FAQ

Exchange Global Address List FAQs

The Exchange Global Address List stores user information, distribution lists and email addresses and acts as your company's shared email address book. Learn how to troubleshoot Exchange Global Address List problems with this compilation of expert answers to frequently asked questions. Whether you're having trouble migrating or synchronizing your GAL or need to know how to modify, hide or remove GAL information, you'll find help here.

New account in Active Directory not showing up in Exchange GAL

When adding new accounts in Active Directory, the option to create an email address is enabled. However, when I go into the account properties, there is nothing showing up as far as an address. It appears that a mailbox exists that can be logged into via Outlook Web Access, but no email address is defined.

I can manually add the email address, but it still does not show up when a user is trying to pull up names from the Global Address List (GAL) in Microsoft Outlook. I've tried adding second and third accounts using random names, and it does the same for those as well.

I have found that we are short on our Exchange Client Access Licenses. Could this be the culprit? I've never seen this before from a licensing shortage. Do you have any idea what the problem could be?

We have a Dell server running Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003 with a single domain and only one Exchange server. 

Most likely, this problem is not related to licensing.

First, I would suggest that you check your default recipient policy. Does it include the option to add an SMTP and/or X.400 address? Hint: it should.

Second, verify that your Recipient Update Service (RUS) is functioning properly.

Make sure that your mailbox is not hidden from the address list. You can do that from the Exchange Advanced tab within Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC). You can also go to the user's mailbox and check the configuration to make sure it is not hidden. Once in the user's mailbox, look for the "Hidden" box under options, and make sure it is unchecked. If it is hidden, go to View -> Hidden and you should be able to see the user's mailbox.

Change an Exchange user's email address to reflect a new name

I have a user that recently got married and wants to change her email address to reflect her new last name. How do I do this and also have email that's sent to the old address redirected to the new one? We are running Windows Server 2003, Active Directory and Exchange Server 2003. 

You will want to do the following:

  • Change the display name of the mailbox to the new married name.
  • Add a secondary SMTP address reflecting the new married name -- but don't delete the 'old' SMTP address.
  • Set the new SMTP address you added as the primary address.

The mailbox will then receive email sent to the old address and the new address. The reply-to address will be set to the new address.

I have a user who wants to change the way their first name is displayed in Microsoft Outlook. The user ID was created, and after a few weeks the user put in a request to change the way her first name appears. I changed it in Active Directory, but those changes are not being replicated into the global catalog. Do you have any suggestions?

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Good question. I'd recommend that you confirm that the change was made to the "display name" field and not just the "first name" field. Otherwise, the changes won't be reflected in the Global Address List or in the To: or From: lines displayed within Microsoft Outlook.

The author has answered the question in full, but the question wasn't asked in full. The employee with the new last name wants email recipients to see her new surname, but they still see her old surname in the "from" box on email that she authored. Interesting tidbit: If the recipient were to point on the old surname a popup box would display the new email address of the sender, therefore reflecting the new surname. I still have no idea how to fix this.

Good observation. Since the name that appears in the "from" box on an email is actually stored in the email in the recipient's mailbox (or .PST, etc.), there is no way of re-writing this header to reflect the new surname. All email messages sent prior to the Active Directory change will reflect the old surname.

Remove "Administrator" from Global Address List in Exchange 2003

Is there a way to remove the "Administrator" from the GAL in Outlook and Exchange Server 2003? The users are confusing the "administrator" with the nursing home administrator (where I work) and sending email to the wrong place.

You may want to just rename the account or hide it from the users. The administrator account has permissions assigned during installation that would be some what difficult and time consuming to recreate.

Display names truncate in Exchange 2003 Global Address List

Display names in the Exchange 2003 GAL are truncated to 64 characters or fewer. We are using long display names for specific contacts inside our organization (80 - 100 characters). We don't have any problems using these names in the address book, but if we select the name from the GAL, the system uses only the first 64 characters.

In addition, when we look at the properties of the contact (under General tab -> Display field), the name is truncated to 64 or fewer characters. We are using Windows Server 2003 and Exchange 2003 Service Pack 1. 

You are limited to 64 characters in the GAL. Please see the Microsoft article "How to create an address list in Exchange Server" for evidence of this rule.

Migrate the Exchange Global Address List using POP3

I have Exchange Server 5.5 and we have set up POP3 and IMAP accounts across our network. How can I get the GAL to my users using a POP3 account? 

