Forcing GAL (Exchange address book) updates when using Outlook in cached mode

  1. On the Tools menu, point to Send/Receive , and then click Download Address Book
  2. Quit Outlook and then restart it. After Outlook starts, the Offline Address Book download will start one to five minutes later

More info:

Q: How frequently is the Offline Address Book updated on the Outlook client?

A: If left constantly running, Outlook 2003 in cached mode automatically updates the Offline Address Book on the client every 24 hours. The 24-hour time period is measured from the time that the Offline Address Book was last downloaded successfully. For example, if you complete an Offline Address Book download at 09:00 today, Outlook will start the Offline Address Book download the next day at approximately 09:00. Therefore, different people will receive updates at different, random times.

Note The default setting on the Exchange computer is to generate an Offline Address Book differential file every morning at 04:00. For a change that is made in Active Directory to reach the client computer, the following events must occur:

  • The change must be picked up by the Exchange computer that generates the Offline Address Book files. This can take several hours. At worst, it can take 24 hours. This variable will be referred to as "x."
  • The Outlook clients must download the Offline Address Book updates every 24 hours. This update can take several hours. At worst, it can take 24 hours. This variable will be referred to as "y."
    The update reaches the client machines x+y hours later, and the worst delay is 48 hrs. It would be rare for a client to ever experience the complete 48-hour delay.

Q: How can you tell when Outlook will try its next Offline Address Book download?

A: Unless you notice the last time that Outlook downloaded the Offline Address Book, you may not know when Outlook is scheduled to try the next Offline Address Book download. No indicator in the Outlook user interface advises you of the Offline Address Book download schedule.

Q: Outlook shows the "Updating Address Book" status for a long time. Why?

A: Outlook 2003 has a throttling feature that slows the address book update when you are working in Outlook. This can cause the “Updating Address Book” status appearing for a long time. Outlook is helping you complete other activities and does not allow the address book update to interfere.


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