Category Archives: 13625

How to delete duplicate Lync Contacts or Lync Contacts folders

A bug in previous versions of the Lync 2013 client caused Lync contacts to be duplicated in the Exchange Lync Clients folder. This makes it very annoying to work with contacts in Outlook, OWA, and mobile devices.

I wrote in an earlier article, Fix for Excessive Duplicate Contacts, that describes how to delete these contacts or folders using OWA or earlier versions of Outlook. This was possible because these older versions did not respect the flag that defines the Lync Contacts folder as a protected folder, like Inbox or Drafts.

You could use MFCMAPI to delete protected folders, as shown below, but this can be cumbersome if you have to do it to many mailboxes — not to mention the fact that you need to grant yourself full access to the target mailbox(es).

A better solution is to have the end-users do it themselves using OWA in Light mode. OWA Light bypasses the protected folder check and allows end users to delete some or all of the Lync contacts, or the entire Lync Contacts folder itself. The best part is that this works from all versions of OWA, even Office 365!

All you need to do is send a URL to the end-users to login to OWA Light with the steps to delete the folder or contacts:

Replace with your organization’s OWA FQDN, if necessary. By following this specially crafted URL, users can enter OWA Light to clean it up without affecting their current OWA Premium experience.

From OWA Light select the Contacts folder on the left pane. To delete the duplicate Lync Contacts folder click the link for Manage Contacts Folders, then click the Choose folder to delete drop down list and delete the duplicate folder.

If the user wants to delete Lync contacts from an existing folder, select the Lync Contacts folder and use the checkboxes to select them or use the checkbox at the top to select all the contacts displayed. Then click Delete.

Hopefully this will help those of you who were unable to delete these duplicates because you were running a newer version of Outlook 2013 or OWA. Special thanks to Greyson Mitchem for the tip.

Reporting Outlook Client Versions Using Log Parser

I’m doing a little cross-pollination today. Chris Lehr, one of my colleagues at ExtraTeam, worked up a Log Parser script that produces a report showing all the clients versions connecting to Exchange.  This is very helpful to show which clients are running Office versions in your organization that should be updated prior to migration.  Check out his blog post here.

Outlook Client Version Report

Clients will always get the best experience using the latest version of Office, currently Office 2013 SP1. The best practice is to always update your clients with the latest cumulative update prior to migration. this is especially true when you’re migrating to Office 365, since most updates pertain to Office 365, Exchange Online, and Exchange 2013 compatibility.

If you find that you need to upgrade clients to a new version of Office, I recommend that you install the x86 version of Office to provide the best compatibility with add-ons and third-party products. Some customers think they need to install Office x64 on Windows x64 operating systems, but that’s not the case. See 64-bit editions of Office 2013 for details on when it makes sense to install Office x64.

If you’re an Office 365 customer, I strongly recommend checking out using the Office 2013 ProPlus software deployment that’s most likely part of your Enterprise license. This version of Office 2013 can be installed on up to 5 PCs, iPads, tablets, etc. and is always up-to-date since it’s a cloud-managed service.

New OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad apps released

The Exchange Team released two new apps in the Apple App Store today, the OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad  These apps currently only work for Office 365 customers, but on-prem versions are in the works.

The apps provide a familiar OWA-like GUI for email and calendaring to Office 365.  Personally, I prefer the OWA calendaring experience to Apple’s native calendaring.

Here are a couple more screenshots:

Read more about the new apps on the EHLO blog and the Office 365 Technology Blog.

Inbox Rules Do Not Work on Unity Connections 8.5.1 Messages

I ran into this with a customer recently and wanted to document what I found.  The customer is using Cisco Unity Connections 9.1 for voicemail with Single Inbox and Exchange 2010 SP3.

Cisco’s Single Inbox provides a UM experience similar to Exchange Unified Messaging, where voicemails are delivered to the user’s Inbox as emails with attached WAV files.  The voicemail messages are linked by Unity Connections so that if a user deletes a voicemail in Unity, the email message is also deleted.  Likewise, if the user deletes the voicemail email message in Exchange the voicemail is deleted in Unity.