Use the Microsoft Exchange 5.5 Administrator program and the Directory Export command to export the Global Address List. From there, use Microsoft Outlook's Import/Export option to import the .csv file into Outlook.

You will need to keep the contents refreshed for your users and explain to them the import process. For more information, check out the Microsoft article on "How to Perform a Directory Export of the GAL," as well as the article on "Bulk Import/Export."

Synchronize GAL and calendars of separate Exchange organizations

I have two Exchange 2000 organizations. I need to synchronize the Global Address List and calendar data between the two Exchange organizations. Is this possible?

Yes, there are tools to synchronize between two separate Exchange Server organizations, even of different versions.

There are two versions of Microsoft's Identity Integration Server (MIIS). Let's start with the basic and free version. The MIIS Identity Integration Feature Pack will let you synchronize between Active Directory in different Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 AD Forests. The full version of MIIS has a feature called Global Address List Synchronization for synchronizing with Exchange 5.5 and it also works with other directories and can be customized.

For synchronizing free/busy information, you can use a tool called the InterOrg Replication utility. It will also allow you to synchronize public folders between the Exchange organizations. Check out the articles contained within the "Exchange Server 5.5 Resource Guide: Tools and utilities" for more information.

Exchange mailbox reconnecting to the wrong user account

We recently had to rebuild our Microsoft Exchange server from scratch, which included reinstalling both Exchange and Windows. We also mounted the current information store into a new store, and reconnected the users' mailboxes to their accounts.

Now, one or two users are unable to access their email, and no longer appear on the Global Address List. It seems that they have valid user accounts in Active Directory, although they don't have any Exchange server or mailbox store specified. They also have existing mailboxes which are listed in Exchange System Manager.

Despite running the cleanup agent in Exchange System Manager, neither the reconnect nor purge options are available on any of these mailboxes. I need to find a way of reconnecting an existing mailbox with an existing user in the Active Directory. Any suggestions?

This may have happened if the mailbox got reconnected to the wrong user account in Active Directory. You may not have noticed it because the account it got reconnected to is not ordinarily supposed to be mailbox-enabled.

Before doing anything, check if the mailbox has been accessed by a user. In Exchange System Manager, take a look at the "Last logged on by" column next to the mailbox to check which account logged on to it last. Also check the "Last logon time" to see if it has been accessed recently.

If it appears that it hasn't been accessed at all since you restored, right click on the mailbox, select Exchange Tasks to start the Exchange Task Wizard, and select "Delete mailbox" from the task selection dialog box. Don't panic -- this does not actually delete the mailbox!

Run the cleanup agent and you will see the mailbox is now marked with the red x icon which means it is a deleted mailbox. Now you can right click the mailbox and reconnect it to any user that is not already mailbox-enabled.

MAPI error when rebuilding GAL after uninstalling Outlook

I installed Microsoft Outlook 2003 on Small Business Server and Exchange Server. I didn't realize that I wasn't supposed to do this. Now I have uninstalled Outlook from the servers, but I'm having problems. When I try to rebuild the default GAL, I get the error "MAPI or an unspecified service provider." I think my MAPI profile may be corrupted. How can I fix this? 

First, back up your system. Then reinstall Exchange Server over the existing installation to fix this problem.

Hide email addresses from the Global Address List

How do you hide an email address from the Global Address List? I'm running Exchange Server 5.5.

In the Exchange administrator application, locate and open the properties of the user you want to hide. Navigate to the Advanced tab and you'll see a checkbox for "hide from address book." Check the box, click OK to save your changes, and the recipient will be hidden. Note that this hides the entire recipient, not just one of his or her email addresses.

Make GAL accessible via Outlook Web Access and Exchange 5.5

Is it possible to make our company GAL accessible via Outlook Web Access (OWA) and Exchange Server 5.5? This is for a non-Active Directory domain working with Exchange 5.5 on Windows 2000 server. OWA is set up on an in-house Windows 2000 web server. 

There are two possible sources for the Exchange 5.5 Global Address List; namely the Exchange 5.5 directory (i.e., if you're on an NT 4.0 domain, which sounds like it's the case), or Active Directory (i.e., if you have an Active Directory Connector (ADC) in place). The GAL is automatically available to Microsoft Outlook clients, and any OWA 5.5 user will be able to query the GAL from within OWA. There is no way of having a scrollable, cursor-based address list from within OWA.

If your company GAL is in an outside data source, then you'll need to use some sort of GAL-synchronization utility or a metadirectory to synchronize the external company address book with the GAL.


This was first published in December 2007

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