Windows Phone Error code: 85010014

The Short Version

My phone suddenly began reporting Error Code: 85010014 when attempting to sync my work email.

The Fix

It turns out I had a calendar event with a status of “Meeting Elsewhere”.  Changing the status to “Free/Busy/Tentative/Out Of Office” fixed the problem immediately.

The Long Story

Four days ago, my work email suddenly refused to sync on my phone, giving me error code 85010014.  I searched the web, over and over and over and over, to no avail (which is why I’m posting this), so figuring it out was up to me.

What made it look like a device issue:

Because my Outlook and my Web Access functioned properly, from the business side anyway, it looked as though the problem was on my device somehow.  The first thing I attempted was to change my password, but that didn’t fix the problem.

Why a device issue just didn’t feel right:

There were several reasons why I was sure it wasn’t a problem on my device.  I observed the following:

  • Restarting device didn’t fix
  • Removing and Re-Adding the account didn’t fix
  • Removing and Restarting and Re-Adding the account didn’t fix
  • address was working
  • School email (exchange also) was working

Then, I started reading a forum post I came across, which linked to another post, which linked to another post….anyway, I eventually made my way to a post from a problem someone experienced several years ago on their WP7 device with similar symptoms.  They fixed it by unchecking all the boxes for “Content to sync”, then syncing, then adding “Email”, then syncing, then “Contacts”, sync, “Calendar”, sync, “Tasks”, sync.  He observed that by adding the services back one-by-one, the sync was successful and his problem went away.  So I did the same thing, and noticed the same thing…until I checked the box next to Calendar.  The sync failed.  So, I was able to observe that my account would sync, as long as I didn’t attempt to sync the calendar.  So, I pulled out my old WP 7 device and sure enough, I was able to duplicate this behavior.  So, this helped me narrow down the problem, and eliminate my device. 

I kept reading about “try refreshing your cache”, and I wasn’t sure if that was IE cache, or some special device cache or what, but the Microsoft support folks in the forums kept saying, “contact your device manufacture for instructions to clear the cache”.  So, I updated to Windows Phone 8.1.  I’ve been wanting it anyway, and it was released to developers that day, so I downloaded it.  I assumed it would clear my cache, but whether it did or not, the problem persisted.

So, I added my account to my co-workers phone (another WP8, different manufacturer), and was able to duplicate the behavior.  All the while, his account continued to function properly.

So, now I’m convinced that there is a problem with my account, or my calendar or something, but no one knows what to do, and officially, my employer doesn’t support email on devices.  So, I’ve been dealing with this for four days, and tonight I decided to really dig in and try to get this figured out.

I started by looking at the properties of my calendar in Outlook.  I noticed that I’ve never cleaned my calendar since I started with the company two years ago, so it had well over 400 items.  I thought surely not, but maybe-just-maybe, I’ve reached some sort of threshold and the sync process can’t handle so many calendar items.  So, I performed an archive and removed all events older than 90 days.  Still nothing.

So, I started looking through my upcoming events and found one that had my status as “Meeting Elsewhere”, because I’m trying anything and everything I can think of at this point, I change it to “Free” and try syncing on my phone, success!  I thought maybe it just took a while for the clean-up to take effect, so I changed the status back to “Meeting Elsewhere” and sure enough, it broke again, and to fix it, just switch it back to “Free”.