Manually Update Your Cached Global Address List – Outlook 2003

Alrighty then, so here is the scenario for you: Your PC resides in a network environment, you use Outlook, your local mail server – Exchange. Beautiful! Now Outlook has two major options while working with an Exchange Server, you either cache your mail and contacts locally (Mainly used for Laptop users) or you don’t cache it locally. If not cached locally, the mail server keeps a file which contains all this data. When cached, a copy is stored on the PC itself. This allows the user to access mail and contacts while not connected to the Exchange Server. Local caching, however means that you need to update your Global Address Lists. This is how to do just that!

First things first, lets determine if your Outlook is caching or not.

In Outlook, select the ‘Tools’ menu and click on ‘E-Mail Accounts’.

On the E-Mail Accounts Wizzard dialogue that appears, select ‘Next’. You would now be at the E-mail Accounts dialogue, as seen below. From here select ‘Change’.

After clicking ‘Change’, the Exchange Settings dialogue appears, from here you will see a greyed out text box (Containing Server name), a checkbox to toggle Caching on and off and finally another greyed out text box containing your user name. If the checkbox is ticked, you are running in a cached mode. If it is blank you are reading directly from Mr. Exchange himself. From here, ‘Cancel’ out and select ‘Finish’ on the E-Mail Accounts settings screen.

Of course, the following steps only apply to update a cached system. So if you are not cached, don’t bother following steps. It would be a useless effort.

Outlook will always download a copy of the Global Address List, however, it is only updated every 24 hours. To force the update, do as follows:

Click the ‘Tools’ menu, navigate to ‘Send/Receive’ and finally to ‘Download Address Book’.

In the dialogue that appears, uncheck ‘Download changes since last send/receive’, make sure that ‘Full Details’ is selected and then select ‘Global Address List’ as the Address Book. Click OK.

That’s it! See, it isn’t that complicated. After clicking OK, you will see a Send/Receive box appear, this updates your local data and then disappears once more. Presto! Welcome to the updated version of the GAL.

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23 Responses to “Manually Update Your Cached Global Address List – Outlook 2003”

  1. Melissa Says:

    I did this and it deleted all of the user’s personal contacts.. is there any way to restore these?

  2. Kenny Blewett Says:

    Melissa, is this the case for only one user? We have just finished running this process on all PC’s at a client site and had no such issues – not in any way at all. I will look into this further as well, however, i have just finished testing this update process in a virtual environment as well and i had no issues. As i say though, I will keep looking. Please keep me informed as well. As for the restoration; do you have a recent PST backup which you can restore the contacts from? If not you may have some luck with System Restore, this has saved me once when I accidentally deleted a user’s OST. I however do not know if it will work for the contacts alone.

  3. Melissa Says:

    It’s for any user that is using Outlook 2003 on our Exchange 2007 server. (I did it to two users before we figured out what I had done). Those using Outlook 2007 had no problem. And, of course, I don’t have a PST backup. The company leaders felt it was best not to back up each individual’s profile, and simply use a shared drive for everything that we could possibly need to restore after a system failure. :-(

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  9. Theresa Minter Says:

    Thank you for this article, this was just what I needed today :)

  10. Jon Cornwell Says:

    What if you followed the steps here and the GAL still didn’t update for the user? The computer is connected to the domain, Outlook says it’s connected and “Use cached exchange mode” is selected. I followed the instructions to the letter with no results.

  11. Arjan Salomons Says:

    This works for Outlook 2007, too.

    Here are the steps:
    Go to Tools, Send/Receive, Download Address Book.
    Then pick either Full Details or No Details in Information to download and click the Ok button.

    Thanks for the 2003 tip, tho!

  12. Noel Says:

    Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to work in my cached Outlook2003/Exchange2007 environment. I think the problem is that the user in question has had their ADUC account deleted and their exchange object disconnected, so perhaps Exchange is not sure how to handle the object and is leaving it in “limbo”

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  14. Worked Great Says:

    Very well written. Worked great in my Exchange 2007 / Outlook 2003 environment. Thanks.

  15. disabled Says:

    it’s not working

  16. Karan Says:

    It’s working for me.. thanks

  17. Max Says:

    can’t specify \GlobalAdressList
    I get only a combobox showing me offlineaddressbook

  18. John Says:

    Worked for me. Thanks for the very clear directions with example images. Saved me a bunch of time :)

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