Auto Mapping Mailboxes With Full Access (Shared) In Outlook 2010 Using Exchange 2010 SP1…

MS Exchange

A new client side feature which Microsoft has released in Exchange 2010 SP1 is the ability of Outlook 2010 to automatically map all mailboxes to which the logged in user has full access. Think of the shared mailbox scenario. I can see the benefits already, no more helpdesk calls asking to map mailboxes! All the end user (who uses Outlook 2010) needs to do is to close and open Outlook again.

Let me explain the feature based on my lab environment. I am logging into Outlook 2010 using the Administrator account and all I have is the admin mailbox alone.

Mailbox Before Automapping

I am giving Administrator account full access to Chakka’s mailbox using the console. You can achieve the same using the shell as well. Below screenshots confirm my action.

Give full access

Full access to admin mailbox

Full access confirmation

Once I have the permissions set on the server side, I restart my Outlook & boom! I have Chakka’s mailbox mapped in Outlook automatically.

Auto mailbox mapping in Exchange 2010 SP1

Just to be clear, this DOES NOT happen in OWA 2010 SP1.

No auto-mapping in OWA 2010 SP1

If you check “Account Settings –> More Settings –> Advanced”, Chakka’s mailbox is not listed in the option (where the helpdesk normally maps the account).

More Settings In Outlook 2010

A normal question at this stage is, “how does this work then?”. When full access to a mailbox is granted, Exchange updates an AD attribute on the mailbox on which the access is applied (Chakka’s mailbox in our case). The attribute is “msExchDelegateListLink”.

msExchDelegateListLink

The attribute takes multiple values in the form of CN of the user who has full access.

Admin CN in attribute editor

When you launch Outlook 2010, it searches for mailboxes that have the user’s mailbox DN listed in msExchDelegateListLink attribute and displays them below the user’s primary mailbox.

Points to note:

  • This feature only work with Outlook 2010 & Exchange 2010 SP1 combination
  • The permission has to be applied once both the mailboxes are in 2010 SP1.
  • Moving shared mailboxes from 2010 to SP1 or upgrading Exchange 2010 to SP1 doesn’t add this feature automatically. The existing permissions will have to be removed using EMC or shell & reapplied.

A welcome feature indeed & it will reduce the helpdesk calls for sure!

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  1. I would like to know if it’s possible to have the main user’s mailbox cached, while still allowing the other mailboxes to automatically map (but without caching the other users’ mailboxes). I am aware of the File > Open > Other User’s Folder option, however, I prefer to keep their mailbox listed in the expanded pane. It’s just we allow our managers and team leaders full access to their subordinates and this results in extremely large OST files. We are not interested in disabling the cached file mode for the main user.

    Thanks,
    Lynn

    Reply
  2. Excellent information, especially with the AD attributes. Note that a restart of Outlook is not required – Outlook 2010 and 2007 periodically update this information while running. What is not clear is how frequent that update is and if there is any way to manually force an update without restarting.

    I might point out that from my experience, restarting Outlook does not automatically map the drive – there is still a significant delay time before the mailbox maps. I suspect this is either related to the size of our Exchange environment, or that Outlook only updates at a specified *time* based on the system clock.

    Reply
  3. Rajith,

    You just explained the conendrum I have beeing dealing with for the last 24 hours! This feature does seem useful but not for what I am trying to do…

    We purchased 2010 for my client becuase he has 3 different Exchange accounts (for 3 different domains) before for Outlook 2007 we would grant full permission and send permission and he would have to type in the From field where he wanted to send from.

    Now that he got 2010 it allows you to attach multiple exchange mailboxes seperatly which allows you to have a Drop Down in the FROM to select where to send from.

    Of course when I do this it adds 2 mailboxes one from the DelegateList and then the one I add as a seperate OST!

    Would the only solution be to remove the attributes so it does not auto map?

    Reply
  4. Thanks Rajith – I'm aware of the disabling scripts, but for an admin account on which you want to give manage rights globally, I haven't found them (only for "one mailbox at a time") – and this would be for an entire department (separate admin accounts, none with mailboxes) and for all mailboxes, current and in the future.

    Again – just curious. And thanks!

    And it's "Robert" – not sure how "Renato" came about… ;)

    Reply
  5. question… "When you launch Outlook 2010, it searches for mailboxes that have the user's mailbox DN listed in msExchDelegateListLink attribute and displays them below the user's primary mailbox." What if I don't have a primary mailbox on the account I launch Outlook with? My testing shows that it doesn't list the shared mailboxes that I have access to (we're talking about a separate Administrator account). I do NOT want it to automatically map all mailboxes to which the logged in user has full access, but there's concern that eventually it will (once fully migrated to Exchange 2010). Thanks! R

    Reply
  6. great if just opening a single mailbox, but when they grant full access to like 10 mailboxes…let the pain begin.

