What is the difference between Fetch and Push?


October 17, 2011 / Updated: October 17, 2011 / Lena Shore
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I am now syncing my phone and computers so that my calendars, emails will all have the same information. But, when I go to my settings I see options for “Fetch” and “Push”. What is the difference? Which one do I want to use?


Fetch and Push are items that tell your devices (iPhone, computer, etc.) to communicate with the server so everything is delivered properly and stays in sync.

  • Fetch is telling your device to go get information from the server and bring it back to you. You usually set it for certain increments (Every 15 minutes, every hour, manually, etc.) to tell it how often you want it to go fetch and bring back new information it finds on the server. Remember: “Spot – go fetch that stick!”
  • Push is telling the server to send information to your device whenever it has something to send to you. Remember: “My pushy mother-in-law calls me whenever she thinks of anything new to say”

Personally, I prefer Push because it just grabs the new information when I need it and I have plenty of battery life. However, if you have a device that loses battery life quickly, you might prefer using Fetch so you can tell it how often to check and conserve some battery life.