Post Refresh Support Guide

Your users have been provided with a range of guidance materials to support them throughout the Refresh. Reading the FAQs, browsing the Temporary Change Guide and completing the Self-Help steps should resolve most queries and issues. In some instances, however, Local Administrators will be required to provide additional guidance.

Follow this article to troubleshoot any outlook performance/post migration issues reported by your users. If you have been unable to resolve the ticket after following the advice, then please raise a ticket with the NHSmail Helpdesk (helpdesk@nhs.net).There are a number of different factors to consider when troubleshooting indifferent connectivity / Outlook / OWA performance,  please navigate to the most appropriate section of the article to find the most targeted guidance:

  • Why is your user experiencing poor network connectivity to Microsoft 365 services?
  • Why is your user seeing “This Feature has been disabled by your administrator” when they open Outlook?
  • Why is your user seeing “Not Responding” in the title bar when they open Outlook?
  • Why is your user getting a “something went wrong” error when they try and access their account through OWA?
  • Why is your user experiencing poor performance in Outlook?
  • Are you experiencing issues with OWA?
  • Are you running the latest version of Outlook?
  • Did the .pst file or the .ost file shut down incorrectly?
  • Do you have any nonessential add-ins or out-of-date add-ins installed in Outlook?
  • Do you have a large .pst file or .ost file?
  • Do you have many items in a single folder?
  • Is Windows Search or Windows Desktop Search currently indexing data in the .pst or .ost file?
  • Are you synchronising many RSS feeds?
  • Is the on-premise user receiving a repeated credential prompt when trying to view the calendar of an upgraded user?
  • Are you experiencing issues with the AutoDiscover service for NHS.NET?
  • Damaged Outlook messaging profile? (To be used as the final method of troubleshooting)

Why is your user experiencing poor network connectivity to Microsoft 365 services?

If your users are experiencing poor connectivity to Microsoft 365 services, the Microsoft Office 365 Network Onboarding tool can be used to troubleshoot and evaluate the quality of your network connection.

Your network connection to Microsoft 365 depends on several things – your internet service provider (ISP), how close you are to an entry point for Microsoft’s global network and an Office 365 service front door server, and how close you are to the point where your organisation or home network connects to your ISP. This tool runs numerous tests and can provide recommendations to improve your connectivity which can then be shared to your local IT.

The tool may require installation of .net Runtime and .net Windows Desktop runtime but will prompt if required.

Steps to use the tool:

1. Navigate to: https://connectivity.office.com/

2. In the “Enter your city or click the locate me icon:” dialogue box use the “locate me icon”

3. In the “Optionally enter your tenant name” dialogue box, input “nhs.onmicrosoft.com”

4. Click “Run Tests”

 

5. It will download and then run a file named similarly to: Connectivity.ab123456-aaaa-1234-bbbb-1a1b1c1d1e1f.nhs.exe

 

6. Click the “Details and solution” tab:

a. Review output and recommended actions

b. Send report to Local IT to help resolve any issues

 

Common solutions for resolving issues:

  • Ensuring Local IT have completed all technical pre-requisite items detailed in the following guidance document found here.
  • It is required that Office 365 traffic avoids SSL break and inspect and there is no proxy authentication for this traffic. Guidance on how to configure proxy servers to bypass the processing of Office 365 network traffic, can be found here.

Why is your user seeing “This Feature has been disabled by your administrator” when they open Outlook?

Certain registry keys can limit the type of accounts used to login to Office 365, which can lead to users seeing a dialog box when opening Outlook that displays “This Feature has been disabled by your administrator”. It has been determined that this is mainly being caused by having either of the below registry key set:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\xx.0\Common\SignIn\SignInOptions

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\xx.0\Common\SignIn\SignInOptions

Where xx refers to the office version (Outlook 2016 is 16)

Having this registry key set to 3 means that users can only sign in to Office 365 using an identity in AD DS (Active Directory Domain Services) and means they cannot sign in to Exchange Online which relies on Azure AD. Setting this value to 2 will allow users to sign in whilst also only allowing users to use Work accounts within Outlook. Please see the below Microsoft articles for more information.

