Disappearing Favorite Calendars in Outlook 2007 and 2010

Some of my users will submit tickets where they are missing ‘favorite’ calenders when they go into Outlook.  This is not a huge problem in itself because they can just browse to it via Public Folders (or whatever resource they add it from).  The main problem is that a user cannot add a favorite back after it has disappeared.  It’s more a frustration…because it’s not like the calendar is gone…it’s just not one click accessible.

So, I did quite a bit of research to solve this the first time it reared its head with no fix found.  I’ve had this happen enough times now that I decided to take the time to figure out exactly what was happening and how I could solve it.  There are three solutions I’ve found with first solution (#1 below) being a last resort.

  1. You can create a new mail profile. This resets everything you’ve customized unfortunately, so it is, in my opinion, a last resort.
  2. You can navigate to the folder that Outlook stores settings in. In Windows XP it defaults to:
    C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    In this folder you will find a file called Outlook.xml. Very innocuous sounding, don’t you think? This is the file causing all of the woes! You should exit Outlook completely then rename the file or delete it. Restart Outlook and you will notice all of your favorites and calendars are gone. Add them back the way you would like, exit Outlook again and restart. *Poof* they are back and there to stay!
  3. This solution is hit or miss…it’s fixed it for some people and not for others.  Launch Outlook via command line with the /resetnavpane flag afterwards:  outlook.exe /resetnavpane

The problem of course is a corrupt file.  This Outlook.xml file for whatever reason becomes fragmented/corrupt and causes calendars to evaporate from your listing in Outlook with the inability to add them back in as persistent through start/exit of Outlook.


I hope this helps someone because it took me a lot of digging to figure out what was going on.  In the blog post I linked to above, the person’s shortcuts were disappearing….different terminology that hid it from my search results.  I’ve taken the solutions from the blog post and posted them here because I don’t know how long other blog posts will be accessible.  I’ve had my blogs up and running since 2003 so I know they’re not going anywhere…so I record handy information for myself (and others?) here.  Thanks for readin!

iPhone Tips

iPhone tips

Your iPhone is likely to be your pride and joy right now. Which is hardly surprising considering how well it serves you. It never hurts to know a few extra tricks to help you get the best use out of your phone though. After all, if you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself looking through http://www.o2.co.uk/iphone or your supplier’s web page looking for a new one to keep you entertained, rather than using your current iPhone to the best of its potential. Here are three tips to keep you on your toes.

Top of the web page

When you have been scrolling and reached the bottom, you normally want to go back up to the top of the page. Try tapping the status bar situated at the top of the iPhone display, near to the battery indicator. Then watch as the Safari browser flies back up to the beginning with little effort and time.

Camera short-cut

If you have the new iOS 5, you might have noticed that you can now launch the camera without having to put the pass code in to unlock the phone. You’re still locked out of the albums, email and dialling facilities for security, but you can take a photo at opportune moments now without fiddling with the codes.

Storage space

Do you know how much storage space you have left on your phone? There’s an easy way to check this out. Tap on Settings, General, Usage, and you’ll find a summary of how much storage you have used up and what you have left to spare. It will also let you know what space has been used up by what. For example, apps, videos and music etc.

Now go see what other tricks you can pick up on your own.

“This article has been contributed by O2”

User Appears in “All Users” list but not in Global Address List (GAL)

GAL vs All Users

Ever had a new user appear in the “All Users” Address list that you can access via your Address Book but that DO NOT APPEAR inside the Global Address Book (GAL)?

These are most likely users that have only recently been added…because the minute that Exchange does it’s standard maintenance window, it will most likely update.   But what if, like me, you need to have it update right away due to something like a BlackBerry server?

Through trial and error, I’ve found out WHY the user is not put into the Global Address List right away and how you can force it there.  Please note that I’m using Exchange 2007 with a separate CAS, HT, and Mailbox Server.  First, let’s go over what is happening and why it is and then we’ll go over how we can force the OAB (Offline Address Book) or GAL to update with these users.

What is Happening and Why?

So, you added Joe Smith to the company and you’ve right-click updated the “All Users” address list so he can be included in distribution lists and so that he receives emails on dynamic distribution lists.  Then you right clicked the OAB and selected ‘Update’.  Excellent!  Welcome to the company Joe!  But wait, Joe is not appearing inside the GAL/OAB you just updated!  Why is this problem happening!?  If you’re using the web distribution of the offline address book, the Exchange Client Access Server waits for a ‘polling time’ to arrive before it updates…just like any standard DFS (distributed file system) in Active Directory.  The default time is 480 minutes and of course, we don’t want to wait that long.  You can read all about how OAB via DFS works by visiting this link about Exchange polling times and OAB distribution.

Now that we know it isn’t working by design, how do we fix it?  We manually force it to poll.  We do this through the Exchange Management Shell:

update-filedistributionservice -identity Servername

Make sure you substitute in your Client Access Server where the OAB is distributed with ‘servername’ above.  A warning will appear if you do not have Unified Messaging installed on your server.  If you don’t, it is safe to ignore that warning.

After you’ve forced the update, manually download the address book in any Outlook client and the user will magically appear in the Global Address List.  Hope this helps someone…I know it took me a while to figure out what was happening.