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outlook desktop client : unable to manage groups

For some days now, anyone who has an Exchange online mailbox and uses Outlook for e-mail has not been able to manage groups.
After doing all the recommended tests on the internet, we opened a support ticket to Microsoft who replied: “This is a global system crash which you could monitor from the admin interface”

We report the detail of the Microsoft report.

April 19, 2023 7:58 PM

Title: Some users may be unable to view or access group calendars and email messages in the Outlook desktop client User impact: Users may be unable to view or access Microsoft 365 group calendars and email messages in the Outlook desktop client.

More info: Affected users are part of a Microsoft 365 group and are on versions 16.0.16222.10000 or higher, including the latest February release channel. Some affected users may also notice that impact self-resolves after some time, although impact may also reoccur at a later time. These users may also be unable to perform one or more of the following actions in the Outlook desktop client:

  • Add or access the group mailbox
  • Add or access the group calendar
  • Add, remove, or edit group members
  • Changes to mail items, such as marking as read, archiving, or moving email to other folders.

Until a fix is deployed for this issue, impacted users with access to Outlook on the web can use that connection method to access the impacted group features.

Alternatively, impacted users can revert to Outlook desktop client build 16130.20332. The steps are outlined in the following article:

Current status: We’ve validated the fix and are preparing deployment to the impacted environments. We anticipate the deployment will start by our next communications update, at which we’ll be able to provide an estimated deployment timeline if available. While we’re preparing the deployment of the new build, we recommend impacted users revert to Outlook desktop client build 16130.20332, as mentioned above for immediate remediation.

Scope of impact: Impact is limited to users on versions 16.0.16222.10000 or higher, and are attempting to access or perform various Microsoft 365 group related actions in the Outlook desktop client.

Start time: Sunday, March 19, 2023, 1:00 AM (12:00 AM UTC)

Root cause: A recent service update is incorrectly triggering an indexer to delete specific values within the Outlook desktop client for some users, resulting in impact.

April 25, 2023 8:16 PM

Estimated time to resolve: We anticipate that the deployment of the fix will completely saturate the affected environments and fully remediate impact on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

Next update by: Tuesday, May 2, 2023, 9:00 PM (7:00 PM UTC)


Aprile 26. Microsoft’s workaround

Revert to the Outlook Desktop build prior to the issue occurring, build 16130.20332.  You can use ODT steps, How to revert to an earlier version of Office or by following the steps below.

To revert to the prior build, do the following:

  1. Open a Command Prompt (Run as Administrator).
  2. Type/paste the following commands and press Enter after each:
    cd %programfiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun
    officec2rclient.exe /update user updatetoversion=16.0.16130.20332
  3. In the backstage, disable Updates (File, Office Account, Update Options, Disable Updates).
  4. Set a reminder on your calendar for May 9, 2023, to remember to re-enable updates. The fix should be out sooner, but May 9 is Patch Tuesday, and the fix will be in this update.
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Outlook search doesn’t work (from December 2021)

In these first days of 2022 you may have problems in the search function of your Outlook. For example, you might want to search for emails from a certain contact and only get emails received before 2022.

The problem is caused by a Windows update affecting the Windows search function. The update is KB5008212. Then check for Windows updates to see if you have this update installed.

How to solve?

To date (12th January 2022) Microsoft has not yet released an update that fixes the problem.

If you’re in serious trouble and don’t want to wait, Microsoft has released a workaround that disables the “Windows Desktop Search” which is the source of the problem for Outlook. It is an operation to be performed on the registry. At this link you will find the official Microsoft statement and the instructions for the workaround: Outlook Search not showing recent emails after Windows update KB5008212

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Outlook – font used in replying emails

When replying to an email with Outlook it may happen that you write the text using a different font than the one you normally use. For example it could be different in type and size (smaller!). The problem is that Outlook uses the font used by the sender in response.

To force the email to always use the same font you have to go to File – Options. In the configuration mask that appears, select the “Mail” block on the left, click on the “Decorative elements and fonts” button and set the desired fonts.

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How to see a OneDrive folder shared by others on your computer


A colleague of yours shared a folder with you through OneDrive; you can see this folder through the web portal but you also want to see it in the local list of your OneDrive folders.


  • Sign on
  • Select the OneDrive tile.
  • Select Shared from the menu on the left, on the top.
  • See, on the right, the whole list of folders shared with you
  • Select the folder you wish to sync and select Sync

  • Once the local synchronization is finished, the folder appears under your OneDrive folder on your computer


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Winmail.dat attachment from Outlook. The definitive guide

You use Outlook and send emails with attachments. A recipient of an email tells you that he cannot read the attachment: instead of the attachment there is a file named winmail.dat that he cannot open. The recipient of your email is probably not using Outlook but another email client. It is interesting that if you send an email to another recipient who uses the same email client as the first, same version, he can see and read the attachment correctly.

