on iOS: Cannot move mail from IMAP to greyed out Office 365 mail account

Copper Contributor

I've recently set up an Office 365 Microsoft Exchange email account in Apple's own I've done this on two Macs (running 10.12.6 Sierra), an iPhone and an iPad (both running 11.3.1). The account is sending and receiving emails just fine. I have several other email accounts on these devices, all of which are IMAP (3 hosted independently; one is an iCloud account)


However, on iOS only (both iPhone & iPad), I can't move emails to folders on my Exchange account, from other (IMAP) accounts, because when I try, the Exchange account is greyed out. I have no problem moving emails from the Office 365 Exchange account to IMAP folders, but I can't do it the other way round.


I also have no problem doing this on macOS – the on my two Macs does it straight away, dragging & dropping, and those changes are instantly reflected on my iPhone & iPad. I just can't perform the task of moving an email from an IMAP account over to the Office 365 Exchange account, because it's not an option – it's greyed out in the list.


Even when on iOS suggests a particular Exchange folder to move the email to (because I've done the same previously, with related content), it just says "Unable to move email" and it stays in the IMAP Inbox.


So, it works on macOS, but not on iOS.


Any suggestions?

9 Replies

Talk to Apple. They create the Mail application for iOS and use the ActiveSync protocol licensed from Microsoft to connect to Exchange, But it's entirely in Apple's control to decide what features they support for different mail stores...

Hi There, I signed up just to reply to this thread as I just spent quite a bit of time being completely infuriated as to why this simple operation would not work.

I also found the only reply on this to be completely unhelpful, to say the least.


I had the exact same issue as yourself when trying to compile all of an employee's POP3 emails into their new Office 365 service. I added the office 365 account as exchange on the iPad as it should be and then attempted to move all of the sent emails from the iPad onto the exchange mailbox.

I had the same greyed out issue and spent quite a while pulling my hair out trying to find out why this would not be allowed.


I eventually decided to try and remove the mailbox as exchange on the iPad and then add it back in as an IMAP account. Bingo, the account was no longer greyed out and I was able to transfer all of the emails across to the new account. Once the emails have been transferred you can simply remove the IMAP mailbox and re-add it as exchange.


For anyone who needs to do this I will save you some time and place the imap settings for office 365 below.


Hopefully this saves someone a lot of unnecessary stress.


Server name:

Port: 993

Encryption method: SSL






Same Problem here. No solution either. Really bothered that this occurs and a good reason to avoid Office365 for business in mixed IT environments. This is basic stuff and if MS can’t solve this with Apple, other solutions than O365 might be well worth it. So 90s.

@DrNo666why are you blaming Microsoft for this? It's squarely down to Apple not supporting moves to Exchange mailboxes. Just like it's down to Apple to not provide any way to export mail from their stupid iOS mail app, or provide any way to bulk select multiple mails for move. 


Apple have dumbed down their mail app so much that it is now very dumb!

So sorry you got puerile, prejudiced replies to this. I have the same problem. I suspect that it may well be to do with Apple not supporting in iOS an old Exchange set up. Of course I have asked the question on Apple forums, because it is partly their issue. It would be nice if Microsoft luvvies could help to spot what the issue is rather than just taking the opportunity to throw mud. I agree with you, I do not have this problem with MacOS.

@Banno1001 I had the same problem and your solution worked for me.  However I then discovered that not all folders are displayed using the IMAP settings.  The only way I have been able to resolve this is to access the mailbox using Outlook on a PC, move the folders and then move them back again which is a fairly lengthy process.

@Adam Lavery  at least the Apple Mail app allows messages to be moved between email account with the notable exception of Exchange whereas the MS Outlook Mail App does not.

@Banno1001 I followed your suggestion, but I found a quicker and permanent workaround to fix the issue: instead of completely remove the Exchange account, I just disabled the “Mail” flag on the Exchange account and added the same account again as IMAP and enabled for mail only. Now everything works just as expected, moving emails wherever I want and keeping calendars and other exchange stuff... (I don’t need special folders not exposed as IMAP)

@TonyRedmond Mail has been an open standard since at least the 70ies. I expect any mail app and mail server to adhere to one of the oldest standards on the internet still in use. Microsoft has no business ruining standards with proprietary protocols. This is exactly what gave them their own Wikipedia page with the title "Embrace, enhance, extinguish".