Unity Connections 8.5.x and later uses Exchange Web Services (EWS) for connectivity to Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 mailboxes using a service account.  How Unity programmatically does this is a mystery since it is not documented anywhere in Cisco’s documentation.

The issue here is that the way Unity Connections Single Inbox creates the message in the recipient’s mailbox bypasses the rules table associated with the mailbox.  The result is that rules don’t fire for these messages.  For example, it’s common for users to create an Inbox rule that moves messages from Unity Connections to a custom folder like “Voicemails”.  If you manually run the rule it works as expected.

This issue is documented somewhat in the Cisco Community Forums here:  A comment in this forum post implies this is an Exchange bug, but I’ve confirmed that Inbox rules fire correctly when messages are sent via EWS in a normal manner.  Fellow Exchange MCM, Mike Pfeiffer, has a great post on Sending Email with PowerShell and the EWS Managed API.  I used this PowerShell function to send emails using EWS and test Inbox rules, which worked perfectly.

I’ve tried every creative trick I know to work around this issue, to no avail.  In the end, there’s really nothing that can be done to fix this until Cisco changes to the way it sends Single Inbox messages using EWS.

Fix for Excessive Duplicate Contacts

If you’re running Lync in your environment you may notice that you have multiple duplicate contacts in your contacts list.

This issue also affects your ActiveSync mobile devices, such as the iPhone.

If you open one of these duplicate contacts, you will notice that the Notes field says the contact was added by Lync 2013.

This a caused by a bug in the Lync client, which adds a duplicate contact item every time you have do an IM with this contact.  The bug will be fixed in the next cumulative update (CU) for the Lync 2013 client.  In the meantime, here’s how you can fix it.
The duplicate contacts are stored in a contacts folder called Lync Contacts.  This folder is protected by Outlook so you can’t delete it from there.  You need to delete it from Outlook Web App, which does not treat it as protected.

  • Log into OWA and view your contacts.
  • Right-click the Lync Contacts folder and select Delete.
  • Click Yes to confirm you want to delete the selected folder and move all contents into the Deleted Items folder.  You can then sign out of OWA.
  • From the Outlook client you’ll need to empty your Deleted Items folder to finish getting rid of all the duplicate contacts.  You’ll then be free of them!

RPC Client Encryption in Exchange 2013

Exchange 2013 enables RPC client encryption by default (again). 

I say “again” because it was an option in Exchange 2007 and became the default setting in Exchange 2010 RTM.  This caused a fair amount of trouble for organizations using Outlook 2003, since MAPI encryption was disabled in Outlook 2003 by default. 

Symptoms of this problem include the following error messages:
  • Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Unable to open the Office window. The set of folders could not be opened.
  • Unable to open your default e-mail folders. The information store could not be opened.
If your users are using Cached Exchange Mode, Outlook won’t display an error, but will start in disconnected mode.

It was easy to workaround this issue by either disabling RPC encryption on the Client Access Servers or, better yet, enable encryption in Outlook 2003 via Group Policy.  Outlook 2007 and later have encryption enabled by default.

Encryption is enabled by default in Outlook 2013

For some reason, the Exchange product team decided to reverse the decision to require RPC encryption in Exchange 2010 SP1 until now in Exchange 2010.  I suspect encryption is enabled by default again because Exchange 2013 does not support Outlook 2003 or earlier.


If your organization has upgraded to Outlook 2007/2010/2013, you’ll probably want to remove or reconfigure Group Policy to enable encryption in Outlook and re-enable it on your CAS servers, if needed. 

The cmdlet to check RPC MAPI encryption on your CAS servers is:

Get-ClientAccessServer | Get-RPCClientAccess | fl server,enc*

And the cmdlet to enable RPC MAPI encryption on all your CAS servers is:

Get-ClientAccessServer | Set-RPCClientAccess -EncryptionRequired $True

When RPC encryption is enabled, the Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer (ExRCA) will report a harmless warning that the Name Service Provider Interface (NSPI) bind operation failed due to the encryption requirement.  NspiBind then tries again with encryption enabled and succeeds.  This is expected behavior.

Update: How to Configure Fast Cached Exchange Mode Settings for Outlook 2013 Using Group Policy

With the release of Office 2013 right around the corner and quite a number of people already running the Office 2013 Consumer Preview, I thought I’d update a previous article I wrote that speeds up Outlook performance.

