Location (Geofence) Reminders Not Working in iOS 6? Disable Exchange Reminder Sync

imageAfter a couple of years as a mostly satisfied Android user, I recently switched back to the iPhone (the reasons might someday be the subject of another story). I was eager to try out location-based reminders, which reminded me of a stripped down (but easier) version of Tasker on Android. I liked the idea that I could use Siri to say, “remind me to take out the trash when I get home,” and I’d have a reminder added to my list in the Reminders app. Thanks to geofencing in iOS, that reminder would automatically fire when I pulled into the driveway.

There was one problem – my location-based reminders weren’t actually firing. A Google search for the problem revealed one common solution in the Apple forums. Several users suggested that if you were syncing with an Exchange server, make sure that you were not syncing Tasks. Since Exchange/Outlook didn’t support location-based tasks, Reminders on iOS would be dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. That seemed to fit my situation, as I use Outlook at work.

I hopped over into Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendars, selected the settings for my work Exchange account…and didn’t find any setting to disable Task sync. After a moment of head scratching, I remembered that Tasks were called “Reminders” in iOS 6, and I did see a setting for that.


Disabling Reminder sync for my Exchange account, and making sure it was enabled for my iCloud account, did the trick. I’m now happily getting location-based reminders on my iPhone. That might not be an ideal situation for those of you who use Outlook tasks, but it worked for me. If you know of another solution, let me know in the comments.

Evan Kline

Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer.    MORE ABOUT ME.


  1. I know it’s slightly off topic but your comment “…I recently switched back to the iPhone (the reasons might someday be the subject of another story)….”

    I so want you to write that post.

    I moved from iPhone to Android after 4½ years on iOS, so I’d love to know your story.

  2. Consider that one added to my to-do list.

  3. I had the same problem. I turned on iCloud and reminders in iCloud and it fixed the problem for me.

  4. As an FYI after searching the web for hours, it seems this is only available on iPhones, not iPads! I tried to enable it today on a work colleagues iPad mini and no luck. I tried and tried to get it to work on my iPad but was getting more and more frustrated trying to copy the exact settings from my iPhone 5. Low and behold no iPad support.

  5. I have an iPad 3 cell + wifi and it doesn’t work for mine either. I also have an iPhone 5 and it works flawlessly. Granted the phone is sufficient but the OCD won’t allow me to let this issue go…it should work and the fact that it doesn’t is driving me bonkers.

  6. i just wanted to say thank you as it too me an hour to find your post and finally solve my issue

  7. Thanks, Evan. Worked for me. Even though I had iCloud enabled as the default for reminders, the Exchange account was overriding it somehow. Now that I only have the iCloud enabled for reminders, I’m rocking.

  8. Thank you! I’ve been trying everything! for the past 2 years it seems, but I never thought my outlook tasks would interfere. (I don’t even use my outlook account for tasks/reminders). This was the easiest and only SUCCESSFUL solution. Thank you Thank you!

  9. THANK YOU. Spend 1 1/2 hours on the phone with Apple support and they were clueless. This fixed it in 5 seconds once I found your post. The Apple Support folks should be reading more of these kinds of forums

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