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Fix Autodiscover Not Working Issue Linking Exchange & Outlook

Published By Deepa Pandey
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On November 14th, 2023
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading
Category Exchange Server

Autodiscover Not Working Issue Resolution in Office 365 Account

Any migration scenario involving Microsoft 365 needs thorough preparation. During the setup, if an admin encounters an Autodiscover not working issue, this can severely hamper the migration project. Moreover, autodiscovery is a key step in identifying what data is to be moved, so no progress can be made if we cannot link it. Furthermore, as the reasons for this vary, administrators need a foolproof guide to identify and resolve the problem right away. That’s why we present this tutorial with clear-cut steps to resolve the issue with minimum time and effort from the user end. Let’s start by learning why this issue occurs in the first place.

Potential Explanations for Autodiscover Not Working on Your Machine

  • A Typo in the Email Address:
    It is a small but significant error that often goes unnoticed. Users must double-check the email address they are using during the account setup. Moreover, users must first recover permanently deleted emails in Outlook before attempting any changes.
  • Version Mismatch Between Exchange and Outlook:
    A user’s system might fail to execute an autodiscovery request if the versions of Exchange and Outlook are incompatible with each other. To avoid it, ensure that the necessary updates are done prior to the operation. 
  • Mistakes During Attribute Assignment:
    Autodiscovery is a complicated process that requires the correct and timely setup of many different attributes. If anyone among Proxy Address, Display Name, Mail Nickname, or Mail is missing or configured in the wrong manner, then the on-premises AD can’t detect them, resulting in a failure of Autodiscovery.
  • CNAME is Incorrect or Missing:
    The canonical name records are used by Autodiscover to look and link client devices, i.e. computers, with the Exchange server. If the CNAME is invalid or absent from the database, then autodiscover malfunctions.  
  • Certificate Errors While Setting a New System:
    Conduct a meticulous certificate audit, ensuring validity, correct configuration, and alignment with Autodiscover specifications. Resuing an old certificate that has not yet been delinked from its original source may also contribute to this issue. That’s why precision is the key to Autodiscover success.
  • Third-Party Domain Provider Issue:
    Sometimes the connection issue may stem from the domain provider itself (like Godaddy) In this case, users get the message “autodiscovery must be provided a valid email address.” Users can try to move their local address to a Remote Mail Exchanger and see if Autodiscover works again.

Symptoms of Autodiscover Not Working Issue

Outlook will not connect to the mailbox.

Outlook fails to connect with the mailbox. Thereby preventing the user from checking their mail. This might result in an Exchange Server database corruption so the admin must look to resolve it ASAP.

Folders at the public level are inaccessible. 

This means those folders that were initially available for multiple users are no longer available.

Shared folders can’t be auto-mapped.

Automapping is a useful feature that makes shared folders an important tool in collaborative work. As it utilizes the autodiscovery if anything goes wrong here it is a clear indicator of an underlying issue with the autodiscovery.

Invitation sharing fails even after multiple attempts.

Users often have to send invitations to official events to colleagues. In case of a faulty Autodiscovery, this feature is no longer available. 

Calendar Entries not Working Properly.

If users are having trouble making a calendar entry in their Outlook client then autodiscovery might have some problems too.

Getting an “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT” error.

This indicates that the Autodiscovery is not able to make a connection to the site itself. 

Update Registry Editor to Fix Autodiscovery Connection Issue>

Note: Only make changes in the registry editor if you know what you are doing. Any unwarranted changes can result in irreversible damage to your data. 

The instructions to fix the Autodiscover not working issue via the registry editor are given below.

