Important Hotfix for Outlook 2013 Preview

Microsoft released a quick fix for a nasty bug in Outlook 2013 Preview, part of the Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview. The related knowledgebase article is kb2737132.

Note: Despite the warning that goes with pre-release software about not using it in production environments, I assume Microsoft knows people will and decided to produce a hotfix so quickly, which is quite unusual for preview software, also looking at the potential consequences.

The bug causes everything, i.e. e-mail, contacts, appointments and tasks, to be deleted permanently from an Exchange server when using the Cleanup Tools from Outlook. Nothing is recoverable through the Recover Deleted Items option.

To install the hotfix, follow one of the links below, depending on your architecture:

Storing Replies with Received Items

Not directly Exchange related but mail-related, I’d like to mention a function in Outlook which could make organizing e-mail a lot easier, depending on if and how you organize them of course.

Normally, when replying to an e-mail in Outlook, it will store a copy of that message in the Sent Items folder of that account. That is, assuming you have 1 Exchange account set up or multiple in conjunction with the DelegateSentItemsStyle setting as described here.

Now after a while, your Sent Items folder will be full of messages sent over the past period. For received messages you may have created folders and perhaps rules to automatically organize incoming e-mail in projects or customers folders. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can keep those messages with their replies automatically, instead of having to organize your Sent Items by manually distributing its contents over the projects and customers folders?

Well, you can actually, and it’s a setting in Outlook. Open up the File > Options and select the Mail settings. In the right pane, check the When replying to a message that is not in the Inbox, save the reply in the same folder setting:


Note that this setting in pre-Outlook 2010 versions is called In Folders Other Than The Inbox, Save Replies With Original Message.

Now when you reply to a message, it will save the reply in the same folder unless the message was in the Inbox.

Note that this setting will apply to all accounts and personal folders.

Office 365 and “There are no items to show in this folder”

Be advised that when accessing shared mailboxes on Office 365 using Outlook in online mode, you may experience an issue with Outlook not properly updating the mailbox view.

Instead, Outlook will return a “There are no items to show in this view” message. The folder in the folder navigation pane displayed the proper number of (unread) items in the folder.

This could be the symptom of an issue which was already solved in Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1 Rollup 5. It seems the Office 365 data centers are not running a current version of Exchange, as today I received the message the Office 365 environment is currently being upgraded with Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2. The message also mentions the upgrade is to be completed at the end of the month.

More information on the issue in knowledge base articles kb2500648, announcing the fix is included in Exchange 2010 SP1 RU5.

Until then, the suggested workaround is to click one of the columns twice after which Outlook will update the view properly. Of course, you could also enable cached mode, if your setup and company policy permits (e.g. not running Outlook on terminal server).

Delegated Sent and Deleted Items behavior

Many people using Outlook access multiple mailboxes, either because the mailbox is shared or they are a delegate (e.g. they have send-as permissions). What many users find confusing is that by default, Outlook will put the copies of all sent messages in the Sent Items folder of the default account. For example, when Peter sends a message as John, users expect Outlook to put the message in the Sent Items of John. Also, when Peter deletes a message from John’s mailbox, it will end up in Peter’s Deleted Items folder.


Luckily, this behavior can be altered for Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 using two registry settings. In order for these setting to work, Outlook needs to have a certain hotfix; which hotfix depends on the Outlook version used. Note that a later service pack or hotfix may already contain this setting:

To enable the different Sent Items behavior, you need to create or edit the a value named DelegateSentItemsStyle, type REG_DWORD and set it to 1 (default is 0 or not present). The location of the registry value is HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Outlook\Preferences, where <version> depends on the Outlook version used; use 11 for Outlook 2003, 12 for Outlook 2007 or 14 for Outlook 2010.

To alter the Deleted Items behavior, create or edit a value named DelegateWasteBasketStyle, type REG_DWORD and set it to 4 (default is 8 or not present). The location of the registry value is HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Outlook\Options\General; for version number use one of the values mentioned before.

After implementing these registry values, either manually or by publishing them in group policies, sent items and deleted items will be stored with the mailbox:


Note: these registry keys only work when using Outlook in Cached Mode; more information in kb2703723.


Disabling Distribution Group Expansion in Outlook

A customer was using moderated distribution groups and asked if it was possible to disable the expansion of distribution groups in Outlook. As you probably know, after entering a distribution group in the address bar, Outlook will show a “+” sign next to it which will let you replace the distribution group with all its members as recipients. Especially with moderated distribution groups this might be found an issue, because customers might want to hide membership information from senders.


Unfortunately, hiding isn’t  a real option because distribution groups are universal distribution groups and its members are readable. Fiddling around with the ACL sounds like a viable option (remove permissions to read members) but sounds like a potential cause for other issues so I wouldn’t recommend that.