The first consideration is that the problem “is in you” and not your mail recipients. You need to fix the problem on your Outlook.

Solution 1: send emails as Html

For the first solution you will find hundreds of articles on the internet, we report it here for completeness. You need to set Outlook to send emails in HTML format. In Outlook:

File -> Options

Select “Mail” on the left. You have to make 2 variations.

  1. Under the Compose messages section, change the “Compose messages in this format” dropdown box to HTML
  2. In the “When sending messages in Rich Text format to Internet recipients”, ensure you select either Convert to HTML format

Restart Outlook

Outlook from several versions already has these default settings, so you didn’t need to make these changes. In fact, if that were the problem, it would not explain how some of your recipients are successfully receiving attachments. You haven’t solved the problem.

The definitive solution. The problem of self-completion

If you have correctly configured Outlook as above, here is the definitive solution. The problem is in the auto-completion of the email address. The recipients of your emails who have this problem are surely in memory in the Outlook auto-completion. Auto-completion is that function that is activated while you write the email address in a new email: while you type the recipient’s address, a drop-down menu appears showing the last used addresses. If you use the proposed address, your recipient will receive the winmail.dat file.

If, on the other hand, you write the email address without selecting the address proposed by the auto-completion, your recipient will receive the right attachment.

Let’s recap. The winmail.dat problem affects only some of your recipients; they are recipients who do not use Outlook and have the e-mail address stored in the Outlook memory which appears with auto-completion.


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Migrate IMAP mailboxes to Microsoft 365 – Office 365 – Exchange online

Here are the steps required in sequence to migrate an IMAP domain to Exchange Online.

  1. Add the domain to your Microsoft 365 tenant. You don’t have to complete the mail server setup.
  2. Add domain users to Microsoft 365. Each user must have a Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Standard, or Premium license
  3. Prepare the csv file for migration, separated by commas. In the first line put EmailAddress, UserName, Password. In the following lines the data: “EmailAddress is the Microsoft account,” UserName “is the imap server account and” Password “is the imap server password

example of csv

  1. Log in as an administrator in Microsoft 365 and go to the Exchange admin center. (Note: this guide is for the “classic” Exchange administration interface. Select “recipients” on the left; select “migration” at the top.
  2. At the center of the page there is a button with three dots: …. Selecting it, the endpoint is inserted, that is the Imap source server. In the next window add the new endpoint (IMAP).
  3. Create a new migration. launch the migration
  4. once the migration is complete, in the tenant, you can finish configuring the domain for what concerns the mail server, following the instructions on the tenant and changing your dns

The Rules of Migration

You can put all users in a migration. When a migration ends in error, you can delete a user from it and put the same user in another migration. You can have multiple migrations at the same time but the same user cannot exist in more than one migration. Migration can exist for up to 60 days.

It is not a migration

In reality, Microsoft does a more sophisticated operation than a “trivial” migration: it makes a sync. Synchronize entire imap mailbox to Exchange mailbox in one direction (from imap to exchange). It is sophisticated but less effective than a normal migration: it is not in real time but after 24/30 hours. So if you want to replace the mail server, users would lose at least 24 hours of email.

Configuring perspectives

On Outlook clients, you can add the new Exchange account online. It will be the same as the old mailbox, but will be managed by Exchange. For a while you will then have 2 mailboxes that manage the same mail but on different servers: one is the old imap server, the other one the new Exchange server. When the migration is finished and you have also moved the mx records on the dns, you can delete the old mailbox. Before doing this, however, you must also memorize the contacts and the calendar from the “old” to the “new”:

Contacts: select all contacts, right click, select “move” and then “copy to folder …”, Exchange mailbox contacts.

Calendar: To move appointments between 2 calendars: both calendars and drag appointments from old to new.

Problems in migration

If you have any problem you can investigate using PowerShell. First install ExchangeOnlineManagement.

Connect to the tenant:

Connect-ExchangeOnline -UserPrincipalName <your Admin Username>

The password request screen appears.

List of all endpoints in the tenant


endpoint test

Test-MigrationServerAvailability -Endpoint <Identity of the endpoint from above>

view sync configuration of single user

Get-SyncRequest -Mailbox  <user>

esport migration result for a user

Get-MigrationUserStatistics <user> -IncludeSkippedItems -IncludeReport 
-DiagnosticInfo "showtimeslots, showtimeline, 
verbose" | Export-Clixml C:\temp\MigMyUser.xml

Exchange mailboxes have a 35MB limit. If you have to move something bigger during the migration you have to change this limit.

Set-Mailbox -Identity <user> -MaxReceiveSize 150MB