    Reply
  7. Hi Jake,

    You are right. The msExchDelegateListLink attribute is what Outlook queries for. But at this time, removing a mailbox permission doesn't automatically update this attribute (remove the value). It has to be done manually for the timebeing.

    Hopefully there should be a fix soon. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Reply
  8. I had temporarily given myself full access on a couple of mailboxes and noticed they were showing up in my Outlook client…. I couldn't get rid of them no matter what I did. I'd remove them from the area where you used to have to add them (Open these additional mailboxes on the Advanced tab) and they'd just come right back. It was driving me crazy! I even went into Exchange Management console and made sure I was removed from Full Access. Didn't matter, the darned mailboxes kept showing up. It wouldn't have been so bad, but they were also showing up as additional Contact folders and additional calendars.

    Finally, after some quality time with Google, I came across this post that explained how Outlook determined which mailboxes to automatically open… I took a chance and went to check out the msExchDelegateListLink attribute, and there I was. I removed myself, waited for it to replicate, and restarted Outlook.

    Finally! The mailboxes stopped opening themselves.

    I can see this being beneficial in some cases, but in others it's a real pain in the rump.

    Reply
  9. I also noticed that if cached exchange mode is enabled and you have full access permission to someone with a very large mailbox, your ost file grows. I went from 500 MB to 7.7 GB before I realized this was happening.

    Reply
  10. Looks like if you remove Full Access permission from a mailbox, it doesn't remove the attribute – so the mailbox will still be mapped in user's Outlook. You have to manually delete the attribute… kinda pain if you ask me… This feature would be nice, if it would actually work automatically once you take out permissions.

    Reply
  11. Kind of annoying you have to unset and then reset this value to get it to work. (If you had already set Full permissions up prior to SP1)

    Reply

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Disable Windows Copilot Using Intune

Windows Copilot is Microsoft’s take on making life easier for Windows users using the power of AI. This article explains how to disable the feature using Intune, if your organization is not ready yet to walk into the AI world.

Disable Windows Copilot Using Intune

We need to create a Configuration Profile for Windows devices in the Intune portal to disable Windows Copilot. Below are the steps that we need to create the profile.

Launch the Intune Portal and login as a Global Admin or Intune Admin.

Navigate to Devices -> Windows -> Configuration Profiles.

Windows Configuration Profile Intune

Click on Create -> New Policy.

Select Windows 10 & later as the platform and Settings Catalog as the profile type & click on the Create button.

Settings Catalog Intune CoPilot

Give the policy a meaningful name & description and click Next.

Policy Name Disable CoPilot

Within the configuration settings, click on the Add Settings option.

Add Settings Disable CoPilot

Search for ‘copilot’, Windows AI will come up as the category. Click on Windows AI and the Turn off Copilot in Windows (User) setting will come up. Check the box and click Next.

Turn off CoPilot Setting Intune
Turn off CoPilot Setting Intune Summary 1

Specify scope tags if required and click Next.

Select tags CoPilot Intune

Select who this policy should apply to in the Assignments section. I have selected to add all users. If you want to test the setting, you can create a test group and select that group here.

Similarly, you can also exclude certain group from disabling AI (say IT team) if required.

Add all users disable copilot intune

A summary of selected settings will be displayed. Click on the Create button to setup the policy to disable Windows Copilot.

Create configuration policy disable CoPilot Intune 1

Wait for the replication to complete in the cloud backend and login to your machine. Your chatty Copilot should now be disabled.

Disable Windows Copilot On Windows 11 Pro

Follow the steps below to disable Copilot on a personal Windows 11 Pro machine (say your own laptop).

Search for ‘group’ in Windows 11 and click on Edit Group Policy option.

Group Policy Windows 11 Disable Copilot

Navigate to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Copilot.

Windows Copilot GPO setting

Double click on Turn off Windows Copilot setting on the right pane.

Select Enabled and click OK.

Turn off copilot gpo Windows 11 Pro 1

Close the Group Policy Editor. This will disable Windows Copilot on a Windows 11 Pro machine.

Summary

We have learned to disable Windows Copilot using Intune and Group Policy on Windows 11 machines.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Promote Windows Server 2025 To Domain Controller

Domain controllers are the backbone of any Active Directory domains in the Microsoft world. Any Windows server can be promoted to be a domain controller. In this article, we will go through the steps of promoting a Windows 2025 Server to be a domain controller.

Windows Server 2025

The latest version of the server operating system has been named Windows Server 2025. You can start with a 2025 Server & create an AD domain or you can promote a member server that is already a part of a domain.

The Windows Server 2025 needs to be installed on a machine before it can be promoted to be a domain controller.

Promote Windows Server 2025 To Domain Controller

If you have been working with Windows servers long enough, everything starts with the Server Manager app. Promoting a server to a domain controller is no different.

Launch ‘Server Manager’ & click on Add roles and features.

