Tech Tips for Techs: Testing email Auto-Configuration issues within Outlook



I recently had to utilize the Auto-Configuration feature in Outlook, and, to my surprise, nobody else had even heard of this being a possibility. Therefore, I felt the need to write a blog post about it and share with all of you.

So what happens if your client is having issues connecting to their Exchange server with Outlook? Where do you start, and what information should you be looking for? Well, for starters, you need to ask some basic questions:

  1. Is this happening to one user, or to the entire company?
  2. Can you connect to Exchange via OWA and send/receive messages, or not?
  3. Are all Exchange services started on the server?
  4. Run a test from and review results. Do you like what you see?

Answering these basic questions (and I know there are a ton more, but these are a good place to start) will help you get to the problem quickly (and I could write a novel on different issues and directions to go into, but this post is about one specific feature in Outlook, to help with troubleshooting).

But what if your Outlook is not connecting to Exchange, and you know everything is correct? You can actually ctrl+right click on the Outlook logo in the icon notification location in the task bar (where the small icons are on the right), and you will have many options for troubleshooting.

OutlookAutoConfigAs you can see here, you can review its Connection Status, or Test E-mail AutoConfiguration. This test is great for troubleshooting just that. In some cases it might be the only location you can find the results you are looking for.

When you click on the Test E-mail AutoConfiguration, it will open a new window. Here, you can input an email address and password (although this isn’t needed in a local Exchange environment, only hosted). My preference is to uncheck the GuestSmart options (they seem to be a bit useless).

EmailAutoConfigI have, of course, blocked out my personal information here, but this dialogue box will give you quite a bit of details on how your Outlook is connecting and what it is looking for. If you click on over to the Log or the XML tabs, you get even more information.

My AutoConfiguration is clean. However, I have used this to troubleshoot connection issues with clients in the past, and it gives you specific Microsoft error codes that sometimes you can’t find anywhere else. Take a look at this AutoConfig, which has errors connecting on HTTPS. This is causing the client to get SSL Library pop-ups within Outlook. Through these errors I was able to track down the issue and find a resolution online.

AutoConfigIssueThis tool is extremely useful to assisting in your troubleshooting for connection issues with Outlook, regardless of whether you are using it with an exchange account or not. I highly recommend you keep this in your toolbox of tips.


It’s time to throw a retirement party for Office 2008 for Mac!


Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac was released on January 15th, 2008. It replaced Office 2004 for Mac and was the first version of Office to be released in a universal binary format, meaning it was compiled for both PowerPC (found in older Macs) and Intel (found in all new Macs) processors. It was supposed to be roughly equivalent to Office 2007 for Windows, but was lacking key features like VBA support, the Ribbon interface, and compatibility with Visio documents.

Mainstream support for Office 2008 for Mac is ending on April 9th, 2013. That means that Microsoft will no longer be releasing any updates or security patches after that date. You can read Microsoft’s official support lifecycle page for Office 2008 for Mac here for more information.

If your organization is still using Office 2008 for Mac, it is definitely time to upgrade. Office 2011 for Mac is a significant improvement over the 2008 version. Here are some of the new features:

  • Entourage has been replaced with Outlook, which will seem much more familiar to users comfortable with the Windows version of Outlook
  • Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is supported
  • Support for Office Web Apps and Windows Live SkyDrive

The mainstream support end date for Office 2011 for Mac is January 12, 2016, so this version is going to be around for a while.

One important consideration is that Outlook 2011 requires Exchange Server 2007 or later, so it may be time to upgrade your server software as well.

Do you have questions about using Office for Mac 2011 or integrating Macs into your workplace? Call our Mac team at Everon!


Apple due to release fix for iOS 6.1 Exchange bug soon


ios6exchangeIs your Exchange server getting bogged down by your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users running iOS 6.1 because of the Exchange bug? You may have seen increased network activity or increased Exchange processor load on the server or decreased battery life on the effected iOS devices. You may have heard about iOS users complaining that their device was suddenly no longer connected to the Exchange server. The cause can be the iOS 6.1 Exchange bug, encountered when you responded to an exception to a repeating event from your iOS device. If that all sounds Greek to you, that is fine. What you need to know is it is not a very common situation where your users would encounter the bug, but it can have a big impact on the performance of your server and your mobile devices.