Why is your user seeing “Not Responding” in the title bar when they open Outlook?

If your users experiences a “Not Responding” error in the title bar for several minutes, their Outlook is trying to connect to on-premises Client Access servers that are found in the client registry or in service connection point (SCP) objects that are referenced in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS).

To correct the registry, please follow the steps outlined in the following Microsoft guidance:

Outlook not responding when it connects to an Exchange Online mailbox that was migrated from on-premises Exchange Server

Why is your user getting a “something went wrong” error when they try and access their account through OWA?

If your users experience a “something went wrong” error, like the below figure, their browser cache is holding data that points to their old on-premise account.

To resolve the issue, they will need to delete their browsing history, cache and cookies, and then reattempt to access their NHSmail account via the web.

Going forward, we recommend using the following address to access their NHSmail account https://outlook.office.com providing a richer O365 experience.

Why is your user experiencing poor performance in Outlook?

Your users may experience one or more of the following performance issues in Outlook:

  • Outlook seems to be unresponsive
  • Outlook seems to stop responding for a long time

The performance issues may be caused by one or more of the following conditions:

  • Insufficient computer specifications
  • Absence of the latest service pack and updates for Outlook
  • Large Personal Folders files (.pst) or Offline Folder files (.ost)
  • Third-party add-ins
  • Your AppData folder is redirected to a network location
  • Microsoft Skype for Business integration
  • Antivirus software interaction
  • Windows Search or Windows Desktop Search indexing
  • Incomplete closure of .pst files or .ost files
  • Many Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds
  • To-Do Bar and Online mode with Exchange server
  • Damaged Outlook messaging profile

Many of these items can be automatically checked by the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant (SaRA). To start the automated checks, follow these steps:

  1. Install the Outlook Advanced Diagnostics
  2. Click Run when you are prompted by your browser
  3. In the report that’s generated, review the items on the Issues found tab. For configuration details about Outlook, Windows, and your computer, review the settings on the Detailed View tab

Are you experiencing issues with OWA?

Please ensure your Organisation has completed all the technical pre-requisite items, specifically in relation to versioning.  Please visit this article to see the full list of supported browsers as failure to complete this task will mean reduced functionality for your entire user base.

Some users may see latency when accessing their mail via OWA, this is a result of the redirection taking users to their newly hosted Exchange Online mailbox. This is an expected behaviour however.

Are you running the latest version of Outlook?

Microsoft guidance is to ensure that the latest applicable Service Packs (SP) and hotfix packages are installed to ensure optimum performance. For more information about the latest applicable updates across the different versions of Outlook, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

How to install the latest applicable updates for Microsoft Outlook.

Additional information on the supported versions of Outlook and minimum requirements for Exchange Online, is included in the Technical Pre-Requisites guide.

Did the .pst file or the .ost file shut down incorrectly?

If the .pst file or the .ost file shuts down incorrectly, you may receive one of the following error messages the next time that you start Outlook:

  • Error message 1

Outlook cannot open the data file
filename until it has been checked for problems.

  • Error message 2

Microsoft Office Outlook’ exited without properly closing your Outlook data file ‘drive:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\outlook.ost’. ‘Microsoft Office Outlook’ must be restarted. If this error message recurs, contact support for ‘Microsoft Office Outlook’ for assistance.

  • Error message 3

The data file filename was not closed properly. This file is being checked for problems.

If you receive one or more of these error messages, you may experience performance issues until Outlook finishes the reconciliation process for the .ost file or for the .pst file. The following gear icon appears in the status bar while Outlook checks the data file in the background:

When this icon disappears, the .pst file or the .ost file is reconciled. The reconciliation process will pause at shutdown and resume (from where it was paused) the next time that you start Outlook.

An incorrectly shut down .ost file or .pst file may occur for one of the following reasons:

  • Antivirus scanning of the file
  • Forced Microsoft Windows shutdown before the Outlook.exe process shuts down completely
  • Outlook add-ins

If you see this issue frequently, and you must exit Outlook shortly before you shut down your computer, it may be better to shut down Windows while Outlook is still running. It is recommended that you do this instead of exiting Outlook and then shutting down Windows shortly after that.

