Dynamics 365 for Outlook Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Dynamics 365 for Outlook

This section covers some Dynamics 365 for Outlook troubleshooting, including:

Tip! Using Outlook?  Most companies can save money on Dynamics 365 and/or Office 365 licenses when enrolling in PowerObjects’ no-cost CSP program.  Learn how much you could be saving here.

Troubleshooting Configuration to a CRM Organization

Error Messages

When attempting to configure the Outlook client, you may receive one of the following messages.

“The server address (URL) is not valid.”

Problem: There is no DNS entry associated with that URL.

Solution: The most likely problem is that the URL has a typo. Verify that the address is correct, and if necessary, copy and paste the URL directly from your browser into the Outlook client. For an on-premises environment where the URL is correct and this message is being received, then there is the possibility that there are problems with the DNS provider, or with the workstation itself not receiving correct DNS information. If this is the case, the recommendation for an immediate fix would be to edit the hosts file, located in windows/system32/drivers/etc/ to add the appropriate entries for CRM.

“The specified Microsoft Dynamics CRM server address (URL) is not responding.”

Problem: The URL is valid, but CRM does not recognize it as a valid CRM URL.

Solution: First, double check that the URL has been typed correctly. If it is correct, then there likely is a problem with the CRM server.

“Cannot connect to Microsoft Dynamics CRM server because we cannot authentication your credentials. Check your connection or contact your administrator for more help.”

Problem #1: The username and password combination is incorrect.

Solution #1: Through a web browser, attempt to login to CRM. If the login fails, work with your system administrator to obtain a proper login.

Problem #2: The system clock is incorrect.

Explanation: Having a system clock off by as little as five minutes will create authentication problems, and the Outlook Client will not be able to connect. Both the date and the time needs to match exactly according to the currently set time zone.

Solution #2: Make sure both the workstation as well as the domain controller it is connected to have the correct time and date.

Problem #3: This is a Windows 8 environment, and Windows Identify Foundation is turned off.

Solution #3: Turn on Windows Identity Foundation by going to the control panel, uninstall a program, turn windows features on or off. Scroll all the way down, and verify if Windows Identity Foundation has been checked.

Problem #4: The Outlook Client is using incorrect cached credentials to automatically log you in to the CRM organization.

Solution #4: You can clear the credentials by going to the control panel -> credential manager. Under Windows credentials and generic credentials, remove any entry that starts with Microsoft_CRM.

Problem #5: The version of the Outlook Client is incompatible with the CRM organization.

Solution #5: Verify that you have the latest rollup version installed. If necessary, reinstall the Outlook Client from download.microsoft.com, and then apply the latest rollup.

Problem #6: The environment is CRM Online, but the invitation has not been accepted.

Solution #6: Login to CRM from the web browser, and accept the invitation.

Problem #7: There is a problem with Windows Live Essentials Sign-In Assistant, or Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant.

Solution #7: Go into the control panel, into the installed programs list, and run a repair on the mentioned programs. If necessary, uninstall, and then download from http://download.microsoft.com.

Problem #8: The environment is CRM Online, but the Outlook Client is not able to verify it.

Solution #8: Instead of typing the full URL of your dynamics.com CRM organization, choose “CRM Online” for the drop down box. Conversely, you may try it the other way as well.

Problem #9: The environment is CRM Online with Live-ID, but the Windows Live-ID contains a password with special characters or is longer than 16 characters.

Solution #9: Change your Live-ID password to be in compliance.

“There is a problem communicating with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server. The server might be unavailable. Try again later. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator.”

Problem #1: There is a duplicate entry in the sitemap within the same area or sub-area.

Solution #1: Scan the entire site map for entries that end in (1), which would indicate a duplicate. If any are listed, the site map would need to be edited to remove these duplicate entries.

Problem #2: There is a direct reference to a custom view in the site map.

Solution #2: Scan the site map XML content, and determine if any entries point directly to a custom view. If so, it may need to be removed, or modified.

Problem #3: The Discovery service is not operating correctly

Solution #3: Go into settings -> customization -> developer resources, and click on the discover URL. Then click to start a service. If you receive a 500 Internal Server error, please contact your system administrator to diagnose problems with the Discovery service. A quick fix may be an IISreset on the server.

“Cannot configure the organization for Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook. Try to configure the organization again. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator.”

Problem: The user does not have proper security roles.

Solution: Check if the user has been granted user-level read access to “User Entity UI Settings”

Tip!  If you’re having a problem with the configuration wizard, try the Outlook Troubleshooting Wizard, or if you are not seeing the error you are getting listed here, check out the Dynamics CRM for Outlook Client error codes list from Microsoft.

