How to troubleshoot issues that prevent a user from viewing other users' free/busy information in Office Outlook 2007 and in Outlook 2010 in Office 365

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INTRODUCTION


Important This article applies only to users in organizations that use Exchange Online exclusively and that don't have a hybrid deployment between Exchange Online in Office 365 and on-premises Microsoft Exchange Server. If you do have a hybrid deployment, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
2667844 User cannot view free/busy information for a remote user in a hybrid deployment of on-premises Exchange Server and Exchange Online in Office 365
This article contains information about how to troubleshoot issues that prevent a user from viewing other users' free/busy information in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and in Microsoft Outlook 2010 in Microsoft Office 365. There are several scenarios where a user may be unable to view free/busy information:
  • The user tries to schedule a calendar meeting request.
  • The user tries to view the availability of other users in Outlook.
In these scenarios, the user may be unable to view free/busy information because Outlook can't connect to the Exchange Availability service and to the Exchange Autodiscover service.

Before you troubleshootTroubleshoot the issueOther troubleshooting methods

PROCEDURE

Before you troubleshoot

Before you troubleshoot the issue, make sure that both the following conditions are true.

Make sure that the user is signed in to the Office 365 portal and has run the Office 365 Desktop Setup Tool

For more information about how to set your desktop for Office 365, go to the following Microsoft website:

Use my current Office desktop apps with Office 365

Make sure that the computer meets the system requirements for Office 365

For more information about the system requirements for Office 365, go to the following Microsoft website:

Software requirements for Office 365 for business

If the installation of Office is updated, test to determine whether the issue is resolved by trying to retrieve free/busy information. If the issue isn't resolved, use the methods in the "Troubleshoot the issue" section.

Troubleshoot the issue

To troubleshoot this issue, use one or more of the following methods, as appropriate for your situation.


Troubleshoot Availability service access

Steps 1 through step 3 in this section are steps that you can use to help isolate the source of the issue. Based on the results of these methods, you should be able to isolate the issue to the local computer or to the configuration of your organization.

Step 1: Confirm that the user account can access the Availability service in Exchange Online
Retrieving free/busy information from Exchange Online requires access to the Availability service. The Availability service endpoints are supplied by the Autodiscover service when an Outlook profile is set up. Depending on the configuration that's used by your organization, the Autodiscover service may be configured to point to the on-premises environment or directly to Exchange Online servers. It's important to confirm that the Autodiscover service is responding to requests from users who can't retrieve free/busy information. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Open a web browser and browse to https://testconnectivity.microsoft.com/ to access the Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer tool.
  2. Click the Office 365 tab.
  3. Under Microsoft Office Outlook Connectivity Tests, click Outlook Autodiscover, and then click Next.
  4. On the Outlook Autodiscover page, complete the information on the form, and then click Perform Test.
  5. After the test is completed, on the Test Details page, expand each test step to isolate the issue. If the test is successful, you see the results of a successful Autodiscover query. The results will show the list of URLs that are provided by the Autodiscover service. Successful results resemble the following:

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Screen shot of the Test Details page that shows the results of the Autodiscover test in Remote Connectivity Analyzer


    If the test isn't successful, the Office 365 admin should make sure that the Autodiscover service is set up correctly in your organization. For more information about how to do this, see the "Step 3: Create or modify the Autodiscover Canonical Name (CNAME) record or the Autodiscover SRV record" section.

Step 2: Use the Test E-mail AutoConfiguration tool to determine whether Outlook can connect to the Autodiscover service
After you confirm that the Autodiscover service works externally for your organization, determine whether the Autodiscover service works correctly from the local computer. Use the Test E-mail AutoConfiguration tool to determine whether the Autodiscover service and the Availability service are working from Outlook. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start Outlook.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key, right-click the Outlook icon in the notification area, and then click Test E-mail AutoConfiguration.
  3. Verify that the correct email address is in the E-mail Address box.
  4. In the Test E-mail AutoConfiguration window, click to clear the Use Guessmart check box and the Secure Guessmart Authentication check box.
  5. Click to select the Use AutoDiscover check box, and then click Test.
Make sure that this test is successful and that Outlook can retrieve the correct URLs for the Availability service. Successful results resemble the following.

