Cannot Turn Off Outlook Autodiscover? Yes You Can.

A newer Outlook/Exchange feature (when connecting to Exchange using HTTP Proxy) in Outlook 2007, 2010 and Outlook 2013 is for client configuration to be autodiscovered. Outlook’s autodiscover feature searches your corporate email domain for the proper Outlook configuration. Per Microsoft this feature cannot be suppressed. However when Outlook autodiscover cannot find the settings/domain or if a valid https certificate isn’t present or is misconfigured, end users experience an initial popup message or the annoying continuous popup stating:

Allow this website to configure user1@cust1.com server settings?
https://mail.companydomain.com/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml
Your account was redirected to this website for settings.
You should only allow settings from sources you know and trust.

One person’s Outlook was completely disabled by this feature after the autodiscover configuration file changed his settings*. A support engineer would correctly reconfigure Outlook but then autodiscover would RE-reconfigure Outlook. When Outlook was closed and reopened it no longer worked, again, frustrating the end user and support engineer.

Online, the proposed solutions are to either buy an https certificate or run several commands against the Exchange server to verify correct settings. Such as here, here or here. Most experts will say that autodiscover cannot be disabled for remote Outlook clients. They are wrong. Using the previous article, I created local computer registry settings that effectively turn Outlook’s autodiscover off.

The important registry settings are:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0 14.0 for Outlook 2010\Outlook\AutoDiscover and create these DWORD values:

“PreferLocalXML”
“ExcludeHttpRedirect”
“ExcludeHttpsAutodiscoverDomain”
“ExcludeHttpsRootDomain”
“ExcludeScpLookup”
“ExcludeSrvLookup”
“ExcludeSrvRecord”

(then configure them)

This is performed on each remote client. To expedite the process I create two text/.REG files that are run once our external Exchange clients. Use this configuration to create your own .reg files:

-Outlook 2007-

(begin the registry file at and include the windows registry editor version 5.00 line as your first line)

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\AutoDiscover]

“ExcludeScpLookup”=dword:00000001
“PreferLocalXML”=dword:00000000
“ExcludeHttpRedirect”=dword:00000001
“ExcludeHttpsAutodiscoverDomain”=dword:00000001
“ExcludeHttpsRootDomain”=dword:00000001
“ExcludeSrvLookup”=dword:00000001
“ExcludeSrvRecord”=dword:00000001

 

-Outlook 2010-

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\AutoDiscover]

“ExcludeScpLookup”=dword:00000001
“PreferLocalXML”=dword:00000000
“ExcludeHttpRedirect”=dword:00000001
“ExcludeHttpsAutodiscoverDomain”=dword:00000001
“ExcludeHttpsRootDomain”=dword:00000001
“ExcludeSrvLookup”=dword:00000001
“ExcludeSrvRecord”=dword:00000001

 

The autodiscover popups and associated problems have disappeared.

Enjoy,

Michael Pasatieri

 

*Which is ironic since it must initially be configured properly in order to find the configuration file! Therefore is the autodiscover process necessary? I believe that Microsoft was thinking about the enterprise and that when servers are replaced the autodiscover file helps streamline client reconfiguration. In reality, I can change servers and IPs but then I simply repoint DNS records. The external clients never know the difference – no problems. I hope MS makes this feature optional in Outlook 2016.

_____________

Disclaimer – editing the Windows registry can cause Windows system failure, do so at your own risk.

UPDATE: This doesn’t always work. Microsoft is expected to ‘fix’ this in Outlook 2016.

mpasatieri posted at 2015-3-28 Category: OS, Server Support