Exchange 2007 Outlook 2003 Out of Office not updating

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My clients are experiencing a problem I've seen all over the web, but with no solution, only a workaround.  The system is Exchange 2007, the clients are either Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007.  The Out of Office messages do not update when new text is entered, it reverts to the previous message.  Otherwise it works fine.  The workaround is to login to OWA, delete the message text and turn off the Out of Office, go back into Outlook and reconfigure.  Note:  The Out of Office On/Off does match the OWA settings, it's only the message text that does not update.  Anyone have any suggestions?

Johan Veldhuis [MVP]


Does this happen to new account or existing accounts? If it occurs to existing accounts please create a new account and check if the issue happens. If it happens with a new account are there any 3rd party solutions installed for Outlook ? Try cleaning the server rules by starting Outlook with the parameter






Issue description: OOF can't be changed



1.       Does the issue persist on all users?

2.       Please ensure that problematic users don't try to modify the OFF with different outlook version (2003, 2007)

Notes: OOF rules can only be modified in the version of outlook in which they were created

3.       OOF text limitation is 128 KB in the outlook 2007 or OWA 2007, oversized part will be truncated and show when users open OOF setting again. please ensure the OOF size of problematic users

4.       Does problematic users all use blackberry? If yes, please review Blackberry KB 15155

5.       By answering Johan's questions, we would narrow down the cause

6.       Please use the steps in this thread to check OOF function on the exchange server



James, Sid, et al:

Any progress on this?  My users have been dealing with the same problem ever since the upgrade to Exchange 2007.  It seems to affect all users that are using Outlook 2003 regardless of whether they have a Blackberry or not. 

I did check the Blackberry KB15155 anyway, and we are running the newest version of the BES which includes the fix mentioned.

The problem is not being caused by the text limitation.

Using OWA allows the users to change their OOF settings.

I notice this has been a problem for a lot of people.  Does Microsoft have a fix or at least acknowledge that it is a known issue?


I am seeing the same problem.  So far it seems that Blackberry and Tilt users are affected.  Has MS acknowledged this as a problem yet?  Changing the out of office settings via OWA updates the message correctly.

I am using a windows mobile 6.1  phone and do not have the issue.


Ray Newman

I experienced the same issue on three of my users after upgrading to Exchange 2007.  Coincidentally, they were the users with the three largest mailboxes (up to 8gb!).  Like Sid, we found that changing the OoO message in OWA would resolve the issue for that one change.  The next attempt to change it in Outlook 2003 would again be met by failure.

Johan's "Start | Run | Outlook /cleanserverrules" tip fixed it for all three.  Thanks!
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