Outlook 2010 Client - "unable to connect to retrieve additional data" for some Distribution lists

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We have a mix of Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 clients in our organization.

Users with an outlook 2010 client are having issues with a number (not all) of our distribution lists.

Issues: When selecting a distribution list in the new message 'to' fiedl, a 'message tip' appears with the name of the DL and 'contains xx recipients'.

However, when attempting to expand the DL (selecting the + sign) the following prompt appears " Cannot perfrom the requested operation. The command selected is not valid for this recipient. The operation failed"

When selecting the DL through the outlook address book the memberlist is empty and has a mail tip " unable to connect to retrieve additional data" .

The DL's were all created in a 2003 environment.

We are currently setting up a 2010 environment, and all DL's were created prior to any schema updates etc.

Of note, users experience the issue, but access the list through OWA don't have the issue.


2010 only supports universal distribution groups and universal mail-enabled security groups. My guess is that these groups are set with a global scope. Change the group to universal, let AD replicate and try again.

AndyD_ [MVP]

For those users having this problem, is Outlook in cache or online mode?


Updated all 3 to universal groups, tested the next day -same issue.


I can duplicate it on my account, which is not set for 'use cached exchange mode' and is 'online'.

Novak Wu

Please close Outlook 2010 on the problematic machines and delete the Offline Address Book, and then Launch Outlook to view the member list again. To delete the OAB, please refer to the following article:


Note: The offline address book files are located in the %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder.


Novak Wu


I deleted the 6 *.oab files under my local user profile.

Opened Outlook 2010 went to account settings\ Download OAB and the files re-populated at the above location as expected.

Started outlook, opened the address book, searched for and selected any one of the same (maybe 50%) of the troublesome DL's and the " members" field is still blank and under 'modify members" a mail tip is present which states " unable to connect to retrieve additional data"

Same issue.

If I select the 'Modify Members' button, a prompt appears stating " An error has occurred. The requested operation cannot be completed because the operation is not supported on this object."

Novak Wu

Please also perform the following steps to troubleshoot the issue.

1. Temporarily turn off firewall and antivirus program on the problematic machine for a test.

2. Remove the Outlook profile completely and create a new profile.

3. Login on the same mailbox by Outlook 2010 on another machine to check the result.

If the issue persists, please open Event Viewer and check whether any error message exists. If so, please post it here for research.


Novak Wu
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