Category Archives: 17376

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!

New Features in OWA 2013 RTM CU1

Exchange 2013 RTM Cumulative Update 1 (CU1) makes some really good changes compared to Outlook Web App 2013 RTM.  Here’s a list of most of them.

New Options

  • Users are now able to change their display settings in OWA 2013.
    • The message list can be configured to show sender name on top, subject on top, and show or hide preview text.
    • Conversations can be configured to show newest message on top, oldest message on top, and whether to show deleted items in conversations.
    • The reading pane can be configured to show the reading pane on the right, at the bottom of the screen, or turned off entirely.  This can be configured for each folder individually or apply to all folders.
  • Better visuals.  
    • Buttons are now displayed as blue with white text, rather than pale gray with gray text.
    • Text word wrapping now works better on smaller displays.
    • Some icons are larger, such as the A..B..C.. letter separators between contacts in the People tab.
Public Folders

  • Users will now have rudimentary access to Public Folders from OWA
    • To add a Public Folder to OWA, users right-click their Favorites menu and click Add Public Folder.  They then browse for the Public Folder they want to add.  Rinse and repeat for each PF they want to add.
    • Adding a Public Folder to Favorites also affects the Outlook 2013 client. They will show up there, too.
    • Only “modern” (Exchange 2013) Public Folders can be accessed. There is no way to view legacy versions of Public Folders.
    • Only mail Public Folders can be added to Favorites.  You cannot view Public Folders that contain calendars, contact items, etc.
    • At this time users can view, reply, forward, and delete content in Public Folders, but you cannot add new content from OWA.


  • Help in OWA has been improved by displaying help in a pop-up window, rather than taking over the whole screen.  The help window can be moved and positioned, but note that it is not “always on top”.

Mobile Devices

  • In what I consider to be a downgrade, users are no longer able to block mobile devices from syncing with ActiveSync like they could with OWA 2013 RTM.
  • The icons have also been changed from their more colorful OWA 2013 RTM versions to the stark monochrome versions in OWA 2013 CU1.

Right-Click Functionality

  • You can now right-click messages to delete them or set a flag.  The Move dialog has also been improved to remember your last folders.
  • You can add an Outlook shared folder to OWA 2013 CU1 by right-clicking your mailbox and select Add Shared Folder.  The person who’s sharing an Outlook folder must have already configured sharing of the folder in Outlook 2013.

The Small Stuff

  • If you configure OWA to show week numbers in the Month view, you can now configure when the first week of the year is (first day of the year, first four-day week of the year, or first full week of the year).
  • More “sort by” options for folders.  They now include To and Type.
  • The search bar now clearly shows that it will search both Mail and People.  It always did this, but it didn’t clearly indicate that it searches both folders.  The search box is also now more visible.
Nothing here is groundbreaking, but it does show that the developer team is continually working on the fit and finish of OWA 2013.

How to Configure Public and Private Computer Settings in OWA 2013

The new “streamlined user interface” in Exchange 2013 no longer allows users to select whether they are using a public or private computer to access Outlook Web App.  By default, OWA 2013 assumes your are using a private computer and uses the default timeout value of 8 hours of user inactivity before requiring the user to sign in again.


The LogonPagePublicPrivateSelectionEnabled parameter of the Set-OWAVirtualDirectory cmdlet specifies whether the Outlook Web App sign-in page includes the private computer or public computer sign-in option.  The following example will enable the Private Computer checkbox on server EX1, as show below:

Set-OwaVirtualDirectory “ex1\owa*” -LogonPagePublicPrivateSelectionEnabled $True

You need to reset IIS after configuring the OwaVirtualDirectory using the IISRESET command:

iireset /noforce /timeout:120

The default cookie timeout value in OWA for Private Computers is 8 hours of user inactivity.  The default timeout value for Public Computers is 15 minutes of user inactivity.  If you wish to change these values use one or both of the following commands:

Set-ItemProperty ‘HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchange OWA’ -Name PrivateTimeout -Value <amount of time> -Type DWORD

Set-ItemProperty ‘HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchange OWA’ -Name PublicTimeout -Value <amount of time> -Type DWORD

The values above are specified in minutes.  You’ll need to reset IIS after changing these values.