Luckily, Apple has promised a bug fix to released very soon in an iOS update and in the meantime, they have published a workaround. Here are the steps you have your users follow to temporarily resolve the issue:

  1. Tap on Settings
  2. Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3. Tap on the Exchange account in your accounts list
  4. Tap on the slider switch for Calendars to move it from ON to OFF
  5. Wait 10 seconds
  6. Tap on the slider switch for Calendars to move it from OFF to ON

Bear in mind that this is only a workaround, not a permanent solution. But it should get your server load back to normal and give the effected users some battery life back until the update is pushed out by Apple.

Do you have questions about mobile devices and how to make them play nice with your Exchange server? Call Everon today!

I updated my iPhone and my contact groups disappeared!


After installing iOS 6, many users have found that their contacts groups have seemingly disappeared. Fear not! All of the groups are still there, but they are just organized differently. Here’s how to display them!

  1. Open up the Contacts app
  2. Tap the Groups button in the upper left corner of your screen
    All Contacts
  3. Tap Hide All Contacts
  4. Notice that your contact groups are all listed below the Show/Hide All Contacts button. By tapping on each group (so a check mark appears next to the name), the group will be shown
  5. Tap the Done button in the upper right corner of your screen

You can do this for each group of contacts. It’s pretty similar to how it was before, but just displayed differently.

Do you have questions about mobile technology and how you can use it to improve your business? Give one of our engineers a call at 888-244-1748 and we will help you out.

It’s time to throw a retirement party for Exchange 2003!


Exchange Server 2003 came into this world on September 28, 2003. It brought with it a host of new features, including improved migration tools to ease the transition from older versions of Exchange, enhanced heuristic message filtering to help direct spam into the Junk folder, and, if you had Service Pack 2 installed, a database size limit of 75 gigabytes. This was unimaginably large for the time.

That was eight years and eleven months ago. In that time, we have also seen Exchange Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2010 come into the mix as well. If your organization is still running Exchange Server 2003, here are some reasons why it is time to upgrade.

  1. Microsoft created a handy chart to break down the differences between Exchange Server versions.
  2. Modern desktop mail clients like Outlook 2010, Outlook for Mac 2011, and Apple Mail all require Exchange Server 2007 or later, and they won’t talk to Exchange Server 2003 at all. So if you get a new Windows machine with the latest version of Office or one of those shiny new Macs, those users will be stuck using Outlook Web Access webmail to access email, calendars, and contacts.
  3. Outlook Web Access on Exchange Server 2003 forces browsers other than Internet Explorer to use “Light” mode, which just means that many of the features and options beyond simple sending and receiving email are disabled or invisible to anyone running a different browser (such as Firefox, Chrome, or anyone on a shiny new Mac).
  4. The 75 gigabyte size limit I mentioned before applies only to Exchange Server 2003 Standard, but there is a lot more email being sent today than there was 9 years ago. It does not take very many users with large mailboxes to hit that size limit, and when you do Exchange Server 2003 will shut itself off to prevent database corruption or data loss. That means no more email until the size of the database is reduced. The newer versions of Exchange Server do not have this limitation.
  5. If the software package is nearly 9 years old, chances are that the hardware running it is on its last legs too. While it might be running just fine, it is most likely out of warranty and may even be in End Of Life status, making replacement parts hard to find, making disaster recover more difficult, and increasing costs and downtime.
  6. The prospect of replacing an Exchange server can be a daunting one, costing many thousands of dollars. One way to avoid this expense and to simplify your office network is migrating to a hosted Exchange system in the cloud instead. By getting rid of your old office server, your business can keep running if there is an internet service failure or power outage in your building. Take a look at Everon’s own cloud email and business continuity solutions.
If you are considering retiring your old server hardware running Exchange Server 2003, there has never been a better time. And Everon can help you do it. Call us at 888-244-1748 if you have questions about server migrations or our cloud email solutions.