41

When I signed into my e-mail for work (we're on Microsoft Exchange) there were a number of server-specified security policies (See below) How do I avoid these?:

Device Administrators

I just received a Nexus 7 and signed into my work's exchange server. When I did so I told me that the server was requiring some security settings. I don't really like those. Especially the one (not really mentioned in the image) which disables NFC which I wish to use for Google Wallet.


So my question could be answered by:

  • A non-rooting method to disable these settings;
  • A different app which would allow me to still connect to the server but not enforce these security settings;
  • Anything else which I may be missing.
  • I remember I found a modified email APK file, or at least the instructions to build it yourself. I just need to find it again! – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Aug 2 '12 at 18:32
  • 1
    It is good to find workarounds to these problems, but it may also be a violation of company policies. So, exercise caution. At the worst case, it may warrant dismissal, especially if confidential data gets into the wrong hands. – geffchang Aug 26 '13 at 8:21
  • 1
    The message says that various settings can be controlled, not that they necessarily are. Most admins hopefully wouldn't be so power-hungry to bother disabling NFC or Bluetooth, so you prob would find that they would continue to work anyway. – user169048 Jun 5 '16 at 0:01
  • And for those who come here through Google and won't balk at the rooting option, here it is – DomQ Jul 4 '18 at 12:47

11 Answers 11

9

First off, talk to your Exchange administrators. See if they deliberately are setting the mobile device security settings so tightly. I would have a discussion with them to see if they can loosen up the security settings.

If you only want email you could try K-9 from the app store. It uses IMAP to get the mail from the server so your exchange server will have to have that turned on.

8

A co-worker said he found a work-around with this app: Moxier Mail. I'm using the trial right now and I like it a lot. I really like that it lets me separate my work from the rest of my tablet. It also doesn't fall under the security requirements. It does require a pin for the app itself and there are useful widgets. All-in-all it seems even better than the built-in E-mail app. The full version's expensive, but my co-worker says it's worth it.

  • 3
    As of 5/27/2015, the link to the app is broken – Abhishek Anand May 27 '15 at 22:37
7

I highly recommend MailWise. It has an Exchange override that allows you to turn off the server's influence over your device. Use it at your own risk (your employer may get whiny about it) but I can say it does work very well.

In order to use the Exchange Security Bypass, you'll need to go to MailWise's FAQ and follow the instructions. You basically just select the override option in a settings menu, enter in a code (supplied on the FAQ) and re-enter your Exchange mail information. Don't bother making a work account in MailWise until you do this, as doing it deletes the old account and requires you to make a new one.

Once this is done, you have total control again and your work admin can't force certain security measures on YOUR device.

5

Here it is the modified Email.apk. (This is for Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.1 Only! )

This tool bypasses security restrictions (the client claims it will enforce the hard reset policies but it won't in fact).

Please use it with extreme caution. There is a specific reason why an administrator configures such a policy, and I would recommend it to everyone. If your phone gets stolen nobody will be able to read your company's email, which is a secret. Lots of industrial accidents occurred because employees lost their mobile devices (laptops included) with sensitive data not protected enough.

If you fear that a misconfiguration will someday format your device, backup is your best option!

  • 1
    Note that this Email.apk is only for a specific version of the OS on a specific device, and will not work for all devices. – TREE Apr 11 '13 at 14:16
5

I know of three alternative mail/calendar/contacts apps that can get you around the Exchange security policies assuming that you cannot have the policies turned off and you do not have IMAP/SMTP access:

  • Microsoft Outlook for iOS/Android (free) - I personally use this for all of my email accounts now and love it. It has cloud storage support (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.). It even makes contact groups in the official contacts system! This way you can still have people show up as contacts in other apps even when you're not using the built-in system for contact accounts. It's not that advanced as far as functionality goes, but it's fantastic for the money (free) and battery life.
  • Boxer (free for 1 non-Exchange account, pay for multiple accounts and Exchange support) - I have some friends that have this and adore it. They constantly want me to switch to it. The calendar is in a separate companion app that is definitely appealing. This does not bypass the security policies.
  • TouchDown (trial, paid) - I tried this one until the trial ran out. It's very feature-rich, but it was a little slow for me and looks kind of old. I didn't end up buying it.
  • Mail Wise (free) - I didn't like this one because of its privacy policy. It also didn't bypass the Exchange policies at the time, but it looks like that have that feature now.
  • CloudMagic (free) - I tried this one a while ago, but I forget what I didn't like about it.