What you could do is remove the option to expand the distribution group by setting one of the following a registry keys, depending on your Outlook client version:

Outlook 2013
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Options\Mail\DisableDLExpansion=1 (REG_DWORD)

Outlook 2010
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Options\Mail\DisableDLExpansion=1 (REG_DWORD)

Outlook 2007
HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Options\Mail\DisableDLExpansion=1 (REG_DWORD)

Outlook 2003 or earlier
Outlook 2003 or earlier versions don’t have this option.

After you set this key and restart Outlook, you’ll see the “+” sign is gone:


If you want to roll out this change throughout your organization, use this key in a custom GPO template or utilize the GPO templates that ship with Office (OutlkNN.adm, where NN is determined by the Outlook version), and configure the GPO accordingly.

Be advised that setting this registry key disables expansion for all distribution groups. Specifically disabling it for moderated groups is impossible, since Outlook has – and should have – no knowledge of the type of distribution group.

Note that the distribution group expansion option is something typical of the Windows version of Outlook, since Outlook for Mac nor Outlook WebApp (OWA) have this option.

MsExchQueryBaseDN and Exchange 2010 SP1

Note: At TechEd NA 2011 session EXL326, announcing Exchange 2010 SP2 features (e.g. GAL segmentation), Greg Taylor stated that SP1 breaks MsExchQueryBaseDN in Exchange 2010. This might explain the behaviour as described in this article.

As you may know, the msExchQueryBaseDN attribute can be used to limit a user’s scope of the global address book and address searches (also see kb817218). This is helpful for restricting access in environments consisting of multiple organizations or organizations with a substantial  number of mail-enabled objects. The attribute is part of the user object and you configure it by pointing it to a DN of the OU or address list of choice, e.g. OU=sales,DC=company,DC=com. Note that by default msExchQueryBaseDN is empty, so that user will search the whole domain the user’s part of.

With Exchange 2010 SP1, the following unexpected behavior is encountered in Outlook when you’ve set the msExchQueryBaseDN attribute:

msExchQueryBaseDN Set
When msExchQueryBaseDN is set to a valid DN, Outlook WebApp (OWA) will show the default global address with elements from the configured msExchQueryBaseDN downwards. Outlook 2007/2010 will show an empty global address list; other global address lists are invisible. Searching the address book in OWA works, in Outlook it doesn’t because Outlook thinks the address list is empty:


Note that if the structure contains many elements, opening the global address list in OWA may result in the following exception:

Url: https://…/owa/forms/premium/SubPageContainer.aspx?ae=AddressList&t=Recipients&subpage=DirectoryView.ascx
User host address: …
User: Blake, Francis
EX Address: /o=…
SMTP Address:
OWA version:
Mailbox server: ex2010a.domain.local
Exception type: Microsoft.Exchange.Data.Directory.ADVlvSizeLimitExceededException
Exception message: Active Directory operation failed on ex2010a.domain.local. There are too many entries which exceed limit of Virtual List View. Additional information: The directory service encountered an unknown failure. Active directory response: 000020EF: SvcErr: DSID-03140350, problem 5010 (UNAVAIL_EXTENSION), data 0

The message indicates it tries to fit too many elements in the list.

MsExchQueryBaseDN cleared
When msExchQueryBaseDN is cleared, Outlook and OWA will show the default global address list as well as other address lists. Also, even though the number of elements is equal or larger than when msExchQueryBaseDN is set, the global address list will show in OWA. So, apparently the number of elements isn’t an issue, which makes the exception you get in OWA when msExchQueryBaseDN is set confusing.


After some digging, I think this behavior is related to dropping address list segregation support for on-premises Exchange 2010 and moving several functions and support for it to Exchange 2010 hosting mode. A possible clue can be found in the Exchange 2010 mailbox attribute QueryBaseDNRestrictionEnabled, which description reads:

The QueryBaseDNRestrictionEnabled parameter specifies whether to restrict a user’s ability to view or search for other mailboxes in their organization. If this parameter is set to $true, the global address list (GAL) of the specified mailbox user isn’t populated. Specifically, if the user views the GAL, it will appear empty. If this parameter is set to $false, users can use the GAL to view all mailboxes in their organization, including mailboxes for which this parameter is set to $true. The default value is $false.

This empty GAL behavior when QueryBaseDNRestrictionEnabled is set to $true matches the behavior encountered when setting the msExchQueryBaseDN attribute.

So be advised that while we wait for Service Pack 2, of which the Exchange Team said it will contain some form of (still undisclosed) address list segregation (announcement here),you will run into the issues described above when using msExchQueryBaseDN in an Exchange 2010 SP1 environment.

To bulk clear the msExchQueryBaseDN attribute for a whole domain, execute the following command from the Exchange Management Shell:

Get-Mailbox –ResultSize Unlimited | ForEach {$o=[ADSI](“LDAP://”+$_.distinguishedName);$o.PutEx(1,”msExchQueryBaseDN”,0);$o.SetInfo()}

Updated: Added SP2 announcement mentioning to broken MsExchQueryBaseDN (May 18th).