System Requirement Issues

You may receive errors while attempting to configure if one of the following is true:

  • Unsupported OS (such as Windows XP Home Edition)
  • Insufficient RAM
  • Insufficient HD space

Please see the following link for system requirements: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/hh699818(v=crm.8).aspx

Discovery Service

The Outlook client needs to access the Discovery service when configuring. If you run into issues attempting to configure, where no users are able to do so, please check if you can create a Discovery service. You can do this by going to Settings > Customization > Customize the System, and then click on Developer Resources.

Outlook Client Troubleshooting

Then click on the link at the top, and it will bring up a page with XML code. If you see a “500 internal error” message within the code, then the Discovery service is not operational, which will need to be resolved before the Outlook client can be used.

Site Map Errors

You may also receive errors across all your users if there exists a duplicate entry in your site map, within the same area or sub-area. If this is the case, then you will not be able to configure the Outlook client. The quickest way to check if this is the case is to simply log in to your CRM, and scan the site map (the left-hand navigation area), and check for any entry that has a (1) next to it.

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If this is the case, then the site map itself will need to be corrected by a Dynamics 365 for CRM administrator.

Troubleshooting Tracking-related Issues

“The selected action cannot be completed while a synchronization is in progress.”

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As the message states, the Outlook CRM client will not let you perform more than one synchronization at a time. Therefore, you may receive this message, if you attempt to track, and before it completes, you attempt to track again. If this is not the case and you are still receiving this message, it is possible a synchronization is hung or is behaving slower than normal. The quickest solution is to simply close your Outlook, and re-open it, and then attempt to track again.

Tip! Using Outlook?  Most companies can save money on Dynamics 365 and/or Office 365 licenses when enrolling in PowerObjects’ no-cost CSP program.  Learn how much you could be saving here.

“Only items in the default Microsoft Outlook store can be promoted to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.”

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There are a few possible causes for this message. First, it is important to note that when you configure the Outlook CRM client, only your default mail account will be available for tracking. This means if you have several mailboxes configured in your Outlook, you will not be able to track from them. If tracking is required for those, the workarounds are:

  • Configure one instance of the Outlook CRM client for each mailbox. This would require several PCs.
  • Manually copy or move the emails to your default mail account.
  • Set up a forwarding rule for the emails you need to be tracked to your default mail account.

You will also receive this message if you attempt to track an email from an IMAP account. The CRM Outlook client currently does not support IMAP for tracking items. The only viable workarounds would be to have copies of the emails being forwarded to a non-IMAP account.

Tip!  Doing a lot of synchronization of activities?  If so, your sync tables may be getting too large. Learn how to clean up CRM to Outlook Sync Tables.

Troubleshooting Add-ins

There are several add-ins that can create problems with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Outlook Client. If you are experiencing miscellaneous problems, performance issues, or not being able to configure, it is recommended to disable any 3rd-party add-ins, such as any encryption add-ins, or iCloud.

Running a trace (covered next) will sometimes indicate that a specific add-in is creating a problem.



A lot of times when you are receiving an error message, such as permission errors, you will not see the details regarding the error from the user interface. During such times, it is recommended to run a trace on the error, which will many times point to the specific problem that is happening. Note that reading trace logs can be a bit overwhelming if you are not used to it.

To start a trace from the Outlook client, first close your Outlook. Then open “Diagnostics” from Start –> Programs -> Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. In the Advanced Troubleshooting tab, check the top box to enable tracing.

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Then click save, and then open Outlook again. Next, attempt to reproduce the error you want to diagnose, and as soon as this is done, close your Outlook. Open Diagnostics again and clear the check box for tracing. This is important to do so, otherwise, the Outlook client will keep generating entries in the trace directory, which will not only fill up your local hard drive quickly but also create performance issues.

The trace files will be available for review in the user folder, within \AppData\Local\Microsoft\MSCRM\Traces

Temporary Files

Also within Diagnostics, in the Advanced Troubleshooting tab, there is a button to delete temporary files. This works similarly to Internet Explorer when deleting your temporary files can solve miscellaneous problems due to caching. Deleting temporary files is an important step to take when problems begin to occur with the Outlook client.

Enable Add-in

When Outlook crashes, Outlook may automatically disable the CRM Outlook client add-in. To re-enable it, simply open diagnostics, and click the button to enable.

Log Files

Any time the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Outlook Client is installed or configured, log files will be generated in \AppData\Local\Microsoft\MSCRM\. These files are vital for troubleshooting problems with installing and configuring. They contain useful information, for example, if a specific component such as .net Framework failed to install.

Become a CRM Administrator

For a more formal introduction into becoming a CRM administrator, check out Dynamics 365 University’s CRM Boot Camp for Dynamics 365.