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When you have installed the new Exchange Server 2016 on your Windows Server and want to configure the Exchange account in Outlook, there is a useful feature called Autodiscover. The Autodiscover feature facilitates the user to only input the user ID, and password and the account gets configured automatically. The Autodiscover finds the EWS (Exchange Web Services) endpoint in the URL for the clients. The automatic configuration using Autodiscover is possible as:

  1. Exchange creates a new virtual directory (Autodiscover) in the default website under IIS.
  2. The Active Directory provides and stores the URLs of computers in the domain.
  3. The Client Access Service on Mailbox Server performs authentication and provides proxy services for the client connections, both internal as well as external.
  4. Outlook takes care of configuration using the username and password only.

But if Autodiscover is not active, then the account will not be set, and you will have to face the following error –


Your account was redirected to this website for settings. You should only allow settings from sources you know and trust.

Causes of the error

The cause behind the error is the IIS Services is not active by default in the server manager. The Autodiscover feature is the sub-service of the IIS Server, and it will be activated only when the IIS Server is in the activated state. It is possible that:

  • No Autodiscover record for the domain – Outlook 2016 can connect to Exchange only with a valid Autodiscover record. You can create this by contacting your DNS service provider.
  • Incorrect Autodiscover configuration – With incorrect Autodiscover configuration, Outlook may fail to find the server. As a workaround to fix the issue, you can edit the registry settings. However, this is a user-end solution.

Also, you can check some points to make sure the error is not occurring due to them:

  1. Check all the Exchange services are working perfectly well.
  2. In the IIS Manager, all the Application Pools are in ‘Started’ status, and the .Net framework is greater than 4.0.
  3. Go to Sites, select the Default Web Site, and right-click it. Here check that the SSL Certificate is correct (443 or 444).

The Autodiscover service will only work when the IIS Services is active. So, you need to start the IIS for it. Follow the below procedure –

  1. In the Exchange Server 2016, open the Server Manager and then select Local Server. Now select Manage > Add Roles and Features.
    Open Server Manager
  2. The ‘Add Roles and Features’ wizard will open. It will brief you about the installation of roles, role services, and features. Click Next.
    Add Roles and Features
  3. Select the first option of ‘Role-based or feature-based installation.’ Then click Next.
    Select Role-based or feature-based installation
  4. Select your server from the Server pool and click Next.
    Select your server from the Server pool
  5. Under the Server Roles option, select Web Server (IIS) and select it; click Next.
    select Web Server (IIS)
  6. The final confirmation option will brief you about your selection. Click the Install button.
    confirm & install
  7. The pop-up window will ask your permission to start the installation. Click Install, and the tools will start to install.
  8. When the tools have been installed, you can go to IIS Server in the Server Manager and check if these tools are present in the list.
    Go to IIS Server
  9. Now, restart the IIS Server, and the Autodiscover feature should work properly, and there will be no error.
End-user level solutions for Autodiscover issues

There are some end-user-level solutions to fix Autodiscover issues. However, these are mainly considered as workarounds only as the real solution needs to be on server-level. So, we are just mentioning them only.

  • Verify the default Autodiscover URL

    There is a ‘ClientAccessServer’ PowerShell cmdlet in Exchange that you can run in Exchange Management Shell and check the default Autodiscover URL for your network. Here is the basic example of running the ClientAccessServer command.

    Get-ClientAccessServer | Select, AutoDiscoverServiceInternalUri, AutoDiscoverSiteScope, Name | Format-List

    The result will inform the default URL of Autodiscover service, its scope, and the name of Exchange Server.

  • Edit the registry settings for Autodiscover

    If your registry settings for Autodiscover are incorrect, you need to edit them to provide correct values. If there are no settings, you need to create them.

Check for EDB file corruption

If the account is still not configuring automatically, the problem may be different, and you need to run other diagnostics tools to check corruption in the database. You can try the ESEUTIL tool to repair the database. But the ESEUTIL tool can further damage the situation by deleting the corrupted data and creating blank spaces. That’s why you should use a trustworthy professional Exchange Recovery tool that can remove the corruption and recover the complete data.

Kernel for Exchange Server

It is a special EDB to PST converter tool which scans the EDB file of any version of Exchange Server and repairs it using a suitable scan mode based on the level of corruption. It repairs corrupt Exchange Database and retrieves the mailboxes as they were in the database. You can save the data in a useful Outlook PST file or directly migrate it to live Exchange or Office 365 cloud platform.

Kernel for Exchange Server