Windows 2025 Server Manager

You land on the summary page that explains what is required to run this wizard successfully. Click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Add Remove Roles

Select Role-based or Feature-based installation and click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Role Based Install

Select the server that needs to be promoted and click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Destination Server

Select Active Directory Domain Services (second option) and click on Add Features.

Windows Server 2025 AD Domain Services

Go with the default options for features that need to be installed.

Windows Server 2025 AD Domain Services Features

A summary of AD DS pops up next, click next to continue.

Windows Server 2025 AD DS

Select Restart the server automatically if required and click Install.

Windows Server 2025 AD Restart Server

You get to keep an eye on the progress of the installation.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Progress

Once the role has been installed, you will find an exclamation mark on the top right corner of the Server Manager. Click on that and select Promote this server to be a domain controller.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Continue

You get an error straight away (which you have never seen before) – Error determining whether the target server is already a domain controller. Role change is in progress or this computer needs a restart.

Windows Server 2025 Domain Controller Setup Error

We never needed to restart the server after installing the role in the DC promotion process. Given that it is an insider build of Server 2025, I am hoping that this will get fixed before the public release.

Restart the server, launch Server Manager and click on the Promote this server to be a domain controller option again.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Continue 1

I am setting up a brand new AD forest and hence I select the third option (Add a new forest) and enter my root domain name.

Windows Server 2025 Add a forest

Next window brings the option to set your forest & domain functional level and the DSRM password. In the insider build, it shows what looks like a variable (the Windows server version on which the you are working).

Windows Server 2025 Forest Functional Level

You can leave the default options in the DNS options wizard and click next.

Windows Server 2025 DNS Options

Enter the netbios name of the domain in the next window and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Netbios Domain Name

You can stick with the default paths for the AD database, log & sysvol folder or pick a location of your choice.

Windows Server 2025 AD Paths

Review the selections that you have made so far and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Options Review

Wait for the green check mark on the prerequisites page and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Pre reqs Check

Click Install in the final window & wait for the magic to happen. Once the machine gets restarted (which it will do automatically), you will have a brand new domain controller based on Windows Server 2025.

Windows Server 2025 AD Snap In

Summary

Promoting a Server 2025 to a domain controller follows pretty much the same steps as previous operating systems. The Insider build has few errors that needs to be fixed, but hey, it is an insider build!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Install Windows Server 2025 – Full Guide

Microsoft has released an insider preview of it’s next server operating system named Windows Server 2025. We will have a look at the installation steps involved in setting up a 2025 server.

Windows Server 2025

Microsoft has gone with the same look and feel of Windows 11 operating system in it’s current server operating system – Windows Server 2025. As the product is in insider preview, there might be slight changes before it hits the public shelves.

It is refreshing to see a ‘modern’ feel in the installation process of a server operating system. Gone are the days where the installation of a consumer based OS felt much better compared to it’s server counterpart.

Installing Windows Server 2025

Let’s take a look at the steps involved in setting up a Windows Server 2025 machine. First step is to download the ISO from the Windows Insider portal.

Next step is to boot the virtual / physical machine from the ISO which will kick off the installation of Server 2025.

First option to select is the language settings. Pick the one based which relates to you and click next.

Windows Server 2025 language settings

Select the keyboard settings in the next screen and click next.

Windows Server 2025 keyboard

You get the option to select whether you want to Install Windows Server or Repair the installation. The bottom left corner also has the option to go to the previous version of setup.

Windows Server 2025 setup option

You are asked to enter the product key, which is available in the Windows Insider portal.

Windows Server 2025 product key

Next option to choose is the type of image you want to install – Windows 2025 core or full blown desktop experience.

Windows Server 2025 Desktop

You need to agree to the licensing terms to move forward in the next step.

Windows Server 2025 Agreement License

Select the partition on which the server OS should be installed and click next. You also have the option to slice the partitions the way you see fit in the same screen.

Windows Server 2025 Disk Partitions

The Ready to Install window comes up, click the install button.

Windows Server 2025 Install 1

Installation of Server 2025 is underway and you get to see the progress.

Windows Server 2025 Install Progress

Once the installation is complete, you need to enter an administrator password of your choice to finalize the setup.

Windows Server 2025 Password

And there you go! You see a Windows 11 login screen staring at you ;-)

Windows Server 2025 Login Screen

After logging in, you get to set the options around sending diagnostic data to Microsoft, which I always set as ‘required only’.

Windows Server 2025 Diagnostic Data

The Windows Server 2025 desktop looks similar, doesn’t it? ;-)

Windows Server 2025 Desktop Feel scaled

Now that the server is up and running, you can promote it to be a domain controller.

Summary

The Windows Server 2025 has the same look and feel as a Windows 11 operating system. The installation options also provide that modern ‘feel’ and makes it a bit soothing to the eyes!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.