The case of the disappearing user from Outlook’s global address list

I couldn’t think of a snappier title 😦

My posts are becoming less frequent, how sad.  That is not for lack of issues I’ve come across, that’s for sure.

The most recent annoying issue isn’t a major problem, but something that I haven’t been able to really figure out for awhile.  We have a specific user who kept disappearing from a couple of mail-enabled groups when looking at them through Outlook’s address book.  If I tried to add her to the group, by editing it in Outlook itself, it would say I didn’t have the proper permissions to edit the members – which is not correct, I checked that.  So I went to the server to look.  We don’t have our address books set up through exchange, they’re all mail-enabled groups in AD.

I kept going to the server to look at what groups she was a member of.  What threw me off was that she was still listed as being a member of the group that she wasn’t showing up in when you looked in Outlook.  I ended up removing her from the group and re-adding her, just to see that she was then removed from another group.  Finally, today I looked at all the other user’s profiles to see what groups they were in and noticed that their primary group was Domain Users and this was not a group that the mysterious disappearing user was apart of.  So I added her to the Domain Users group and made it her primary group.  Voila! She magically appears in both mail-enabled groups in Outlook and will now receive all emails to both groups.

At least I know what was causing the problem, but I would like to know why having a mail-enabled group as the primary takes her out of the address book.  I couldn’t find any answers to that online.

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  1. #1 by Bee Kay on August 22, 2011 - 5:48 PM

    Nice AD bug you’ve found there! Great description of the problem and of the solution.
    How someone was removed from the default domain group is still a mystery.
    Why they need to exist in order to exist in the group “visibility” is another mystery in itself.

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