Collapse this imageExpand this image
Screen shot of the Test E-mail AutoConfiguration window, showing the Use Guessmart check box selected and the successful test result.


If this test isn't successful, the local computer may be unable to connect to the Autodiscover service. The following are some common reasons that may cause this issue:
  • A local firewall blocks Outlook from connecting to the Autodiscover service.
  • The Office 365 Desktop Setup Tool hasn't been run on the computer.
Additionally, see the "Other Methods" section for more information about other methods that you can use to resolve the issue.



Step 3: Create or modify the Autodiscover Canonical Name (CNAME) record or the Autodiscover SRV record
A custom domain is any domain other than the default DomanName.onmicrosoft.com that's added to Office 365. If your organization uses custom domains in Exchange Online, and all your users were migrated to the Office 365, DNS records have to be configured to redirect migrated users to the Exchange Online Autodiscover service endpoints. You should create a CNAME record for autodiscover.contoso.com to point to autodiscover.outlook.com.

Note If your organization is in coexistence, you may have to point your autodiscover.contoso.com CNAME record to the on-premises environment.

In this case, contoso.com is a placeholder for your company's domain name.

The Autodiscover CNAME record must contain the following information:
  • Alias: autodiscover
  • Target: autodiscover.outlook.com
For more information about how to use a CNAME record to enable Outlook to connect, go to the following Microsoft website:
http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/cc950655(d=loband).aspx?sl=1
Note In certain coexistence scenarios, Autodiscover records may still be pointing to the on-premises environment. These records must also be confirmed.

Other troubleshooting methods

The following methods may also resolve common free/busy issues.

Run Outlook together with the /cleanfreebusy switch

Outlook has several command-line switches that you can use to repair issues. To repair free/busy, follow these steps:
  1. Close Outlook.
  2. To determine the path of Outlook.exe, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders.
    2. In the Named box, type Outlook.exe, and then click Find Now.
    3. Note the path of the Outlook executable for reference.
      • For Outlook 2007, the default path is \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\Outlook.exe.
      • For Outlook 2010, the default path is \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\Outlook.exe.
    4. On the File menu, click Close.
  3. Click Start, and then click Run.
  4. In the Open box, type the path of Outlook (include the file name in the path), press the Spacebar one time, and then type /cleanfreebusy.

    For example, the command-line command for Outlook 2007 is as follows:
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\Outlook.exe" /Cleanfreebusy
    Note The full path has to be in quotation marks to preserve long file names.
  5. Determine whether the problem still occurs.

Determine whether the UseLegacyFB registry value is configured

Important This method contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

If your organization recently migrated to Office 365, Outlook 2007 could still be configured to use a registry entry that was carried over from the previous environment. This entry forces Outlook to use the account's free/busy message on the "Schedule+ Free/Busy" public folder. Public folders aren't used by Exchange Online for free/busy data. To determine whether this configuration exists, follow these steps:
  1. Start Registry Editor.
  2. Locate and expand the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Offlice\12.0\Outlook\Options\Calendar
  3. Locate the UseLegacyFB registry entry. If the UseLegacyFB registry entry exists, delete the entry. Or, change the value of the UseLegacyFB registry entry to 0.



Note If the user can view free/busy information for all other users except one user, the problem is with the specific user whose free/busy information the user cannot view. Troubleshoot that particular user to see why the user's Outlook client cannot publish free/busy information.

Still need help? Go to the Office 365 Community website.

Properties

Article ID: 2581088 - Last Review: August 29, 2014 - Revision: 27.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Exchange Online
Keywords: 
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