Do you have any non-essential add-ins or out-of-date add-ins installed in Outlook?

If you have nonessential add-ins installed, you may want to remove them from Outlook. To view the add-ins that are installed, follow these steps:

  1. In Outlook, click the File
  2. Click Options, and then click Add-ins to display a list of the COM add-ins that are installed.

By default, the following COM add-ins are included in Office 2010:

  • Microsoft Access Outlook Add-in for Data Collection and Publishing
  • Microsoft Exchange Add-in
  • Microsoft Outlook Social Connector
  • Microsoft SharePoint Workspace Proxy for Outlook Add-in
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server Colleague Import Add-in
  • Microsoft VBA for Outlook Add-in
  • OneNote Notes about Outlook Items
  • Windows Search Email Indexer

Any other add-ins that are listed under COM add-ins were installed by other software.

To determine whether the performance problem is caused by add-ins, run Outlook in Safe mode. To do this, press and hold Ctrl when you start Outlook. When Outlook starts in Safe mode, all COM add-ins and Exchange Server client extensions are disabled.

If the problem no longer occurs when Outlook is running in Safe mode, it is likely that one of the add-ins is causing the performance issue. To troubleshoot possible problems that are caused by COM add-ins or Exchange Server client extensions, disable any items that you do not use regularly. Then, restart Outlook. If that does not resolve the problem, disable the remaining add-ins one by one. If that does not resolve the problem, the issue may not be caused by an add-in.

To disable COM add-ins, follow these steps:

  1. In Outlook, click the File
  2. Click Options, and then click Add-ins to display a list of the COM add-ins that are installed.
  3. Select COM Add-ins in the Manage list, and then click Go.
  4. In the COM Add-Ins dialog box, click to clear the check boxes for any COM add-ins that you want to disable.
  5. Click OK, and then restart Outlook.

Do you have a large .pst file or .ost file?

If you have a large .pst or .ost file, you may experience application pauses while you perform typical operations in Outlook. These typical operations include reading, moving and deleting email messages.

When you use Outlook, the following .ost size guidelines generally apply:

  • Up to 5 gigabytes (GB):This file size should provide a good user experience on most hardware.
  • Between 5 and 10 GB:This file size is typically hardware-dependent. Therefore, if you have a fast-hard disk and lots of RAM, your experience will be better. However, slower hard disk drives, such as drives that are typically found on portable computers or early-generation solid-state drives (SSDs), experience some application pauses when the drives respond.
  • More than 10 GB:When the .ost file reaches this size, short pauses begin to occur on most hardware.
  • Very large (25 GB or larger):An .ost file of this size increases the frequency of short pauses, especially while you are downloading new email messages. However, you can use Send/Receive groups to manually sync your mail.
  • In Outlook 2010 and later versions, the maximum size for a .pst file is 50 GB. The default maximum size for a Unicode .pst or .ost file is approximately 25 GB.

The following Microsoft Knowledge Base article describes how to increase the maximum size of a .pst or .ost file: How to configure the size limit for both (.pst) and (.ost) files in Outlook.

Additional guidance on how to reduce the size of a .pst or .ost file can be found here.

Do you have many items in a single folder?

If you use .ost or .pst files

If you have lots of items in any single folder, you may experience performance issues during certain operations in Outlook while you use local data files. If you use Outlook to connect to a mailbox that is located on a Microsoft Exchange Server and use Cached Exchange Mode, Outlook synchronises email and other items to an Offline Outlook Data (.ost) file. If you use Outlook to connect to other email accounts, such as POP3 or IMAP, Outlook stores email and other items to a local Outlook Data (.pst) file. These performance issues are especially noticeable when you switch into and out of folders that contain many items.

If you have more than 100,000 items in a single folder in Outlook 2010 and later versions, views other than Arrange By: Date can be slower. It is recommend that you move items in these larger folders to separate folders in the same store or to an archive store and that you use Arrange By: Date when you run Outlook.