How to Configure Fast Cached Exchange Mode Settings for Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013 Using Group Policy explains how to configure Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013’s Cached Exchange Mode send/receive behavior.  With these changes Outlook cached mode behaves very similar to online mode.  There is no change in network bandwidth with this configuration – it just configures Outlook to go on “mail runs” more frequently.

How to Enable Logging for RPC Client Access Throttling in Exchange 2010

Throttling is a resource protection feature introduced with Exchange 2010.  It is designed to prevent a single user or groups of users from consuming all the Exchange resources and causing a denial of service (DoS) attack.

Users will see various warnings and errors in Outlook when RPC throttling occurs.  Two of the most common warnings and errors in Outlook are shown below:

Unable to open your default e-mail folders. The Microsoft Exchange Server computer is not available. Either there are network problems or the Microsoft Exchange Server computer is down for maintenance.

Unable to expand the folder. The set of folders could not be opened.

By default RPC throttling is not logged anywhere, which makes it very difficult to troubleshoot.  Without logging you normally need to load up all the Perfmon counters and watching them increment.  This does nothing to tell you who is being throttled, though.

You can enable logging for RPC throttling by configuring the Microsoft.Exchange.RpcClientAccess.Service.exe.config file.  This file is located in the \Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Bin folder on the Client Access Servers.

Open the config file in Notepad and edit the LoggingTag line to add the Throttling value as follows:

<add key=”LoggingTag” value=”ConnectDisconnect, Logon, Failures, ApplicationData, Warnings, Throttling” />

Save the Microsoft.Exchange.RpcClientAccess.Service.exe.config file and restart the Microsoft Exchange RPC Client Access service on the CAS.  This needs to be done on all CAS servers.

Meaningful RPC throttling events are then logged in the \Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Logging\RPC Client Access folder.  Open the latest log file to search for RPC throttling events.  They usually include the term “exceeded“:

2012-06-26T17:32:23.301Z,19,0,/o=theguillets/ou=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT)/cn=Recipients/cn=Jeff Guillet,,OUTLOOK.EXE,14.0.6117.5001,Cached,,,ncacn_http,,Connect,2614 (rpc::MaxConnectionsExceeded),00:00:00,”SID=S-1-5-21-117020884-2285600563-2343042490-1113, Flags=None; Connection Limit Exceeded“,RpcDispatch:

You can adjust throttling using client throttling policies.  Throttling policies are groups of settings that are used to control how much resources that a user or connection can use in an Exchange organization. Throttling polices can only be used against users that are using Exchange 2010 servers. They do not apply to previous versions of Exchange.  See the TechNet article Understanding Client Throttling Policies ( for more information.

Great New Free Utilities from Microsoft

Microsoft has released a number of great new utilities designed to make administration easier, especially in the Exchange space.  Most of these have been released in just the past three weeks.

  • Exchange Client Network Bandwidth Calculator BETA2 (link)

Helps reduce the risks involved in Exchange Server network bandwidth planning.  The Exchange Client Network Bandwidth Calculator has been designed to help anyone planning an Exchange Server deployment to predict the network bandwidth requirements for a specific set of clients.  The prediction algorithms used within this calculator are entirely new and have been derived after significant testing and observation.

  • Log Parser Studio (link)

Log Parser Studio is a utility that allows you to search through and create reports from your IIS, Event, EXADB and others types of logs. It builds on top of Log Parser 2.2 and has a full user interface for easy creation and management of related SQL queries.

Anyone who regularly uses Log Parser 2.2 knows just how useful and powerful it can be for obtaining valuable information from IIS (Internet Information Server) and other logs. In addition, adding the power of SQL allows explicit searching of gigabytes of logs returning only the data that is needed while filtering out the noise. The only thing missing is a great graphical user interface (GUI) to function as a front-end to Log Parser and a ‘Query Library’ in order to manage all those great queries and scripts that one builds up over time.

Log Parser Studio was created to fulfill this need; by allowing those who use Log Parser 2.2 (and even those who don’t due to lack of an interface) to work faster and more efficiently to get to the data they need with less “fiddling” with scripts and folders full of queries.

  • Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool (OCAT) (link)

The Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool provides a detailed report of your current Outlook profile. This report includes many parameters about your profile, and it highlights any known problems that are found in your profile. For any problems that are listed in the report, you are provided a link to a Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) article that describes a possible fix for the problem. If you are a Help Desk professional, you can also export the report to a file. Then, the report can be viewed in the Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool on another client computer where the tool is installed.

  • CalCheck – The Outlook Calendar Checking Tool (link)

 The Calendar Checking Tool for Outlook is a command-line program that checks Outlook Calendars for problems. To use this tool, the Outlook calendar must reside on a Microsoft Exchange Server. The tool does not work with IMAP, with POP3, or with other non-Exchange mail servers.

The tool opens an Outlook profile, opens the Outlook Calendar, and then checks several things such as permissions, free/busy publishing, and auto booking. Then, the tool checks each item in the calendar folder for problems that can cause items to seem to be missing or that might otherwise cause problems in the Calendar.

And last, but not least…

  • Microsoft Script Explorer for Windows PowerShell Beta 1 (link)
Helps scripters find Windows PowerShell scripts, snippets, modules, and how-to guidance in online repositories such as the TechNet Script Center Repository, PoshCode, local or network file systems and Bing Search Repository.

Messageware OWA Desktop Review

I don’t normally do product reviews, but I had the opportunity to work with Messageware’s new product OWA Desktop and thought I’d share my thoughts.  This software extends Outlook Web App’s functionality so that it behaves even more like the real Outlook client and integrates OWA into the Windows desktop environment.

OWA Desktop was awarded the prestigious Best of TechEd 2011 award by Microsoft TechEd attendees this year in Atlanta, GA.  Messageware, a Toronto based company, has been extending OWA functionality since 2003.  Their goal is to make OWA as close to Outlook as possible.  This makes it extremely useful for companies that can’t or don’t want to deploy a full blown Outlook client on desktop workstations.

OWA Dekstop runs in the Windows notification area whenever the user logs on and gives one click access to most OWA functions.

Right-click OWA functionality from the Windows notification area

With a single click users can open the full OWA application, compose a new email, create an appointment or meeting, change settings, etc.  Notice in the screenshot below that OWA Desktop opens like an HTA application.  There are no browser controls, such as the address bar, forward or back buttons, or browser menus.  This gives OWA Desktop a clean look and better use of screen real estate.

The OWA Desktop application

New message notifications come in two flavors.  One option uses balloon pop-ups in the notification area. Balloon pop-ups can optionally provide a text preview of the new message.  A single click opens the full message using OWA Desktop. 

Balloon pop-up with message preview

The other option displays a “View Unread” scrollable window that displays all the unread messages in the Inbox.  Here you can open an item, reply/reply all to an item, mark an item as read/unread, or open the full OWA Desktop application.

“View Unread” window pop-up

One of the other nice features is the ability for users to import and export data using OWA.  By right-clicking the OWA Desktop icon, you can import holidays for dozens of countries or import/export contacts.  This is very useful for Office 365 users.

OWA mport/export functions

The OWA Desktop MSI package is only about 6.5MB in size (much smaller than 258MB used by Outlook 2010) and is easily deployed using System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) or Group Policy software distribution.  There are no server-side components required.

User account setup uses Exchange Autodiscover for easy setup and configuration.  You can also configure multiple OWA Desktop accounts to be open simultaneously on the same computer.  The screenshots in this article show two different colored icons in the notification area, one for each Exchange email account.  Traveling mobile users will appreciate the ease of changing timezones in Options.

Account Setup uses Exchange Autodiscover

Because OWA Desktop runs in the notification area when users login to Windows, they are unlikely to close OWA accidentally.  OWA Desktop runs in a discreet browser window so users don’t need to continually login to OWA when they close their browser.

Messageware also created an OWA Desktop Deployment Pack which allows deployment customization and branding to personalize the look of OWA Desktop.

I’ve worked with Messageware for a few years, primarily with their OWA PlusPack product for OWA 2003 and OWA 2007.  This new product provides easy access to OWA right from within Windows.  You really should check it out.