Outlook AutoDiscover redirect limit (0x800c8206)

Today I encountered something I’ve not seen before, and I am sure more people will encounter this. If a client is in an Active Directory site without an AutoDiscover serviceConnectionPoint (SCP), it will try to connect to all AutoDiscover instances in the organization simultaneously. If the user have been cross-forest migrated, a redirect response will come from each server, and if there are more than 8 of them, Outlook reaches a redirect limit and fails to AutoDiscover.

After a cross-forest migration, the targetAddress of the source Active Directory object will be set to an address in the routing domain. For example when you do migrate to Office 365 / Exchange Online, your user will get a tenant.mail.onmicrosoft.com address, in my case mailNickname@gwrnd.mail.onmicrosoft.com. After the migration, when requesting details from AutoDiscover On-Premise, the response will be a redirect to the Exchange Online autodiscover. The problem is that when SCP is enabled in Outlook, it will count each response On-Premise as a redirect. This means that if it requests from all of your AutoDiscover instances, it will fail (the limit is 10).

If you believe this is your issue, you can look for error code 0x800c8206 in “Test E-mail Autoconfiguration” in Outlook. If you find this error code, here is your solution.

Disable SCP on the client

Instead of having Outlook look for SCPs in AD, you can disable this feature by adding the following to the registry on the client.


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\AutoDiscover]
"ExcludeScpLookup"=dword:00000001

With this disabled, Outlook will work more like on the internet. It will look at the UserPrincipalName (UPN), and try autodiscover.goodworkaround.com if your UPN ends with @goodworkaround.com. The reason this helps is that it will only get one response On-premise, not one per AutoDiscover virtual directory.

Configure AutoDiscoverSiteScope

By default a CAS only serves its own site. You can use the cmdlet Set-ClientAccessServer -identity -AutodiscoverSiteScope Oslo,Beijing,Boston,Seattle to configure it to serve more sites. This can help if you for example have 4 datacenters with 3 AutoDiscover instances in each, and some sites in AD does not have an Exchange server. The sites with the Exchange server will try all of the 12 AutoDiscover instances, and fail because it reaches the limit. If you configure the site to only try one of the sites, it will succeed because it will only try 3 servers.

Reduce the number of AutoDiscover instances

Do you really need 12? Remember that this is a lightweight service, and you can have a CAS without AutoDiscover. If you can manage to have 8 or less AutoDiscover instances you are safe.

Hope this helps someone.

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