I'm currently an admin at a company and am part of a windows domain with two Primary Domain Controllers in different locations connected via a vpn, There is at least one backup domain controller in each location and we have less then 100 users. The servers are mostly windows 2003. I also have Exchange 2003 servers in both locations for redundancy and to serve the users in both locations.

When I make a change to a user in active directory, either a name change or I add or remove a user. It takes our global address book a few hours, sometimes up to a day to update in everybody's outlook.

Why is this and how would I go about speeding it up?

Also please forgive this being not directly related to programming, I hope it's not too out there, as some of us have to wear many hats.


My guess is that your users are operating in cached mode when connecting to Exchange. If that is the case, they are probably downloading the offline address book. This is generated on a schedule and then updated by the clients on a regular basis.

You may want to alter the default schedule to meet your business needs (the frequency of changes, the size of the address list, etc.).

A good article that explains how to work with the offline address books is found at http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Offline-Address-Book-Best-Practice.html.

Of course, it could be that my guess is wrong and this is not what you are experiencing, but without more information, this at least gives you a possible answer.

  • I also found out that you can goto "Recipient update services" in the exchange manager and right click and choose update now.
    – reconbot
    Sep 18 '08 at 13:49

I think you want to look at rebuilding the Recipient Update Service (domain and/or Enterprise) if you desire to see the changes the same day. My understanding is that this is rebuilt nightly as part of the exchange maintenance, but you can force it to run manually.


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