Your automatic reply settings cannot be displayed because the server is currently unavailable. Or Your Out of Office settings cannot be displayed, because the server is currently unavailable. Try again later. Do you get either of these error messages when trying to use Automatic Replies in Office 2007 or 2010?

The reason this error message is displaying is because Outlook can’t see your Client Access Server due to proxy restrictions. To get this to work you need to add a bypass to your proxy server for your CAS. To do this you need the name of your CAS.

To get your Client Access Server name you need to log into Outlook Web Access (OWA) and click on the question mark icon next to Options. Then click on About.

A pop-up window will appear containing a whole host of information about the server. We are only interested in the line entitled “Exchange Client Access server name” find this, copy the name to the clipboard for use later.

Open up your Internet Options settings in Control Panel and click on the “Connections” tab, make sure that the “Bypass proxy server for local addresses” is ticked then click on “Advanced”. In the “Exceptions” panel type in your CAS server name followed by .* then press OK->OK -> OK to close all of the windows.

Open up Outlook. Click on File -> Automatic Replies and it should works now as per the screenshot below.

EDIT: If the above steps don’t resolve your issue you could try rebuilding your Virtual Directories, or check your authentication and SSL settings in IIS on each Virtual Directory on your CAS servers. See if this helps and let me know. Default settings are here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg247612.aspx

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Can you improve on any of the tips I’ve discussed here? If you can let me know in the comments.

  • A

    Same issue but nothing to do with proxy. It works for most users and is intermittent with others. Two CAS servers behind a Netscaler. Any other ideas?

  • http://www.uetcl.com Lamech

    the above system works well on outlook on windows 7 but on xp it does not respond it still displays the above message

    • http://thoughts.stuart-edwards.info Jason Edwards

      Hi Lamech,

      If the above post doesn’t resolve your issue you could try rebuilding your Virtual Directories. or I would check your authentication and SSL settings in IIS on each Virtual Directory on your CAS servers. See if this helps and let me know. Default settings are here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg247612.aspx

  • John Berisford

    Interesting – I actually WANT to disable Out of Office functionality within Outlook. Unfortunately, I have Office 2010 but still Exchange 2003.

    I don’t want to kill the entire OOO function, just availability within Outlook. Mandate from above – we’re creating a new front-end for OOO to standardize the language sent out when OOO is enabled. Because we’re on Exchange 2003, the options are extremely limited, and I’ve resorted to a coded front-end application being hosted on Sharepoint. Ugh.

  • Richard

    Worked for one of my users in particular. Solved the OOF not working issue. It also got rid of an annoying prompt anytime she would launch outlook.

    • http://thoughts.stuart-edwards.info Jason Edwards

      Glad I was able to help you out. OOF can be really annoying sometimes.

  • Eatsam

    Hi Jason,

    I am having a problem. I cannot access OWA and also cannot access automatic reply. I tried different things but could not solve the issue.
    I look forward to hear from you soon.

  • Egerton

    Thanks for the info. you are very helpful.

  • Eatsam

    I have looked in the IIS for the permissions. everything seems fine to me. Now I cannot locate Reset Client Access Virtual Directory in Server Configuration > Client Access.
    I tried to use the powershell to remove the virtual directories but it failed to do it. it is giving an error.

    • http://thoughts.stuart-edwards.info Jason Edwards

      You need to run the Powershell command from an Exchange Powershell shell prompt. The prompt needs to be run as administrator for it to work.

  • Eatsam

    Thanks James for your reply.

    I logged into the Exchange powershell as an administrator however, it is giving the same error while trying to remove the virtual directory. I also tried to manage diagnostic logging property in server configuration. When I click reset all services, it is giving an error message, “some controllers are not valid”.

    In IIS, I cannot locate the settings for Rpc and RpcWithCert. However, there are 2 other entries, Exchange and Exchweb. when I click on the authentication properties of both entries, it gives the following error message
    “There was an error while performing this operation.
    Details: File name: \\?\C:\program files\Microsoft\EXCHANGE SERVER\V14\CLIENT ACCESS\OWA\WEB.CONFIG
    LINE NUMBER: 30
    ERROR: CONFIGURATION SECTION NOT ALLOWED TO BE SET BELOW APPLICATION”.

    • http://thoughts.stuart-edwards.info Jason Edwards

      Did you follow the steps detailed here?

      To fix the error when trying to view the settings of exchweb etc try the following:

      Right Click on the Virtual Directory ( Ex. “Exchange,” “Exchweb” and “Public”) and Choose “Convert to application”.
      Goto Command Prompt
      Run IISRESET

      • Eatsam

        Well I could not locate “Reset Client Access Virtual Directory” in Server Configuration > Client Access.
        I logged into the Exchange powershell as an administrator however, it is giving the same error while trying to remove the virtual directory. I also tried to manage diagnostic logging property in server configuration. When I click reset all services, it is giving an error message, “some controllers are not valid”.

        • http://thoughts.stuart-edwards.info Jason Edwards

          You could upgrade Exchange to Exchange 2010 SP3 and see if this resolves your issue?

  • Eatsam

    I am just selecting the Client Access but in the actions pane, I cannot see “reset client access virtual directory”.

  • Eatsam

    Yes. That is good idea. I have downloaded the setup for sp3.

    • http://thoughts.stuart-edwards.info Jason Edwards

      Make sure you have a backup of your system before attempting any update or major configuration change. In the past I’ve screwed our server when updating to SP2 because of this. Ours is a virtual platform so I was able to restore the VM from backup. Please research appropriately before attempting the upgrade as service packing an Exchange server is no small task. Please be aware that all I can provide is advice to you, if something were to happen to your system by following my advice I am not to be held liable.

  • Eatsam

    No Problem, I will definitely make a backup.

    • http://thoughts.stuart-edwards.info Jason Edwards

      I would also suggest you try and seek professional support for your problem if you are not able to resolve it yourself past a certain point. We have a support contract that we can take advantage of in the event we have a major issue. You could pay for Microsoft support of you are stuck.

      Good luck.

  • Dave

    This just doesnt work.

    Autodiscover seems to be the actual cause

    • http://thoughts.stuart-edwards.info Jason Edwards

      Sounds like your issue is slightly different. What did you do to fix your issue? Autodiscover worked in my case.

  • Craig B

    Thanks, this was a great help and saved lots of headache. I can think of a situation where this would not work though, especially with the impending SSL Cert changes. Internal server names will no longer be allowed in SSL Certs as from next year I think, so the internal OWA name will actually be something like ‘https://mail.mydomainname.com’ rather than ‘myserver.mydomain.local’. Basically whatever your internal URL is set to on the OWA setting in Exchange is what this needs to be….I think!

    • http://thoughts.stuart-edwards.info Jason Edwards

      No problem Craig. Glad I could help you. What you say is very interesting I will definitely look into it.