I saw this related question: Exchange 2010 offline address book does not update but the answer's blog post no longer exists.

If I create a new mailbox, and even if I manually update the OAB and then go into Outlook (in cached mode) and download OAB updates, it still doesn't show the new mailbox in Outlook 2010 until the next day.

Like the answer in the linked question, I know that the mailbox role needs to get a copy to the client access role, but both of these roles exist on the same server in this instance (there's also only one server at this Exchange org).

So, the real question is, how can I manually force updates to get the OAB on the server and the OAB on the client to show a new mailbox immediately (or within an hour) instead of saying to users "they'll show up in the GAL tomorrow"?

  • How many users are in the organization? – ewwhite Jan 29 '13 at 15:52
  • 750+ in the one in question. – TheCleaner Jan 29 '13 at 16:11
  • Hmmm, double the times in my answer :) – ewwhite Jan 29 '13 at 16:13

See: Exchange 2010 Offline Address Book replication/distribution schedule?

So we now know that running Outlook clients will check every 24 hours and that the default OAB compilation time is 5am... New Outlook instances seem to check a few minutes after startup. So the distribution is fairly random.

This is what worked for me when I had terribly-impatient users...

  • You can modify the Address book and force an "Update" in the Exchange Management Console.
  • Give that some time (10 minutes or so), then restart the "Exchange File Distribution Service".
  • Again, wait 10-15 minutes. For your Outlook clients, select "Send/Receive" and then the "Download Address Book" submenu...

Outside of this, people can see the update address book in the web client or if they're using Outlook in online mode.

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  • I'm curious (and will go sleuthing) if there's a reghack or similar that will force an Outlook client when opened to update the their address book updates every time. I can handle the server side "tweaks" but don't want to try walking users through anything beyond "just close Outlook and reopen". Anyway, I didn't know about restarting the Exchange File Distribution Service...I'll test and report back – TheCleaner Jan 29 '13 at 16:14
  • Outlook begins to check ~5 minutes after initial launch. – ewwhite Feb 1 '13 at 23:41

To force it to update immediately, you can run the following from EMS:

Get-OfflineAddressBook (filter if desired) | Update-OfflineAddressBook

...and from the Outlook client, select the Send/Receive menu, click Send/Receive Groups, Download Address Book.

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  • This doesn't work, at least not for me. It will force the update on the server (hence OWA), but it doesn't affect the Outlook clients immediately even after the send/receive is done. – TheCleaner Jan 31 '13 at 16:58
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    I don't think you have any other options, except for going into online mode. support.microsoft.com/kb/841273/en-us – Jeremy Lyons Jan 31 '13 at 19:48
  • Jeremy, thanks that KB article is great, especially the part at the bottom about the regkeys to force them to use the online AB. However, the big thing for me to award the bounty was the restart of the "Microsoft Exchange File Distribution Service" which @ewwhite pointed out. That was the key to getting it to update the same day for us. +1 on the answer though. If I could award you +50 points as well I would for the KB article. – TheCleaner Feb 4 '13 at 15:59

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