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Microsoft Office 365 + On-premise Exchange Server Connectivity : Autodiscover not working

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After migrating an e-mail account to Microsoft 365, or setting up a new account in Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019/ Office 365, often times we find users unable to connect or – or Outlook’s web services don’t work as expected.

For example, when adding a new account, autodiscover will time out, saying it can’t contact the server giving the following message :

Outlook cannot log on. Verify you are connected to the network and are using the proper server and mailbox name. The Microsoft Exchange information service in your profile is missing required information. Modify your profile to ensure that you are using the correct Microsoft Exchange information service.

This, despite Microsoft’s (very useful) Remote Connectivity Analyzer reporting no configuration issues with Autodiscover, and being able to connect successfully using MS Activesync.

The issue we see here, is that Outlook is pre-configured by Microsoft 365’s profile configuration to prefer only M365 sources for autodiscover – ignoring DNS settings and local XML files.

This behavior is regulated by the registry, specifically keys under the Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\XX.0\Outlook\AutoDiscover location. XX.0 will vary, depending on the version of Office you have installed. Examples of these keys are :

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\AutoDiscover]
"ExcludeLastKnownGoodUrl"=dword:00000001
"ExcludeHttpRedirect"=dword:00000001
"ExcludeScpLookup"=dword:00000001
"ExcludeHttpsRootDomain"=dword:00000001
"ExcludeSrvRecord"=dword:00000001

By toggling these switches to “0” – or “do not exclude” these autodiscover sources, Outlook connectivity to on-premise or 3rd party Exchange providers will be restored.

More detail available via Microsoft at the following KB’s :

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/after-migration-to-office-365-outlook-doesn-t-connect-or-web-services-don-t-work-3d9df009-597b-5d75-460c-4b7c64c833a1

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/outlook-2016-implementation-of-autodiscover-0d7b2709-958a-7249-1c87-434d257b9087

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