Nov 062017

After doing a migration from Microsoft Exchange 2013 to Exchange 2016 I noticed that my Offline Address Book (OAB) wasn’t being made available to Outlook clients.

When trying to perform a manual download (Send and Receive -> Download Address Book), it wasn’t in the list. Also when using the “Test EMail AutoConfiguration..” (by holding CTRL and right click on Outlook System Tray icon) to examine the AutoDiscover information, there was no OAB URL (OABUrl in XML) being sent to the clients.

I spent 3 hours trying to find out why this was happening (I assumed it was configuration and/or IIS authentication related). All my virtual directories and URLs were fine, and the OAB was being generated fine without any issues. It simply wasn’t being passed to Outlook clients. I couldn’t find any references of this occurring to other users.

I finally discovered that the “WebDistributionEnabled” configuration flag was marked to False, when it needs to be marked as True. This flag when set to true, allows it to be distributed (Note/Fun Fact: There’s a separate and different flag for older Exchange versions where the OAB is inside of the Public Folder Store). There’s also a different flag “GlobalWebDistributionEnabled”, which is recommended to be enabled as well on Exchange 2016. When setting this second flag to True, it also sets the first one above to True as well.

To fix it we’ll use Exchange PowerShell:

Let’s find the name of your Offline Address Book by running the command below:


Exchange Offline Address Book Get-OfflineAddressBook

Now let’s set the “GlobalWebDistributionEnabled” flag to True using this next command:

Set-OfflineAddressBook -Identity “Default Offline Address Book (Ex2016)” -GlobalWebDistributionEnabled $true

Set Offline Address Book Microsoft Exchange 2016 Default Set-OfflineAddressBook

And finally let’s confirm to make sure the changes take effect and look for the values of “GlobalWebDistributionEnabled” and “WebDistributionEnabled” using the command:

Get-OfflineAddressBook | fl

Get-OfflineAddressBook WebDistributionEnabled GlobalDistributionEnabled


After making the above changes I recommend issuing an “iisreset” or restarting your Exchange Server. There will also be a delay where you’ll need to wait for your Outlook clients to refresh their autodiscover configuration. You can run the “Test Email AutoConfiguration…” to see if the OAB is now being passed to your clients.

  25 Responses to “Offline Address Book Missing on Exchange 2016 clients”

  1. Thank you Stephen. None of the other “fixes” fixed this. Yours did!

  2. That did the trick for me too!

    Thanks Stephen.

  3. Thanks a lot for the info. I scratched my head a lot on this one.
    I can supply the following bonus info. When the WebDistribution isn’t activated after a migration the Outlook client will receive this not very helpful error, when trying to download the OAB:
    “Task ” reported error (0X8004010F): ‘The operation failed. An object cannot be found.”
    Enabling WebDistribution again fixed the problem, and the OAB could again be downloaded.

  4. worked like a charm!

  5. Thanks a lot my man! The amount of articles I have read before finding yours. Such a simple fix. Why it was turned off in the first place is a mystery.

  6. Glad it helped!

    I think it’s just from upgrade after upgrade after upgrade, and maybe it was forgotten and left behind .


  7. Just want to say thanks for this. I migrated from Ex 2013 to Ex 2019 and couldn’t figure out why my OAB wasn’t downloading!! Cheers

  8. This post is awesome. Like others, I stumbled upon it after researching the 0X8004010F error for a couple hours. I suspect this problem is widespread, and other Exchange shops are resolving the problem by creating a new Offline Address Book instead of using this simple fix to the current OAB. I suggest adding the text of the 0X8004010F error to your original post so that it is picked up quicker by Search Engines: 0x8004010F : The operation failed. An object cannot be found.

  9. Thanks David! Appreciate you posting the error code!

  10. That worked for Us. I just waited for the GAL to update in the middle of the night. Checked it the next morning and no Error message when downloading the GAB in Outlook Clients and everyone else updated automatically. As a Bonus, this also fixed the issue of Users unable to Send As in Outlook Client Cache Mode when they have the Authority in a Distro Group. Many Thanks!

  11. This post save my A**! Thanks you! I have been trying to figure out for months why the OAB looked good on the server but none of the clients could update it. Once I found out it was not showing up in the Autodiscover.xml, my search brought me here. Again, a big thank you for posting this information for everyone to see!

  12. Thank you. Our cause was different (disaster recovery, basically), but this gave me the information I needed to discover how to fix it. Thanks

  13. Ran into the same issue after upgrading from Exchange 2013 to 2019. The OAB by default had these parameters set to false and after awhile end users running in Outlook cached mode had address list issues. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Thank you very much.
    It works for me.

  15. Enabling GlobalWebDistribution (which also enables WebDistribution as you stated) did the trick. Can’t tell you how many other places I looked for this solution. Many thanks!

  16. I had the same issue going from Exchange 2013 to Exchange 2019. Once we removed the old exchange 2013 Server and we had to do it through ADSIEDIT because it would not uninstall we lost client connectivity to the GAL. I ran the commands above, Did an IIS reset waited 20 Min and it began working again. Thank you for posting this as I spent 1/2 my day trying to get this to work..

  17. Great Job.

    It works for us perfectly fine.

  18. Thank. You.

  19. Thank you.. You just saved me !!

  20. Thank you very much, worked like a charm! Glad you found the needle in the hay stack and shared the solution with the world.

  21. Excellent job, thank you – have been working on this for days! We had an external company come in and migrate from exchange 2013 to 2016 for us (I’m a noob). Seems the clients without caching enabled (RDS users mainly) were all fine, seeing new address book entries appearing as we add accounts. But, our remote users and desktop clients using caching mode were not updating. Just the one option changed ‘WebDistributionEnabled’ and all working again.

    Do find that an address book download after this sometimes still doesn’t work, but running the ‘Test email configuration’ option (for those that don’t know, CTRL and right click the outlook system tray icon), and then trying the download works a treat!

    Thanks again!


  22. Hi Rob,

    I’ve noticed tons of odd delays with OABs. So if you see sometimes it not working, give it 24-48 hours to see if it starts behaving.


  23. Hello Stephen,
    your post worked like a charm in the environment which i had just migrated over from 2016 and they had OAB issues.

    yours was the first resolution and it did work..

    Thank you for the awesome work..!!

    Prashant D

  24. Amazing, it worked as indicated !

    Crazy how Microsoft doesn’t show any first Google search solution and it has to be the community 🙁


  25. Thanks, this worked for me!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>