For more information, click the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: Outlook performance issues when there are too many items or folders in a cached mode .ost or .pst file folder. By default, in NHSmail all users are using cached mode.

Is Windows Search or Windows Desktop Search currently indexing data in the .pst or .ost file?

Windows Search in Windows 10 and Windows 8 versions indexes all data in .ost files and .pst files. However, the indexing of Outlook data occurs only when Outlook is running. Therefore, you may have to leave Outlook running overnight to determine whether performance issues are related to the building of your search indexes.

To determine the indexing status for Outlook data in Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Click the search box above the list of email messages. The Search tab is enabled as soon as you do this.
  2. In the Options section of the toolbar, click Search Tools, and then select Indexing Status.
  3. In the Indexing Status dialog box, view the number of items that remain to be indexed.

The built-in back-off mechanisms in the indexing component of Windows Search or WDS pauses the indexing of Outlook data when the system is under heavy use. The easiest way to let the indexing finish is to leave Outlook running overnight.

Are you synchronising many RSS feeds?

If you are synchronising many RSS feeds into Outlook, you may experience performance issues when you perform certain ordinary operations. By default, all RSS feeds are synchronised automatically at set intervals. If you have too many feeds, Outlook may become unresponsive.

You can create a separate Send/Receive group that contains only your RSS feeds, and you can remove them from the group in which your default mail account is located. This lets you sync the RSS feeds on demand instead of at set intervals. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click the File tab, click Options, click Advanced, and then click Send/Receive in the Send and Receive
  2. Click the All Accounts option, and then click Edit
  3. In the navigation pane (left side), click RSS
  4. Under Send/Receive Options, click to clear the check boxes next to the RSS that you do not want to synchronise with Outlook, and then click OK
  5. Click New, type a name for the new group, and then click OK
  6. Click RSS on the left side
  7. Select the RSS feeds that you want to limit, and then click OK

The settings in the Send/Receive Group windows let you customise the synchronisation rate of the new group.

Is the on-premise user receiving a repeated credential prompt when trying to view the calendar of an upgraded user?

Create the following registry key in order to force Outlook to use the newer authentication method for web services, such as EWS and Autodiscover.  

  1. Exit Outlook.
  2. Start Registry Editor. To do this, use one of the following procedures, as appropriate for your version of Windows:
    • Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8: Press Windows Key + R to open a Run dialog box. Type regedit.exe, and then press Enter.  
    • Windows 7: Click Start, type regedit.exe in the search box, and then press Enter.
  3. In Registry Editor, locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Exchange
  4. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  5. Type AlwaysUseMSOAuthForAutoDiscover, and then press Enter.
  6. Right-click AlwaysUseMSOAuthForAutoDiscover, and then click Modify.
  7. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  8. Exit Registry Editor.

For more information please visit the Microsoft support page. 

Are you experiencing issues with the AutoDiscover service for NHS.NET?

The autodiscover endpoint has recently been updated to autodiscover.outlook.com. It can be updated on the DNS records locally.

The DNS cache can be flushed on the local device by using command ‘ipconfig /flushdns’ in Command Prompt.

Damaged Outlook messaging Profile?

This should be used as the final method of troubleshooting

If you have been unable to resolve the user issue, then please re-create the Outlook profile. In some cases, an Outlook messaging profile may not be configured. Creating a new Outlook profile may resolve some performance issues. Please follow the step by step guidance below. Alternative general guidance around the management, modification and deletion of profiles can be found here:

Creating a Profile

  1. Select the Windows icon, type Control Panel in the search box and select it
  2. In Control Panel, search Mail, and select it
  3. The Mail icon won’t appear unless you have Outlook installed and have run the program at least once.The Mail Setup dialog box opens

4. Click Show Profiles

5. Click Add

6. Type a name for the profile, and then click OK

7.  Add an e-mail account to use in your profile by following the directions on your screen.

Alternatively, you can create an Outlook profile within the application itself by following these steps:

  1. In Outlook, select File Account SettingsManage Profiles
  2. Choose Show Profiles > Add.
  3. In the Profile Name box, type a name for the profile, and then choose OK.
Updated on 26/11/2021

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