Exchange 2016 – Offline Address Book Doesn’t Update

by on March 6, 2019

We had reports from a couple of users that their offline address book seemed to be out of date. Forcing an update didn’t work (Outlook would throw error 0x80190194), and as it was random, at the time only seemed to affect two users and recreating the profile appeared to solve the problem, we left it at that.

However, over time we had more reports of the same issue, so we investigated further.

Running an Autoconfigure test from Outlook showed that the clients appeared to be asking the server for the address book, but simply weren’t getting it.

(To run an Autoconfigure test, press and hold Ctrl, and right click the Outlook icon in the notification area, there you’ll see two new commands – the Connection Status and Test Email Autoconfiguration. When you run the autoconfigure test, you will be given a list of results – look for a line that says OAB URL – if you see this then Outlook is at the very least attempting to get the OAB.)

Looking into the issue, I found this article which documented the same error.

One of the steps was to check the dates on the files on the Exchange server that form the OAB to make sure it was up to date. You’ll find this located in C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\ClientAccess\OAB – there should be a folder with a GUID as its name, which will have the offline address book data in it.

Curiously, our OAB folder lacked the folder with the GUID as a name – all it had was a bin folder. We apparently had no offline address book at all, and all the users simply had a list of users that were present when their Outlook profile was created (which is why creating a new profile appeared to work). It also explained why Outlook wasn’t getting what it asked for – there was nothing on the server for the clients to get.

Inexplicably, my machine would have the new users listed as they were created – possibly because I was logging into the Exchange Control Panel to create them.

To fix this is easy. Fire up your Exchange Management Shell, and run this command:

Get-OfflineAddressBook| Update-OfflineAddressBook

Once this command finishes running, if you go back to the OAB folder, you should find that you now have a folder with a GUID as a name. 

From Outlook, if you go and run an address book download (we unchecked the Download changes since last send/recieve option), it should now successfully download the address book. 

Once done, hit Ctrl+Shift+B from the main Outlook window to summon the Global Address Book, and search for a person who was missing from the list. If this worked, you should now be able to find them.

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