Fix for Outlook 2007 Personal Archive update

As announced early February, the Office team has released a fix for the Outlook 2007 Personal Archive issues. This fix is also integrated in the Office 2007 Cumulative Update for February 2011 (kb2493732).

The description of the Outlook fix included in this CU can be found at kb2475891.Unfortunately, it doesn’t mention any specific Personal Archive issues.

You can request the individual hotfix here.

Outlook 2007 personal archives issue, fix in Feb’11 CU

The Exchange team put a notice up today on their website on an important update for Outlook 2007 regarding personal archive support on Exchange 2010. Unfortunately, the post doesn’t contain any information regarding the issue itself, only that it may result in inaccessible archives. The fix will be included in the February 2011 Cumulative Update for Office 2007, which is to be released later this February.

This Outlook 2007 personal archive support is becoming some story. After the the initial update enabling this functionality, Outlook 2007 Cumulative Update of December (kb2412171), the update was re-released in January to include 3 fixes (see kb2485531). Now we can expect another fix for an undisclosed issue.

I suggest keeping an eye on the Outlook team blog for updates regarding this issue.

Outlook 2007 archive KB published, omits archive function

After releasing the hotfix for enabling Exchange 2010 personal archives for Outlook 2007 users yesterday, the related knowledgebase article was published today (KB2458611).

What you might notice when reading the list of fixed issued is that the article doesn’t mention the included support for archives. Interesting. One might wonder what that implies from a support perspective.

Update: There are reports of issues with Outlook 2007 after installing update KB2412171, like Loss of Archive/Auto-Archive functions (not to be confused with personal archives), performance issues and Outlook Anywhere/NTLM issues.  Since KB2458611 is based on that update, so you might expect similar issues. More information here by Outlook MVP Ben Schorr.

Update: Official information confirms three issues have been identified with this fix:

  1. Secure Password Authentication issues when configured but server doesn’t support it (e.g. GMail);
  2. If you haven’t configured an Exchange account,
    1. Performance issues;
    2. Inability to configure AutoArchive for IMAP/POP3 or Outlook Live accounts.

More information on the Outlook Product Team blog here.

Update: The Microsoft Exchange team blogged about the December 2010 update for Office 2007 here. They state that “This update extends archive support to Outlook 2007”. In the same blog, the archiving functionality I described earlier here is hereby also officially confirmed.

Update: The Outlook team re-released the hotfix which addresses the 3 issues mentioned above (and on which the Outlook team blogged here). You can download the updated KB2412171 hotfix here.

Outlook 2007 hotfix for Exchange 2010 Personal Archive support

Update: After fixing some issues (see here) the Outlook team re-released hotfix KB2412171 and made it available for direct download here or you can get it through Windows Update.

It seems the Office 2007 Cumulative Update for December 2010 (KB2479671) will contain support for the long awaited support for Exchange 2010 Personal Archives in Outlook 2007. Note that support is limited as not all functionality found in Outlook 2010 is present, but it is usable from a customer perspective.

After applying the Outlook 2007 hotfix (SP2 is a prerequisite), archive-enabled users can do the following:

  • Access and move messages to or from their personal archive;
  • Mailboxes for which you have full access permissions will be automatically added to your Outlook view (known as auto mapping of shared mailboxes) inspecting the msExchDelegateListLink attribute (more info on this at Steve Goodman’s blog here);
  • If you have full access permissions to an archive-enabled mailbox, that archive will be accessible and automatically displayed as well.
    In the screenshot below you’ll the the user’s mailbox (Francis Blake), his Personal Archive and he has full access permissions to Philip Mortimer’s mailbox, who is also archive-enabled:


Unfortunately, there are also a few things not implemented, e.g.

  • No support for archiving policies, meaning users won’t be able to override centrally configured retention and archiving policy settings using personal tags in Outlook. More info on archiving policies and personal tags here;
  • Not integral searches, meaning you need to search the mailbox or the personal archive seperately. Searching “all mail items” will not retrieve results from the personal archive, as shown in the screenshot below:


It is unknown if these omissions are going to be introduced in a later hotfix, as the initial hotfix for personal archives in Outlook 2007 was set for Q1/Q2 2011.

Be advised that this hotfix will enable personal archive functionality for the following product versions only:

  • Office Ultimate (Retail)
  • Office ProPlus (Volume License)
  • Office Enterprise (Volume License)
  • Outlook Standalone (Retail or Volume License)

Note that the Outlook 2007 update for archive support is still not mentioned on the cumulative update page as the cumulative update package has yet to be released. However, the KB article has been published (KB2458611). You can request and retrieve the individual hotfix here.

Thanks for Ankur Kothari (@ankbomb) from product management for the early update.