Gald I could help.

      reply
  2. Travis  October 16, 2014

    Thanks so much for this!!

    reply
  3. Scott Bessel  October 17, 2014

    Tried this and I am still stuck. My issue is the username field always reverts back incorrectly to my first name.
    I too have Office365, but my username is my email address, Scott@xxxxx.com, and it works enter the data but once saved the username defaults back to scott, and the logon fails.

    I am also not seeing this information properly populate back to the Internet Accounts in preferences. Like something is ‘stuck’

    But from my point of view it is for sure a bug. Since my family all use the same server and domain I am unable to upgrade any other machine. I have tried everything I can think of.

    thanks…

    reply
    • rob  October 21, 2014

      Hey Scott. My first idea to fix this was to find the plist where this is stored. I never found it. But I’m assuming that if you could find the list you could change it manually.

      reply
    • Tony  October 21, 2014

      I’m using my companies exchange account and the username reverts back for me as well. What seemed to work was leaving the domain name in my email address incorrect (name@domain#.com). As long as the mail server, username, password and everything else was correct, it connected me properly.

      reply
      • alistair fitchett  December 2, 2014

        I had this issue too, but I found that if I removed the Internet account in system preferences and then added it again using Rob’s steps, it worked.

        reply
  4. Dan Park  October 20, 2014

    This solved the problem for me. When using my correct email address the app just kept trying to connect. As soon as I made the domain bad in my email address (used .comm), it immediate failed, I entered the correct and complete connection information and immediately connected. Thanks!!

    reply
  5. Jonathan  October 21, 2014

    YOU. ARE. A. GENIUS.

    reply
    • rob  October 21, 2014

      LOL. Thanks Jonathan… I drove me crazy… Sometimes you just get lucky.

      Not sure why Apple just hasn’t bothered to fix it properly.

      reply
  6. Scott Bessel  October 22, 2014

    I tried all kinds of stuff.

    I did open a ticket with Apple and sent a boatload of logs…

    I found the plist file with the details, but am unable to get it to stay with he changes, I believe it has something to do with the link between the local Mail settings and the Internet accounts sync’d. I believe this is also all borked up, as the changes between the mail app accounts settings and the internet accounts settings do not reflect each other.

    I am unable to just freely delete the sync’d internet accounts because they are sync’d with 7 other machines I have, including my iPhone, and I cannot afford to lose these settings on everything in one shot.

    The file is: Macintosh HD ▸ Users ▸ l ▸ Library ▸ Preferences ▸ com.apple.icbaccountsd.plist

    reply
    • Scott Bessel  October 29, 2014

      I found and fixed my issue.
      Open the Accounts.plist file located here: ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/
      find the Username edit the string below
      It was just scott
      I fixed it to the proper scott@xxxx.com
      and everything is working as expected.

      Bug is still there, but at least I can get mail on my Yosemite box.

      reply
      • rob  October 29, 2014

        Hi Scott.

        Thats great news…. I’ll add that to the blog so that everyone can see it.

        reply
      • kool22  November 21, 2014

        any suggestions how to do the same trick for Calendar and Contacts.

        reply
      • Joe  December 2, 2014

        I remember when I had this problem before Yosemite. I was able to modify the username via the GUI directly and it fixed the problem. But with Yosemite, I ran into the same problem again, this time it seems the username is no longer modifiable via the GUI when setting up an Exchange account. So your solution worked for me. Thank you for that!

        reply
  7. Mattjoe  January 12, 2015

    This worked very well thank you!

    reply

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