  • Step 1. Press Windows and R on your keyboard.
  • Step 2. In the run window’s “Open” bar, enter “regedit”.
  • Step 3. For data safety, it is recommended that you back up the current configuration of the registry editor. 
  • Click File, hit Export, and press Backup your data
  • Step 4. Copy this command “HKEY CURRENT USER/Software/Microsoft/Office/16.0/Outlook” and paste it into the address bar.
  • Step 5. In the Outlook tab, look for Autodiscover.
  • Step 6. Go to the righthand side pane then
    • Right click>press New>select DWORD (32-bit) Value>Rename it to “PreferLocalXML”.
  • Step 7. Double-click on the newly renamed PreferLocalXML and set its value column to 1.
  • Step 8. Likewise the following must be updated as well. 
    • ExcludeHttpRedirect – update to 0
    • ExcludeHttpsAutodiscoverDomain – update to 1
    • ExcludeHttpsRootDomain – update to 1
    • ExcludeScpLookup – update to 1
    • ExcludeSrvLookup – update to 1
    • ExcludeSrvRecord – update to 1
  • Step 9. Restart the machine and check the updated Registry Editor.

Repair the Navigation Pane configuration File

Another way administrators can resolve this is by disabling the current (possibly corrupt) autodiscovery function and creating a copy instead. Let’s see how to achieve this.

  • Step 1. Press Windows and R on your keyboard.
  • Step 2. In the Column Next to “Open” type outlook.exe/resetnavpane
  • Step 3. In case the problem persists, press Windows + E
  • Step 4. Follow this file path App Data>Roaming>Microsoft>Outlook.
  • Step 5. Find and delete the outlook.xml file
  • Step 6. Restart Outlook 

Manual Resolution 3# Remove the Add-Ins from Outlook

Ads-Ins are third-party software plugins that can automate tasks in the Outlook client. Sometimes these may cause issues with the Autodiscover mechanism. If you suspect that this is the case, then follow the steps below. 

  • Step 1. Press the Windows and R keys together on your keyboard.
  • Step 2. In the space next to “Open” enter outlook.exe /safe.
  • Step 3. Outlook is now in a safe mode, which automatically disables all external Add-ins. If Outlook is working without any issues, then the reason for Autodiscover Not Working is an Add-In.
  • Step 4. Click on the File tab on the top ribbon.
  • Step 5. Select the Options” subsection.  
  • Step 6. On the left side of the window, you will find Add-Ins Click on them.
  • Step 7. From the dropdown menu, pick the Add-Ins ending with “COM” and hit Go.
  • Step 8. Deselect all items and press OK.
  • Step 9. Re-select plug-ins one at a time to find the one causing an issue.
  • Step 10. Once identified, remove it from Outlook and restart Outlook in normal mode.

Automated Workaround to Autodiscovery Connection Issues

Sometimes, resolving the problems in autodiscovery might not be possible. Even with a guide, admins may lack experience. So in such scenarios, users can go for the professional SysTools Exchange to Office 365 migration tool. The tool eliminates the need to use autodiscovery entirely. Moreover, with an intuitive UI, users can easily complete the complicated migration procedure with minimal effort.

Download Now Purchase Now

So follow the steps below to use the utility and get rid of autodiscovery limitations.

Step 1. Download the tool on your computer, launch it, and Select Exchange as the Source and Office 365 as the Destination.

Select Exchange as Source and Office 365 as Destination

Step 2. Then, scroll down to the Workload screen. Mark the box next to the items you need to move, and apply the necessary date filters.

In Workload Section, make the task selection, and apply Date Filter

Step 3. On the Source Screen, type the required admin-level credentials and enter the IP of the Exchange Server and the Active Directory. Then validate and press Next.

Type in Exchange Server details

Step 4. Likewise, complete the Validation of your destination Office 365 credentials and Press Next.

Enter Office 365 Details

Step 5. Choose a mapping method from Fetch, Import, or Download and begin user mapping between endpoints. 

Map Users Via Fetch, Import, Download

Step 6. Once the user list is visible on the preview screen, select and prioritize, then hit the Start Migration button.

Hit the Start Migration Button


In this guide, we found out the reasons for encountering the Autodiscover not working issues and the steps to resolve them. Apart from the manual workarounds, we also presented an automated tool. Not only is it a superior choice in many different business scenarios, but it also provides an alternative to the autodiscovery mechanism. Use the tool and get rid of auto-discovery limitations.

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