Outlook Troubleshooting

Most of the time we face lot of complaints that users are not able to access their emails on outlook, or exchange is not responding.  In most cases, the client’s outlook has some sort of problem and the users don’t realize it. Below are some of the steps which will be handy in troubleshooting these types of issues and which will help to narrow down the problem scope;

Test 1 : Testing OWA:

1. Get the troubled user’s user id and password and test from OWA or ask him to open his mailbox via OWA or

2 . Create a test Mail account and Access OWA from it to verify that Exchange is working fine and that the test user is able to access their emails.

If OWA is working fine, then we have to concentrate on Client side troubleshooting, otherwise we will have to look at the server side and check CAS servers and ISA severs (If reverse proxy is in use) (I will discuss server side troubleshooting in my next article).

Test 2: Deleting Addins Registry Keys:

1. Logon to a troubled user machine.

2. Navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWAR E\Microsof t\Office\O utlook\Add ins
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software \Microsoft \Office\Ou tlook\Addi ns
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Softwar e\Microsof t\Exchange \Client\Ex tensions (If it exists)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software \Microsoft \Exchange\ Client\Ext ensions (If it exists)

3. Export the keys (for backup purpose), right click each subkey and click Delete.

Test 3: Configure Selected Startup:

1. Go to Run and type msconfig.

2. Select Selective Startup in the General Tab.

3. Click to clear Process SYSTEM.INI file, Process WIN.INI File and Load Startup Items.

4. Click the Services Tab and select the option "Hide All Microsoft Services", and click the button "Disable All" and click OK

5. Restart the computer.

Test 4: Check if issue is occurring in Cached Mode:

Create an Outlook profile with Exchange in cached mode and then test.

Test 5 : Check if the issue is occurring in Online Mode:

Change Outlook profile to online mode by using below steps and open Outlook again and then test.
From Outlook client select Tools->Accounts settings->Click on Profile Name->More Settings->Advanced tab->Uncheck use cached Exchange mode

Test 6: Configure outlook profile for using RPC over HTTP:

1. Open outlook profile configuration and select Connections Tab (From Outlook client select Tools->Accounts settings->Click on Profile Name->More Settings->Connection Tab)

2. In the Outlook Anywhere selection, check connect to MS exchange using HTTP.

3. Enter OWA address in exchange URL text box e.g. mail.domain.com

4. Assuming that user is sitting in a LAN environment, select “On Slow networks, Connect using HTTP first, then connect using TCP/IP" and "On Fast networks, Connect using HTTP first, then connect using TCP/IP". (Please uncheck "On Fast networks, Connect using HTTP first, then connect using TCP/IP" after you have finished troubleshooting)

5. Select Proxy server authentication settings based on your exchange server configuration .e.g., mail.domain.com

6. Click OK.

7. Close Outlook completely.  Verify that there is no outlook.exe process visible in Windows task manager, Processes Tab.

8. Launch outlook again.

9. Hold down the control key (Ctrl) and right-click on the outlook icon in the system tray.

10. Click on connection status and verify that all connections are established by using HTTPS protocol not TCP/IP protocol.

Test outlook by sending and receiving emails. If this works then it means there might be some TCP/IP (RPC) communication problem between your client and server. You have to involve your network team and verify that if there is any network device causing issue or playing with the TCP/IP settings or TCP/IP packets.

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