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Exchange ActiveSync includes a security feature that enables system administrators and device owners to remotely wipe data from devices if they should fall into the wrong hands, for example if they become compromised or lost/stolen. With Outlook for iOS and Android, a remote wipe only erases data within the Outlook app itself and does not trigger a full device wipe. If you choose to install the Outlook app on your mobile device, you will see a warning about this as part of the installation process.

About remote device management

Exchange ActiveSync v16.1 supports two different remote wipe processes:

  1. Wipe Data
  2. Account Only Remote Wipe Device.

There are important differences between how Outlook responds and how native mail apps on iOS and Android respond to these different wipe commands:

Email client  

Wipe data   

Account Only Remote Wipe Device

Native iOS or Android mail client A factory reset is performed and all data on the device will be wiped, including photos, personal files, and so on. Only the native mail app's Exchange ActiveSync mail, calendar, and account data are wiped – so just the Exhange Online mail should be included.
Outlook app The Outlook app will ONLY remove all Outlook email, calendar, contacts and file data for the selected account, but no other data or other Outlook accounts are wiped from the device. Not supported or available.

Can UIS remotely manage my device?

UIS cannot install or remove apps, set or enforce any security policies or generally snoop on your device. The data on your device is only accessible to you and you are responsible for the security settings of your device.

       The data on your device is only accessible to you

Alerts during installation of the Outlook app

During the installation of the Outlook mobile app on your device set-up process, you might see an alert window asking you to agree to remote administration of some security features on your device, e.g.:

"Adding an Exchange account will allow the Exchange administrator to remotely manage your device. The administrator may collect personal data, add/remove accounts and restrictions, list, install, and manage apps, and remotely erase data on your device." 


alert message about remote wipe feature

In order to complete the installation, you will need either to implicitly accept this or be required to click OK to close to proceed (this varies by the version of the Outlook app).


What am I agreeing to when I set up my Exchange Online mailbox on my personal device?

In the context of the University, you are acknowledging that you understand Exchange Online includes the ability to remove Outlook app data from your device remotely or, if you are using your device's native email client, perform a factory reset.

What if I don't want to accept?

If you are not happy to accept this, do not set up any email app on your device to connect to your Exchange Online mailbox. You should use the browser-based Outlook Web App (OWA) instead.

Can I remotely manage my device?

If you have configured either the Outlook app or the device's native email app, then yes. The Outlook Web App will show you any devices that are synchronizing with your Exchange Online mailbox.

Under Settings > General > Mobile devices you can manage your devices, including perform one of the appropriate wipe options listed above.

See: Perform a Remote Wipe on a mobile phone

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