Mailing fails over WiFi

28 08 2015

Given that all settings of your mail accounts are correct it might happen that your iOS device cannot receive or send mails although it connects successfully to the Internet.

I experienced this issue today on my iPhone 4S running on iOS 8.4.1 although this update was already installed weeks ago.
The following steps solved the problem but I cannot exclude that it will return.

1 Go to

Settings – Privacy – Location Services – System Services

and deactivate Wi-Fi Networking.

Go to 

Settings – General – Reset

and tap on Reset Network Settings.

Mailing should work properly now. For me it worked also after re-activating Wi-Fi Networking. Strange, isn’t it?

Notes …

Wi-Fi Networking …

If Location Services is on, your device will periodically send the geo-tagged locations of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple to augment Apple’s crowd-sourced database of Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower locations.

Reset Network Settings …

Maybe the problem already can be fixed with just turning off Wi-Fi Networking. If not you must reset the network settings which means that credentials to join networks are deleted from your device’s memory. Onetime you must manually choose a Wi-Fi network and enter the credentials.

Dear Apple devs

it’s annoying to be faced with Wi-Fi issues since years. I hope we will see a *final fix* in iOS 9. If not I will ask Siri to stop working for you. She already told me “OK, maybe not.”. It’s antediluvian to periodically refill an iThing with fresh settings.

Related …


Thanks for dropping by.

S/MIME Secure E-Mail communication

27 11 2012

If you want to communicate via E-Mail in a secure way, activate S/MIME for your E-Mail-Account in the settings of your iOS-Device. S/MIME was first introduced by Apple in iOS 5.

The problem …

Maybe you experienced an E-Mail from a friend where the subject line seems a little odd. Upon opening the E-Mail you noticed that it was SPAM. Somehow a spammer was able to use your friends E-Mail address (spoofing an address) which, understandably, made you feel comfortable enough to open and read the message. These experiences forced the need for having a more secure form of E-Mail.

If you send a letter through the post office do you simply print a piece of paper and drop off in a mailbox, or do you put it in an envelope? If you are worried about people reading your message, why do you send an email without a ‘virtual envelope‘? As an email passes through routers, switches, and from one mail server to another without it being inside a virtual ‘envelope’ (thus encrypted), anyone could look at your letter.

How it works …

Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) can secure your mail by encrypting a message at the source and only decrypting it once it’s in the hands of the receiver. S/MIME also supports digital signatures, so you can know for sure who sent the message and that it wasn’t changed in transit.

If S/MIME is activated the iOS-Mail application will show a little checkmark (within a gearwheel) after the sender’s name if a message was signed.

If something is wrong with the certificate or the message was changed after it was signed, iOS-Mail displays the senders name in red followed by an open padlock.

A common reason for signature failures is people using self-signed certificates or using CAcert, which isn’t considered a trusted authority by Apple and others.

The bad news is that you normally have to pay for a Digital ID from a Certificate Authority (CA) e.g. VeriSign.

If certificates are cheap (or even free) the certificate authority only checks whether the person requesting a certificate is actually in control of the E-Mail address in question, with no actual identity checking.

What you need …

A Class 1 Digital ID e.g. from Symantec/VeriSign.

The process from APPLY to INSTALL …

How to install …

  • Apply for a Digital-ID.
  • Wait for confirmation and issue. It may last up to several days depending on the verification strategy of the CA.
  • CA issues your digital certificate for installation on a PC/Mac.
    Follow the instructions of CA, when you get the download link for your certificate.
  • Install the certificate in the certificate storage of Safari/Internet Explorer.
  • Export it using file format PFX.
  • Send the PFX-File as an attachment to the appropriate E-Mail-Account (the account the certificate was applied for).
  • Open it on your iOS-Device and tap on the attachment (PFX-File).
  • iOS identifies this format as an importable Identity Certificate for installation as a Profile. Follow the instructions. Pay no heed to any strange message.
  • Turn on S/MIME-Option.
    Two additional sections (Sign, Encrypt) will be displayed.
  • Turn on Sign and Encrypt.
    You can select one of the certificates you own a private key for. Clicking it puts a checkmark next to it and this is the certificate that will be used to sign all outgoing messages from this account.

How to communicate securely …

  • Send a Mail to the recipient.
  • The Recipient must install your certificate (by tapping on the sender’s name) for future secure communication.


Additional information …

  • Apple has chosen to not indicate that a message was signed in the standard configuration under iOS. To enable this feature, you have to go into the Settings… Account… Advanced for each E-Mail-Account, and then enable S/MIME. If you have other iOS-Devices you have to repeat all steps for every device.
  • Recipients will get an attachment smime.p7s if you send an E-Mail with your certificate. This attachment can be ignored.
  • iOS doesn’t automatically store the certs of people who sent a signed E-Mail to you. Instead, when someone has sent you a signed message, you have to tap the sender’s name and then you can install the certificate for future use. If you try to send a message to someone you don’t have a certificate for while encryption is enabled, their name turns red to alert you to the problem. A lock icon indicates that a message was encrypted.

Related links …

Apple about S/MIME

IBM about S/MIME

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