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Creating an Outlook Profile in Exchange 2013

Alexander Zammit

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Alexander Zammit has been developing server applications for over 15 years. Most of his works involve Exchange integrated applications, including a FAX server, a mail security product and anti-spam products.

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Creating an Outlook Profile used to be a fairly trivial matter. However things got complicated with Exchange 2013. Today I document how I create Outlook profiles and overcome the error: Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action.

Once upon a time we created Outlook profiles by simply filling a server name and a mailbox user name. This was trivial. We clicked a little button that resolved these details and went ahead to open Outlook and access our mailbox.

When running Exchange 2013, on manually creating an Outlook profile, you discover things have changed. You go to the Outlook Profile dialog and suddenly this refuses to create a profile complaining about Outlook connectivity.

So here I put together my procedure of how I am creating profiles now. I will admit with you I did not thoroughly research every detail. I collected bits and pieces of info from the forums, found what works for me and here it is. Since I see others posting questions on this issue I hope this will help them.

I will also tell you straight away that I saw posts complaining that the procedure I am presenting here does not work. If you are one of them please share your solutions. Like that we can have a more complete resource to refer to.

  1. Open Control Panel | Mail

    Control Panel Mail

  2. Select Show Profiles

    Mail Setup

  3. Click Add to create a new Profile

    Profiles

  4. Name the new profile and click OK

    New Profile

  5. At the Account Setup select 'Manual setup or additional server types' and click Next

    Manual Account Setup

  6. Select 'Microsoft Exchange Server or compatible service' and click Next

    Exchange Account

  7. At the Server Settings enter the Exchange Client Access server name and the User Name for whom the mailbox is being added.

    Profile Server Settings

    NOTE: Do not click Check Name for the moment. If you do you will get this error:
    "The action cannot be completed. The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action."

    Outlook Connectivity Error

  8. Click More Settings

  9. Select the Connection property page and select: 'Connect to Microsoft Exchange using HTTP'

    Connect Using HTTP

  10. Click Exchange Proxy Settings...

  11. Enter the FQDN for your Client Access server

    Profile Proxy Settings

  12. Click OK and OK to go back to the server settings.

  13. You may now click on Check Name this will now resolve the Mailbox without problems. Note how the Server name changes to something in the format <GUID>@domain

  14. Complete and Close the Profile configuration Wizard.

Basically the GUID shown in step 13 is the Mailbox GUID. Every mailbox has a unique GUID and you can get this by running this cmdlet at the Exchange Shell:
Get-mailbox -identity <mailbox> | FL Name,GUID

The fact that every mailbox has a unique opaque GUID should really tell you how stupid the situation is. Quite obviously the Profile creation dialog is no longer fit for purpose. With Exchange 2013, asking for the server name makes no sense since effectively this is not what is required.

What complicates things is that the Profile dialog is a client side element. The client has to cater for various Exchange versions. It has to cater for the earlier Exchange versions where a server name was just a server name, and it also has to cater for the latest Exchange version where the server name is a mailbox GUID!

That's it from me today! For those who still have problems creating profiles, please don't give up your research and do share your solutions with us.

 

User Comments - Page 1 of 1

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Bill Boardman 24 Jul 2017 18:50
Been trying to conquer this for days and finally got it! Thank you! I guess Outlook can't run 2 IMAPs and exchange on the same profile? Adding this second profile solved it.
You made my day!!! 9 Aug 2016 06:03
You made my day!!!
Nathan 6 Nov 2015 02:03
Great article thanks
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