iPhone, Outlook, and Disappearing Appointments

Last reviewed on May 8, 2014   —  12 comments

A hotfix for Exchange server is available. See the following KB article for more information. Note: your Exchange administrator will need to install this update on the Exchange server.
Some recurring calendar items disappear from the "Day/Week/Month" view in Outlook when a user uses Exchange ActiveSync on a mobile device to modify a recurring meeting in an Exchange 2003 environment

Update: iTunes version 7.7.1.11 (released 7/31/08) appears to fix some of the sync problems.

There is nothing like using hottest, newest technology. Except when it doesn't work as expected. This was the case with the new iPhone release and iTunes update. Suddenly syncing is broken for many iPhone/Outlook users. The problems are two-fold. Events created on the device are only visible in a table view, in the To-do bar, or in Outlook Today, but not Day/Week/Month view. Appointments may display correctly when the reminder fires but disappear again when the reminder is dismissed. Secondly, events created in Outlook won't sync to the iPhone. Until Apple releases a fix, possible workarounds for each problem are listed below.

Only Outlook calendar sync is affected, contact sync should work perfectly. The iTunes software (and the ITunes COM add-in for Outlook) is required for calendar synching and we believe the bug is in this add-in. Contacts synching is handled directly within the ITunes software.

Events Not Visible in Day/Week/Month View | Outlook Events Won’t Sync to iPhone
More Solutions | More Information

Events Not Visible in Day/ Week/ Month View

What we know: there is a problem in the sync process with alerts and recurrence patterns.

If an alert is changed in any way after syncing to the iPhone, the appointment disappears from the Day/Week/Month view in Outlook. This occurs whether the alert change is done manually either in Outlook or on the iPhone or automatically by dismissing the alert once it pops up. Either way the appointment disappears from Day/Week/Month view on the next sync (use a table view to see it). One suggestion is snooze every alert for 2 weeks until Apple releases a fix. If you need longer than 2 weeks, you can type a new time in full words, i.e., 6 weeks.

When new appointments are entered into the iPhone they're set as recurring when synced to Outlook but contain no data and Outlook doesn't know what to do with them. To fix, open the event on the iPhone and change it to recurring daily then end the recurrence on the date of the event before you sync to Outlook. Rather than change the recurrence, you could use a table view (such as All Appointments or By Category) since only the Day/Week/Month view is affected. Also, set an end date to all recurrences – i.e., rather than go on forever, set them to end in 2012.

Send Link by E-mail fails

The issue: When Outlook 2007 is not open and you click on "Send Link by E-Mail…" (or try to email a file in Vista) nothing happens (no warning message appears, nor does an email window open). After this occurs, Outlook 2007 won't open unless you go into Windows Task Manager, Processes Tab and end the OUTLOOK.EXE process. It appears that Outlook is trying to start but it hangs up.

The solution is to remove Apple Mobile Device Support in Control Panel or always open Outlook before using the File, Send to links.

Outlook Events Won't Sync to iPhone

Events created in Outlook won't sync to the iPhone, possibly caused by a bad recurring event in Outlook or conflicts. We're not exactly sure of the problem or have a good workaround for it yet. If you still can't sync after trying the solutions above try this method.

There are several variations to this fix, but the end result is the same – fewer appointments that need to be synced.

If you can find the bad item(s) or conflicts without deleting everything in your calendar, congratulations. If not, you can fix some problems by exporting the calendar to a CSV or Excel file, delete all the events then import them from the CSV. However, this is not a workable solution if you have meetings scheduled on your calendar.

Since any items you delete will be in the Deleted items folder, you could delete all the recurring events and slowly add them back to the calendar folder.

You should also archive old calendar items, leaving just the current year in the calendar, if possible. You can either use AutoArchive or create a second calendar folder and move all old events into it.

See OutlookSyncClient Error

More Solutions

Go iTunes, Info, and Calendars. Uncheck Sync All Calendars and check each calendar separately.

Don't set a reminder on appointments, in either Outlook or iPhone.

Reset Sync history

If your pst was used with Outlook 2002 or older, upgrade it to a Unicode pst. See Convert an old PST to a Unicode PST for more information.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

12 responses to “iPhone, Outlook, and Disappearing Appointments”

  1. Joyce Thomas

    I read this article with interest, but it doesn't answer the issue I am having. The only sync problem I have is that there is the Birthday Calendar showing up in my Calendars on the iPhone. Love having it there, but I cannot seem to sync it. It has some former business clients birthdays that I would like to remove and new ones I'd like to add, but it isn't seeming to update. I just now set up iCloud, thinking that might correct it, but that didn't work either.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you!

  2. James C

    I was hoping this article would help out with an issue I'm trying to resolve. The admin has Publisher/Editor access to the director's calendar and created an meeting event in the calendar. The director is able to see the event on her iPhone calendar but when looking at her Outlook 2010 calendar, the meeting event does not exist. Any ideas?

  3. N67

    i have 2010 and icloud syncing calendar. many funny things happening.

    1. sometime when i move an appointment, it drops it or ignores me
    2. hour glass kicks in all the time and too often when typing doing etc.
    3. if i open an appointment, thnen add text to body and save. reopen, the changes are gone.

    don't know why but icloud is the culprit..!!??

  4. N67

    Thank you. YES. iPad, iPhone and CPU all have same time zone and time.

  5. Joe OConnor

    Hello! We are running Exchange 2010 SP1. We have a remote user with an iPhone 5 (upgraded from a BlackBerry Torch) that is having an issue with appointments disappearing from the iPhone. The user makes travel arrangements and downloads the arrangements from the travel sites (hotels, airlines) to Outlook.

    We have tried a Hard Reset and a Full Erase of the iPhone. On the last Full Erase, the iPhone synced the travel appointments but they were removed somehow prior to the next morning.

    I have just logged into the user's OWA account and removed the mobile phone association. I then had the user perform another Full Erase and re-setup the Exchange ActiveSync account. I am waiting for an update from the user.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Joe

  6. Joe OConnor

    Diane,

    Is a "master" device applicable in this type of ActiveSync configuration? I am unware of it, if it is. There is the possibility that the user "turned off" the iPhone 5 overnight and turned it back on in the morning (then noticed the appointments were removed). Also, the iOS version on the iPhone 5 is 6.1.4 which, I believe, is the latest version.

    As per the user, this is still happening. I have other iPhone 5 users at the corporate office. I am going to ask them if they use their phones in the exact same manner as this user (downloading travel information to their Outlook Calendars then syncing to their phones via Exchange) to see if there is some commonality.

    Joe

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