You can set up an Inbox Rule to redirect or forward you messages in the form of an MMS message to get notifications and then look at the full message later in OWA from the mobile browser. I did not like the "send a text message" Inbox Rule because it would cut off the message and not show all of the data about it, so I set it to forward the message to my phone number's email address. This depends on your carrier (i.e. 5551234567@tmomail.net for T-Mobile or 5551234567@vtext.com for Verizion).

  • How do You do it in Outlook? – arved Feb 9 '17 at 21:56
  • Outlook doesn't require the same permissions as the native app anymore (it used to), so using the official Outlook app worked for me. It took me to my organization's sign-on portal. – ndm13 May 4 '18 at 1:55
2

I wouldn't bet a non-root procedure exists to bypass Android server-enforced security policies. Even for rooted phones the procedure involves patching or directly replacing the existing email client (Email.apk), which isn't anything one could do without root privileges.

Anyway, extreme care must be taken as bypassing security checks you may not just be turning your device more vulnerable and yet most important, likely compromising the data it stores, but may as well be violating your working contract/Code of Conduct by doing so.

2

You might want to try TouchDown (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nitrodesk.honey.nitroid&hl=en) It is not a free app, but it does work perfectly with my work email and calendar (ActiveSync) without enforcing those extremely restrictive security settings.

  • I use this app, but it still requires security policy. May I ask how you set it so that TouchDown does not set a security policy? – Aaron Jan 27 '14 at 4:28
  • 3
    What I meant is that it does not enforce the security settings on the device. Password requirements etc. still apply for the TouchDown app itself. – friederbluemle Jan 27 '14 at 8:54
  • 1
    (Pardon the extremely late comment...) Touchdown is great IMO because it enforces the security policies on itself. A remote wipe will wipe all the data touchdown has, but leave your phone intact. Which is really how it should be, IMO. – mbrig Jun 21 '18 at 16:22
1

I had some luck with Enhanced Email. It does exactly what you are looking for - it lets you override the security setting enforced by your admin. It worked with exchange 2003, but I haven't tested with exchange 2010 or 2013. I got the application for free from the Amazon app store a while ago and it is been working fine on my GS3 phone.

  • 1
    I cant see this option in enhanced mail. Can you ellaborate? – Michael W Aug 19 '13 at 14:49
1

Another option is to use the Exchained app. This allows you to keep using Android native mail clients, including gmail, bypassing exchange policies and working from Android 4 to Android 7.1

  • 1
    It would be helpful to link to the application. – mattm Dec 7 '16 at 15:08
  • Unfortunately, it requires an unsecured local connection. Meaning that if another app you have runs and grabs the port you configured for it first, it would be able to harvest your Exchange password. – binki Aug 14 at 16:44
0

I can't suggest Nine Mail enough. It won't let you bypass your exchange security policies completely, but it sandboxes your email so that you don't have to give your exchange administrator complete control of your device. i.e. PIN is only enforced on the email app, they can only wipe your email app not the entire device, etc... It is packed full of features and has a great UI.

No affiliation to application at all. Just someone who has used Enhanced Email, hacked apks, and everything else to prevent my work exchange admins from having total control of my device. This is the best solution I've found.

Google Play Link

Nine Website

-2

I found best option to be gmail, add your account as exchange. In addition to mails, you get contacts integration too

  • 1
    As of Nougat 7.0 on 29 Nov 2016, Gmail requires the same remote access (remote wipe, for example) as Microsoft Outlook when adding as an Exchange account. Add as an "other" account instead to just use IMAP. – mattm Nov 30 '16 at 14:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.